I’m usually a fan of what Andrew Lilico has to say on Conservative Home, so it is with regret that I have to say his latest piece, ‘A true Conservative should believe Conservatism can win’ offers nothing but a vapid and skin- deep analysis of the Conservatives’ 2010 election performance.
In his piece, Dr Lilico argued that certain Conservatives should stop apologising for David Cameron’s performance at the 2010 general election, and that in order to be a ‘true’ Conservative (or indeed a Conservative at all) you must consider the performance of the 2010 Conservative party to be a failure. Dr Lilico says arguments to the contrary are “wrong and enraging.” They may well be enraging because they say something a lot of Conservatives are unwilling to hear, but they are certainly not wrong.
Firstly, Dr Lilico’s doctrinal shrillness is immensely unbecoming. Quite frankly, it is embarrassing for anyone to make claims about what constitutes ‘true’ Conservatism in the way Dr Lilico does in his article. Such arguments are best left to Marxists rather than serious political organisations. The last thing the Conservative Party needs is the sort of infighting over ‘true’ Conservatism that Dr Lilico’s article seeks to engender.
However, the crux of Dr Lilico’s argument is that the 2010 election was a failure. The Conservative Party failed to get a majority when it should have got a very large one. The circumstances were such that the party’s failure to win an overall majority constitutes a disaster. This is a superficially appealing argument, but one which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and a fair comparison to other recent elections.