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Ash Faulkner

Well I have to say I'm pretty much all of those, so I guess I'm just a plain old conservative. It's difficult of course because free trade vs immigration, and other differences (that aren't mentioned here) present some ideological imbalance.

Tony Makara

I do not believe the party can marry the concepts of completely free-trade and nationalism. Those that support open trade are internationalists and pursue the open-trade ideology even though it runs counter to the national interest. Conservatism is duty bound to put the interests of our nation first, giving jobs to British workers ahead of migrant Labour, saying no to offshoring and keeping jobs in Britain instead, making sure that British markets are not overrun by imports that can be made here in Britain, thus creating jobs for the British workforce. The open-trade internationalists will argue that free-trade is a question of liberty but nationalistic Conservatives must point out that the best interests of the nation come before the desire of the individual.


Tony - that's fine, but on the issue of imports, preumably we wouldn't then have a problem with other countries doing the same and limiting our opportunities for export?


I reckon I'm two and a half at least as well. Which is why I'll have difficulty voting Tory next time.


LOL! You're just inviting Labourites to say, "yes, Tories do produce a lot of stool."

Giles McNeill

"Patriotic or security conservatives worry about immigration, the armed forces, immigration, law and order, national sovereighty... "

Erm... immigration twice... it really must be important to them.


Yes I have nothing against them either, the problem I feel is that the Conservatives have locked themselves into expressing these values along specific lines, and allowed some themes to dominate.

For example, the Conservatives are always seen as the party of business to the point where for the Tory’s everything is believed to be subservient to those business interests. But that's not true, for the Conservatives are also at times seen as being for the nation, and there are times when the interests of business and interests of our nation diverge and here the Conservatives have come down in support of the nation. This was no better seen than when big business wanted us to join the Euro, but that was something which was clearly not in our nations interests, a line the Conservatives took, and so rejected the Euro. As such I don't believe it would harm the Conservatives if they expressed this and said that their support for business has its limits.

In fact I noted an interview recently between Andrew Neil and John Redwood, here John Redwood expressed the point that though he was a capitalist, his country came before his capitalism, which made me think, great, why aren't Conservative politicians making that more clear to the electorate, for most people would think the Conservatives only did what big business wanted and sod the rest of us.

Its also my belief it’s a sentiment which needs expressing now, for we have policy being enacted on behalf of business which is going to do lasting damage to our country. For example mass immigration, here it seems the CBI and international Marxists have joined in an unholy alliance, both pursuing a policy of mass immigration for their different reasons, but its British people who are getting screwed because of it, worse its going to leave our children and grand children with a socially fractured and totally unsustainable country.

There is also seems to be a fire sale of all British assets going on, in fact Brown went to China and basically set up a car boot stall to flog off British assets to the Chinese totalitarian state. Now no way can this be seen to be in the interests of our country, it might be in the interests to a few Goldman Sachs traders enabling them to max out their bonuses for next year as they flog British companies to the Chinese, but in no way is it in our interests to see our companies taken in to Chinese ownership, so may be the Conservative need to express concern at what is going on, i.e. take the side of Britain not the mega US merchant Banks.

But to cut a long post short, of the three stool legs to Conservative values, some, like love of country have been allowed to wither, others like support for business has been allowed to dominate, especially in the electorates eyes, so I feel it wouldn’t hurt Conservative fortunes if the party allowed some rebalancing of priorities.


Very perceptive, Iain.

Tony Makara

onenationtory, it would benefit all nations to import only the materials that they cannot produce themselves. Of course mutually advantageous trade is still a good idea, buying oranges from Israel, tea from India and so on, but to be importing goods, food and fuel that we can produce for ourselves is madness, ideologically driven madness. Recently Gordon Brown was in China opening up our market further to Chinese imports, the Chinese are planning to put more into agricultural production, their aim ultimately is to supply the west, we are becoming a dumping ground, all this dependency on imports will create runaway inflation as interest rates are cut and the pound falls in value. Its a dangerous policy.


But a party that deliberately alienates one of these factions, let alone two, is preparing to lose the next election."
Nationalism? In terms of the suggested stool sample one prop is well and truly broken. Not just in the blogosphere but across the dining tables of the shires and suburbs and around the smoke free bars of our cities, towns and villages.

Unfortunately, Cameron's approach to the English stools problem has been identical to Brown's:

Turn the stool upside down and make England sit on it (whilst vaguely waving a union jack).



Cheap imports dampen inflation. The reason nations import goods which they could make themselves is explained by the theory of comparative advantage.

Tony Makara

Bill, comparative advantage only works when there is an alternative market to buy from. Once a nation like China gains a monopoly or once the British economy loses the infrastructure to create the same goods and offer them by way of alternative there is no 'choice' You must also remember that there is a price to pay for cheap imports. To have cheap imports governments/central banks must pursue a strong pound policy and that means higher interest rates and less liquidity.

Buckinghamshire Tory

Of course there can be a conflict of interests between supporters of free enterprise and moral traditionalists, just as there can be a conflict of interests between patriotic conservatives and economic conservatives. But the coalition can still work, just look at the Republican Reagan-Coalition, which have delivered victories in five og the seven last presidential elections.

Besides, free trade and free enterprise is in the interest of the nation as a whole. It is free trade that made this country prosperous.

Tony Makara

Buckinghamshire Tory, we are now a passive buying nation. A second-ranking nation. Great nations supply their own market and export, we don't do that anymore. We exist use our money to give wealth to China and other exporters. Gordon Brown is going to open up our last area of strength, financial services, to the Chinese. People are being blinded by free-trade. There is a problem here.

Jon Gale

A few years ago I would have supported free trade, but now I am undecided between free trade and protectionism (edging more and more towards protectionism). I can see pros and cons to both systems.

Free trade makes goods in shops cheaper, and reduces inflation, but once our industries have 'outsourced' or closed down we start to lose the skills and become dependent on imports.

I fear that as china/india develop more advanced economies financial services and R&D will move out there and Britain will be left with a "service economy" based around supermarkets.

Tony Makara

Jon Gale, the Chinese talk openly in their domestic press about "Ending western economic pre-eminence" and creating "Feeder nations for the great Chinese economic project" The west needs to wake up. We are committing economic suicide.

Mike A

Tony Makara - I'm afraid you just don't understand trade.

I recommend Martin Wolf's "Why Globalization Works" for a quick primer.

Malcolm Dunn

Very good post Iain. I agree with all of it.

Tony Makara

Mike A, I read enough free-trade apologists and they all adhere to the same ideological line. Business and trade, as I see it are run along Darwinian lines, you have a business and you have competitors. You have to corner a market and knock your competitor out before he knocks you out. The same goes for nations, either British business succeeds or foreign competitor business succeeds in its place. British business should be aggressive and control its domestic market while at the same time looking for export markets. I support an assertive style of capitalism and do not buy into the internationalist lets-all-hold-hands dogma of the free-traders. The way I see it the government of the day should support British business in being aggressive and in dominating markets, both at home and abroad.


"The way I see it the government of the day should support British business in being aggressive and in dominating markets, both at home and abroad. "

Yes, but there are various strands to business some appear to be destructive to our interests as a country. In this I would point the finger at the City, for I feel the short termist bonus driven cultre there is at odds to our interests. For example look at the roll call of comapnies flogged off to foreign buyers, P&O to Dubai's sovereign fund, which means all the revenue from the ports they ran goes there not here. BOC to a smaller Gemran company, with extensive assets in the Far East, means that revenue goes to Germany, Pilkingtons flogeed off to a smaller japanses comapny, Gordon Brown flogged Westinghouse to Toshiba, which means the revenue from the $60 billion order they landed from the Chinese goes to Japan. But not only do we lose out from the loss of income and revernue these companies generate, but the fire sale of UK assets is limiting our growth prospects. For example the electicity generators sold off the Germany and France, means these companies will never develop in their own right for they will always be a sudsiduaries of EON and EDF and the UK seen as just a cash cow for their expansion to the benefit of France and Germany.


Surely in Britain it should be the Labour/Brown stool?

After all they stool all our ideas!

Sean Fear


No company, let alone country, has succeeded in knocking out its competitors in anything other than the very short term. Even when they think they have, someone comes along and does the same thing more cheaply and/or efficiently.

You may be surprised to learn that this country is one of the World's biggest exporters and foreign investors.

Buckinghamshire Tory

Tony Makara, I understand what you are saying, and of course there are problems with our current system of free trade. It is not perfect.
The problem is the lack of alternatives. For what is the alternative to free trade?
The natural alternative is protectionism, but that will get us nowhere. That will close us off from investment, "know how" and foreign competition.
It might save some jobs here and there, but in the end we will all be worse off.

However, there is much the Government can do to encourage investmen and new enterprise. The government can cut taxes (especially business-taxes), deregulate further (abolish the minimum wage)and slash public spending.
The answeris to make Britain more competitive, not to cut ourselves off from the global economy.


"It is not perfect.
The problem is the lack of alternatives. For what is the alternative to free trade?"

Does it need alternatives or a different emphasis, for Germany, Japan, France, South Korea, etc all manage to pursue their national interests within a free trade environment, without having to resort to putting all their countries assets up for grabs. Currently British Gas is being lined up for sale by the City to the Russian state, now does anybody think that a good idea? The City Merchant banks don't care for they will get paid their fees, but it can't be in our national interests, can it?

Tony Makara

Protectionism will have to come, as political idea, and out of economic necessity. If we want to put our nation back to work, if we want to be free of an overvalued currency and higher interest rates, if we want to be free of currency differentials and the economic shocks they bring about, we have to unplug from the ideological drive to make world markets interdependent. Those who advocate open-trade need to think outside of the box, need to understand that we are diminishing as a nation. Unless we change direction and begin to supply our own market and position macroeconomic policy to favour manufacturing and exports the economy our our country will break down and the door will be left open to political extremism.

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