Tory Nation – The dark legacy of the world’s most successful political party (Samuel Earle):

The Conservative’s claim over Britain goes even further than this. Beyond fronting their own purported achievements while in power, they seek to absorb the achievements of their political opponents as well – even, or especially, where these were achieved against the Torie’s opposition. The abolition of slavery, the enfranchisement of women and the working class, the dissolution of Empire, the welcoming of refugees from war zones (such as the Kinderstransport during the Second World War) and the creation of the NHS – all these important chapters in the nation’s past often happened in the face of fervent opposition from the Tories somewhere along the way, but they are now celebrated by the Tories as proof of Britain’s – and their – magnanimity and good sense.

Flange & Flogg –
“there was hardly a major businessman that was not ennobled”

at long last, somebody has actually gone & done it.

It arrives after the Cancervative’s belief-beggaring, fourteen-year plus shredding & planned & purposeful mutilation of the country, leaving Britain destroyed, utterly humiliated & catastrophically denigrated, defaced & vandalised. Writing from the ruins, Earle performs an astonishingly accurate, penetrating, multifaceted & vigorously broad assessment that operates as a kind of funeral rights for the wrecked, wracked & rotting isle. Composed, extremely well researched & historically probing, with the courage to examine a host of core but “sensitive” & complex drivers that rarely receive scrutiny or even mention (& that’s the way they like it), it is an incredibly deft unravelling of the Tories’ legerdemain masquerade.

The word ‘Tory’ started as a seventeenth-century slur from Gaelic ‘toraeigh’ , meaning ‘bogtrotter’ or ‘bandit’. It then became the nickname for Royalists in parliament whose allegiance lay above all with the Crown.

A “darker truth” – “the tradition, as this book will show, has always been more radical, self-serving and disruptive than its mild mannered, small-c “conservative” reputation suggests.

commitment to the preservation, and continued elevation of a specific ruling class

I have been waiting so long, & with such curiosity as to “who” would deliver such an overdue & concerted reckoning against the ‘bogtrotter’ menace, & what form it would manifest in (a book? A documentary feature or series? A play?).

Tory Nation is the full embodiment, & the dog’s bollocks, & it has fulfilled the task spectacularly.

“‘The whole purposeof the party, the veteran Tory journalist Peregrine Worsthorne once declared, is ‘to translate the idea of aristocratic rule into terms which make sense to democracy, which means organising mass support for what is basically an elitist or paternalist system of government’.

Most notably, & long, long, long overdue, the “Tory Party” itself, & the highly specious, ultra-prestidigitised con & duplicitous fraud – “ideological sell” – that is so fundamental to its continual harm & mass duping are meticulously dissected & decoded.

“a new age of uncertainty and economic hardship”

It has taken far, far too long for somebody to do this subject – or indeed, “crisis” & “threat” – justice, or provide the kind of major, formidable scrutiny & singular concentration that the party & misrule demands.

The book really is a milestone, & opens up the less detected & debated background, “hidden” & historical phenomena that feed, cover & justify this heinous, super-destructive chimera.

a servile, aristocracy-loving, lord-ridden people,” – Richard Cobden

It is compulsory reading, & a “safety precaution” for anybody living in carcass country.

especially during the 2019 election, the Conservative Party has reminded us of at least one secret behind its historic success: its ability to disassociate itself from its own actions. Having overseen a decade of domestic turmoil and a stark coarsening of living conditions, the Conservative Party then presented itself as the panacea for the problems that it had created.

“ a particular kind of subservience within the British character”

Regarding the “most destructive legacy” – “fiscal austerity” -, affronted by David Cameron & George Osborne, Earle concludes – “life under the Tories has become nastier, poorer, more brutish and shorter.”

although accurate, that really is a contracted understatement.

ruinous cycle of economic dysfunction

it has degraded, significantly, in just about every single aspect, many to conditions – or indeed nadirs – that would be considered “extreme” (Brexit calamities exacerbates this turmoil even further).

“world leading”, unparalleled & record breaking statistics in poverty, deprivation, privatization, dysfunction, legalised harm, scarcity & capture are now a fixed feature of the fuck up.

This is a triumph of storytelling and resources over reality, enacted over two centuries: if the facts of life turn out to be Tory, it is because the Tories usually get to define what the facts of life, or at least British politics, are.

unvarnished excrement

All in all, the Conservatives command an unwieldy coalition of conflicting concerns and promises, standing for monarchy and meritocracy, harmony and hierarchy, diversity and exclusion, prosperity and hardship, and England and the Union – all delivered through a rhetoric that combines ‘One Nation’ overtures with ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. There is no point in trying to flatten out or rationalise these convictions – the Conservatives thrive because of them.

Earle has examined, unpacked & often – in his highly composed & well penned approach – soundly refuted the tangle of psychology, ideology “doctrine-borne” incapacity, error, & falsehood that has been so deeply sown & cultivated in elements of the British population & consciousness.

interview with author Samuel Earle
“a powerful mediocrity of mind” – George Steiner

masochism” –

In recent years, it’s as if the Conservatives have taken this as a mandate to inflict on the nation as much pain and misery as they can – slashing welfare, rolling back social services and refusing pay rises in line with inflation even as a bruising cost of living crisis unfolds – all the better to test, and celebrate, the British people’s mettle and resolve.

From December 1884, after the most significant of the Great Reform Acts, about two-thirds of men could vote. While women were still completely excluded and in Ireland male suffrage was more limited, talk of democracy at least became more meaningful. The working class made up the majority of the electorate for the first time.

It was the first of these reforms, bitterly opposed by the Tories, that gave rise to the modern Conservative Party.

In Britain, aristocracy comes from below.” – Hilaire Belloc

Chapter six, “The Tory Press” – is worth studying alone. It is absolutely exemplary. The uniquely disastrous & insalubrious condition of the nation’s newspaper landscape (which are extraordinarily favourable towards the Tory Party in so many facets) is brilliantly explained, with staggering quotations & statistical detail. Just brilliant journalism, & a real “go to” document for the shocking & ectopic “press poison” predicament that is so endemic within Britain.

– under the control of men of wealth and character who, for their own sakes, would conduct them in a more responsible manner than was likely to be the result of a pauper management.
running the government now in partnership with David Cameron” – Rebekah Crooks, disgraced Murdoch minion & CEO of News Corp

The strange dissonance between the Conservative Party’s ability to win elections and its destructive record in government stands as one of the defining riddles of British politics.

The logic goes: if the voters really understood our way of life and what we stood for, then they would never vote for us” – Charles Moore

According to the former Tory chancellor Rab Butler, one of the key figures in establishing the so-called ‘post-war consensus’, the party’s mission was ‘to maintain the old order by appeasing and accommodating the progressive forces that threaten it.”

“when there are no facts to stoke fear, innuendo and invention must do.”

This ‘one nation’ vision of Britain [Downton Abbey] – proud, happy and harmonious despite vast inequalities – could almost be a pastiche of Conservative propaganda. But the show’s mass appeal reveals how a defence of the ruling class can resonate beyond a privileged few. A strictly ordered society, steeped in tradition and grandeur, can endear those even it seems to exclude, partly because it promises to provide everyone with a purpose.

[Rishi Sunak] – the wealthiest party leaser since Lord Salisbury. Surely no other prime minister in British history can have boasted such an impressive real estate portfolio, either: a £7 million, five-bedroom townhouse in Kensington with a nearby apartment as well; a £2 million Georgian manor house in Yorkshire, currently undergoing a £400,000 renovation, replete with tennis court and swimming pool; and a £5.5 million penthouse in Santa Monica, California. Together with his chancellor, Jeremy Hunt – another one of the Conservatives’ wealthiest politicians – Sunak announced that a new era of austerity beckoned. George Osborne was brought into the Treasury’s team for good measure.

We inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone.” – Rishi Sunak

The power of this book, as is the case with other such great works, is that you would have to read perhaps x20-30 other titles on relating topics to emerge with the same thoroughly informed & clear knowledge & breadth that you get from completion of Tory Nation. In that case, it acts also potentially as a manual or codex, definitive source of information & empowering compendium.

The aim is to change people’s souls” – Margaret Thatcher

This is seriously important work, & a potent “super food” read & repository. It is also a “danger” to the wicked, obscene & peerlessly deleterious destroyer – the Conservative Party – & their continually pernicious & pestilent allies & enablers.

Read it.

Samuel Earle, 2023, Simon & Schuster, 266 pages