DOMINIC SANDBROOK: Despite 12 years of Tory government, why are we a much more left-wing nation?

Given that the Conservatives have been in power in one way or another since May 2010 – nearly 12 and a half years – one might expect most walks of life in Britain to be emphatically conservative, following in the footsteps of our political masters.

Certainly a very different country to the one ruled by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown of the New Labour.

But in many key areas of national life there has already been a sharp turn to the left.

It's a sign of the times when people who considered themselves Labor supporters in 2010, like writer J.K. Rowling (pictured), are now routinely reprimanded and slandered for simply having the courage to question the latest orthodoxy that devised a way to be a woman.

It’s a sign of the times when people who considered themselves Labor supporters in 2010, like writer J.K. Rowling (pictured), are now routinely reprimanded and slandered for simply having the courage to question the latest orthodoxy that devised a way to be a woman.

On the broader social and cultural fronts, the evidence for the left-liberal momentum is particularly evident.

If a fortune-teller predicted in the summer of 2010 that after 12 years of Tory rule universities would aggressively “decolonize” their curricula, young people would routinely submit their “pronouns” to avoid any confusion about their gender and museums. Most of the historical treasures wanted to give up, you would have thought that they are completely insane.

Of course, the left activists who have plagued so many of our major institutions insist that such developments are just common sense.

Anyone defying their last obsessions, howls, wages a “made-up culture war” – as if repeating what most people instinctively believe turns you into some kind of dangerous fascist.

This significant shift to the left is not a shift to the leftist values ​​of Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson, not even those of Blair and Brown, but rather represents a left that is more hysterical, intolerant, obsessed to the point of absurdity with race and gender.

Indeed, it is a sign of the times when people who considered themselves Labor supporters in 2010, such as writer J.K. Rowling or philosopher Kathleen Stock, were routinely vilified and vilified simply because they dared embrace the latest fashions of questioning orthodoxy about meaning of it. to be a woman.

So what is the explanation? Is it the fault of conservative governments for failing to fill cultural institutions with their supporters? Should we blame universities for filling young minds with such brilliant nonsense?

Or should we blame conservatives themselves for not offering an attractive alternative? Let’s take these suggestions in order.

There is certainly some truth in the theory that Tory governments were too weak to embrace petty-bourgeois conservative values.

For example, the government was too weak to suppress mobs of crazed activists after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 – the murder of a black man by a white police officer happened and really happened in America that devastated our cities has nothing to do with us here in Britain.

The government was too weak to quell the hordes of crazy activists who devastated our cities after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 - the murder of a black man by a white police officer that happened in America and had nothing to do with us here.  in Great Britain

The government was too weak to quell the hordes of crazy activists who devastated our cities after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 – the murder of a black man by a white police officer that happened in America and had nothing to do with us here. in Great Britain

Extremists from the Extinction Rebellion and similar groups have also been too weak to deal with – though the biggest culprits are the police, who seem to be more interested in investigating people for using false pronouns than in order to keep and apprehend the bad guys.

But in some areas of the arts, conservatives encouraged their supporters. BBC Director-General Tim Davey, former Conservative adviser; Its president, Richard Sharp, advised both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak; Its board includes Theresa May’s former press chief, Sir Robbie Gibb, a Brexit campaigner who has publicly criticized the BBC’s “voice-dominated collective thinking”.

I think the much bigger problem is the pernicious dominance of this collective idea – which only a handful of high-profile appointments can change.

In many cultural institutions, from the National Trust and the Church of England to museums and once-large publishing houses, you’ll find the same informal and unexamined terminology, the same obsessions with the imagined crimes of history, the same lazy obsessions with sex and slavery, the same confused chatter of abstract and Americanized names that it has no meaning.

why is that? One answer is that graduates are flocking to the university’s liberal arts departments after spending three years studying the supposed ills of British history and the importance of realizing that there are actually 72 genders – perhaps 73 or even 74, depending on the madness – that have been taught by academics.

So in many ways, our higher education system is to blame.

How ironic that while academics love to preach about “diversity,” the only diversity they seem to care about is skin color – not independence of thought. In a revealing poll two years ago, the Policy Exchange think tank found that only 9% of academics voted to leave in the Brexit referendum, while only 7% considered themselves “center-right”.

In a revealing survey two years ago, the Policy Exchange think tank found that only 9% of academics voted to leave in the Brexit referendum, while only 7% considered themselves

In a revealing poll two years ago, the Policy Exchange think tank found that only 9% of academics voted to leave in the Brexit referendum, while only 7% considered themselves “center-right”. Pictured: Pro-EU protesters take part in a rally to demand Britain’s entry into the European Union on Saturday

Even more alarming, only half said they would be comfortable sitting next to a pro-leave at lunch, while only a third said they would be comfortable next to someone who challenges transgender orthodoxy.

But it is all too easy to interpret this as the result of a deliberate, nefarious conspiracy.

The truth is that many, and even most, academics are complacent, narrow-minded, and second-rate intellectuals—in other words, too stupid to plan something too sinister. Instead, the fundamental problem is that very few brilliant and skeptical center-right people consider working in artistic or cultural institutions.

Instead, they go straight to business, finance, medicine, or law, which offer much greater financial rewards.

As a result, museums, universities, and even schools are often run by idealistic, enthusiastic, and intimidating leftists who lack the basic maturity or intellectual confidence to challenge what they have learned.

How do you fix it? Well, the past 12 years have shown that conservative governments are incapable of awakening our great institutions. Indeed, if the past few days are any indication, there is no point in expecting the Conservative government to do anything.

The answer, I believe, is a calm and confident campaign to defend the cultural values ​​dear to most Britons.

In addition, such a campaign can do much better than people expect. As the reaction to the Queen’s death shows, tens of millions of young conservatives are still at heart.

Unlike leaders of the Church of England or the National Trust, they make it clear that they love our country and are passionately proud of its history and heritage. These tens of millions have been silent for a long time – not least because most of them have better things to do than arguing with a bunch of weird and half-crazy ideologues.

But as a result, they were let down – and Britain moved dramatically to the left.

So it’s time to respond – politely and respectfully, of course, but still relentlessly.

Of course, the job cannot be left to Conservative MPs.

But I’m sure there are countless sane and sane people in the arts, media, publishing, and education who are tired of this nonsense and the screaming and howling that goes with it.

In fact, I know something is up because they often tell me about it in private.

So, isn’t it time for them to wake up? Isn’t it time to stop appeasing these eccentric tyrants? Isn’t it time to defend Britain before they destroy it forever?

Dominic Sandbrook hosts the podcast The Rest Is History

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