The Conservative Party is nothing if it is not a British party. We exist not only to protect and to conserve the best of our society, but to preserve and defend the British nation. We must never forget this fact, for if we do, we will lose our sense of purpose, writes Huw Davies.
If we are not the United Kingdom’s national party, then who else will stand-up for the British nation?
The ‘Let’s be like America’ brigade of Labour and the Liberal Democrats want an American-style federal structure. Such a concept is so alien to this country and would bring with it the same division we see in the US system. Plaid Cymru and the SNP want the complete destruction of our nation, and I am glad any notion of working with them has been ruled out by our party in Scotland and Wales. This must remain the case for future elections, we cannot be a bridge to power for those who wish our country ill.
For us to further the cause of our nation, we as Conservatives must look to Disraeli, who gave us the basis of ‘One Nation Conservatism’.
He believed that in 19th century Britain, there were two nations, one rich and one poor. In that, he mapped out a vision of uniting these two nations into one whole as the primary focus of British Conservatism.
I think it is time for a new interpretation of this ‘One Nation Toryism’.
This new guiding principle would encompass the idea of Britain as a united nation, a United Kingdom – One Nation. If we believe in the preservation of the United Kingdom, it is vital we maintain the basis of its nationhood.
Those who talk of ‘four nations’ usually are federalists, nationalists or unionists foolishly playing on the nationalists’ turf. But what is so often forgotten is the greater whole, the unified entity – Britain.
That is why we exist, to keep the British nation alive.
As One Nation Tories, we must fight to reunite the United Kingdom and reknit its nationhood which has been eroded by devolution. Britishness cannot be diminished to just our flag on some supermarket butter, it must be a real and active identity. That means the British state acting on behalf of the British people, which the UK Internal Market Act will enable it to do.
This is the start of recreating that ‘One Nation Conservatism’ we must fight for in the modern age.
It is in the tradition of Disraeli, who fought to unite the nation divided by wealth, that now in the 21st century we must reinvigorate that urgency of uniting the nation. As so often in a time of uncertainty, the British people look to us to offer sensible, conservative, and ultimately British solutions. ‘One Nation Conservatism’ should no longer just be about the socio-economic position of Britons, but the unity of their very nation.
This new ‘One Nation Toryism’ will guide us to the future of the social, economic, and political unity of the United Kingdom. Let us now work together as a party to further the cause of Britain and believe in the British nation as a truly united unit once more.
Huw Davies is Chairman of Newport West Conservative Association.