"Why Britain needs Popular Conservatism

The Conservative Party has not fulfilled the promise of Brexit or overcome the legacy of Blair


The Critic: 12th February 2024: Mark Littlewood article explaining why Popular Conservatism was formed 

"Last week, I helped to launch a new initiative, Popular Conservatism. The mainstream media could barely conceal their glee.

We knew that the mere title of our group would raise eyebrows — especially with the Tories currently at such a low ebb in the polls. A good number of journalists who are unsympathetic to our core propositions (of which, more below) were either hopeful or confident of the whole enterprise being a damp squib. On the day of the launch itself, The Times delighted in dedicating their cartoon to an image of Liz Truss, bearing a PopCon banner, with a mere handful of others gathered in a broom cupboard.

Unbeknownst to the Times cartoonist, the real headache facing the PopCon team was not an absence of interest, but how to handle a flood of applications for tickets which could have filled the central Westminster venue three times over. Many hundreds of those intrigued by what the PopCon proposition was all about were going to have to watch over YouTube rather than in the flesh.

The heart of the Popular Conservative case is a simple analysis that has been beginning to gain ground in public debate but is not yet front and centre. The surge in interest round our launch suggests it might now be striking a chord — or at least touching a nerve.

In essence, our claim is that the institutional infrastructure of the United Kingdom now heavily mitigates against achieving a swathe of conservative ends.

Evidence A is the extraordinary, protracted battle to get Brexit over the line, showing just how powerful and determined this infrastructure can be...

Evidence B is the short-lived Truss administration...

Evidence C is the activity of our current, troubled government...

...The overarching lesson is that if you want to see a more conservative Britain – featuring lower taxes, fiscal prudence, less burdensome regulation, individual liberty and secure borders — you will have to reset our constitutional and institutional framework. We need a great restoration of the constitutional procedures and protocols that pre-date the Blair era."