Dear Mark Harper …

Dear Mark Harper,

Whatever your, my or anyone else’s views on Brexit, it is surely obvious to all of us that no one man should be able or allowed, in a Parliamentary democracy, to shut down Parliament for fear that it will disagree with his own personally favoured policy. It makes me ashamed of my country.

I know it is difficult for a Conservative MP to take any action against the Conservative Party. But if you have any respect for our democratic system, any concern for those you represent in the Forest of Dean, or any political integrity, you will stand — with members of other parties if necessary — against Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament for his own personal short-term advantage.

The Conservative Party has been stolen from conservatives by demogogues and would-be dictators. Take it back.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Mike Taylor
Oakleigh Farm House #F
Crooked End
Ruardean
Gloucestershire GL17 9XF


I just sent this letter to my MP using writetothem.com. It is quick and easy. I encourage you to write to your own MP.

 

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5 responses to “Dear Mark Harper …

  1. Ethan Warren

    The line about the conservative party being taken from conservatives illustrates the state of politics in our age.
    Now, let me first say that I am Canadian, so, I know that these statements are true for Canada and the United States and strongly suspect that they are valid for The United Kingdom as well, I cannot be sure.
    It seems to me that the major political parties, both in my country and in yours have been taken over by the very most radical wing, destroying the credibility of the party (and its voters) with the other side.
    The reality is that the average is not a neo-nazi white nationalist, nor are they an anarchocommunist, violent revolutionary.
    Most people (who care about politics) fall somewhere in the middle.
    Infact, I believe this is one of the main reasons that Trump was elected.
    Despite his arrogant, offensive, and bullying retoric, his actual policies have embraced elements of both the Republican party and the laber wing of the Democrats.
    Anyway, I am no political analist, so I could be (and probably am) dead wrong on several points.
    These are just trends I have noticed.

    Ethan

  2. “It seems to me that the major political parties, both in my country and in yours have been taken over by the very most radical wing, destroying the credibility of the party (and its voters) with the other side.”

    I think you’re dead right — at least in the UK. It’s arisen from, I think, a genuinely well-intended change, which is to let party members have more of a say in electing leaders. But the unintended consequence was actually pretty easy to foresee: on the whole, the people who care enough to join a right-wing party tend to be very right wing, and the people who care enough to join a left-wing party tend to be very left wing; and so they each push their parties further in that direction.

    The horrible immmediate consequence in the UK is that, at the very moment when we most desperately need a coherent, appealing opposition to the worst government of my lifetime, we have an opposition leader who is as divisive as Boris Johnson, and who can’t possibly lead any kind of unity government.

  3. It seems to me that the major political parties, both in my country and in yours have been taken over by the very most radical wing, destroying the credibility of the party (and its voters) with the other side

    I’m afraid that, although I don’t know anything about Canada, you’re wrong about the UK: the Conservative party hasn’t had any credibility with ‘the other side’ for at least as long as I’ve been alive. From before I was born Labour and Lib Dem supporters have been proud to call Tories ‘vermin’. In 2002 the Chairwoman of the Conservative Party, I forget her name, told her own conference that people called them ‘the nasty party’. There was nothing there to destroy. The ‘other side’ have had nothing but a visceral hatred for Conservatives as long as living memory.

    So this ‘destruction of credibility’ long pre-dates any current leadership. If there’s any causality here (which I don’t think there is, actually) it must run the other way.

    (Fortunately, the Conservative party’s credibility, already lost with the other side, does not seem to have been destroyed with the floating voters in the middle: current polls have them on about 30%, not great, but better than under the previous leader. Of course that might just be the usual new-leader bounce. It’s only been a month; we’ll have to see what happens.)

    (And interestingly the first Conservative leader to be elected by the membership rather than MPs — the first one for which the current system was used in fact — was David Cameron, who was undeniably much, much closer to the centre than his opponent, David Davis. So it’s not always the case that giving the membership a say results in the more extreme candidate winning. Of course circumstances were different then: Blair was just coming down off the height of his success, and members may have been thinking that the more Blair-like candidate would be the more likely to deliver them victory (and if that’s the case they were, albeit in a roundabout fashion, right — but perhaps also ended up being served a large portion of ‘be careful what you wish for’). Make of that what you will.)

  4. I’m not convinced, H. I may be remembering through rose-coloured spectacles, but I do think that until relatively recently there was a degree of grudging respect between the left and right in British politics — a recognition that most if not all MPs were acting the way there were primarily out of a conviction that it was the right thing, and that disagreements arose from differing honestly held convictions. That seems to be over now. Pretty much everyone agrees that Boris Johnson is in politics only for his own personal aggrandisement and enrichment. No-one ever said that about Margaret Thatcher, for all her many and varies faults.

  5. I’m not convinced, H. I may be remembering through rose-coloured spectacles, but I do think that until relatively recently there was a degree of grudging respect between the left and right in British politics — a recognition that most if not all MPs were acting the way there were primarily out of a conviction that it was the right thing, and that disagreements arose from differing honestly held convictions. That seems to be over now.

    Hah. Rose-coloured spectacles indeed. I refer you to this:

    ‘Most people listening drew the conclusion that, since the Red Party was the party which believed in Goodness and Fairness and Social Justice, the Blue Party must be the party which believed in Wickedness and Unfairness and Injustice: because otherwise, why would there be two parties at all?’

    http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2015/05/one-hundred-years-ago.html

    From an article originally published many years ago, making the exact same point you are now: politics used to involve civil gruding respect, even if only of the other side’s motives, but now it’s just about calling your opponents evil vermin who are just in it for themselves.

    Like teenage rebellion, this seems to be one of those things that every generation thinks it has invented out of nothing.

    Pretty much everyone agrees that Boris Johnson is in politics only for his own personal aggrandisement and enrichment. No-one ever said that about Margaret Thatcher, for all her many and varies faults.

    No, they said much, much ruder things about her. Like, she wasn’t really a woman, for example, because she was so insane.

    They did say it about Tony Blair, though. (And you’re wrong about Boris being in politics for enrichment: he could definitely get richer, with less scrutiny, doing other things. Aggrandisement, though, oh yes, big time.)

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