There is not a week passing by that doesn’t remind us of the dire situation the British centre-right finds itself in. A Conservative party unsure of its sex-change commitment, and a Chancellor more concerned with what a ‘scrounger’ spends their paltry £72.14 a week on than actually doing his own job; may I remind you that supply-side isn’t a condiment option at the Cinnamon Club, George.
It seems that most of us have given up on 2015, just 12% of Conservative party members believe David Cameron will be in Number 10 post 2015. This disaffection serves the Noisy Neighbours rather well too: UKIP are expecting to take a 20% share of the vote in 2015, booting the Tories out of 51 seats and handing Ed and Ed the keys to another term, at least, of taxing and spending like a sozzled John Maynard Keynes.
Politics is never so straight-forward or as simple as it may sometimes appear to be. Amidst the ‘modernisers’ and ‘Wets’ are those whose disaffection with the status quo, along with their positional significance, means that not all is lost in the hearts and minds of the centre-right.
Here are a few Right Minds this magazine will be keeping tabs on in 2013.
1) Daniel Hannan MEP
Telegraph journalist and Eurosceptic, Dan Hannan is perhaps the most well-known of the bunch within libertarian circles. He earned worldwide political acclaim for his scathing speech on Gordon Brown in the European Parliament.
Hannan’s positions are ideologically libertarian and have earned him the respect of many like-minded people in political circles. Another advocate of swiss-style referenda, and non-interventionist foreign policy, Hannan was one of the few who opposed British intervention in Libya. Hannan is also a keen supporter of economic liberalism and small government.
When asked about his position on drug legalisation, Hannan said: “I’d start with cannabis and if that worked I wouldn’t in principle be against decriminalising heroin.”
Consistently linked with a defection to UKIP, Hannan’s common-sense and erudite political talents are sure to propel him to the top of British politics. Hannan is another libertarian politician whose conviction is impregnable. This magazine hopes for big things from Daniel Hannan this year.
2) Douglas Carswell MP
Conservative MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell is perhaps the most exciting of the bunch from the viewpoint of any libertarian or Classic Liberal.
A staunch Eurosceptic and self-confessed Libertarian, Carswell believes in fiscal responsibility and prudence in government. The first MP to draw light on the expenses scandal that ripped through parliament in 2009.
A strong advocate of localism, Carswell teams up with other like-minded libertarians in making localism central to future Tory policy.
Carswell’s most radical ideas can be found in The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain, a book which garnered critical acclaim from top blogger Guido Fawkes amongst others. The heart of The Plan includes the calling of Swiss-style referendums, a renegotiated relationship with the EU, school voucher systems and replacing VAT with a local sales tax. The Plan needs to be read by anyone who identifies with the libertarian/Classic Liberal agenda.
Expect Carswell to make strides in shaping Tory thinking this year, one of the party’s brightest and able minds has a talent for backing up his strong words with direct actions. A real mover and shaker.
3) Paul Nuttall MEP
UKIP’s Deputy Leader and MEP for NW England eschews British political convention: he’s state-educated and speaks with a refreshingly-scouse accent. This Bootle-boy-come-good divides his time between academia and politics, lecturing history at Liverpool Hope University.
Nuttall’s dubious record in European parliament ranks him 736th out of 756 in the attendance record of MEPs. His response earned him a reputation as one of the few politicians willing to stick to their guns: “I have no interest sitting all day in Brussels committees enacting job-killing, democracy-destroying legislation inspired by the EU.”
Nuttall’s political positions are a mixed bag. His membership of Campaign Against Political Correctness highlights his vehement opposition to that subject. He is also opposed to the blanket ban on smoking in public places, preferring for the option to be given to pub landlords to exercise their own choice in the matter. Nuttall is also in favour of reintroducing the Death Penalty and banning the Burqa in public places.
His strength lies in his honest, sensible and straight-talking manner. A confident and astute media performer, Nuttall’s ability to connect with the ‘ordinary folk’ his plummy peers often fawn over will be integral to UKIP’s display as the party in-touch with the public and much different from the other three with little distinguishing features between them. A recent Question Time appearance demonstrated Nuttall’s innate ability to produce consensus in political debate; a quality that will prove invaluable in making the most of the hugely inflated media attention UKIP will receive in 2013.
4) Dominic Raab MP
Conservative MP for Esher and Walton in Surrey and rising star of the radical right, Raab came into politics after a very successful career in international business law.
The son of Czech Jewish immigrants, Raab is grammar-schooled and Oxford educated. A former chief of staff to Tory favourite David Davis, Raab cut his political teeth in all the right places.
A strong supporter of the coalition, Raab has been vocal in the House of Commons with his support for cutting the deficit, the expansion of academy schools and the repeal of the encroaching ID card bill.
What excites many about Dominic Raab is his vociferous nature in voicing, sometimes, controversial opinion. Perhaps the most pro-free market MP in the House of Commons, Raab has attacked job-destroying legislation and regulations and contributed research papers advocating the cutting of red tape and mass scale deregulation and supply-side reform. His co-authorship of Britannia Unchained spells out what Britain needs to do if she is to be competitive on the future global stage. Expect to hear a lot more from Mr Raab.
5) Mark Reckless MP
Considered one of parliament’s most rebellious MPs, Reckless is fast becoming a firm favourite in libertarian conventions.
A member of the much-vaunted 2010 Conservative party intake, Reckless has led a rebellion of 53 MPs on the EU bill, inflicting the coalition government’s first defeat in the House of Commons.
A vehement Eurosceptic and signed member of the BETTER OFF OUT campaign, Reckless takes every opportunity to criticise the government on polices ranging from energy to business regulation. He also appeared on Newsnight calling for the deportation of Islamist lunatic, Abu Hamza.
Mark Reckless is close friends with Daniel Hannan who both share very similar political views and influence within the libertarian core of the Tory party.
This magazine suggests you keep a close watch on Mark Reckless, being the government’s official thorn-in-the-side means you’ll be hearing a lot more from this man.
There you have it, five people who could really shake the trunk of British politics in 2013 and, with a bit of luck, renew the tired agendas that are currently immobilising a timid treasury and feeble government.
Radical change is needed to renew Britain’s promise and these five are the best hope in achieving that. This platoon of small-state/pro-free marketeers have the position, influence and gumption to rock the coalition boat and promote a much-needed radical agenda. The Backbencher wishes them well in 2013.