British socialism is dying and recent events show it

Mo Metcalf-Fisher argues that recent events demonstrate the British left is in decline, and, as far as electoral politics are concerned, it could well be terminal. Maggie Thatcher's dream may be about to become reality

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It's lonely being a socialist these days...
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Mo Metcalf-Fisher
On 3 June 2015 09:09

Last week, extreme left-wing protesters took to Westminster to show their fury at what the Daily Mirror described as ‘the most right-wing Queen’s Speech in a generation’.

I’ve written about the decline in socialist action on multiple occasions, but I think in light of events last week it’s worth going over what we are seeing, and reflecting on the fact that the far left truly is in decline, and that it's happening before our very eyes.

When the Conservatives took office in 2010, alongside the Liberal Democrats as coalition partners, the student-left (which probably comprises the biggest, or certainly the most active, grouping of leftist-protest movements) were organised and ready to agitate.

Staging countless demonstrations and even storming CCHQ in Millbank, the student- left (who were joined by large numbers of older socialists) seemed keen to take on British Conservatism.

At the time of the last set of major protests in response to the tuition fees increase, I was the campus Tory Chairman at Essex University. Let’s just say I wasn’t the most popular person at that time for supporting the government.

Coach-loads of students enthusiastically travelled up to Westminster to voice their anger, and the campus became a ghost town.

The reality now, however, paints quite a different picture. This is no surprise when one looks at the facts.

Reports now suggest that at University campuses across the country, countless radical-leftist movements lie in disarray and without members.

At the recent election, TUSC, the most obvious of the radical- left wing groups that bothered to stand for election, received a national total of just 36, 327 votes (0.1 percent of the vote). Put in to perspective, that’s just 1,710 more votes than John Bercow received in his seat of Buckingham.

There are also over 25 radical leftist political parties comprising groups like the ‘New Communist Party’, the ‘Revolutionary Communist Group’, the ‘Communist Party of Britain’, the ‘Communist Party of Britain (Marxist- Leninist)’ and the ‘Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)' -- obviously.

In student politics, the NUS, who once were at the forefront of demonstrations, have rapidly cut off ties with extreme-left elements. Remaining socialists have come to brand one of their erstwhile safest fiefdoms as ‘right wing’, as a result of the predominantly ‘Labour Student’ make up of delegates.

Now, splinter radical Student Unions argue amongst themselves over niche issues like whether condemning ISIS is Islamophobic, or if the fight against 'oppression' should involve a blanket ban on men from attending political meetings.

This inability of the left to even stomach the enthusiasm to work together or champion issues that matter to everyday men and women indicates one obvious reality: they have lost their way, and no longer truly stand for anything meaningful.

The protests last week and shortly after polling day, although violent and thuggish, demonstrate the desperate lengths to which the far-left are having to go to get noticed.

From scribbling horrific graffiti on a national war memorial and attacking police officers to abusing UKIP’s Douglas Carswell -- pathetically screaming "fascist" at him -- in the street, the far-left are running out of ideas, and they know it.

The recent general election results only rubbed salt into an already fatal wound.

If the election showed anything, it is that hard working people are putting their trust in the Conservative Party. They see that the socialists only gain from the personal economic anxieties of others and that, as a movement, they have no genuine desire to make anyone better off.

For Conservatives, the road ahead from here is to keep on doing what Conservatives have always done best: govern.

With a clear mandate from the British electorate, it is time to get on with strengthening the economy and pushing for a better future for our hardest workers.

Unlike socialists, we have always strived to help those that truly want the best future for themselves and their family. That’s why this election, despite their best efforts, Labour lost. They lacked that vision and fell for their own classic trap: talking down to people about their problems, without offering a solution.

Now, Labour will have an internal fight on their hands to select their next leader. Will they accept that there is limited appetite amongst the electorate for socialism and move to the centre-ground, or vote for someone that still claims to offer the mystical, magic formula of electorally acceptable socialism?

This could be the very end of British socialism, certainly from within the world of electoral politics. Margaret Thatcher's dream of a Britain without socialism may soon become a reality.

Mo Metcalf-Fisher is a Conservative Party member and activist. He tweets @mometfisher

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