If Nigel Farage wants to avoid a decade of Labour in power he must unite the right, says Mark Dolan

If Nigel Farage wants to avoid a decade of Labour in power he must unite the right, says Mark Dolan

WATCH NOW: Mark DOlan shares his thoughts on Keir Starmer

GB News
Mark Dolan

By Mark Dolan

Published: 06/07/2024

- 22:34

'The combined vote share of the Conservatives and Reform UK is higher than that enjoyed by Labour this week

Well fancy that, the polls were right.

Let's look at the debacle that is the Conservative Party – with the word Conservative being the most egregious assault on the trades descriptions act we’ve ever seen.

In many ways, the truly catastrophic Conservative campaign – which started with a rain-soaked Rishi Sunak, drowned out by the new Labour anthem “things can only get better” - was proof if you needed it, that this was a party in disarray and running out of steam.

Former Cabinet ministers like Suella Braverman were conceding defeat before the vote even happened. War veterans were insulted when Sunak absconded early from the D-Day commemorations. He was in a hurry then, but he's got all the time in the world now…

Mark Dolan

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Tory MPs started betting on their own demise at branches of Ladbrokes and William Hill, it goes on. If politics is about messaging, then the message from the Conservatives was don't vote for us. Ultimately it’s their record in office that did for them in this race.

It started with Theresa May, then Home Secretary under David Cameron, saying they would get immigration down to the tens of thousands. Voters were ignored and last year the figure for legal net migration was 700,000. A city the size of Leeds in one year.

Boris Johnson had an extraordinary mandate in 2019 and to be fair to him, he got Brexit across the line, which was a huge achievement, and he kept Corbyn out of No10, for which history will judge him kindly.

But just about everything else we've seen over the last 14 years – needless and ruinous lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccine tyranny, sky-high taxes, soaring debt, an ever-expanding and expensive state, wokery in our public institutions, raging inflation, anaemic growth, low productivity, a depleted military and unsafe streets might easily have happened under self-declared socialist Sir Keir Starmer.

Which is why it's no surprise that the millions of people who lent the Conservatives their vote in 2019 – because they wanted conservatism - chose to take it back this Thursday, with interest. If you went to a pizza restaurant and were served Chicken Tikka Masala with rice, you’d be entitled to complain too. Well, the chickens have come home to roost. The public has told the Tories they are foul and can cluck off.

Despite my misgivings about the party itself – and in particular that three-year experiment in communism during covid, in which a Conservative government censored critics, mothballed the NHS, shut down schools, closed once viable businesses, and destroyed the economy by paying healthy people to stay at home – I've always admired Sunak.

In his short 18 months in charge, he unlocked Brexit with the Windsor Agreement, which won the blessing of the DUP and restored power-sharing in Northern Ireland. He faced down the striking unions, defeated inflation and took a more measured approach to net zero.

Sunak has left the UK with low unemployment, record investment, a robust manufacturing sector which is now number eight in the world - having just leapfrogged France - and we currently enjoy the highest growth in the G7, ahead of America. Plus he got the Rwanda plan through parliament, which was the only serious measure to stop the boats, and which the Irish Government have said is already working.

After just minutes in office, Starmer has already scrapped it. The criminal gangs will be celebrating this weekend. Things can only get better for THEM. So whilst I backed Sunak as the best CEO of the country against Starmer, his solid tenure has been too little too late, at the fag end of 14 years of Tory rule.

Ultimately by consistently ignoring their own voters, the Tories have gone from being the natural party of Government, to the natural party of opposition. It's a cruel irony that the four million people who voted Reform, because of unchecked immigration, sky-high taxes and tedious political correctness have brought about a Labour Government – with a huge majority - who will do all of those things times 100.

But this is now an existential moment for the most successful political party in the history of Western democracy. The party of Robert Peel, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Because breathing down their neck is the charismatic Nigel Farage, whose superpower isn’t in fact oratory or soundbites, but his willingness to listen to and address the concerns of millions of ordinary Brits.

With Labour hoping to gerrymander the next election with votes for 16-year-olds and even potentially EU citizens, the Tories recovering ground in five years time will not be enough. But the combined vote share of the Conservatives and Reform is higher than that enjoyed by Labour this week. Do the math.

The Conservatives must be Conservatives again, helped rather than hindered by Reform UK. And despite his hatred of the Tories, it’s in Nigel Farage’s best interests too, if he wants to avoid a decade of Labour in power, to work with whoever next leads the Tories. The message is clear: the right must unite or die.

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