Conservatism, in search of a political economy, made a deal with the devil that is liberalism as a tactical anti-socialist move. Problem is that the cold hard water of liberalism ended up rusting its internal cultural and spiritual mechanisms, leaving it an empty shell
Socialism has often sought to make its own alliance with liberalism, with less practical success but the same effect. This is because socialism and conservatism have a commonality - a belief in community & fraternity - which dissolves in the harsh solvent of liberal individualism
The moral of this story is that if you touch the pitch of liberalism you'll always be defiled, and a form of Christianised social democratic political economy was what Conservatism was after all along, but only fleetingly perceived it because it was blinded by class fear
Oastler, Shaftesbury, Dizzy, Randolph Churchill and Baldwin at their best saw this, albeit only haltingly and fleetingly. They were forced to see it in the Butskellite era by the weight of democratic reality, but lost sight of it since Heath
The Labour Party saw that its best informal cultural alliance was with a form of Tory traditionalism from MacDonald until about Wilson/Callaghan. Since then its Faustian pact with liberalism has become firmer every year, and it has become the dog wagged by its Whig tail
Tactical, historical and cultural problems have prevented and continue to prevent the emergence of the true blue-red Tory-Socialist alliance that makes more sense than either's dalliance with that perennial nightmare bit-on-the-side, liberalism. That is our tragedy
The ironic result of this is that the party that was destroyed as a governing force in the mid-1920s has ended up being more influential through cultural back-channels and infiltration than the two parties that actually prevailed electorally. Pesky liberals
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