In September, London Assembly Member David Kurten and actor Lawrence Fox both announced new right-wing political parties. At time of writing (27/09/20), Fox’s effort more resembles a pressure group than a political party, with a website which lays on the hyperbole thick, but is thin on detail.[i] The Heritage Party, on the other hand, has a 5,000-word manifesto which I took the liberty of reading, and then comparing to the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto.
Cross-referencing the two manifestos reveals a very close agreement on most issues, but crucially not on specifically moral issues – abortion, marriage, transgenderism – where they are either openly at odds or the Conservative Party is simply silent. There is also indirect criticism from the Heritage Party of Boris Johnson’s ‘mixed economy’/’third way’ attempts to marry free market enterprise and social democratic welfarism. HS2 is the single ‘non-moral’ policy issue on which there is outright disagreement between the two documents.
It is notable that, without exception, the two parties find themselves at odds wherever the position taken by the Heritage Party is unpopular with the British public. This may go some way towards explaining why two individuals in quick succession have gone to all this trouble. Where one’s party of choice appears unwilling to take a principled (as opposed to a popular) stand on any issue, this agitates those most animated by matters of principle, who are in turn those most easily provoked into action. One wonders whether we might see a similar phenomenon emerge on the left as Kier Starmer seeks to supplant Boris Johnson in the popular centre.
See full findings below (issue highlighted green where in agreement, orange where in tension, red where in outright disagreement), my comments in parenthesis and italics:
[ii] https://www.heritageparty.org/manifesto/ (Draft Version 22/9/2020)
By Luke Pike