Magazine article The Spectator

Mullah Clarke and His Frightening Mediaeval Faith of Europeanism

Magazine article The Spectator

Mullah Clarke and His Frightening Mediaeval Faith of Europeanism

Article excerpt

Mr Kenneth Clarke is the Conservatives' version of that Muslim cleric with a hook in place of a hand. His every utterance to his followers secures enormous attention, especially in the right-wing press. Yet he is wholly unrepresentative of the wider Conservative community.

Most Conservatives are loyal to Britain and want to integrate. Non-Conservative Britain finds them alien, and frightening. But that is without justification since they have great difficulty in winning elections. It is therefore hard on them that Mr Clarke attracts so much attention. The Conservative majority owes allegiance to Britain. Mr Clarke and his followers owe allegiance to a holy city in the Low Countries. They will not rest until Britain is brought within the Dar-es-Bruxelles: a world entirely ruled by the mediaeval faith of Europeanism.

Being a minority among Conservatives, Mr Clarke and his faithful would not normally matter. But when the Conservative leadership falls vacant every four years, he and they launch a campaign on the British mainland. This week intelligence reports reached the authorities that they are about to do so again. Mr Clarke preached an elliptical sermon. The English translation apparently suggests that he is preparing to stand for the Conservative leadership yet again.

The public is warned to be vigilant. The merest Brazilian electrician on the London Tube could be a European. Europeans are nonetheless confined almost entirely to the Whitehall area of central London, and to the liberal media. If those areas elected the Conservative leader, Mr Clarke would have won years ago. But recently Conservatives have elected the Conservative leader. Most want nothing to do with Brussels. They reject Brusselite extremism.

Now it looks as if Conservative MPs will elect the next Conservative leader. Conservative MPs and Conservatives are not always synonymous. Many a young investment manager or special adviser pretends to be a Conservative in order to become a Conservative MP. Thereafter, their intention is for the liberal media to write them up as much nicer than one would expect for a Tory. Mr Clarke plays on the insecurities of such youths - their lack of a sense of identity and their alienation from a society which has declined to elect their party to government, and thus give them employment. Here lies the danger to Britain in this new Clarke candidacy.

The number of Europeans on the Tory backbenches is thought to be no more than about 20. Their names are known to the intelligence services. They are not the problem. The problem lies with those weak-minded Members whom a section of the press might bully into believing that Mr Clarke is the only candidate who can win a general election. The test, however, is whether Mr Clarke would continue to do well in the opinion polls after some time as leader.

Then his extremism on the subject of Europe would become better known. It would also cause a split in the Conservative party. Split parties do not flourish in opinion polls, still less in elections. He could well have to deal with another problem. It could come from the very liberal media from which he has long derived good publicity. So long as that media could use him to cause trouble for the Conservative party - by constantly accusing it of rejecting the obvious leader - one aspect of his career was not much publicised. …

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