Boris Johnson’s government needs to defy the left’s mob bullying tactics and start appointing actual conservatives to key positions — really important ones that don’t merely annoy the opposition but actually demoralise it.
So argues author Douglas Murray in a characteristically hard-hitting interview on how to reclaim the culture from the regressive left.
“This government has a two- to five-month window to make appointments that demoralise the opposition,” says Murray.
He believes that key jobs should go to controversial (to the left) figures like Toby Young, the journalist and founder of a London free school, whose attempted appointment to some extremely minor government education quango two years ago was cancelled after the left ganged up to conduct some offence archaeology on some of his twenty-year-old tweets.
Murray said in an interview on the Delingpod podcast:
So, Toby Young, having not been able to get totally unimportant membership of a 15 member advisory quango, ought to be put in charge of a major educational institution.
Of course this will cause the usual far-left cry bully outrage mob to kick up a huge stink but the government must stand firm:
The far left will rail and rage. To which the Conservatives can respond: “If you don’t like it, you ought to have won an 80-seat majority in Parliament at the last election.”
Murray’s remarks follow research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) showing that despite ten years of Conservative governments, a vastly disproportionate number of public appointments still go to avowed liberal leftists, not conservatives.
In fact, in the last decade only two public appointments have been given to known conservatives: one, for head of the Charities Commission, to William Shawcross (who isn’t even a member of the Tory party, just a cultural conservative); the other to the late Sir Roger Scruton as an unpaid advisor on the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful commission.
And that second appointment, as we know, did not end well for Sir Roger — or show the then Conservative government to be remotely interested in defending its own.
All it took was a dishonest, manufactured hit-job on by a left-wing activist journalist in the New Statesman for the government (and at least two prominent Conservative MPs on Twitter) to distance itself from the great conservative philosopher.
Sir Roger was, of course, subsequently vindicated. But by then he had been caused a year’s worth of unnecessary misery and opprobrium — even as he was, as we now know, dying of cancer.
This kind of surrender to the left has got to stop, says Murray.
He argues that it doesn’t even matter so much if the jobs — running government advisory bodies and public institutions like Oxbridge colleges — go to self-declared conservatives. What matters more is that they should go to “heroic people”.
We need to promote heroic people who have held fast against the prevailing winds of the era. People who have demonstrated in their lives how adults ought to behave in an era run by children.
Murray is withering in his assessment of the kind of people who get given such jobs as the masterships of Oxbridge colleges.
One of the reasons the appointments are so low grade is that the headhunting firms which search for candidates all work from the same list of people who push the right “diversity” buttons, favouring those who happen to be female or belong to an ethnic minority.
Among those on the list, he warns, is Saeeda (now Baroness) Warsi — a failed MP “who was such a failure that because she happened to be female and a Muslim was immediately put by David Cameron into the House of Lords.”
As Murray put it elsewhere in the interview: “One of the hilariously fascinating things about our era is that all the people that shout most about their oppression most publicly are the luckiest people of the day.”