Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This?

with 137 comments

I am a member of the Conservative Party – just.  My annual subscription is due and I feel physically sick at the prospect of doing anything that is supportive of the appalling collection of third and fourth rates that presently sit round the cabinet table.

The Conservative Party has Lost Its Way. We Need To Get Back To Being Tories.

We need to re-focus on our fundamental principles: individual liberty, individual responsibility, small government, free markets, evidence-based policy and a benevolent, responsible, one-nation approach.

Let’s face it, we’ve had a privileged toff, little more than a ponce on the nation, who from his position of wealth found it very easy to impose austerity on people with whom he was totally out-of-touch. Throughout his political career he vacillated and dithered on policy because he has no principles except self-advancement.  Now we have some fake Tory, an authoritarian bureaucrat with big government, nanny state instincts, daughter of a high Anglican priest stuck in some 195os delusion of what Britain is today.

Meanwhile, a socialist activist but a man with integrity, courage and vision has stolen our place.  Jeremy Corbyn provides more leadership in the UK than the entire Conservative cabinet put together.  He was magnificent at Glastonbury, seizing the hearts and minds of not just the young but the young at heart – seizing the future!  Where is the Tory alternative? There is great excitement, belief and enthusiasm for Brexit, 17.4 million people voted for it!  Where is the Conservative spokesperson passionately declaiming this?  The party has been hijacked by Remainers, determined to undermine the referendum result, interested only in the ambitions and concerns of the Westminster Elite.

When I try to talk to my MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, formerly number three in Cameron’s cabinet, although I am talking to someone a few months younger than me, I feel I am talking to my father’s generation – and to someone particularly old-fashioned and out-of-touch.  My local Conservative Party branch, charming though many of the members are, is like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, as disconnected from the rest of the UK as Cameron is from anyone on less than £250k per annum.  At 59, I’m a youngster.

It’s outrageous really that my party has got itself into such a state with years of weak opposition, popular support for non-socialist policies and, until Corbyn, an absence of effective alternative leadership.  It’s nothing less than disastrous and unless we change now we are doomed.  The membership is old and dying.  If we don’t get a grip within five years we will be gone forever.

A Perfect Storm Of Failure, Corruption And Arrogance.

I’ve been fascinated by and active in politics since the late 1970s. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a combination of mistakes and scandalous cock-ups. Brexit has been sabotaged by dithering and delay – and I’m quite ready to believe this is a calculated deceit.  With the BBC, the bankers and the Twitterati renewing Project Fear on a daily basis, is it any wonder that the going is tough?  Cameron resigned because he said we needed a Leave supporter to take charge but instead we have a Remainer, one of the worst performing government ministers ever.  How, after six years of persistent failure at the Home Office, she became PM is beyond belief but even more incredible is that after her terrible election performance she is still in No. 10.  It is ridiculous!

The failures are all too easy to see but let’s list them to be certain that the huge scale of this crisis is understood.

Brexit – Total failure to plan, perhaps deliberately, best illustrated by the absurd spectacle, just last month, of the Home Office commissioning analysis of the economic and social contributions and costs of EU citizens in Britain.  Surely something that should have been done years ago?  Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have both proved themselves to be lacking in courage and leadership skills.  The bumptious fool Dr Liam Fox, who does seem to stick to his principles on Brexit, shames us by his foreign adventures, recently praising the murdering thug President Duterte of the Philippines as having ‘shared values’ with Britain.

NHS – Persistent deceit from ministers, including the utterly in-credible Jeremy Hunt, about how much money in real terms the health service is receiving.  Scandalous failure to keep multiple promises about mental health having parity with physical health.

Democracy – The UK’s system of government is now a joke compared to other modern democracies.  Our electoral system is primitive.  Conservative and Labour parties conspire to keep the system as it is because it keeps them both in power.  It is obvious that we should be moving towards some form of proportional representation, online voting and a radical shake-up of the House of Lords.  MPs also need to be much more accountable.  The terrible murder of Jo Cox has let too many of them off the hook that the expenses scandal put them on.  Recently they have been whining about the abuse they get online. In general they deserve it for the terrible job they are doing. Also, they get protection from the police for such abuse.  The police are useless when it’s a member of the public under attack.  We need a job description for MPs, rights for constituents and a complaints procedure with teeth.

Social policy – I am ashamed at how Conservative ministers in reality are indistinguishable from the populist caricature of the ‘arrogant, uncaring, effing Tories’.  The Grenfell Tower tragedy encapsulates everything that is wrong with the high-handed view that they take of the people who pay their wages.

Justice – After food, shelter and health what is more important than justice?  The destruction of legal aid is one of the most dreadful developments in my lifetime.  All governments delight in making more and more law but what use is it if it cannot be enforced?  There is no justice if it is not available to everyone.  I am delighted at the Supreme Court’s ruling that makes legal aid available once again for employment tribunals  Without it employment law was literally useless and thousands have been deprived of their rights.  And for his disastrous, destructive, incompetent and thoroughly nasty attitude the man who defines injustice in modern Britain is Chris Grayling.  No other minster has more disgraced our party.  He is unfit to be in government and why he remains anywhere near ministerial office is unbelievable.  No one individual better epitomises the nasty, arrogant, incompetent Tory.

Prisons – There is no greater truth than that in a free society we are defined by how we treat those we send to jail.  This is a terrible condemnation of Britain.  Our prison system is a production line for turning petty criminals into alienated, aggressive, violent repeat offenders.  There is no one who deserves the additional punishments we impose on top of deprivation of liberty.  I would make an exception for Chris Grayling who really should be made to experience a taste of his own medicine.  The Netherlands is closing prisons because it doesn’t send enough people to jail.  We should swallow our pride and copy their system exactly.

Technology – As the nation that has led the world in virtually all new technologies, we are now falling a long way behind.  The government has failed miserably to give enough priority to high speed internet.  We will never catch up now and our children and our businesses are forever disadvantaged.  Progress is hampered in development of new energy sources, transport and infrastructure by bureaucracy, endless bickering between special interest groups and weak strategic management.  The EU has magnified all these problems and prevented progress in GM foods and other technologies that are essential to our future.

Transport – With Chris Grayling at the helm and the farce that is HS2, there is no hope for a sensible transport strategy.  I simply don’t buy the argument that a slightly faster journey time between north and south will do anything to create a better future.  Train fares are ludicrously high.  The conditions commuters are expected to travel under are ridiculous.  The Southern Rail scandal is a microcosm of government incompetence and inaction.  It should have been re-nationalised at least a year ago and there should be massive fines and penalties on those responsible for the chaos, including individuals.  I see no conflict with Conservative principles in re-nationalising the whole network.  The mess that has prevailed since privatisation could not be any worse and compare us with railway networks and service on the continent for a true picture of our national shame and decay.

Environment – Technology and transport converge with environmental policy and this is a difficult, challenging area of policy.  What we need is strong leadership – no, not the empty claims of Mrs May but the real leadership of Mrs Thatcher.  Even the despicable Tony Blair showed more leadership than we have had from any current Conservative politician.  We need to take bold decisions and act on them.  Ecology and controlling pollution must be a real priority but we must not be distracted by the greeny loons and their endless prevarication and delays.  I have no objection to fracking as long as it is strictly regulated and in recent visits to Ireland I have seen how forests of wind turbines do not destroy wonderful countryside and can have their own beauty, just as we now revere Victorian aqueducts and civil engineering.  Most of all though we should racing ahead with tidal power.  As an island it has to be our future and its potential is unlimited.

Northern Ireland – I hope one of the by-products of Brexit will be a united Ireland.  There is no longer a real majority of unionists in the six counties and it only ever existed because of immigrants from Scotland.  The UK’s shameful history in Ireland places a heavy obligation on us.  We are one and the same people and the damage inflicted by the English Parliament on our neighbours must be put right.  We are far closer to the Irish than we are to the French, the Dutch or the Belgians.  As independent nations, with Ulster properly restored, we could be closer than ever and if Ireland wishes to remain in the EU, we should respect that.

Drugs Policy – No policy better demonstrates the incompetence, prejudice, cowardice and corruption of government ministers from all parties. Deaths from drug overdose have reached an all time high. There has been an explosion in highly toxic new psychoactive substances and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 has increased harms, deaths, associated crime and potency, exactly as was predicted, warnings the government chose to ignore.  The government has refused to consider or take any expert advice on introducing legal access to medical cannabis, something that virtually all other modern democracies are moving forward on. Its continuing policy on cannabis defies scientific evidence and real-life experience from places where reform has been implemented.  It also supports the criminal market, encourages street dealing, dangerous hidden cannabis farms and the production of poor quality, low-CBD, so-called ‘skunk’ cannabis.

Defence – A catalogue of cock-ups, dullards in charge and weak, indecisive leadership.  In my view we should cancel the renewal of Trident and  spend more on conventional weapons and defence measures which we may actually have to use.  We should retain some battlefield nuclear weapons but invest more in our soldiers and their technology. We should also look after them far better when they leave the service

Foreign Affairs – The UK is the world superpower in ‘soft power’.  Our culture, language, history give us more influence than any other nation and we should be proud to exercise it. We should have the courage to stand for our principles, independently of the USA and Europe.  The £12 billion we give in international aid is far too much when there is real poverty at home but even if we halved the present budget we would still lead the world.  We are responsible for the injustice perpetrated on the Palestinian people when we facilitated the seizure of their land in the 1940s.  We should be standing up to Israel which has become an out-of-control monster.  We created it and we must take responsibility for bringing it to order and helping it to live alongside its neighbours respectfully.  Its conduct is unacceptable and we should be pursuing war crimes prosecutions against Netanyahu and many of his cronies.

Housing – The housing crisis needs a courageous, radical solution, not the pathetic, sticking plaster gimmicks and gestures that is all we have had for 50 years.  Massive investment in social housing would create jobs and boost the economy all round.  We shouldn’t hesitate.  We shouldn’t fear a dramatic fall in house prices caused by massive extra supply. We have to get real and government must stop shirking its responsibility for a strategic role that only it can fill.

Boris is the only one with a brain

I have not yet decided whether I shall renew my membership.  I’m not even sure if there is any future in the UK for me.  Brexit was a great opportunity which has been sabotaged, perhaps fatally.  Britain may well become a tourist destination, fascinating for the way such a small nation led the world for centuries.  We are being led by weak, ineffectual, self-serving, out-of-touch and out-of date politicians.  As the Conservative Party is dying, it is dragging Britain down with it.

137 Responses

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  1. Well Said Mr Reynolds. I couldn’t agree more, Ms Cavalier May has taken a long walk off a short pier into a gaping abyss. She has to be lacking in terms of honesty of mind and action to have U-turned from her original position. She strikes me as so power hungry, willing to take every weak willed MP and the entire UK population with her to new depths of degradation globally and new lows of living locally. Thanks a lot for creating more stress and uncertainty in all our lives at least in this she is thorough and it is not over yet the fall and decline of Great Britain has only just begun. I congratulate your temerity in stupidity Ms May, but if money & power are your drug of choice you are certainly performing as a high functioning junky.

    Linzi Light

    September 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

  2. We won.

    Bernard William McGuin

    September 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

    • Hahaha, those two small words somehow do more to undermine their implicit assertion than any of Mr Reynolds’ blogs.

      Honestly, how can you bring yourself to vote for this shambles of a party, where has that once proud party left it’s dignity?

      Hope you are well Bernard.

      Ian Bagshaw

      September 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm

  3. […] Source: Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This? […]

  4. As a Lib Dem I don’t agree with all the points you make, particularly about the potential benefits of Brexit. However it seems that though we may have come from different directions we have landed up with the same conclusions on 90% of the issues you raise. I suspect nevertheless that yours is a voice crying in the Tory wilderness.

    As for your original question, the answer clearly is Yes, at least within living memory. Eden’s was pretty bad , but at least he acknowledged his failings by resigning as PM. After her GE election debacle May didn’t even have the grace to do likewise, not that the alternatives currently on offer would be much better.

    Graham Evans

    September 3, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    • I am a left wing Socialist. Reading your blog has gave me an inside info the difference in our opinions can be overcome. I could possibly say that I agree with the majority of what you say.

      John gilleece

      September 4, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      • I am also a left wing Socialist and I too feel somewhat heartened that the vast majority of this blog resonates with me and we can just hope that somehow we can overcome this nightmare if we stop using labels to define us and move towards a more modern, progressive Government model that is essential in this day and age.

        Yvonne Rutherford

        September 5, 2017 at 8:34 am

  5. But haven’t you noticed, Peter, all the happiest nations in the UN list published today are “small” nations. Maybe this is just the dreams of empire, finally dissolving ….


    September 4, 2017 at 8:45 am

    • England is not a “small nation”. With over 50 million population it is much bigger than the small nations of Europe.The UK is not a nation, it is a supposed union of nations. The small nations in the UK are Wales , Northern Ireland and Scotland.


      September 11, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      • That would make England 27th in the world list. Bit small for an empire?


        September 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      • I don’t think anyone has been claiming we have an empire since 1945. Time to update yourself Matthew!

        Peter Reynolds

        September 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

  6. It seems fairly clear that you support pretty much all the policies put forward in the last Labour manifesto. Corbyn might be seen as a socialist by many but his manifesto was far less radical and left wing than many of us expected – something I was delighted about. I urge you to consider voting Labour at the next election to fix some of the mess that we are facing. We’re not going to lose our free market approach under a Labour government (remember how many MPs in the Labour party are part of the Establishment and would never allow this to happen).


    September 4, 2017 at 8:58 am

  7. You weren’t doing too badly – for a tory.

    And then….’Boris is the only one with a brain’ – which negates every decent & fair point you’d made beforehand.

    The Toffee

    September 4, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    • Boris might be a buffoon, but I agree, he’s smart


      September 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      • Exactly, he is extremely intelligent and very, very clever. Those who can’t see past the buffoon act and clowning are not very bright themselves. Sadly though, his whole performance after the election is an indictment of his courage and integrity.

        Peter Reynolds

        September 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      • Well, thank you for the backhanded compliment!

        I disagree. Speaking latin is no indicator of intelligence; as much as getting stuck on a zipwire, or rugby tackling a child, or falling on his arse in a football charity match is evidence of buffoonery.

        Weigh up the pros & cons and you’ll see that on the face of it, Boris just ISN’T very intelligent – at least not for somebody who’s had the largesse squandered on his ‘education’.

        He’s no more than a garrulous, gutless chancer. ‘Smart’ indeed.

        Garden bridge? Wasserwerfers?

        An intelligent person would come back with better than: ‘Oh, get stuffed’ when faced with an awkward question.

        An intelligent person would tell someone conspiring to have someone else beaten up, to: ‘get to buggery’ , rather than appease them (As he alleged he was doing – we only have his word for that).

        An intelligent person would learn from the first time they insult the entire populace of a city – NOT do the same thing again & again – Same goes for an entire race or nation.

        When he does it time & again, you realise that far from being ‘gaffes’ , they are actually deep-rooted convictions.

        Need I go on? Even the Americans know he’s an idiot and a liabilty – The Americans for f**k’s sake!

        ‘Intelligent and very very clever’, MY ARSE AND YOURS.

        The Toffee

        September 5, 2017 at 10:03 am

  8. It is nice to know that some people on the right are trying to rekindle the torch of integrity that the mainstream politicians of the Tory party (and in fairness all of the “New Labour”) have been casually extinguishing. It has felt, up until Corbyn, like the ballot box represented a choice between the rich in blue ties and liars in red. Now it feels like a rich shambles in blue and a glimmer of hope in red.
    I’d rather vote for integrity and sense, and it sounds like you would too. Better someone you disagree with on some issues but can actually trust to avoid running the country into the floor. Maybe you could give the left a chance? Evidence based socialism seems to be in vogue this year.

    All party politics aside this is a very insightful piece that really captures the issues at the heart of modern politics in general as well as the Tory party in specific. In my opinion it really needs to be time to move away from the soundbites and slogans and back to actually trying to make Britain better. It is time for politics to become accountable.

    Josh Levenit

    September 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm

  9. The Tory party that aped Tony Blair to get power, now seems rudderless and without coherent principles – Lord knows I disagree with most of what they argue fundamentally – but at least it was once argued with integrity – but under Cameron and now May they’ve allowed the spin of New Labour that Jeremy Corbyn has successfully cleaned off and replaced with sincerely held principles, to rot their party to the core. For the politically historically astute, you will see parallels between the rise of Thatcher and of Corbyn, both hated by their own party at first – both stubbornly holding on to what they believe to be a moral position – and by force of will, reinvent their party – The Tory Party now is still a Johnny-come-lately to the vision of the outdated and reviled Tony Blair, and will remain so, until they dig up some integrity and something resembling a moral compass, ^oo^

  10. Thank you Peter Reynolds, apart from the praise for Boris Johnson, I agree with most of what you say, As a lifelong Tory voter, I am disgusted by this appalling bunch of self seeking nobodies!

    Richard Stacey

    September 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    • My praise for Boris is limited to his intellect, which many people fail to see because of his clown act. Amongst the dullards at the top of the Tory Party, he is the bright spark. However, he showed himself to be totally without courage and integrity following the election. He could have been leader but he dropped the ball.

      Peter Reynolds

      September 4, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      • Agreed. A historic error. Night of the paper knives.


        September 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm

  11. […] justice? … There is no justice if it is not available to everyone”: Tory Peter Reynolds outlines the errors in the recent Tory […]

  12. After reading your article and agree with a lot of your points and principles. I am a labour voter and actually suprised at what you’ve written.

    I genuinely thought all Tories where cruel, classist and money-orientated.

    The UK needs fresh and positive ideas. the Tory party have none except to sale of public assets at an incredible fast rate at their own benefit.

    I hope the Tory party will get it’s core values back- real hard work pays off- not just being born in privilege works!

    Best wishes


    September 5, 2017 at 7:15 am

    • Don’t be fooled. The Tories talk a lot and claim to care, but never put their money or their votes where their mouths are.


      September 5, 2017 at 11:03 am

  13. What a great article. I still don’t have anywhere near total confidence in Mr Corbyn, but you are right about every miserable failure of this Government. I came back from Europe on Sunday. ‘Where are you from?’, someone asked ( I was speaking French, in Finland, to a stallholder). I hesitated to admit I was English, + there was great suprise that I had managed to speak anything but my mother tongue. Again, in a burger bar I had to admit, reluctantly, I was from the UK. This time I apologised, half joking. They understood. ‘Oh’, don’t worry’, they said, ‘that’s OK. It’s not your fault’.

    Susan Kelly

    September 5, 2017 at 9:35 am

  14. And yet after all your TALK pretending to be a caring Tory voter, you STILL want to support them and help them kill more disabled people. Get a conscience, cancel your subscription, and vote for a party run by a guy who is so honest and compassionate that the Tories and their media friends had to take his interviews out of context to change the meanings of his words to try to make him look bad, and even outright lie about him. But you won’t. Because you’re a lying Tory voter who only PRETENDS to care when in reality you’re HAPPY to see vulnerable people dead on the streets of the UK. Prove me wrong. You won’t.


    September 5, 2017 at 11:02 am

    • Your nasty, prejudiced, bigoted, abusive attitude makes you the most unwelcome commenter here. I suggest you grow up, engage your brain and realise that your spiteful comment demonstrates far more hate than anything I’ve seen from grassroots Tory voters.

      I feel sorry for you and don’t be in any doubt, harbouring such hate and bile is very bad for your health.

      Peter Reynolds

      September 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

      • No, he’s right to be angry, the whole country should be fuming at your party.

        Dan Kippin

        September 5, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      • It’s no longer my party and yes, I’m angry too, or didn’t I make that clear enough? It’s not Tory voters though, it’s the oligarchy that runs the party. Believe me (I shall be writing about it soon), there is absolutely no democracy within the Conservative Party.

        Peter Reynolds

        September 5, 2017 at 2:03 pm

  15. Way more than half the population want to remain in the EU, and the number increases daily. Its a foolish misadventure initiated by the greedy, racist or bigoted sectors of society. Brexit voters were just cannon-fodder for a deregulating neo-lib elite looking to get snouts deeper in the trough.

    Mike Hamblet

    September 5, 2017 at 11:16 am

    • Nonsense. The truth is exactly the reverse of your patently ridiculous comment. Try some evidence on support for Brexit instead of your deluded opinion. As for the ‘The neo-lib elite with their noses deep in the trough’ that’s the EU, its commissioners and executive. I find it endlessly amusing how even the left has been totally conned by the robber barons that run the EU.

      Peter Reynolds

      September 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

  16. Your list of failures within the government is accurate as is your assessment of why. In one word it is easy, to sum up, why – ‘incompetence’. The present set of Tory ministers really are not up to the job of running our country. Well, there are a few who seem competent but they lack the courage to stand up and challenge the PM/senior ministers.

    There are far too many MPs, in all parties, who are completely disconnected from real life. There are far too many MPs who have never had to worry about their next mortgage payment. There are far too many MPs who have never suffered from their jobs being made redundant.

    I haven’t resigned my membership yet. But have come close on a number of occasions and with the present lot I could not bring myself to campaign in this years elections on behalf of the party I have been a member of 30+ years.


    September 10, 2017 at 9:52 pm

  17. Well put Peter. I am in the same position of renewing my membership and over the last weekend constructed a letter to my Local Constituency in very much the same terms. I await their response!

    Peter Brunnen

    September 11, 2017 at 9:59 am

  18. Interesting that you don’t mention the torture and purposeful destitution they’ve created among disabled benefits claimants.

    Heather Hooper

    June 24, 2018 at 2:59 am

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