Membership figures prove Tories really are a minority party and neo-liberalism has failed

Mike here provides the statistics to show just how unpopular David Cameron’s leadership has been amongst grass roots Tories. Although Tory membership has not fallen below 100,000, as has been claimed, it is no longer the mass political party that once boasted a quarter of a million members. This is almost entirely due to modern politicians preference for obtaining funding from rich donors, rather than party membership fees and subscriptions. There was a piece in Lobster a little while ago that discussed this issue, and which cited America has an example of the state of extreme political apathy and indifference that resulted from it. As the leaders of the political parties turn to wealthy donors and big business to finance their campaigns, so their grass roots membership of ordinary citizens has collapsed. In many states, there are only one or two party activists. If you consider that many American states are larger in land area than Britain, this shows the extent to which the average American has been disenfranchised from the party political process. The same thing is occurring here. With the decline of Tory party’s mass membership goes the legacy of Disraeli’s ‘One Nation’ Conservatism. Historians have remarked that Disraeli’s achievement lay not in developing or advancing Tory ideology, but by establishing it as a modern, mass political party with a solid working-class base through founding Conservative clubs and societies, like the Primrose League. One of the ways he drew the working-class into the party was through setting up football clubs. This achievement is being swept away as Cameron alienates the Tories’ working class ‘angels in marble’. And I don’t believe for a single minute Cameron really cares. Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith and their coterie are all public school boys from an elite, aristocratic background. What comes across most powerfully about them is their sheer lack of concern or any interest in the working or lower middle classes, except in so far as these groups provide the labour and services, which support their grandiose ambitions and lifestyle. Cameron and Clegg appear to look for their political inspiration not to the late 19th century development of the modern party system, but to the 18th and early 19th century. This was the age when the franchise was limited to a miniscule membership and the Tory party represented the interests of the aristocracy and the Anglican church. They seem far more impressed by the nature of political parties in the 18th century, when they acted as patronage groups, than their 20th century character as mass societies, which represented the wider political views and aspirations of the electorate, and where the political nations comprised every adult citizen, rather than just the upper classes. I’ve compared the Tories several times with the Nazi party. Cameron’s disinterest in establishing a mass, working class membership is another point of similarity between them. In both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany the Fascists saw themselves as an elite governing group. They therefore expressly limited formal membership of the Fascist and Nazi party to 100,000 members. To control effectively all aspects of society in the ‘total state’ to which Fascism aimed, the Fascists and Nazis established a network of mass political organisations, clubs and societies, so that, in the words of adult Hitler, the German citizen could never be alone, and the party should even extend into the local whist club. Cameron and Clegg have rejected this form of totalitarian mass control, while taking over the Fascists’ elitism and contempt for the masses.

Mike Sivier's blog

The Conservative Party has released details of its membership, after it was claimed that people were leaving the party in droves.

It had been suggested that membership had dropped below 100,000 and, while the figure quoted is in fact 134,000, it is still pathetically low for a party that claims to speak for a nation of 60 million.

Worse than that, it seems membership has halved under the leadership of David Cameron; in 2005, 253,600 members voted in the leadership contest between him and David Davis.

The party itself claims 174,000 members – but this includes ‘friends, non-member donors and others’ in the numbers. In other words, people who are not members of the Conservative Party – and that figure is another dumb Tory lie.

Let’s hope this puts to rest once and for all any argument against Vox Political‘s long-held position that the Conservative Party is an…

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One Response to “Membership figures prove Tories really are a minority party and neo-liberalism has failed”

  1. Mike Sivier Says:

    “In the words of adult Hitler”? Interesting slip, that!

    Thanks for the reblog!

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