By Andrew Hunt.

The Pitch: The Conservative Party should hold four big, populist Referendums before the next General Election.

These are the Referendums that the general public and Conservative grass-roots want on the issues they care most about. 

With these four popular votes, we can set the party on a new course and a new popular mission.  

The Four Referendums:

1: Fix Immigration Now: A Complete and Comprehensive Solution to the Public’s Concerns

  • A comprehensive solution to illegal immigration and asylum that will override all prior national and international law. 
  • A Net Migration Cap of Zero per annum until the British public choose otherwise. 
  • Extensive rights for British citizens. Only British citizens will be able to buy residential property, vote in elections, and must be given priority for jobs, school and university places.  
  • Visa and citizenship fees to be raised to a multiple of current levels; to cut numbers, raise tens of billions for the Treasury, and to ensure that EVERY single migrant contributes at least their fair share of per capita UK government spending (currently c.£15k per annum)
  • Dependents only allowed in very limited circumstances and with very high visa fees. 
  • Settlement or Citizenship beyond five year visas is to be capped at 100k per annum. Gaining it will involve, extensive documentary and security checks, medical checks, tough English literacy and numeracy exams, a fee that is a multiple of GDP, and approval by a citizenship jury of the British public. 
  • ALL applications to live, stay or extend a stay in the UK (including asylum) must be made and received outside of UK territory. That means there is never any issue over deporting failed claimants.  

2: Planning for Locals: Your Neighbourhood, Your Choice

  • Every Constituency in Britain should be given a democratic vote on the future of their neighbourhood.
  • They can choose to become a vibrant Development Zone with simplified planning laws but little protection for community and environment. The only new stipulation being that the extra infrastructure required for the development (sewage, new roads, etc.) has to be agreed and built before any development is started.
  • Or they can become a Conservation Park. This would see building restricted to within existing footprints. All new building would have to be beautiful, classical UNESCO World Heritage standard. Green space would be expanded, trees planted and brownfield areas naturalised.   
  • This would give voters back their fundamental right to choose the fate of their neighbourhoods. It would return power to the people and end the vice-like grip of venal property developers to destroy the places we cherish.
  • This would not mean the end of building. But it would put an end to the hated industrial developments of soulless housing estates and office blocks on cherished green spaces. 

3: A Localist Climate Reboot

  • A reboot of our climate policies and regulations, with unaffordable globalist climate policies replaced by a local national approaches.
  • EVERY climate policy to be reviewed to ensure they are local, decentralised, democratic, costed and affordable.
  • All Policies must be cost neutral or demonstrate immediate benefits to British voters. 
  • Greater voter involvement and interaction at community level.
  • Polls show this is exactly the climate approach voters want.

4: The Abolition of Inflation: A Pound is a Pound and always will be 

The Bank of England mandate would be changed to a rolling target of 0% inflation. That means periods of inflation or deflation would have to be offset in future. The Bank would be made accountable for fixing its mistakes.

That means over the long-term, prices would stay constant.  A pay rise would be a pay rise. If government wanted to raise taxes, they would have to make the case upfront for doing so.  And if companies hiked prices, we would know when we were being ripped off.

The current Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee and Board to be sacked after their catastrophic failures and refusal to take responsibility. This is vital to recovering economic credibility.  

Now we are free from Europe, we should introduce a new, more honest inflationary measure: The Lived Experience Price Index (LEPI) – A new inflation measure that fully reflects the cost of living felt by real people.

All government borrowing should first be offered to British savers at a minimum of LEPI+1% before being offered to big financial institutions. Any interest and capital gains should be tax free. 

The Rationale

  • The Key to a Tory Revival.

This is replaying the Brexit card several times over. And it works for exactly the same reasons Brexit did. Brexit won elections for Cameron and Johnson while throwing Labour into chaos and civil war. Moreover, it won the Conservative party voters they thought they could never win (Wales, Liverpool, etc).  Time to repeat the same trick four times over. 

  • A Refreshed Mandate for a Refreshed Party.

Referendums would give the party a fresh start and new rationale in the eyes of the electorate. Because straight after the referendums, the next general election campaign would be all about enacting and executing the Referendums the party would have just won. 

We would go into the General Election with a refreshed, democratically backed mandate.

  • Credibility

After too many broken promises, the public are not willing to believe Conservative pledges without Referendum backing. Unlike Labour, the Conservatives have always delivered on Referendums. Only the Conservatives can be trusted to honour the referendum results. 

  • Unites the Country and Crushes the Independence Movement

The leftist Scottish and Welsh Independence movements will oppose these referendums. However, unlike Brexit, polls show a large majority of Scottish and Welsh voters will support these causes. Thus, winning these referendums unites the popular voice of the British people, while making the nationalists look out of touch and anti-democratic.  This coincides nicely with the SNP’s increasingly undemocratic stances on issues like trans, wokery, net zero and motorists.  

  • Nips Reform UK in the bud

Referendums on Reform’s centrepiece issues like net zero and net zero immigration would kill off Reform’s existence at a stroke; just as Cameron’s pledge for a Referendum on Brexit killed off UKIP in the 2015 General Election. 

Nipping Reform UK in the bud is vital. What we are seeing across Europe is that right wing parties that were seen as fringe even five years ago, are taking 20%+ of the popular vote; and in some instances, winning power. They are consistently beating expectations. If Reform UK wins over 10% of the vote, they will be unstoppable as an independent political entity. That could keep the Conservatives out of power for decades.  

  • Plunges Labour into Chaos and Civil War

Labour will not want these referendums, but their voters will. Just like Brexit, the Labour party will then be left arguing over whether to ignore their core voters  or to commit to policies they are ideologically opposed to. Once again they will be left looking like the party of the London elite, and in contempt of their core voter base. 

Furthermore, it would make debating against the Conservative Party in the run-up almost impossible for Labour. How do you argue with a party whose manifesto is already backed by your voters?!

  • And Even if Labour get Elected, their Hands are Tied.

Well drafted Referendums tie the hands of Labour, even if they get elected. They cannot get away with mass migration, inflationary money-printing, mass building and greenbelt destruction, net zero and sovereignty giveaways. 

In addition, Labour would have to implement these referendum results, eating up valuable parliamentary and departmental bandwidth, and leaving them little opportunity to do much else. The left of the party will be furious at Labour implementing the full suite of Tory policies. 

The alternative of ignoring the Referendum results would be even more catastrophic for Labour. Expect full on anarchy and civil disobedience from their non-metropolitan voter base.

In short, these referendums create a political and legal minefield for any incoming Labour party that the Conservative could exploit heartily. 

  • Kills off the Lib Dem Threat in Blue Wall Seats

The Lib-Dems have won several recent shock by-election victories, by campaigning against ugly and unpopular developments. By handing voters local autonomy over planning and the opportunity to become a beautiful national park, we instantly kill off their vote-winning rationale. 

Moreover, the Fix Immigration Now referendum exposes the fatal contradiction in Lib Dem policy: How can you support mass migration and yet oppose building anything for the flood of new arrivals? 

  • Referendums Get the Party Grass-roots Engaged Again. 

The Tories are losing elections not because voters are voting Labour, but because they are not voting, or are protest voting. Grass-roots campaigners feel so neglected they are not even turning up to help.

Firing up engagement with true conservative voters could deliver a massive turnaround. Given voter apathy across the board, if you could inspire just 25% of voters to go out for you at the next general election, you would likely win a sizable majority. The effective way to do that instantly is a set of Referendums on the hottest issues. 

That would also get strong grass-roots MPs like Priti Patel out on the campaign trail, making the party look in touch again. By contrast, Labour’s team, especially Starmer, are terrible at on-the-ground campaigning.

Referendums Instantly Free Us From the Tyranny of International Law.

Few people are aware that in international law, referendums are classified as self-determination, and thus automatically override treaty laws such including the ECHR and UN Conventions. 

Hence, can instantly get out of these harmful and anti-democratic obligations without a prolonged legal and diplomatic spat: www.brainfartpolicy.com/post/no-one-puts-priti-patel-in-the-corner

Bringing Brexit Home

A suite of popular Referendums like these can reignite the case for Brexit, just when it looks most vulnerable. The whole point of Brexit is the public wanted the power to take back control. These Referendums are only possible because we have left the EU. They capture the spirit and empowerment of Brexit. They give Brexit a purpose and bring it to life at last. Passing them will make EU re-entry impossible. 

Rescue Rishi and Unite the Party

If Rishi Sunak were to let these referendums happen, he could unite the party. They would allow him to carry on governing in his own way, while right wing trouble-makers and localist MPs would be busy out campaigning on these Referendums rather than undermining him. 

The Urgent Need to Engage With Voters

The most common description of the Sunak government is ‘out of touch’. But this sense of contempt towards voters has been building up for decades. The entire political elite is now viewed, almost unanimously, as corrupt, self-interested and above all else, as completely ignoring the very voters they were elected to serve. 

So much so that public emotion is now boiling over into anger. As Frank Luntz has noted, if our politicians do not tackle this, then sooner or later we will face existential collapse. 

Referendums instantly tackle that powerful emotion and resentment head on. You are not only listening, but you are giving every British adult a voice.

This is the only way to end the perception that the Conservative Party is now systemically corrupt and entirely run for the benefit of a globalist elite. This is the only way back. 

Rolling the Turf for Conservative Democracy and Centre-Right Hegemony

These four referendums don’t just re-energise the party, they tee the conservatives up for a more democratic future. Whenever the Tories need a boost, they can hold more popular centre-right referendums.  The list of topics is obvious: enhanced rights for British citizens, crime, wokery and climate policy to name but a few. All these are winnable, and leave left-wing oppositions parties (Labour, the Lib Dems, The Greens and SNP) facing existential chaos and a fight with their own voters.   

By contrast, the left does not have a single obvious cause for a popular referendum. Taxes and regulations are already at record levels. 

This is Margaret Thatcher’s great insight laid bare. Thatcher always out-performed in elections because real people are more conservative than politicians, the media, social media or the civil service. Thus, the democratic route gets you to a more conservative country than representative democracy.  Hence Switzerland, the world’s only Direct Democracy is one of the most prosperous, socially conservative and economically libertarian places on the planet. Moreover, future governments cannot by convention undo referendums without another referendum. With a handful of strong popular referendums, we can permanently lock in centre-right hegemony.

Rolling the Turf for Prosperity Growth

The Referendums are designed specifically to completely prevent the ‘battery farm’ economic policies of the past two decades happening ever again. These policies have left us all poorer, sicker and more indebted. 

Basically, there are four ways an economy can grow: by employing more 1) Land, 2) Labour, 3) Capital, and 4) By entrepreneurial growth. 

Entrepreneurial growth is the only sort that actually grows prosperity and improves quality of life. It involves doing things better with the resources we already have. As we have discovered, economics growth from using more debt, migrants or destroying our environment leaves us miserable and worse off.  

These four Referendums are designed to stop future governments flooding the country with migrants, taking on unsustainable debts in our name, and destroying our communities and environment in the pursuit of ‘growth.’ 

Instead, future governments will have no option but to stimulate productivity growth. This is the growth that will actually make us richer. It involves measures things like tax breaks for innovators and workers, enterprise zones, public sector efficiency, R&D incentives, meritocracy, competition, deregulation, meaningful and motivating jobs, access to capital and free markets. This is the bit of Thatcherism and Reaganomics that was popular and worked; delivering increased prosperity for millions, and encouraging the entire Communist Bloc to declare, ‘I want that too!’

Thanks to these referendums, we can permanently lock in prosperity-driven economic conservatism and lock out the socialist economics that has decimated our beloved country and party:

 Build the Bridge AND Burn the Boats. A New Philosophy of Conservative Capitalism (brainfartpolicy.com)


Author Andrew Hunt graduated from Cambridge with a Law degree in 2003. He worked in TV production before moving into finance. It was here that he became fascinated by how personal investors and small companies could turn negligible resources into enormous fortunes. Applying the same mindset and principles, Hunt was able to retire in his thirties. He now invests in interesting projects which aim to make the world a better place and runs a radical centre-right environmental think tank. He is also the author of Better Value Investing.

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