By Lord Cruddas.

We are in a similar situation (but for very different reasons) to the years leading up to The Great Reform Act of 1832. 

The industrial revolution was well under way. Revolution in the country had been in the air for some time.

This followed years of criticism of the electoral system.

A list of Prime Ministers from this period illustrates that they mainly came from the hereditary nobility. With a UK population of very roughly 22 or so million, only approximately 400,000 could vote. It was neither fair nor representative. Basically, to vote you needed to own property or pay certain taxes.

The Reform Act didn’t open the floodgates of democracy or remove all barriers to being eligible to vote but it was a start of changes for the better. Today Parliament is again neither fair nor representative.

Firstly, it has either delegated its authority to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), within its jurisdiction or through treaties to other institutions outside its jurisdiction. 

Unrepresentative and unelected bodies now provide it with the “expert opinions” and “facts“ to justify the new laws Parliament wants to introduce.  Such bodies often have a particular narrative to follow instead of objectively analysing all of the facts.

Secondly Parliament thinks that contrary to what people clearly feel or the Government’s own manifesto, it knows best and fails to represent those it is meant to by following through on its promises or by clearly putting barriers in the way. The Brexit parliamentary impasse was a terrible indictment of Parliament as a democratic institution.

“Today Parliament is again neither fair nor representative” says Lord Cruddas, the President of CDO, an organisation which fights to promote a democratic party. Photo credit: CDO

If the Labour Party forms the next government, it will press for more sub-delegation to be captured in due course by unaccountable bodies with agendas that the ordinary people of this great country wouldn’t support if asked on a fully aware basis of what is intended. This basically divorces Parliament and the elected government from being accountable and responsible for policy implementation. They will just point to advice from an NGO which in turn consulted others.

The Shadow Chancellor also has a coterie of tax advisers who seem to have a predilection for taxation in one direction as being the solution for everything.  

But this divorcing of Government from clear accountability is also happening too under a Conservative Government. It is shameful cowardly conduct by all parties attempting to avoid ballot box retribution. It is also a practice which has been breeding like a virus at a prolific rate in the devolved assemblies and local authorities.

A couple of examples of Labour’s thinking:

  • Sue Gray, Kier Starmer’s Chief of staff has recently announced labour’s plans to have Citizens Assemblies to decide on important constitutional / social issues. Isn’t that the role of Government via their manifestos? And on a limited number of matters isn’t a referendum the right route? The various assembly representatives will unsurprisingly be attuned to the agenda of the party that set them up.
  • Another example, which currently has a potentially ironical twist to it, is the Labour Party idea of having an Integrity and Ethics Commission to clean up politics. As proposed it would have enormous and far reaching powers and undermine the authority of Parliament. At its launch by Angela Rayner, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, it was stated as being a body which would “stamp out corruption in Government.” It will be interesting to see if it still retains its main proponent?
  • The recent European Court of Justice judgement that the Swiss Government has a duty to protect its citizens from climate change is quite an extraordinary judgement.

A sovereign state needs to take into account many different factors on most issues. It’s energy source is a reflection of, to mention a few, its own energy availability, its infrastructure, its geographic location, its economy and its national security. Only it can decide what is right for its people.

To have an external court and lawyers try and dictate to a sovereign country, from a narrow and wholly inadequate base of the proper considerations it needs to take account of, is frankly preposterous. And if the state is in breach of a treaty obligation, then the way to deal with that is to seek an amendment to the treaty and any underlying local incorporating legislation or if necessary, step away from the treaty. 

To have an external court and lawyers try and dictate to a sovereign country, from a narrow and wholly inadequate base of the proper considerations it needs to take account of, is frankly preposterous.

This mission creep does not augur well for the UK and it remaining a party to the ECHR.

The current fiasco with the UK’s illegal immigration problem is beyond a case in point. Controlling ones borders and who can remain after coming here illegally is one of the most basic functions of statehood. The conduct of both Houses of Parliament on this issue demonstrates a massive failure of Parliament to give a proper weighting to the significance and consequences of many issues for the British people, as a whole. Hence my parallels with the failures of Parliament in the early 19th Century and for which the electorate will probably, quite rightly, not show any mercy.

  • The proposed ban on smoking proposed by the Conservative Party being a very slippery slope, setting a precedent for much greater intrusion into people’s rights. Even though this attitude isn’t just confined to them, it is symptomatic of a philosophical problem the Conservative Party currently has.
  • The CASS report disclosed that a great number of adult gender clinics refused to disclose highly relevant evidence relating to patients changing their minds and the physical and mental suffering they experienced in connection with the transgender process. What beggars belief is that the Head of the NHS didn’t use their powers to require compliance with their disclosure obligations. This is the root of the problem through so many institutions and the Civil Service where no one is held to account. The rot is well and truly established. Failure to do your job, particularly on serious matters with serious consequences for the well-being of the young should result in immediate replacement. The selective basis of the police’s enforcement of many laws of incitement is another case in point.

Whilst the last century was about having different opinions this century and of late, in some quarters, is about having different facts and the reduction of personal freedoms, if you disagree about someone’s “ facts”. But in truth they are just opinions and ill-informed ones without regard to a proper distillation of all the facts.

This is very much the modus operandi of nationalist parties like the SNP as seen through their failed transgender laws and now again through their Orwellian hate speech law.

Socialist parties and some in the Conservative Party wish to extend the state into matters which are really about individual freedoms. There is no empathy for personal freedoms instead intolerance and totalitarianism is propagated with ever more threats of breaking the law and serious consequences for the individual. This is the path an activist minority are pushing for.  

Laws are being passed on matters which are more in truth social issues which any society has to live with by standards changing during its evolution. By in effect weaponising the courts to address matters which shouldn’t be within their remit, will only in due course undermine the Court’s own standing and law enforcement more generally.  

All of this and many more examples should be a clue as to what the Conservative Party needs to do if it wishes to remain relevant to the ordinary man and woman of this great country.

What is needed is a clear manifesto spelling out where the Conservative Party stands. And it cannot be where it is now.

What is needed is a clear manifesto spelling out where the Conservative Party stands. And it cannot be where it is now. Tinkering with the same agenda or just a variation of the Labour Party position will be a recipe for failure. There will be no clear choice and so no competition before the public. The Conservative Party will lose because it will demonstrate the same old stale, unsuccessful approach to things.

Thatcher’s Conservative Party’s 1979 manifesto basically said enough is enough – the current approach isn’t working. So the Conservative Part’s policies need to be bold. They need to be a clear rejection of the root of the problems above and most importantly with parliamentary candidates who understand and believe in a more traditional conservative approach which rolls back the state interfering on its current trajectory.

This is our 1832 moment to set the right course.

Lord Cruddas is the President of the CDO and is a former Conservative Party Treasurer.


  1. Conservative Democratic Organisation ok you’ve heard from Lord Cruddas.
    WE need Mr Sunak to go, now along with Hunt , Cameron. Rid top Civil Servants.
    Lord CRUDAS and team, please why not bring Boris Lord Frost, and strong leadership.!
    We’re in a mess,%for local elections..
    We sick and tired of so many illegals coming in.
    I read today reporter, asked a refugee if he, was afraid of going to Rwanda?! He said absolutely no way said Pm will NEVER NEVER,put us there.
    We will get benefits as well.
    Now is that what DEMOCRATIC CONSERVATIVES? Want? No we don’t
    Bring back Boris and Lord Frost now PLEASE!!

  2. Good piece, but like so many commentators it defines the problem(s) without discussing the solution.

    A manifesto is just a piece of paper. The electorate knows that, having seen many of them trashed over 13-14 years. The credibility of the Conservative party is in tatters, so it is probably no longer a party that can address this – since voters won’t allow them into power again for a long time.

    How will you curtail the power of NGOs? Pushing through that sort of reform with an obstructive civil servcie establishment – along with the power of the NGOs themselves, including the BoE – suggests that this is a mammoth task.

    Wil only 8.2% of the denizens of Leicester identifying as English and ever-increasing numbers of immigrants who see things the same way as we can see from the pro-Palestine riots), the demographic is already against us – and time is therefore not on our side.

    Add to that the increasing number of utterly useless MPs who use the HoC as a stepping stone rather than an end-of-career move to give experience back to the nation… and a HoL stuffed with lefties with nothing to offer but an entrenched party political view… and we’re pretty much doomed.

    So pleae, don’t tell us what’s wrong, we can all see that. Tell us how we fix it. Start with CCHQ foisting Lib Dems (akak One Nation Tories) on Conservative associations. the top of the party has been infiltrated.

    And get rid of thet stupid rule that allows these socialists in blue rosettes to defenstrate an elected PM and then anotehr who has been elected by the associations – to replace them with… the very people that the associations voted against!
    Also, consider that tehse people may be doin gths deliberately, rather tha thnrough self interest or incompetence. For example, the WEF thing seems to be real.

    • Parties only succeed if they are broad church in their appeal and members.

      Of course whilst Reform have to look to the future proportional representation it is a false dawn. They will bring a legion of George Galloways into the House of Commons. Because if it benefits Reform it will benefit the Galloways too.

      Should we be unfortunate enough to have it that will simply mean there is a coalition of extreme parties on either left or right dictating what happens in the government. In other words, the government in Israel and also in Holland and other countries with PR.

      Sounds an improvement?

  3. Dear Mr Cruddas
    I was sorry to see you had the European Court of Justice interfering in our affairs again. This was supposed to stop when we left the EU, But it goes on and on!

    Oh, wait a bit that finding about the Swiss government being told it had to comply with its treaty obligations was by the European Court of Human Rights. Well, it said European Court so how were you to know it wasn’t the same thing.

    However, I do agree with what you say: that we must have the right to change our government and for that government to change how it achieves the international treaties. Some court some where must have the right to do that. Not just our own courts.

    Whilst Rishi has been slagged off by almost everyone about Rwanda, he is doing everything within his power. Perhaps we could have machine gun posts every two hundred yards along the relevant coastline. That would solve the problem, wouldn’t it? Who agrees with me?

    Lorna – I see you don’t think that Rwanda is a good idea. Well it was the brainchild of Priti Patel and Boris Johnson.

    Lorna – Bring back Boris and Lord Frost now please.

    Unfortunately Boris achieved very little in his two and a half years from December 2019 til July 2022. Granted there was covid, but there were lots of people helping in that, and there was the negotiation of the trade agreement between us and the EU.

    Oh yes, I almost forgot, the immigration rules referred to in the 2019 Manifesto. They were organised by Priti Patel, weren’t they? All done and dusted? Yes. Well, give or take over half a million people coming in a year.

    Boris managed to dissipate a huge amount of goodwill with the Owen Patterson affair. Remember that? Boris tried to get the rules changed retrospectively so that the MP would not be suspended

    He defended his co- Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, which also disipated a large amount of goodwill.

    He capped that by attending the ‘parties’ when people could not go to funerals and said he didn’t. For a finale he misled our MPs and the whole House of Commons – no, he didn’t misled them – he lied to them.

    Even Sir Jacob Rees- Mogg could only say of him when he was putting him forward to stand as PM again last year that he is a good communicator. Its true. He is. But he is the only PM who has ever had to stand down because of dishonesty,

    Lorna – I wonder whether you realise that there are three David Frosts who are totally unconnected?

    One David Frost negotiated the Northern Ireland Protocol which formed part of the EU Leaving Agreement. He and Boris said it was the best thing since sliced bread. Boris won the election on Get Brexit Done, which we thought the Agreement would do, but it couldn’t. He only did half the job.

    Whilst Boris said he would get us to leave the EU (which he did) it still left us in the legal system of the EU (which he and David Frost forgot to mention).

    It also breached a requirement of Conservative Party policy. It is the Conservative and Unionist party. It must not do things which harm that make one part of the union subject to different laws than other provinces in the Union.

    The Northern Ireland Protocol did exactly that. It imposed on Northern Ireland a raft of 300 EU laws and they and much of the Protocol were subject to our old friend the European Court of Justice. Boris and David did not tell us about that, nor did those who knew, and no-one pointed out that it created a border down the middle of the irish sea. There were a few media reports, but most of us believed what the Manifesto said.

    A few months later Boris decided that the Protocol was the worst thing since sliced bread, and that it should be re-negotiated. Enter David Frost – another David Frost – who also said it was dreadful and should be re-negotiated, which Boris asked him to do.

    Of course the EU said the equivalent of ‘On your bike’ since they had agreed the Protocol with our government only months before and it had not even taken effect.

    Mr Frost got on his bike, and Liz Truss took over this ‘monstrous’ Protocol and tried to re-negotiate it. She too was told to get on her bike, and she did.

    It was left to Rishi Sunak to re-negotiate. Much to the horror of everyone who wanted him to come unstuck, he succeeded in negotiating a new deal – the Windsor Framework – to augment and replace the NI Protocol.

    Eventually a vote took place in Parliament, and it was passed with a substantial majority. However, there were some ne’r do wells in the Conservative Party who voted it against it. Boris, Lord Frost if he’d been given a vote, Priti Patel, and of course members of the Conservative MP’s European Research Group. They said it didn’t go far enough and still left Northern Ireland under some EU law.

    But wait a minute. Weren’t these the same people who had voted for the original NI Protocol which undermined the union and put Northern Ireland under EU Law? So they criticised Rishi for not being able to dismantle the hateful provisions that they put in place?

    Yep. Hole in one.

    Isn’t that an example of MPs being elected on a Manifesto but deliberately opposing it?

    Well, Mr Cruddas, shouldn’t these people be removed from Parliament? They seem to fit in your criteria for de-selection. Please can you confirm that you are asking the party members in the MPs constituency to apply for re-selection. Can you please print their names on the site?

    I have asked before, Mr Cruddas, if you/ your editor could please spell out what exactly the MPs have done who have been listed on your site as worthy for de-selection as candidates. Isn’t it right that you should do that now, please?

    • Dear EJ Cowper, Lord Cruddas has nothing to do with the Conservative Post. It is entirely independent and 100% owned by the Founder who is also the Editor. I will pass your remarks to Lord Cruddas though who is the President of the CDO, an organisation the Conservative Post also helped set up. Kind Regards


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