The National Conservative Conference is in full swing and what a chaotic few days it has been.
The group, which seeks to influence Conservative and more general political discourse in this country, met for the first time to share their ideas and hang out.
But it has not been a quiet affair, to say the least.
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The conference grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons, from facing protesters to saying some thoroughly dodgy things.
Here is a roundup of the most strange moments from the event:
1. Protester disrupts Jacob Rees-Mogg speech...
Rees-Mogg was one of the most well-known politicians who attended the event. But when the former Brexit opportunities minister was speaking, he was quickly interrupted.
Extinction Rebellion protester Dirk Campbell, a 72-year-old composer from Lewes in Sussex, took to the stage and said he wanted to talk about “a few characteristics of fascism” before he was forced off stage by a number of security personnel.
After drowning out the man with a rendition of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” as he was taken offstage and out of the room, Rees-Mogg returned to the lectern and told the audience: “We believe in freedom of speech, so he can have his national loonies conference next week, and he can see how many people he gets to come along.”
\u201c'I would like to draw your attention to a few characteristics of fascism'\n\nProtester interrupts @Jacob_Rees_Mogg's speech on national conservatism\n\nThe ex minister says free speech means the protester 'can have his national loonies conference next week' https://t.co/uoz7koqj0b\u201d— ITV News Politics (@ITV News Politics) 1684147946
2. ...And Suella Braverman's speech
Rees-Mogg was not the only politician to face the wrath of hecklers. Home secretary Suella Braverman was also interrupted by someone who shouted that this country “would welcome you unless you come on a boat”.
They were removed from the room and another protester started shouting before they were similarly removed from the room.
“Anyone else?” Braverman said in response to the interruptions. “It’s like audition day for the Shadow Cabinet.”
\u201c\ud83d\udea8BREAKING\ud83d\udea8\n\nOops, we've done it again! \n\nNational Conservatism Conference disrupted a SECOND & THIRD time as @SuellaBraverman is interrupted by ordinary people speaking out\u00a0against\u00a0fascism.\u201d— Extinction Rebellion UK \ud83c\udf0d (@Extinction Rebellion UK \ud83c\udf0d) 1684156896
3. Sociologist rants about the LGBT acronym
When speakers were not being interrupted by protesters, they were spouting all sorts of absurd nonsense.
Take Hungarian-Canadian sociologist Frank Furedi, for instance. He went on quite the delightful rant about identity politics. He said:
“In Brussels, you no longer have LGBTQ+, they’re inventing a new letter to add to the [acronym] every single day.
"There is one identity in Brussels that isn’t celebrated. Do you know what that is?
“It’s the identity of the nation,” he said.
\u201cIn Brussels, every single identity celebrated. Little leaflets are handed out reminding you that yet another identity has been invented...\n\nThere's one identity in Brussels that isn't celebrated. Do you know what that is? The identity of the nation.\n\n-@Furedibyte at #NatConUK\u201d— National Conservatism (@National Conservatism) 1684168113
4. Tory MP bats for heteronormativity
He was not the only one to bemoan societal progress. MP Danny Kruger, said that heteronormative families should be “at the heart of our fiscal system”.
“The normative family, the mother and father sticking together for the sake of the children, is the basis for a safe and functional society.
“Marriage is not only about you, it’s a public act to live for the sake of someone else.”
\u201cThe normative family, the mother and father sticking together for the sake of the children, is the only basis for a safe and functioning society. \n\nMarriage is not only about you, it's a public act to live for the sake of someone else. \n\n-MP @danny__kruger at #NatConUK\u201d— National Conservatism (@National Conservatism) 1684163763
5. Braverman makes trans 'joke'
And home secretary Suella Braverman made some dodgy trans comments to top it all off, joking that since Starmer had previously stated “trans women are women”, the Labour leader could run as a trans woman in the next general election.
"Conservatives must always be honest with the public. Honest about our principles and honest about our priorities,” she said.
“In that way, we distinguish ourselves from the leader of the left, Sir Keir Starmer. He opposes today the things he stood for yesterday, that he’ll change his mind on tomorrow, and he’ll campaign on next year as a man of great principle.
“Although, given his definition of a woman, we can’t rule him out from running to be Labour’s first female prime minister.”
Earlier in her speech, she added that it was an “unfashionable fact” that “100 per cent of women do not have a penis”.
6. Rees-Mogg admits voter ID is 'gerrymandering'
Referencing reported plans by Labour to allow EU citizens to vote in general elections, Rees-Mogg said the government's recent law to make people carry photo ID at local elections was "gerrymandering" that had backfired.
He said: “Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them – as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections.”
“We found the people who didn’t have ID were elderly and they by and large voted Conservative, so we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well,” he added.
7. Dodgy nationalism comments
Right-wing commentator Douglas Murray was criticised for his comments about nationalism at the conference.
He said: “The ‘cordon sanitaire’ which used to exist around nationalism - until recent years – existed not because we didn’t trust the idea of love of country, not because, I would argue, there is anything wrong with nationalism in a British context.
“It all came from the recognition there is a problem with nationalism in a German context.
“I see no reason why every other country in the world, should be prevented from feeling pride in itself, because the Germans mucked up twice in a century,” he said.
\u201cDouglas Murray\u2019s comment is serious minimisation of the abhorrent, planned nature of the Holocaust. Saying that Germany \u201cmucked up\u201d trivialises and minimises the fact that the Nazis systematically murdered 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.\u201d— HOPE not hate (@HOPE not hate) 1684234892
8. Tory MP's weird schools and universities remarks
Conservative MP Miriam Cates told the conference that “cultural Marxism” is “destroying our children’s souls”, adding: “We must end the indoctrination of our children with destructive and narcissistic ideologies.”
The right-wing MP claimed schools and universities were “openly teaching that our country is racist, our heroes are villains, humanity is killing the Earth”, adding: “Is it any wonder that mental health conditions, self-harm and suicide, and epidemic levels of anxiety and confusion characterise the emerging generation?”
9. GB News producer claims he is part of "the most intolerant generation in history"
After ranting about "the woke mind virus", GB News producer Kane Blackwell said he was part of "the most intolerant generation in history".
\u201c@kane_blackwell Most intolerant generation in history? The rest of history wants a word.\u201d— Kane Blackwell (@Kane Blackwell) 1684234610
He later revealed the latest victim of cancel culture - his invitation to a friend's birthday party.
\u201cWell, I never thought I\u2019d be proven right so quickly. This morning I\u2019ve been uninvited from a \u2018friends\u2019 birthday party due to my speech. \n\nThis really is the most intolerant generation in history.\u201d— Kane Blackwell (@Kane Blackwell) 1684234610
10. Lee Anderson doesn't draw a crowd
Anderson spoke at the conference yesterday but by the time it was his turn to do so, it appeared people had had enough.
11. David Starkey rants about left-wing people
Controversial historian Starkey had quite a speech about "the left".
He said: “The reason that the Left has such ire for the Jews is jealousy.”
“They want to replace the Holocaust with slavery in order to wield its legacy as a weapon against Western culture.”
Starkey also used to the speech to attack the Black Lives Matter movement and "critical race theory" claiming:
“They are attempts at destroying the entire legitimacy of the Western political and cultural tradition."
“The idea that they are there to defend Black lives is a preposterous notion. They do not care about black lives, they only care about the symbolic destruction of white culture.”
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