Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former Brexit opportunities minister turned GB News host, and David Frost, the ex-chief negotiator for exiting the European Union, have raised eyebrows with a joint Telegraph article in which they argue Britain should return to its “traditional roots” in the form of “national conservatism”.
Written ahead of the first ever NatCon UK event next month (yes, that’s what organisers have actually decided to call it), the pair describe the ideology as a “belief in the nation state and the principle of national independence”.
The official website for national conservatism goes one further and sets out a “statement of principles” which underpin the movement, including a focus on “national independence”, the “rejection of imperialism and globalism”, and a stance on immigration centred around “much more restrictive policies” which may include “a moratorium on immigration”.
The statement is signed by journalists from the Spectator and New York Post amongst others, as well as the controversial Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.
Oh, and Mr Rees-Mogg and Mr Frost are keynote and featured speakers at NatCon UK respectively, appearing at the event alongside cabinet ministers Suella Braverman and Michael Gove.
Other speakers include controversial American commentator Andy Ngo, GB News presenter Darren Grimes, and the Free Speech Union founder Toby Young.
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Mr Rees-Mogg and Mr Frost’s Telegraph piece continues: “There is a conviction that the West is not doomed to decline, but instead can grow and prosper again in the right conditions: a restoration of economic freedom, freedom of speech and anti-woke policies rooted in common sense and in the historic public culture of this country.
“Underlying this is a belief that the state cannot do everything, but must do properly what it does do: end mass migration so that all may integrate into our nation; maintain law, order and justice; support those who need help, not those who don’t; protect our institutions; and build effective armed forces in a dangerous world.
“Some see these ideas as implying statism, industrial policy and protectionism. That is not how we see it.”
Bit awkward, as scrolling down to the bottom of the article shows a ‘related topics’ section in which ‘protectionism’ is listed.
Twitter users have also voiced their concern over the article, with some comparing ‘national conservatism’ to the ‘national socialism’ promoted by the Nazi Party – defined by anti-hate organisation the Anti-Defamation League as an ideology “centred around the primacy of a mythic Aryan people whose destiny would be secured by a unified authoritarian ethnostate”:
\u201cThis National Conservatism looks promising\n\nPerhaps it needs some branding\n\nI was thinking of a nice little party lapel badge, an armband, an eye-catching flag and maybe a youth movement\u201d— Louis \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa \u3013\u3013 \ud83d\udc99 Defend the right to vote (@Louis \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa \u3013\u3013 \ud83d\udc99 Defend the right to vote) 1682365410
\u201cNational Conservatism sounds promising - the Nat C party has a nice ring to it.\u201d— Parody Rishi Sunak (@Parody Rishi Sunak) 1682358599
\u201cI think National Conservatism is a bit of a mouthful. \nWhy don't we abbreviate it to Nat-C?\u201d— Wokey McWokeface \ud83d\udc99 (@Wokey McWokeface \ud83d\udc99) 1682354080
\u201c\u2018National Conservatism\u2019 is a euphemism for far right ideology, embraced by authoritarian demagogues like Viktor Orban. It\u2019s time sensible people stated to understand the extent to which formerly mainstream conservative parties have become radicalised. Before it\u2019s too late.\u201d— David Clark \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@David Clark \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1682286056
\u201cWhat putrid hell is this?\n\n"National Conservatism" !? \n\nWho looks at 'national socialism' and thinks "can we make this worse"?\u201d— Femi (@Femi) 1682365585
\u201cImagine getting stuck in a lift with this lot\u2026 #NationalConservatism\u201d— Sangita Myska (@Sangita Myska) 1682348353
\u201cNational conservatism is what set us on a path to post-Brexit decline.\u201d— Samuel West \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9b (@Samuel West \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9b) 1682329035
\u201cNational Conservatism: not of course, in any way similar to that other kleptocratic political movement in Germany of the 1930s that also had National in its title. They\u2019ve outed themselves at last.\u201d— Peter Kay (@Peter Kay) 1682326401
The NatCon UK conference is set to take place from 15-17 May in Westminster.
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