The one-time Deputy Chairman and leader paymaster of the Tory Party Lord Ashcroft was pushing the pc bandwagon merrily along at a great rate of knots in the Sunday Telegraph of 29 April. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9234157/Lord-Ashcroft-Conservative-party-must-disprove-fears-that-it-only-looks-after-its-own.html). In it he urged the Tories to “reach out to ethnic minorities”. Here is a sample:
“…the Tories’ unpopularity among black and Asian voters is not simply a matter of class and geography. For many, though by no means all, there is an extra barrier directly related to ethnic background. If Labour helped their families to establish themselves in Britain and passed laws to help ensure they were treated equally, the Conservatives, they felt, had been none too keen on their presence in the first place.
Enoch Powell was often mentioned in evidence. The failure, on the Conservatives’ watch, properly to investigate the murder of Stephen Lawrence was also cited, as were other incidents.
Most thought the Conservatives had changed in recent years. But many – particularly people from a black Caribbean background – felt the Tories were still indifferent or even hostile towards them. Some felt the Tories, and David Cameron in particular, had unfairly blamed minorities for last summer’s riots. Many thought Conservative policies hit minority communities especially hard, and the Tories seemed unaware or unconcerned about their impact.
Ethnic-minority voters (perhaps uniquely) think the Conservatives have kept their promise to toughen immigration laws. Some saw this as a good thing. But they saw that since the Government could not restrict migration from within the EU, greater controls were being placed on immigration from outside Europe, most of which originated from Africa or South Asia. This made the distinction between EU and non-EU immigration look like different treatment of white and non-white immigration.”
Why did Ashcroft want the Tory Party to “reach out”. Simply because it was costing the Party seats – I did search for a moral as well as this venal motive in the article but was unable to find one. But even at the venal level Ashcroft is baring up a very misleading tree. The most the Tories could gain from persuading ethnic minorities to vote for them in large numbers – a most improbable eventuality – would be a small number of seats, not least because ethnic minorities are overwhelmingly seats which are naturally labour regardless of the ethnic minority share of the electorate.
The really radical thing for the Tories to do would be to appeal to the majority, namely, the English. I have sent the Sunday Telegraph this letter:
Lord Ashcroft (29 April) urges the Tory Party to appeal to ethnic minorities – a small proportion of the country – to gain a few extra seats. I suggest that the Tories appeal to the large majority whose interests are neglected, namely, the English, to gain many extra seats.
The Tories should stand on a platform of an English parliament; an end to the massive subsidies to the Celtic Fringe; the recovery of our sovereignty through leaving the EU; the end of mass immigration; the maintenance of strong defence forces designed to defend Britain not the New World Order; a pledge to get involved in no new foreign escapades driven by the USA or the EU; the cessation of foreign Aid; an end to the green agenda which is costing billions a year; sensible policies to promote food and energy security and the stripping of every vestige of political correctness out of British life.
That should do the trick.