News from Grassroots conservatives
1 Oct 2016
The grassroots voice Delyth Miles
The Guardian October 1
‘She needs to temper her impressive toughness to ensure continued support’
So far, the prime minister has handled Brexit well. Discussions with members and officials of Conservative associations, councillors and voters suggest that they all agree with the wisdom of her approach: like a good poker player, she has not yet shown her cards.
Article 50 needs no rush until clarity emerges about our optimal negotiating position. While support is gathered from countries within and beyond the EU, pressure grows. If Deutsche Bank goes bust, the EU project could implode; if rescued, Italian banks need help.
Brexit is misrepresented as a narrow-minded mistake to be salvaged. Many voted Brexit for reasons of sovereignty. Sovereignty is about democratic accountability, local determination on the principle of subsidiarity and national identity. Subsidiarity recognises that the person is the principle, subject and object of every social organisation; human affairs are best handled at the closest level to the people affected. The approach to Brexit and immigration should reflect that immigration, while important, was not primary for many leavers.
May needs to fill out the concept of “British values” with social justice and compassion, which are implied by her commendable mantra of “government for all and not just for the privileged few”. She could helpfully refer to the UK’s post-Brexit emerging “national identity”. The “sovereignty of the Queen in parliament” and the “established Church of England” both shape our Christian values and provide an “umbrella” under which other faiths can make important contributions to our national life.
Her original refusal to approve Hinkley Point was impressive and well founded: as Dr Christopher Hancock wrote in the Conservative party human rights commission report, “China per se is now as unworthy a trading partner as South Africa was under apartheid because it generally sanctions the freedoms of its intellectuals, media, religious communities, youth, dissenters and citizens.” But balancing moral obligations to uphold human rights and UK jobs is a tricky political decision.
Meanwhile, expanding grammar schools is better than the current selection by house price. But being announced so soon seems to undermine Michael Gove’s excellent work.
She needs to temper her impressive toughness to ensure continued respect and support from ministers, MPs and grassroots supporters.
Delyth Miles is a ward and town councillor in Walton-on-the-Naze and membership secretary of Grassroots Conservatives