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  • Writer's pictureDr Hugh Willbourn

#49 A vote for the Tories is a vote for Labour is a Wasted Vote

I have never worried about climate change because I was sure that humans would do something irredeemably stupid long before any possible consequences of a small change in the atmosphere.  And Lo, here they are doing countless irredeemably stupid things all at once.  From a vast and expanding field of idiotic activities let us mention four forces, (why not call them … horsemen?) which are wreaking havoc in the UK.


Horseman #1 is Net Zero destroying our economy and infrastructure.


Horseman #2 is the mainstream media and its fact-checking handmaidens undermining intelligent debate and national integrity.


Horseman #3 is the magnificent international vaccination campaign which has become inexplicably linked to coincidence fairies and a vast increase in disability and all-cause mortality.


Horseman #4 is the DEI agenda propagated through HR training and the internet to destroy free discourse and local communities.


But these gallant horsemen are saving us from fictious enemies.  There is no hard evidence of climate emergency.   The force that is immediately destroying the environment and impoverishing the nation is the ideology of Net Zero. There is no army of far-right conspirators.   The force that is generating misinformation is the mainstream media. The great unacknowledged villain of the last three years was OFCOM. Covid was a threat to the elderly and infirm, not the bulk of the population.  The increase in heart disease, excess mortality and resurgent cancers is caused solely by coincidence fairies. The vast majority of people in the UK are neither racist nor prejudiced.   The forces that are creating division and resentment are wokery and DEI.


As these horsemen canter across our green and pleasant land, a plethora of commentators have been pointing out that Western society and institutions are decaying at an alarming pace.  In substack land David McGrogan, John SullivanToby Rogers, Robert Malone and many, many others have written about it.  More unusually the Daily Telegraph has recently been having fits of common sense:  three years too late, but nonetheless welcome.


If the current authorities are left in charge we are doomed.  Both Tory and Labour parties are obsessed with these fictional dangers and completely unwilling to confront our real problems.  They are both utterly useless.

So the question arises, is there any remedy to our woes this side of a catastrophic collapse?


The rational assessment is pessimistic.  The problem is not just the ideologies of Westminster politicians, but the relentless tyranny of incompetent bureaucracy and maleficent billionaires. The most likely outcome is rapid impoverishment, chaotic rioting and a Government repressing its citizens ever more overtly. That is unlikely to end well.


Salvation is improbable, but if an election is called when half the electorate has been blighted by the four horsemen then a realistic opposition party has a slim chance of success. The closest the UK has to a realistic opposition party, and at the moment it is not close enough, is the Reform Party.  The name is not exciting and the logo is a mess.  Could they, nevertheless, become a viable opposition? 



The Reform party has powerful roots.  More people voted for Brexit than any other single electoral option in British political history.  That is a huge constituency of unhappy people who voted to escape the parasites of Brussels only to be betrayed by the puppets in Westminster. But Reform needs to improve significantly and rapidly.

A viable opposition needs to talk to the huge number of compassionate, sensible voters who have been loyal to the major parties. Traditional Labour voters and traditional Conservative voters have more in common than either group readily admits.  They all love their country, they all want a good wage for an honest day’s work and they all want their liberty. They may argue about how to divide the cake but that argument can be paused until the cake is no longer being poisoned.

There are many organisations which are fighting against the four horsemen but, although attempts have been made, they have yet to come together. A united opposition requires co-operation, organisation and inspiration.

Facing such an opposition are three monstrous enemies: grandiose billionaires, the supine, venal mass media and a huge blob of administrators and cronies who are doing very well indeed out of the current fustercluck.  The latter will no more vote for Reform than the Devil will go to Church.  A real opposition  has nothing to offer these people and it is pointless to pretend otherwise. It needs to show everyone else - and those good, principled people trapped in the dystopia of the public sector and mainstream media - that they will offer real radical change.



There are five significant challenges that the Reform Party has to overcome if it is to become nationally successful.    


1 Their leader looks like a catalogue model.  Politics is show biz for ugly people and Richard Tice doesn't fit.  Starmer looks like a slab of concrete, Sunak like a rodent.  Tice urgently needs a bad stylist.  This is a real problem; absurd but true. Image matters.  There is a good reason why Boris Johnson never brushed his hair properly.  When we look for our next prime minister we need to see someone frightening, inspiring or serious. If Mr Tice is not willing to have some disfiguring plastic surgery he needs a bad haircut, now.


2 Reform is trying to be the sensible party.  That’s no good.  No one lives in the middle ground any more.  The country is monumentally screwed.  No one is up for being reasonable. The people who believe they are being reasonable are the biggest control freaks of all.  People are bewildered or depressed or hypnotised or bribed or censorious or furious.  That’s it.  They need a real reason-to-believe if they are to do anything other than vote to stop the other lot getting in.  “Sensible” is not good enough.  A genuine, electrifying opposition must be brutally honest.


 3 The Reform Party needs decent writers.  Their communications have improved, but they are not yet good enough.  They need incisive criticism and withering put-downs.  Their policy statements have plenty of interesting ideas, badly presented. Their writers need to create compelling copy for radical propositions.  And they need a powerful symbol – something like a chainsaw for example …


4 The gatekeeper of public attention is celebrity.  The best, and at the moment only, celebrity that Reform has is Nigel Farage.   If he joins the Conservative party he will enjoy the same success as Nick Clegg, though probably without the subsequent sinecure from Facebook.   If he gets active again at Reform he will massively increase the impact of the party.  Farage looks like a frog.  That is good.  According to Trump he is handsome but he remains a frog ... a frog prince perhaps?


5  If the next Government is to make a real difference it needs able, practical people who won’t be bullied by self-serving civil servants.  The most obvious candidates are not members of Reform, so it should be made clear now that they will be offered contracts to take up significant posts as soon as the party wins.  It is likely that none of them want these jobs which would be a good sign.  They could be offered a “Cincinnatus Contract” with a defined goal and a target resignation date.  The stand-out candidate for Chancellor of the Exchequer is Alan Bates. He has more experience of business and of bureaucratic bullies than any other possible candidate. Malcolm Kendrick  could be invited to run the Ministry of Health and Jeremy Clarkson the Ministry of Transport or Agriculture or both. Paul Embery could take on the Department for Work and Pensions, and Hilary Cottam the Department for Social Care.  Toby Young could be offered the Attorney General’s Office,  Nick Wallis the Department for Culture, Media and Sport,  Andrew Montford the Ministry of the Environment,  Mike Fairclough the Department of Education, Lord Frost the Foreign Office, Tim Collins the Department of Defence and Andrew Bridgen the Home Office.


The first four challenges may sound petty but they are vital responses to our media-distorted discourse. Similarly the suggestion of co-options may sound absurd but in truth recent Government ministers, other than those sacked for trying to do something useful like Rabb and Braverman, have been worse than useless.  It wouldn’t take much to be an improvement, and these people - all independent thinkers - would offer a serious improvement. There is perhaps room for a few more current politicians who could make a useful contribution:  Christopher Chope, Desmond Swayne, Rosie Duffield and Daniel Hannan spring to mind.  Any sensible, competent politician remaining in the house from Tory or Labour parties (is there such a thing as a sensible, competent LibDim?)  could be invited to help the winning party tackle the vast problems the country faces.



The central promise of a successful opposition must be to conduct a swift, transparent review of all the policies it will inherit. Huge sections of the population have been fed one-sided narratives about all the significant and complex problems we face. If, for example, people are to stop fearing that civilisation will be finished off by carbon dioxide they need clarity and facts and the authority of a transparent Government to help them overcoming decades of conditioning.

There are tens of millions of votes to be won by a party that is willing to question the assumptions that have dominated Government for the last twenty years.  The country not only needs to change direction, but it needs clear evidence of the necessity of change.  NHS sanctity, DEI, Net Zero, HS2, pandemic preparedness, Transgender policy, Educational decline, the Equality Act, membership of supra-national bodies like EHCR, UN and WHO and so on all require honest review.  


There should be no royal commission, no lawyerly inquiry, no professors and no management consultants.  Red and Blue teams can be quickly assembled to argue for and against each policy.  The incoming Government should engage practical successful assessors from the insurance industry and commercial researchers: people whose livelihoods depend on being honest and competent. The review must be impartial, transparent and swift.


In the event that the current Government has been mistaken, the New Government must be ready with some practical solutions.


To give one example, a huge problem throughout UK institutions is the refusal to trust professionals to do their job and hence the appointment of administrators to measure and hector them.   The locus classicus of this is the NHS.

Hard data and appalling anecdotes reveal that the NHS is being managed into oblivion.   It has more money and lower productivity than ever.  A vast proportion of its  bureaucracy is composed of former clinical staff who opted for an easier, more lucrative career behind a desk.  A real solution must address that.  All  administrative personnel without a clinical training could be demoted or made redundant.  All administrative personnel with clinical training could be required to do a minimum one week of front line work per month, replacing the locum nurses and doctors who are costing the service a fortune.   This would save money and expose managers to the consequences of their impositions on frontline staff.  It would also result in more consistent staffing, less burn out and greater job satisfaction for everyone.

The NHS is not atypical. Almost all large institutions, whether state or corporate, have become too big, too regulated and too self-interested. Citizens are no longer served by the state, and the customer is no longer king. The four horsemen are destroying the common good from John o'Groats to Land's End.


 If Reform won’t reform some other gang had better step up soon.  The next election is not about  Tory versus Labour.  The real choice is between accelerating insanity or the long, hard slog to restore reason, responsibility and functionality.


We bloggers can do our best to offer alternative points of view, our readers can do more.   If we can find a righteous billionaire to put his money where our mouths are we may be called upon to do a great deal more, but with or without money, we must wake up more people and offer real, honest remedies. Let us pray and prepare.

 It is time for a black swan.




The concatenation of issues we face is not a coincidence.  They all stem from one profound problem. Because of a limitation in our education people over-value reductionist, abstract analysis and under-value context, feedback and emotional understanding.  The evils of the Post Office scandal are not an horrific aberration.  They are normal and tragically ubiquitous.  My pertinent book,  The Bug in our Thinking and the way to fix it is available by clicking here where the word “swan” in the coupon box will bag you a £2 discount until 29th February.  It is also on Amazon as an ebook, an audiobook and internationally.


P.P.S.   And Mr Tice, if you are reading this, please go and buy some clothes at your nearest charity shop.




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Adrian Charles Clark
Adrian Charles Clark
Feb 17

Since when did clarity and facts persuade people to change their minds?


Feb 16

Endless talk about Reform but weirdly there is hardly a single person pointing out that it's not a party. It's an office collecting money which puts up paper candidates occasionally to get a protest vote. It has no members you can't join, no branches except in Derby which it inherited from UKIP no activists and a policy of 400,000 immigrants a year. It does not even have any general campaigning leaflets the keen can distribute. This all must be deliberate. Tice does not want a party far as I can see. If you point all this out people go blank as though none of it matters.

The Good Doctor who seeks to advise apparently does not know any of that.…

Dr Hugh Willbourn
Dr Hugh Willbourn
Feb 17
Replying to

Reform inherited its atypical status from the Brexit Party. Given the state of the 'real' parties it is not clear if that is a problem - but it is a reason for co-opting competent people from outside Parliament and the (non-existent) party membership.


David Simpson
David Simpson
Feb 15

I thought you lived in Saigon (sorry, Ho Chi Minh City). What does that neck of the woods feel like? I spent a month in Hanoi with my son in 2018 and I came away feeling exhilarated - a young, positive, vibrant society with a future, and full of delightful people.

Dr Hugh Willbourn
Dr Hugh Willbourn
Feb 17
Replying to

I used to live in the UK and visit Vietnam. Now it is the other way round - and plans for a return to the UK are on hold for reasons above ... Saigon is a thriving, exciting city with a growing economy. A good place to be.

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