Bernard Ingham: This is our society and we shall all have to clean it up

Do you remember Moral Re-armanent, the movement founded in the 1930s by an American cleric, Frank Buchman, who thought that military re-armament alone would not solve the problem?

The Labour defectors, including Angela Smith, is just one aspect of 'politics going to pot', Bernard Ingham says. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

It attracted much criticism, perhaps not surprisingly since idealistically it sought absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love.

I was always wary of it, even if the Russians accused it of “supplanting the inevitable class war by the eternal struggle between good and evil”.

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MRA is now called Initiatives for Change and is based in Switzerland. We do not hear much, if anything, about it but, by Jove, we need to think seriously about its objectives. Frankly, society – and politics – is going to pot.

The “magnificent seven”, as the Labour defectors are called – and the threat of Tory resignations – are just one aspect of it. Westminster is a mess.

You may feel my dismay is inconsistent in one resolved to look on the bright side. Not so. If history is any guide, this could be the darkest hour before the dawn.

Human nature, if only out of self-preservation, swings from one extreme to another.

The reaction cannot come soon enough if Britain – indeed, the world – is to become a better place for generations unborn.

Off the top of my head I have in mind Islam’s terrorist corruption, the Communists’ determination to succeed by hook, crook and de-stabilisation, the multiple evils of the internet and what I call the anti-social media, the drug culture, the flashing knives of a violent society, the mind-sapping preoccupations of politically correct minorities, the perhaps inevitable preoccupation with mental health, intolerance as manifested, for example, by Brexit, public and private greed and the acute loss of individual responsibility.

You might add the conversion of the world into a rubbish tip with devastating consequences for wildlife and, on the other hand, environmental fanaticism with headteachers, God help us, backing strike action by pupils against entirely unproven global warming.

Only the other day, a British scientist wrote to me asserting that on the basis of accurate records going back 800,000 years (through ice cones) we are today where we should be in the ice age cycle.

This is substantiated by two German scientists showing roughly a 1,000-year climatic cycle from warm to cold and back again. No wonder people are confused.

It would be wrong to write off the human race as hopelessly degenerate. It is far from that when there are millions unselfishly performing good works every hour of the day.

But evil is stalking the land and we need to hunt it down and point to a better, more wholesome and satisfying way of life. What do we believe in?

Each of us has to stop passing the buck. It is our society and we shall have to clean it up. It is no use whatsoever expecting government to do it all.

Of course, none of us as individuals can legislate to control the internet, to prevent the crude and cruel abuse of, for example, Jewish women MPs or to provide effective defence against terrorism, crime, intolerance and greed.

But we can register our increasing disgust at criminal and anti-social behaviour, the corruption of youth by a prejudiced academia which is suppressing free speech and the awful greed among company executives and university vice chancellors who are rooking fee-paying students into facing daunting debts before they start earning a wage.

When our inadequate Parliamentarians finally find themselves deprived of their Brexit games, if not Jeremy Corbyn, they had better launch the re-moralising of Britain.

After their long Brexit indulgence and before that their expenses scandals, they may not be the ideal agents of reform. But their job is to give a lead and we must mount pressure on them for action.

Always, providing, of course, we ourselves are setting the standards we wish to live by. We are the best agents for a change in national attitudes and purpose.

Moreover, the Press does not need much persuasion to join the exposure of neglect, incompetence and irresponsibility.

Our political parties would transform the atmosphere if they showed a real determination to respond. At present the Tories are preoccupied with tearing themselves apart and Labour advocating a creed – Marxism – that has failed, not least morally, the world over while others, including defectors, wish to subject us to Euro-domination or, like the nationalists, tear the UK apart.

They are, I admit, a divisive rabble. But we can start this day demanding they earn their keep by progressively eliminating society’s moral decay.