Here’s why Tories must revive D-Day spirit to fix Britain’s woes – Bernard Ingham

Tory leadership contenders need to evoke the spirit of D-Day, says Bernard Ingham.
Tory leadership contenders need to evoke the spirit of D-Day, says Bernard Ingham.
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AS our politicians are going to – or have been on – pot I feel impelled to write an open letter to Tory leadership candidates.

Dear all trying to succeed Theresa May,

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will launch his leadership campaign today.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will launch his leadership campaign today.

It is time to stop pandering to vested interests and get real.

The first requirement of any new Prime Minister is to take us out of the EU. We simply cannot go on putting it off. You must make it immediately clear to Brussels that either they legally guarantee our absolute sovereignty by October 31 or they will stand condemned of Soviet-style insecurity.

Do they want to be for ever compared with the old East Germany that built the Berlin Wall to prevent its citizens from leaving?

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Second, whether in or out of the EU, our prime need is responsible economics. The world is floating dangerously on a sea of debt. We must pay our way. That means eliminating our budget deficit fast and steadily reducing our £2 trillion national debt.

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This is absolutely essential for the economy, jobs and public services. We cannot for ever finance public services, let alone improve them, on endless borrowing.

You may well offer tax cuts – the more the better – but you cannot responsibly make them until we are paying our way. Otherwise, you will merely give with one hand what you take away with another.

Third, the nation does not run on thin air. It desperately needs an economic and environmentally viable energy policy based on reliable, proven nuclear power and natural gas, including from fracking. All subsidies for unreliable wind and solar and CO2-producing biomass must end.

Fourth, all this is academic without up-to-date defences to deter aggression. The activities of Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, Iran and Islamic terrorists should have dinned this into you long

The very existence of an Opposition
led by Jeremy Corbyn would not only ensure economic ruin but ravage our defences and produce subservience to Moscow.

Fifth, this nation has a proud record for taking in the oppressed of the world.

But we cannot continue to do so regardless of the consequences for our liberal, Christian culture. All immigration must be strictly controlled and consistent with the preservation of our values.

Sixth, stop signalling your virtue by pledging to improve public services. This is meaningless unless you know where the money – sound money – is coming from and recognise their current deficiencies.

Our society and its economy are currently undermined by a lack of discipline (which starts in the home); an explosion of criminality; loss of a sense of public duty, notwithstanding the hundreds of thousands who voluntarily care for the vulnerable; sheer incompetence; and downright politicking.

Seventh, we shall soon not have a land worth living in unless we throw the book at those who attack society and especially those who seek to corrupt our children and young people. Let’s end the prevailing wetness, bowing the knee to every minority, pressure group and vested interest instead of standing up for effective law and order.

This means that, in the interests of a fair and responsible society, we must bring the internet and its cavalier moguls making a bomb out of it under effective scrutiny and control. Our high streets are being devastated not by competition 
from the internet but by its unfair, privileged circumstances that cannot continue.

Eighth, you should be promoting competitive free enterprise for all you are worth while making it clear that you will institute much more effective control over the cowboys who give the system a bad name and play into Corbyn’s hands.

Ninth, you should stop parading your stupidity by talking about ending “austerity” in a land whose homes are equipped up to the eyeballs with modern technology and with low unemployment, low inflation, rising wages and a national disease called obesity stemming partly from the obsession with apps.

Just because a small minority sleep on the streets or, we are told, need food hand-outs does not mean we are on our uppers, as Corbyn claims. However hard we try, the relatively poor are always with us. We must help them to help themselves.

Finally, in her 75th D-Day anniversary celebrations speech, the Queen quoted her father saying at the time: “We need a new revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve.”

Any self-respecting Tory should have one unconquerable resolve: to help the people build a responsible, energetic and thriving Britain in the 2020s.

The RAF’s wartime motto – per ardua ad astra – should be ours today.