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  1. Politics
24 February 2010

Conservative commentator calls for British voters to reject Tories

Peter Hitchens on "The Cameron Delusion".

By James Macintyre

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A leading conservative commentator is to produce a book before the election calling on British voters to reject David Cameron’s Tories, declaring: “The main enemy of conservatism in Britain is the Conservative Party.”

Peter Hitchens — a frequent tormenter of Tories, who are baffled and dismayed at his lack of support — has revised and updated his 2009 book The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost Its Way to include what its publisher, Continuum, describes as “a brand new introduction that examines the Tory party’s record in government and opposition to suggest why it would be a grave error to put them into power now”.

In it, Hitchens writes:

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If the Conservative Party were your refrigerator, all your food would go bad. If it were your car or bicycle, you would be stranded by the side of the road. If it were your accountant, you would be bankrupt . . . The great mystery of Britain, and especially of England, is that the Conservative Party continues to attract a loyal clientele of millions.

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Contacted by Newstatesman.com today, Hitchens added: “The only chance of the creation of a genuine conservative force in this country is the collapse and splitting of the Tory party. Britain has nothing significant to gain from a Tory victory.”

Of Gordon Brown’s predicament, he said: “I find the personal attacks on him childish and a poor substitute for real politics. I’ve been an opponent of Mr Brown since many of his opponents have been licking his toecaps, but on political grounds, not personal ones. And if there are any accredited saints in British politics will they please come forward and let me know who they are.”

Asked about the latest headlines relating to Brown in a book serialised in the Observer, Hitchens said they “do not alter” the state of the parties going into the election. “When you ask that question, you realise how little it adds to the way this country should be run. It’s just not politics — it’s a substitute for politics.”