UK

Left is ‘at war with the West’, National Conservatism conference told

Home Secretary Suella Braverman speaking on the first day of the National Conservatism conference in London (Victoria Jones/PA)
Home Secretary Suella Braverman speaking on the first day of the National Conservatism conference in London (Victoria Jones/PA) Home Secretary Suella Braverman speaking on the first day of the National Conservatism conference in London (Victoria Jones/PA)

Left-wing forces are “at war with the West”, the head of a US think tank has told a right-wing conference in London.

Kevin Roberts, chair of Washington-based Heritage Foundation, used a speech at the National Conservatism conference on Tuesday to attack “globalists” and “ruling class contempt of everyday working families”.

He said: “This new left is not in competition, it is at war with the West, with the moral, intellectual and social foundations on which our entire civilisation rests.

“Which is why it reserves a singular hatred for the kind of conservatism represented by Donald Trump and (Florida governor) Ron DeSantis, by Brexit, by (Hungarian president) Viktor Orban, and yes by this conference.”

Mr Roberts’ Heritage Foundation is one of the most prominent right-wing think tanks in the United States and was a strong backer of Donald Trump.

Mr Roberts went on to attack the “normalisation of anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-democratic, cultural totalitarianism in Western newsrooms, classrooms and bureaucracies” as well as the “Covid lockdown debacle”.

Mr Roberts claimed these were “symptoms” of “ruling class contempt for everyday working families and the institutions that prioritise their rights and interests over elite privilege”.

He added: “Things like democracy, the rule of law, free speech, religious devotion, marriage and family-ordered liberty, property rights and yes, the real free market.”

He also accused “elites” in Europe of condemning Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “even as they coolly plot a far more aggressive and ambitious imperial project”.

He said: “Today the EU embodies the cultural chauvinism, spiritual decadence, strategic incompetence, and tyrannical ambition that have hurried the continent into chaos for millennia.

“Its systematic assault on member nations’ sovereignty, to say nothing of their diverse cultures, identities and faith, is already tearing Europe apart and pushing it toward the brink.

“They think because they rule by pen and microphone, they are kinder and gentler than their gauche martinet predecessors who led armies and navies. They’re not. They’re just as imperialistic, ambitious, megalomaniacal and authoritarian as any of the bullies they hope to succeed.

“The only good news is that they’re weaker than those who failed before them.”

Mr Roberts made his comments on the second day of the National Conservatism conference, which has already heard from Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and is scheduled to hear from Communities Secretary Michael Gove later on Tuesday.

Ms Braverman used her speech to outline her own view of conservatism and argue for a reduction in immigration, saying immigration “without integration” and “the unexamined drive towards multiculturalism” is a “recipe for communal disaster”.

The conference’s first day also featured speeches from former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg and backbenchers Danny Kruger and Miriam Cates, who called for greater support for the family amid falling birth rates.