**“This government has appeared in office by abandoning any semblance of principle and remains in office by continuing to ignore all sorts of principles, whether conservative or other,” argued Daily Mail columnist and author Peter Hitchens in a talk to over one hundred students at Warwick on Tuesday night. **
“It is absolutely no more than a careerist assembly for putting people in positions where they get treated with exaggerated respect, get chauffeur-driven cars and sit in large offices in nice Victorian buildings and being deferred to by civil servants,” he said. “As a government it is null.”
Mr Hitchens had been contacted by email by Warwick Conservatives and invited to hold a talk on “Why the Conservative Party is not fit for purpose”.
“The Conservative Party should be pushed head-first down the nearest toilet,” he proclaimed in his speech to the standing-room-only lecture theatre.
In his fifteen minute speech he advocated harsher punishments for crimes as well as reform of the education system, arguing that “a majority of people” would love to see a country where “all children have same equality of opportunity of gaining a good education and for everyone to be free from fear in their homes.”
He said that a large number of people – among them disillusioned Labour voters – could be appealed to by an alternative party which was not the Conservatives.
In order for this to happen, the Conservative Party “would have to be removed – if necessary surgically – from the scene”.
After his speech, the floor was opened to an enthusiastic Q&A session. So many hands went up around the room that it was impossible for everybody to have their say.
Those who did get the chance to speak quizzed Mr Hitchens on a range of issues from his advocation of the death penalty to his recent debate about drugs with Russell Brand on Newsnight.
President of Warwick Conservatives, Michael Timmins, said the aim of the talk was “to challenge the views of people who attended, both the die-hards in the party and those to the left of the party.”
“Although the views of Peter Hitchens aren’t those of the national party or indeed the society I think it’s good to spark debate and get people thinking about politics and right wing politics in the UK,” he said.
He added that “some people may have considered it a risk inviting someone to talk on an issue directly contrary to our beliefs, but I think it is always far more interesting to challenge views, spark debate and open people’s minds to these views.”
In his Daily Mail blog on Wednesday, Mr Hitchens wrote: “I was travelling yesterday, to and from the sad city of Coventry and to and from a meeting at the University of Warwick about which I might write a little, later.”