Young Britons’ Foundation – all you really need to know
I wish I could be enthusiastic about the Tories. Failing the day when the Liberal Democrats can aspire to lead government, I can only hope for a hung parliament where they would have a fair amount of influence. There are many reasons to believe that Labour deserve to be out of government, and if the Conservatives were in fact to be a party whose main concern was individual liberty, as they talk of at times, albeit with some conservative bias, I would be looking forward to them in government. But little things, like the fact that they found believable a figure of teen pregnancy among the disadvantaged that was wrong by a factor of ten, make me wonder about them.
The Guardian reported on Saturday on the Young Britons’ Foundation, a forum which is nominally non-partisan, but clearly acts as a think-tank for policies for Conservative consideration. I had a quick look at their web site, hoping to find their aims in some bullet-point form. I found instead their Advisory Board, which included, John Dodd, President of the Jesse Helms Center since 1994. The YBF describe this Center as continuing “the work of late US Senator Jesse Helms by promoting the principles of free enterprise and traditional American values”.
The late Sen. Helms (1921–2008) is in fact one of the worst excuses for human beings to have sat in the United States Senate in recent history. A glance through his Wikipedia page shows what kind of person the YBF is happy to be associated with. He missed few opportunities to play on base fears, such as with his obscene Hands ad (designed by Dick Morris) and rally the votes of more racist voters by consistently during his years in the Senate from 1973 to 2003, making a point of speaking against motions supported by advocates of civil rights, from filibustering a motion to proclaim Martin Luther King Day, to opposing a highly disproportionate number of black judges.
In no way do I think his views are representative of the Conservative Party. But that several Conservative Shadow Secretaries are willing to speak to this Foundation, and Dr Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary on the Parliamentary Council of the Foundation, with such links, is reason for concern.