The good bits are obvious: finally a party that is explicitly about leaving the EU, and not isn’t just pretending to be behind Brexit, like the Conservatives were. The Tory vote collapsing. Tories possibly waking up to the fact that they’re finished if they don’t deliver a real Brexit.
Some of the reasons for pessimism are also obvious. A right-wing vote split between the Conservatives, Brexit Party and UKIP, possibly letting Labour get into Westminster if the timing goes wrong. (It doesn’t matter so much in the European elections as they use a proportional representation system.) Brexit then ends up cancelled. (This is not a criticism of the Brexit Party, as something had to be done about the Conservatives, and UKIP weren’t getting anywhere.)
But there’s another thing that gives me pause. We right-wingers want a real conservative party with backbone that can destroy the Conservative Party, dispense with the political correctness and leftism that bedevils the Tories, defend conservative and libertarian values with vigour and clarity, as well as give us Brexit. The Brexit Party may be trustworthy as far as Brexit goes, but how good are they going to be at those other things? Are they just going to be the same as the old Conservatives apart from the Brexiting?
Take Annunziata Rees-Mogg, for example. She was on the Conservative Party’s “A list” of candidates, all approved by the Conservative Central Office, so she’s hardly going to be Tommy Robinson, is she? She only left the party because of Theresa May and Brexit, not because of any of the party’s endless list of previous betrayals of Conservative principles. Is she really going to be someone who is going to engage in some ‘creative destruction’ on the civil service? Are the other BP candidates going to stick up for Roger Scruton when he’s falsely smeared, or will they do what they think the other guests at the dinner parties they go to would expect them to do?
The Brexit Party have already dumped Catherine Blaiklock for the heinous sin of retweeting “far-right agitators Peter Sweden and Stefan Molyneux, and Paul Joseph Watson”. Farage is now very careful to disassociate himself from anything that could be labelled alt-right, either because he’s a lot more conventional than people realise, or because he knows that that means the media kiss of death, as UKIP have discovered. That doesn’t sound like a party that’s going to stray too far from the BBC-Guardian approval zone to me.
What we have now is the perfect opportunity to replace the Tories with a real red-blooded right-wing party with balls, because there’s a lot more than Brexit at stake. The last thing we want is to replace them with some metropolitan poseurs whose balls fall off as soon as Brexit is over. But in the current political/media space we have in the UK, that’s what we’re likely to get.