Frost the Fake

15/09/2021. London, Portrait of Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost. 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Last month former Brexit negotiator David Frost and GB News Presenter Jacob Rees-Mogg penned a column in The Telegraph titled ‘Time Britain returned to its traditional roots’. In it, they write that ‘National Conservatism’ can set us on a path towards ‘post-Brexit prosperity’.

Frost has increasingly been seen as a sort of new British conservative saviour, many have urged him to run, he has been elevating his profile and his weekly column is widely read. He is portrayed as tough on immigration, tough on the ‘woke’, a free-marketer, a low tax low spender, and as an antidote to what people see as the poisoning of the Conservative Party. However, this reputation he has garnered is not accurate.

Frost was a career civil servant, a prime example of a member of the British deep state, he was a diplomat and a civil servant long before he was appointed to lead the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. He worked his way up before eventually becoming Ambassador to Denmark in 2006, and then Britain’s most senior trade policy official until 2013. After leaving the civil service, he became the CEO of the Scotch Whiskey Association, it’s in this capacity that he passionately argued to remain in the EU. In 2016 he stated that in any negotiations the ‘best-case outcome can’t be as good as what we have now’. Many may not know that Mr Frost was a remainer, especially given the passionate reinvention of his position. In a speech he gave in 2020 he claimed to have voted to leave, well if that is the case why was he out in public giving statements on why we should remain?

Likewise, before 2022, Frost appears to have never commented on immigration, more specifically on the issue of reducing it. A quick search through his Twitter feed makes this clear, with his first comments on the matter in October 2022. His speeches in the Lords also only mention immigration in the context of his supporting the government’s points-based immigration system which is predicted to have let more than 700,000 people (net) into Britain in the last year.

Indeed, I had the opportunity to listen to Mr Frost speak earlier this week. He did express support for reducing immigration, but when asked for a number that he would accept, he refused to give one. He also spoke about reducing spending, but when asked what spending he would cut, again he refused to name any area. He does not see the established order (his party included) as the enemy, he insisted upon working within the established system. His interest in housing also appears to be a recent pickup as do the rest of his ideas that he writes in his column.

So has Frost suddenly had an ideological turning, has he awoken one morning and turned radical? Or is it a more likely outcome that he is just a fake? A typical establishment politician who offers nothing sincere and nothing new.

But don’t take my word for it, even his readers over at the Telegraph are starting to see through it, one commentator wrote ‘Do something meaningful rather than just penning friendly words in your column‘, another ‘Getting really tired of this nonsense. Lord Frost, who are you talking to, the electorate or the Tory party? The electorate have been telling you this for years but your party doesn’t listen. You had a chance to join the fight and you decided against it, yet it is people like you, Redwood and others who talk the talk and could potentially reimagine the conservatives yet you do nothing – or you don’t have enough support in the party. Please stop preaching to the converted and actually do something with the platform that you have‘.

The article itself could have been written by any centre-right politician, there is no substance and after finishing it you come away with nothing. The National Conservatism they write about is in the context of a conference called NatCon, it originates in the US but it is coming to Britain for the first time this month. A quick look through the speakers reveals it to be a far cry from the US conference which had people such as Peter Thiel, and Tucker Carlson. Britain’s version gets Darren Grimes, Michael Gove, Suella Braverman and Lee Anderson. And of course, Frost and Mogg. If you are attending this conference, I hope you can stay awake.

The most important part of the article is here:

'end mass migration so that all may integrate into our nation; maintain law, order and justice; support those who need help, not those who don’t; protect our institutions; and build effective armed forces in a dangerous world.'

Interestingly in this article, he doesn’t make the same distinction that he made during his speech this week. During his speech, he said that we should take a break from mass migration ‘just for a couple of years’. It’s clear his heart isn’t in true reduction. ‘Maintain law, order and justice’, what exactly is there to maintain? All three have almost completely broken down, most crime goes unsolved and our country becomes a more dangerous place to live every day. Frost and Mogg offer no solution to this. Likewise with ‘protect our institutions’, do our failing and subversive institutions deserve to be protected? Do you protect a failing private company or do you let the forces of nature take over? Their last point about the armed forces is yet another meaningless statement, Mogg and Frost have nothing to say on why Britain is putting herself in danger by supporting Ukraine. As we see here ‘these principles have made Britain what it is – a country that defends human freedom, honour and dignity, at home and around the world’.

Frost, Mogg and people like them simply wish to return Britain back to the year 1990. For the rest of us, that just isn’t good enough. This is evidenced by the fact that both now occupy spaces in the media, Jacob as a GB News presenter, and Frost as a Telegraph columnist and fixture of the Westminster speech circuit. Both have their niche, both are not truly interested in real politics but rather doing the easy work. That is the story of British conservation, they’d all rather be journalists no one watches or reads than actually change the country, it’s too hard and they might lose their invitations to all the best parties.

They have no network, they have no wider or popular appeal, their messaging is weak, and talk of conservative tradition is not what the people of Britain want, no one even knows what it means.

I understand why many pin their hopes on people like Mr Frost, but when you keep being betrayed over and over again, why do you think the next person to come along will be any different? The Conservative Party will not change, its structure and makeup do not allow it to, so even if we believe Frost is sincere, he has zero chance of making it happen.

I don’t expect Frost to call for revolution in the pages of The Telegraph, but I do expect clear goals and numbers, how else are we to judge a person? Words mean nothing.

His reinvention ensures he retains (what I suspect is) a lucrative column, all whilst people pin their hopes on a man who is clearly a political charlatan and got his lucky public break as the negotiator for exiting the EU. I could well be wrong, but all evidence points towards Frost being a fake.

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