National Conservatism Conference was as problematic and anti-LGBTQ+ as you might expect

Miriam Cates, Jacob Rees Mogg and Suella Braverman

The 2023 National Conservatism conference was filled with fringe, far-right and homophobic speeches from deeply controversial talking heads and members of parliament.

The annual right-wing conference platforms far-right speakers who, according to its website: “Understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation.”

During the ceremonial dinner at its London conference on Monday (16 May), speakers shared incredibly anti-LGBTQ+, anti-sex work and other outdated views on issues some described as “identity politics”.

Hungarian-Canadian sociologist Frank Furedi told the crowd of right-wingers that, in Brussels, he believed nationalist beliefs were “somehow out the radar of identity politics”.

“In Brussels, you no longer have LGBTQ+, they’re inventing a new letter to add to the [acronym] every single day,” he baselessly claimed.

“There is one identity in Brussels that isn’t celebrated. Do you know what that is?

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“It’s the identity of the nation,” he continued.

Journalist Douglas K Murray also spoke during the conference, saying there “was nothing wrong in nationalism in Britain” while referencing nationalism in relation to the Nazi party in 1930s Germany.

He described the Germans as ‘mucking up’, in a comment that has been widely condemned online.

“I don’t see why no one should be allowed to love their country because the Germans mucked up twice in a century.”

Tory MPs also took part. Suella Braverman made an anti-trans joke about Labour leader Keir Starmer, Jacob Rees Mogg admitted the party’s introduction of voter ID had backfired with its elderly voters, and Miriam Cates blamed ‘Marxism’ for an apparent shortage of babies in the UK.

MP Danny Kruger also spoke about “the normative family”, claiming that heterosexual marriage was the “only possible basis for a safe and successful society”.

Protesters attempted to disrupt the event, and as Braverman, the current home secretary, was preparing to say that it’s “not racist for anyone to want to control our borders”, she was interrupted by Extinction Rebellion members.

The climate activism group tweeted shortly after the incident, saying: “Oops, we’ve done it again!”

Alleged members of the group, which it described as “ordinary people speaking out against fascism”, also interrupted Jacob Rees-Mogg during his speech where he suggested voter ID was included in the 2023 local elections in an attempt to boost Conservative votes.

Rees-Mogg’s comments were described as proof of Tory election-fixing and gerrymandering online, including in a video about Rees-Mogg’s “bombshell confession” by journalist Owen Jones.

So far, the conference’s two events have been chock-full of anti-LGBTQ+ dog whistles and fundamentally anti-trans statements about institutions being “woke”.

MP Danny Kruger, who once said women don’t have an “absolute right to bodily autonomy“, stated during his speech that heteronormative families should be “at the heart of our fiscal system”.

“The normative family, the mother and father sticking together for the sake of the children, is the basis for a safe and functional society.

“Marriage is not only about you, it’s a public act to live for the sake of someone else.”

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