“We’ll make our island a little America! We’ll build cities, we’ll construct a railway, we’ll lay telegraph lines, and one fine day, when the island has been completely transformed, completely developed, completely civilized, we’ll go and offer it to the Union!,” so boasts the breezily optimistic castaway sailor, Pencroff, as he surveys the island he has been marooned on, in Jules Verne’s 1875 novel The Mysterious Island. An original take on the Robinson Crusoe story, Verne portrays the trials, tribulations and triumphs of five castaways, an engineer, a journalist, a sailor, and an eager young boy interested in the natural sciences, and their faithful dog.
Loyalty was the Tory party’s secret weapon in the 1950s against a divided Labour. Reviving some of that spirit is key if it wants to avoid electoral oblivion.