Gove Britain 

How liberal conservatives are having their coke and eating it

Michael Gove is fighting to stay in the Tory leadership race after the weekend’s startling revelation that during the 1990s he had used cocaine “on several occasions”. He drew a distinction between individuals behaving illegally and the importance of the drug laws in protecting society. Accordingly, he said, he refused to join London’s liberal consensus for drug legalisation because “there is a greater sin than hypocrisy. It is the refusal to uphold values because one may oneself have fallen short of them.” Which you might think is having his coke…

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conservatism Culture wars 

Jewish conservatism is the key to our survival

In his new book The Second Mountain, the American writer David Brooks says something that shocked me. After a long night of the soul Brooks, a distinguished New York Times columnist, has realised that what should drive us is not worldly ambition and achievement. What’s more important is to live a moral life and put others first. Accordingly, he’s also come to realise that the hyper-individualism now dominating the west, the ideological pivot of left-wing politics, is inimical to human flourishing. This is all part of his moral and religious…

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america Britain 

Conservatism in crisis

I took part in BBC2’s Politics Live to discuss my Times column (reprinted in The Sun) on the crisis of conservatism. My argument was that the centre of political gravity has moved. The Labour party now occupies the far left. The Conservative party, which through funk and ignorance has adopted many of the tropes of what it perceives to be a changing culture, now occupies a mushy soft-left ground. Which means there’s an enormous hole where conservatism once was. A Conservative MP who was on with me clearly didn’t have…

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Britain 

The Tory party has betrayed conservatism

Many believe that the Conservative Party may be about to self-destruct as a result of the government’s failure to deliver Brexit. The problem is that conservatism itself has lost its way. Conservatism isn’t a creed or ideology but a way of approaching the world. As the name implies, it’s about conserving what is of value in a society. Leaving the EU is all about conserving national sovereignty and democracy. The Tory party leadership, though, has abandoned much more than that. When Soviet communism collapsed, many conservatives believed their political fox…

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conservatism Culture wars USA 

Jews and conservatism: an idea whose time has come

Last Sunday, I took part in the Jewish Leadership Conference in New York on Jews and conservatism. There were some excellent presentations from a line-up including Ruth Wisse, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Jonathan Haidt, Yoram Hazony and others. The point of the conference was, in the JLC’s own words, to harness the power of conservative ideas to strengthen the Jewish people and revitalise American civic life. It is not over-dramatic to say this is a project that is urgently needed to save the west. For the past several decades, the bedrock…

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