What does it mean to be a conservative? Last night, The Spectator brought together Douglas Murray and Roger Scruton to discuss that question. Here is the full transcript of their conversation:
Douglas Murray: Some months ago, The Spectator said to me that they would like me to do an event and who would I like to do it with. And I said I’m very used to doing events with my enemies and spend rather too much time with them and would like to spend the evening with a friend. And they said: anyone in particular? And I said first choice, Roger Scruton. And a lot of things have happened since we agreed to get together with you all. Sir Roger and I have known each other for almost 20 years now. And we have a lot of things in common, a lot of common interests, a lot of common loves and pursuits and some common enemies. And we could shoot the breeze for the whole evening but we don’t want to do that because this is an incredibly serious time for our country, for the culture, and specifically for conservatism. And so we want to cover as much ground as possible tonight and I will say at the beginning that in this conversation there’ll be three things in particular that I wanted to get to at least at some point before we’ll hopefully come to you for some questions. I wanted us to discuss the meaning of conservatism what it is now, what it is we’re conserving. I wanted us to get on to one of the things which is on all of our minds at the moment which is how we can find a way to have meaningful discussions about things we need to talk about in an age of Twitter.