Alex Massie

One Nation Republicanism?

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David Frum is leaving National Review to set up a new online venture called which will launch once Obama takes the oath of office in January. Frum explains himself here:

Over the past three years, I have been engaged in some intense rethinking of my own conservatism. My fundamental political principles remain the same as ever: free markets, American leadership in the world, and intense attachment to inherited moral and cultural traditions. Yet I cannot be blind to the evidence that we have seen free markets produce some damaging and dangerous results in recent years. Or that the foreign policy I supported has not yielded the success I would have wished to see. Or that traditions must evolve if they are to endure. There are new principles too that must be included in a majority conservatism: environmental protection as a core value and an unwavering insistence upon competence and integrity in government.

This seems quite sensible to me and suggests that, in some respects at least, Frum is edging towards a One Nation Tory view of the future of the GOP. Comparisons between Britain, Canada and the United States can never be exact of course, but, as I've suggested before, this seems a prudent course to take. Certainly, the GOP cannot be saved by those who think it has only endured a minor setback or two that can easily be shrugged off. Eight years of failure have taken a toll; the wise man accepts that this means some things are going to have to change if, in the long-term, they're going to return to being what they were.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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