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The problem, not the solution

The last thing we need now is a Tory recovery. Proper conservatives should dread such a thing as much as Labour’s serious faction dreaded victory in the March 1983 Darlington by-election. They longed for the most crushing defeat possible, because it would have provided the pretext for a well-planned putsch against the doomed romantic party

The thinking man’s trumpet

Britain’s pre-eminent conservative philosopher is rather muddy. I’ve seen him in London, tidy in yellow corduroy. In Wiltshire Roger Scruton is green and brown. Sundey Hill Farm, where he lives with his wife and their two young children, is a ‘rural consultancy’, a ‘meta-farm’ whose services include ‘log-cutting’ and ‘logic-chopping’. Scruton complains that he is

Thought police

When the remaining flotsam of 20 or so Conservative MPs wash up on dry land after the next general election, they may do well to consider why it was that during this Parliament, every time the credibility of Prime Minister Tony Blair sank further into the depths, the credibility of their own party sank with

Power to the people

As a journalist I got used to asking questions. As an apprentice politician I’ve had to get used to answering them. And that has meant learning all over again that the simplest questions to ask are the trickiest to answer. Most of my acquaintances have been extraordinarily encouraging about my decision to relinquish a journalistic