As a student at university, it’s easy to be aware that academia is dominated by the left. After all, it is the voices on the left we hear the most. Added to this, a Conservative Party that does not look very conservative at the moment and almost like they are out of ideas – just take a look at the agendas for the Conservative Party Agendas for 2023 and 2022. But over the summer, two academic conferences of note took place, which should bring a glimmer of hope to conservative students.
The first, held at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge from the 6th to 7th July 2023, on British Intellectual Conservatism: Past and Present. This was organised by ResPublica and the University of Public Service. The second, held in the House of Lords from the 14th to 15th September 2023, on Margaret Thatcher: Her Life, Work, and Legacy. This had been organised by two research centres at the University of Hull. The first research centre was the Centre for Legislative Studies, which is led by Lord Norton of Louth, the second by Dr. Matt Beech who leads the Centre for British Politics.
The conferences, naturally, had different focuses but as a participant at both – and having had time to reflect on them, there are four things I found in common. These conferences were full of enriching academic thought, they were both thought provoking, provided a space to be reflective, and to think ahead to the future. In the current climate when it looks as though the Conservative Party will be unsuccessful at the 2024 General Election, both conferences highlighted the need for a better vision.
The two conferences in their own way provided a means to push back against the narrative we see that the right are out of ideas. Rather, the conference on British Intellectual Conservatism: Past and Present consisted of several panels, from Conservatism Today to addressing Free Speech and Conservatism. There were also two panels dedicated to two of the great leaders of the Conservative and Unionist Party, a panel on the Age of Churchill, another on the Age of Thatcher. All in all, the conference did exactly as the name of the conference said it would. A key focus of the conference was on the works of Roger Scruton and bringing his ideas, which may have been forgotten to the forefront. There is much to be learnt from this conference.
For the conference on Margaret Thatcher, many ideas were shared. The main takeaway raising the issue that politicians today do not have a long-term vision. Many who praise Liz Truss and her allies say “she did what Thatcher did” but what people fail to recognise and remember: Thatcher spent many years developing her ideas with a team before those ideas became policy.
There are lessons to be learnt from the conferences. It is people, no matter their role in politics, whether they work in academia, policy or aspire to be an elected representative, who need to take a step back. There are many great people we can learn from, but the problem with the world today is everyone is looking for the next great thing. The rivers of free-flowing conversation of ideas from conservative academics and politicians needs to be opened up before anything else can happen.
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By Ilija Dokmanovic — 1 year ago
It has been a month since Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. Having lived to the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth has been the longest reigning British monarch in history, with just over 70 years of a reign that was highlighted by some of the greatest societal transitions, advancements, regressions, and change that has ever been experienced in our human history. Her Majesty would’ve been the longest reigning monarch in human history had it not been for Louis XIV of France ascending to the throne in his childhood.
She had reigned during the tenure of 15 British Prime Ministers since Sir Winston Churchill, 14 American Presidents since Harry Truman, 16 Australian PM’s since Sir Robert Menzies, and overall 179 prime ministers in the various and vast realms and nations of the Commonwealth.
She oversaw the largest transition from the remnants of the Empire to the decolonized and “democratic” world we know today, for better or for worse, with not an ounce of tyrannical fervor or egotistical despotism that would keep those nations who gained their independence.
Rather, she welcomed the prospect of nations forging their own path – in good faith and friendship – even if it eventually proved detrimental to the people of those realms, such as the Sino-British Joint Declaration, or the abandoning of British Rhodesia and South Africa to the whims of the communist revolutionaries who destroyed the prosperity and integrity of those nations.
The ‘Second Elizabethan Era’ as it has been promptly named will be remembered as a time of great change, and regardless of many of the criticisms that many on the traditional right may have about Queen Elizabeth II’s lack of action during her reign, justified or unjustified, she will always be known for the reassurance and calm that she brought nationally, and globally, to her subjects.
Having lived in the United States, and especially going through my high school education in the region that was part of the beating heart of the American Revolution, I was often asked by my American classmates and peers as to why the Royal Family was “such a big deal”, or laughing at the idea that people could live under a King or Queen and be absolutely ok with that concept.
“LOL! What makes them so special? We have FREEDOM to choose who rules us!”
Other notable remarks I can remember was when my freshman year history teacher laughed dismissively and regarded the monarchy as a “relic of the past” and proceeded to put on a “Crash Course World History” video for my classmates to gawk at – or my sophomore year civics class where my teacher boastfully claimed that American democracy was the “best system of government that humans have been able to achieve”.
I’ll give them points for patriotism – but sadly the lack of introspection was far too apparent.
Sure – on paper Americans may not have to be subjected to the “tyranny” of a sovereign. But in reality, the “free and equal” society of the United States is neither as free nor equal as they like to boast.
There is still a ruling class that bankrolls Washington, and there are still political dynasties that take advantage of their massive wealth and resources to control the country by coercion rather than direct power.
The middle-class American finds themselves part of a shrinking demographic, as wealth becomes harder and harder to obtain, and the pitfalls of modern America continue to consume all those who find themselves close to the edge.
The “freedom to choose” is a demonstrable illusion, especially on the national level. When one challenges the powers that be, they are either “reinforced” out of the system, made an example of, or imprisoned, given a show-trials and branded as an insurrectionist.
Point this out to most Americans and they will either shrug it off as “the way things are”, laughingly defend the hypocrisy, or show complete apathy as long as it leaves them be.
Before I continue, I must point out assuredly that I love America. As flawed as it is, and as infuriating as the aforementioned points often make me, the people of the United States are some of the finest I have ever known. Where they may lack education in certain areas, they more than make up for in character.
Even the stubbornness and boastfulness, as tiresome as it may be at times, is a trait that I find rather admirable, if not lacking in nations like Britain and Australia.
If only that energy was put into the right direction, the United States may not be in the rut that it finds itself in today under the corpse of the Biden regime.
Which is why this article isn’t titled “Americans are Foolish for Not Appreciating Monarchy, etc”.
Frankly, how could the current generations of Americans understand just how good, and necessary, it is to have a monarchy? Every four to eight years they have to go through administrative shake-up to administrative shake-up of one incumbent undoing the works of his predecessor – and this exhausting reality is one that they have always known (with the exception of FDR).
I understand completely why Americans wouldn’t care about the longevity or traditions of lengthy leadership. Where we in the commonwealth have been able to rely on the consistency of monarchy, the only consistency of American politics is change – usually for the worst.
Why invest energy into caring or venerating leaders when they often lead to great disappointments, broken promises, and temporary fixtures that will only last a breath in the grand scheme of things.
Referring back to the idea of the “Second Elizabethan Era” – a period of time that encompasses 70 years of gradual change, but preserved traditions. Whereas examples in America, such as the “Jacksonian Era” or the “Progressive Era” and other such periods of time that only ever take up a couple of decades at most, and consist of rapid changes to the nation as a whole, as well as complete reformation, absconding, or complete dissolution of American traditions.
Hell, in the last twenty years alone America has gone through four eras – The War on Terror, the Great Recession, the Trump Era, and now the New Social Revolution. It’s all rather dramatic – and yet there has been no consistent presence tying it all together. Is there anything for people to latch on to for a sense of calm and representation?
The Constitution perhaps? Unfortunately there’s only a limited amount of inspiration one can get from a “living document”, and with the way Washington DC walks all over its traditions it’s hardly consistent.
The flag? Americans are meant to salute a new flag now, the rainbow flag of diversity and tolerance. The only thing close to a national flag being seen in the public square isn’t even American, but rather Ukrainian.
Suffice to say, the America of today is a shadow of its former self at best, and a completely transformed nation at worst. Realistically, what values and traditions of the Founding Fathers have carried on to the present-day United States?
Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth that have retained the monarch as their head of state may share some of these major problems, but through preserving the vital traditions and venerations of the monarchy it is more likely that these nations will be able to emerge from the current troubles of the world we live in without major identity issues, or lack of an inner cultural understanding.
In fact, the current troubles can largely be attributed to the “Americanization” of these countries – and the push for so-called “independence” which takes power and authority away from age-old institutions and into the hands of corrupt bureaucrats, politicians who only have vision that is contained to their own lives, and lobby groups who by-and-large hate the nation they advocate on “fixing”.
When watching the funeral procession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, I, along with millions of others across the world were reminded of why we celebrate the traditions, importance, and lives of our monarchs. They represent us on a far deeper scale than as mere political representatives. They represent us in character, in spirit, and as physical embodiments of the realm. They are in many ways a link to the past, and a constant reminder of where we have been, what we are now, and where we ought to be going.
An example for us to aspire to, and a standard for us to maintain in our own personal kingdoms and households.
Dare I say that the effects of this phenomenon were witnessed fully during the weeks of mourning for Her Majesty. Hundreds of thousands paying their respects in person, billions watching at home and abroad. Reflection and respect being paid by the generations of people who lived under her reign.
When was the last time a President or a Prime Minister received such a widely observed departure? Polls of confidence in Charles III as a monarch went from being below fifty percent to skyrocketing across Britain and the Commonwealth.
I have written previously about the rise of Republicanism in Australia as being a large threat – but after having seen the reaction and subsequent rise in support for monarchy, I think I can rest a little easier knowing that there is still an incredibly large amount of support for the Royal Family and the monarchy that exists in my country.
My hope for the reign of His Majesty King Charles III is that the monarchy may take a more active role in guiding the realm rather than being a passive observer and a symbolic figurehead (especially as it seems that Parliament and the current Tory government is in utter shambles).
But even if he still retains the attitude of his predecessor and remains a mere symbol of tradition, that would be far better than having nothing at all.
Governments may come and go, times may get tougher, but we’d still have that link to our ancient heritage as a people, our noble traditions, and our timeless culture remain steadfast against the tides of change.
That isn’t something you can vote for. Nor is it something you can buy. Which is why we ought to protect and preserve it as best as we can for future generations.
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By Daniel Hawker — 6 months ago
With the ascension of a new Sovereign and the recent controversy surrounding the coronation, the British republican movement has reared its ugly head once more, spearheading a renewed debate as to the Royal Family’s ‘relevance’ and ‘value-for-money’ in 2023. Throughout the day we were bombarded with news coverage of anti-monarchist activism, primarily from Republic and their leader Graham Smith. However, with their focus on democracy and the ‘need for modernisation’, left-wingers fail to fully appreciate the Monarchy’s national function.
Having existed since the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, Britain’s constitutional monarchy has been able to develop organically and overcome numerous challenges (from wars and republican dictatorship, to callous individualists like Edward VIII). With a basis on preparing the heir apparent from birth, many of our kings and queens have been embodiments of duty and moral courage – the late Queen Elizabeth II being a prime example. Indeed, alongside an organic and family-based system comes an inherent sense of national familiarity and comfort – they provide the British people with a unifying and quasi-parental figure, and almost a sense of personal connection with the other royals.
As well as this, the institution acts as a crucial barrier against the danger of democratic radicals and the idiocy and ineptitude that resonates from the Commons. Our entire political class seek to further their own interests, and with the Lords having seen terrible reforms under Blair, the Monarchy is left as the People’s last defence against the whims of power-hungry elites.
They also act as a link to Britain’s past and cultural heritage, as a source of national continuity. The Monarchy embodies our religious character with the Church of England, as well as nature of constitutional government with the different organs. As Sir Roger Scruton eloquently put it, it acts as ‘the voice of history.’ This point fundamentally speaks to the Left’s opposition to the Monarchy’s continuation. They can shout about equality and elected decision-making, but their attack on the Royal Family is inherently an attack on Britain’s history, which they vehemently despise. They want to tear down Britain’s unifying soul, and replace it with some soulless political office, one with no roots in national history or organic development.
The renowned Edmund Burke spoke of the need for national myths, a library of inspiring stories and a rich historical character. This is what maintains a nation’s identity and keeps the people united. It is for this reason (amongst others) that he so fiercely opposed the French Revolution, responding with Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790. These idealist revolutionaries could topple the Bourbon dynasty and establish a new ‘progressive’ society, but based on what? What would these ‘unifying’ ideals be? Without a solid foundation that had developed and grown organically, what could people possibly hold onto?
Now from the perspective of left-wingers, the transition to a republic would merely be a political one – simply making politics ‘more democratic and egalitarian’. A referendum would most likely be called, people would vote, and the Will of the People would be obeyed absolutely. Consider their preferred alternative, most likely a presidential system. We would be burdened, like so many nations, with yet another incompetent, weak, and self-interested hack at the top – an office created by and for the existing political class to monopolize, the final step in achieving a grey managerialist Britain.
But such an event would in truth represent so much more – a fundamental shift in Britain’s identity. Constitutional monarchy is our one national continuity and forms the basis of our mythos. All else is transient – politicians, the values of the day, social debates. Through the royals, Britons throughout the ages maintain a living link to past generations, and to our Anglo heritage as a people. Once again quoting Scruton, ‘they speak for something other than the present desires of present voters’, they are ‘the light above politics.’
The royals are especially important in Britain’s climate of national decline, with an assortment of failing institutions, from the NHS to the Civil Service to the police. It is increasingly evident that we require a national soul more than ever – to once again enshrine Britain’s history. We can’t survive on the contemporary values of ‘Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion’, on the NHS, Bureaucratisation, or record-high immigration levels. A return to order and stability, faith and family, and aggressive nationalism is the only way forward – Britons need to feel safe, moral, unified, and proud.
This Third Carolean Era has the opportunity to revitalise the role monarchy plays in peoples’ lives. By making it more divine, more mystical – alongside a conservative revolution – we can ensure Britain’s soul remains whole and pure.
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By Oscar Rhodes — 1 year ago
The modern state pension is one of the greatest Ponzi schemes ever inflicted on the British people, yet our government continues to offer their unwavering support to it. Why? The answer is simple: moronic and selfish baby boomers (the largest and most active voter demographic in the UK) who still believe that it is working just fine.
Now, a lot of our nation’s issues stem from the boomer problem but for the time being, I would like to focus solely on the disgusting nature of the state pension and how it saps the life and well-being of young and working-age people.
Firstly, to circle back to my initial point, pensions are indeed a Ponzi scheme. Baby boomers will endlessly harp on about how they ‘paid their fair share all their working life’, but this is simply not the case. When the boomer was working, they were not putting money into an investment pot (like private pensions); they were, in fact, paying someone else’s pension. The flaw in this system immediately becomes obvious – it relies entirely on never-ending steady population growth. It requires the nation to always have a normal population pyramid with many young people and few old people. Unfortunately for the system, boomers were some of the first generations to have access to free healthcare and cheap prophylactics and abortions. Indeed, many boomers have had one or fewer children and are living considerably longer. Meaning they haven’t even replaced themselves. After the release of the 2021 census, we now know that we no longer have a population pyramid, but instead a population rectangle.
This is bad news and I don’t know how to put this nicely, so I’ll just say it plainly; unless something changes soon, we (along with many other economically advanced nations) are facing a complete demographic catastrophe. There are nowhere near enough children being born to pay the pensions of current working-age people now.
This is the final form of any Ponzi scheme. The initial investors have already been paid back by the newer ones, and soon enough the rug will be pulled and all those people at the bottom will have nothing to show for it.
Let us also not forget that most people over the age of 70 in this country have been recipients of the most glamorous state-subsidised lifestyles ever to exist. The baby boomers are the wealthiest generation in history and it is hard to grasp just how good they have had it. They grew up in a country eager to build a functioning welfare state and a booming population and experienced consistent economic growth for the first 55 years of their lives. Their children and grandchildren, on the other hand, are the first generations in decades to be poorer on average than those who came before them. They have been forced to suffer through stagnant wages and terrible interest rates for most of their lives.
Why do we not fix this problem? Well, for a start, baby boomers vote en masse. Due to the abnormally large amount of them, they were effectively able to establish a voting block which has existed in British politics since they started to turn of voting age (the 1960s/70s). Due to their size, politicians know that they have to pander to them if they hope to win any election. So the government is forced to do their bidding until such a time as there are no longer enough of them to make an impact on elections.
This means that young people (who have remarkably low voter turnout nationally) stand no chance of influencing government policy in comparison to them. The state will, therefore, continue to suck the wealth away from young people to fund the ponzi pensions of boomers.
The important question that young people need to be asking themselves now is, what happens in the future when we run out of new young people? We are already importing about a million people a year via mass immigration to try and plug the gap. But this cannot go on forever. Immigrants also have a habit of getting old, and importing more immigrants to plug the ever-increasing gap is insanity. It would require an unlimited supply of immigrants and levels of housebuilding that have never been seen in this country, it’s hard enough as it is to get permission to build a house let alone a couple million.Eventually, the state pension will cease to exist. I sincerely believe that I, and other 20-somethings, will never have a state pension. This would not be a problem for me (I can afford to buy into a private one) but I, and all other workers, are forced to pay into a scheme that we will never see the benefit of. There is no opt-out, there is no escape from it.
Young people are not stupid; a lot of them realise that this is the case. They fully understand the fact that they are unlikely to ever see a penny from the state after they turn 67 and it’s absolutely soul-destroying. We are the main cash cow for the subsidised boomer lifestyle, and we will not see a penny or even a word of thanks.
It would be extremely difficult to fix the situation we are in now, but here are some potential solutions:
1. Force the wealthiest amongst the elderly to sell their assets to pay for their own care.
Boomers are the largest asset controlling class in the country. 1 in 4 are millionaires and, as a group, are extremely asset rich. They own vast amounts of stocks, property, and other assets.
2. Reform the state pension system.
It is unfair to abolish the state pension immediately. Many people have handed over considerable sums of money towards it over their lifetimes. If a state pension must exist, it should operate on an investment model like other pension schemes, and not the current Ponzi scheme model.
3. Make the state pension optional.
Give young people the choice to join the state pension, save up their money, join private pension schemes, or just use it when they receive it.
These are just some ideas of ways that we could at least marginally improve the situation for young people, and make our state’s welfare system fairer and less focussed on the elderly. Young people are the future of Great Britain, and our treatment of them is beyond disgusting. Give them some hope and support schemes and policies that actually seek to invest in them. We should not just be transferring their money to old people.Post Views: 2,653