Category Archives: Ideologies (Conservatism)

Sean Gabb: Speech to Conservative Future, 2009


Note: I was invited to give this speech by Patrick Sullivan. He wanted to cause a stir, and was delighted by the outrage I provoked. Here is a text of the speech I gave. And here is what now seems to be the killer quote:

Do you want a Conservative Government that will succeed? Or do you want, in twenty years time, to watch another series of documentaries in which today’s Conservative leaders – looking older and baggier – will discuss how things went wrong, and they were pushed aside by yet another Labour rejuvenation?

The evidence is now in. SIG Read more

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Why was Charles I executed?


Why was Charles I executed?
By Keir Martland 

I am what might be jokingly termed a ‘crypto-Anglican.’ Often, I attend some of the more ‘High Church’ services in the Church of England, principally at my College Chapel when ‘on duty’ as a Warden, alongside my regular attendance of Roman Catholic services. This is partly out of a spirit of ecumenism and partly out of an aesthetic appreciation of Choral Evensong and Anglican High Mass according to the Book of Common Prayer. Indeed, there is much to recommend this kind of Anglicanism to the aesthete. Firstly, the Church of England owns – or rather, is in possession of – all the old Catholic churches in this country, and these churches are invariably the prettiest in the country. Secondly, there is something charming, but also interesting on an academic level, about the Cranmerian English of the Prayer Book, such as in the archaic and foreign-sounding “spare thou them.” Thirdly, the Anglican choral tradition is hard to compete with, and Choral Evensong – at least, at my College Chapel – is a delight for those who enjoy early Stuart and Restoration Era “Mag & Nuncs” and anthems (the works of Orlando Gibbons and Pelham Humphrey are particular favourites of mine). It is this rich tradition that the Personal Ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI seek to preserve.

And yet I digress already, for it is in a spirit of ecumenism (an entirely benign effect of Vatican II) and not aestheticism that I write today. Today is the 368th anniversary of the execution of the Anglican Martyr King Charles I. 368 years ago, Charles I was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall following two Civil Wars, also known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Charles had lost both Civil Wars and had failed to reach a settlement with the Scots, Parliament, or the Army, and eventually the latter took the initiative to break the deadlock, put him on “trial” following a royalist defeat in the Second Civil War, and murdered him. But why did this happen? Read more

Try This on for Anti-Semitism


By ilana mercer

Paul Gottfried’s essay, “Are Bannon’s Critics For Real?”, dispenses with the no-brainer that Steve Bannon, “Breitbart executive and Donald Trump adviser,” is a white nationalist. After all, argues Gottfried, Bannon “comes from the world of Washington politics and journalism,” not exactly a hotbed of white identity politics. It’s “not at all clear to me that those who write for Bannon’s website publication, some of whom are Orthodox Jews, have much to do with white identitarians who also use the term ‘Altright,’” contends Gottfried.

As co-originator of the Alternative Right concept and phrase, Gottfried is in the know. Read more

Colonel Sibthorp: Reactionary Hero


WALDO SIBTHORP, Charles De Laet (1783-1855), of Canwick Hall, Lincs.

Family and Education

b. 14 Feb. 1783, 2nd s. of Humphrey Sibthorp† (afterwards Waldo Sibthorp) (d. 1815) of Canwick and Susannah, da. of Richard Ellison, banker, of Thorne, Yorks. and Sudbrooke Holme, Lincs.; bro. of Coningsby Waldo Waldo Sibthorp*. educ. Chiswick; Brasenose, Oxf. 1801. m. 21 Feb. 1812, Maria, da. and coh. of Ponsonby Tottenham† of Merrion Square, Dublin, 4s. suc. bro. 1822. d. 14 Dec. 1855. Read more

Further Thoughts on Theresa May


Further Thoughs on Theresa May
by Sean Gabb
(7th October 2016)

I delivered my interim report on Theresa May at the weekend. On Wednesday, I watched her main speech to the Conservative Party Conference. It was a very accomplished speech, perhaps the most accomplished speech of its kind since James Callaghan delivered his sermon on economic reality to the Labour Party Conference in 1976. I also noted one quotation from Vergil (“Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos”), and another from Horace (Carpe diem). Mrs May is no Demosthenes or Burke, but she appears to have good taste in speechwriters. Beyond that, I had nothing to add to what I had already said. Read more

On Left and Right, Libertarianism, and The Donald


On Left and Right, Libertarianism, and The Donald
By Keir Martland
20th September 2016

Permit me a long and rambling introduction. I spent much of August reading, and in some cases re-reading, the works of the distributists, particularly Hilaire Belloc [see my short essay on The Servile State]. The way distributism is often presented is as a “third way” between socialism and the current economic order. I say “the current economic order” because we don’t have laissez-faire capitalism and we are far from it. Rather, what we have is a dirty mixture somewhere between state control and state-privileged corporate control of the means of production and much else, which some call crony capitalism or corporatism. Read more

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