Extreme conservatism feigns compartmentalism of invented discrete facets of its philosophy as a ruse to promote its monolithic ideology. The deception’s objective is to acquire more airtime on TV and column inches in newspapers alongside creation of a false multi-faceted perception of conservatism.
Orthodox Conservatives (OCs) want to “influence Conservative party policy and improve the spiritual, social and cultural wellbeing for the citizens of our great country” and “represent the interests of those who identify as social conservatives and moderates.”
OCs’ “social conservatism” is conformity to a single rigid mode of conduct.
“Socially conservative attitudes to culture, gender, community and law are far more commonly held among the voting public than are held within inner political circles. Orthodox Conservatives seek to make repair on this disparity. We aim to build consensus around what we find to be noble, unchanging principles that are largely held among the public. Many citizens continue to live with an instilled sense of culturally-Christian or Anglo system of morality.”
It is unambiguous from the above which characteristics OCs would like to be dominant in society.
In Christendom Has Only Itself as an Ally OCs’ Head of Outreach Sam Hall, an “aspiring Catholic [who] enjoys clay pigeon shooting in his spare time,” was distraught that the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats had chosen to respect Islam.
“Ed Davey said the following.
‘I want to send my best wishes to Muslims across Britain and the world in this holy month of Ramadan. With mosques remaining closed and with people unable to come together to worship, this holy month will be particularly difficult. Liberal Democrats are determined to stand in solidarity with Britain’s Muslim communities and believe that together we can defeat this awful virus.’
The Liberal Democrats are exactly why persecuted Christians should not rely on neoliberals to help them out. They are so concerned with not being perceived as racist or Islamophobic that they will fall over their own feet in the name of diversity and multiculturalism. So, the woke brigade can’t help us.”
In the same article Hall claimed “politically correct culture is literally killing Christians” and in the preamble to OCs’ explanation of its “philosophy” – Ten Principles – the author(s) said “any religion that sees no distinction between religious identity and the law – as shari’ah Islam does, for instance – will struggle to accommodate itself to the West.”
OCs’ exposition of its Ten Principles pretended to present a philosophy that stood between socialist “utopia” and libertarianism. In common with most faux intellectual analyses from conservatives, (for example, Tory MP Lee Rowley’s Next Generation Capitalism), the Principles’ respective details were contorted verbose attempts to create a cohesive foundation for OC’s politics, speckled with eclectically inserted quotes from undergraduates’ favourite nineteenth century political philosophers.
The Principles described the OCs as neither supportive of standoffish libertarian government nor of directive socialist government and supportive of gradual change in how a country is governed with the change guided by the majority of its citizens. However, that confected philosophy is a confidence trick to justify the denial of civilised development of society and to persist with inherited prejudices, bigotry and xenophobia.
“The things we have, and have inherited, are precious and fragile, capable of being lost. They are not the products of design and artificial creation, but the slow, gradual and communal discoveries of the safest and most stables manners of ensuring good social continuity.”
OCs believe West is best and they believe it is the best ever – “The West is the civilisation that has contributed most to the history and development of Mankind” – and nations are the best division of the world – “the nation is the finest form of loyalty and stability that the West has ever experienced.” They barely hide their xenophobia: “It is time, again, to speak of loyalty, of Britishness, of cultural – not just political – identity.”
Despite their claim of distance between them and libertarian conservatives, including their self-ascribed “moderate” tag, OCs’ political policy proposals are indistinguishable from any conservative policies and include
- “A social-market economy.”
- “National Service, both of the military & community-based.”
- “Regimented, but innovative and psychologically-backed methods of education.”
- “School variety, including support for grammar, independent & free schools.”
- “Reduced focus on university education.”
- “Significant tax incentives for family formation & bearing children as seen in Hungary.”
- “Promotion of state-funded marriage counselling as broken homes can lead to parties becoming a burden on the taxpayer anyway, not to mention psychological damage on children.”
- “Migration levels should return to reasonable and manageable pre-Blair levels of no more than 50,000 a year.”
- “Faith leads people to less nihilistic views. Research [no link supplied] has found that religious & spiritually-curious individuals lead life with higher ability to learn & greater mental health. We believe its promotion is a worthwhile affair.”
The OCs are predominantly students, undergraduate and post-graduate, and most are active Christians. Their former president, Dominique Samuels, was formerly of Turning Point UK that had similar aims, objectives and methodology to the OCs; (at present Turning Point UK appears to be dormant.)
As the examples below show, self-neutered intelligence is popular among OCs as assistance to promotion of their bizarre and vague policy ideas but all such policies are inculcated with Tea Party-style ultra-conservative control and mono-cultural prejudice.
In British Education: Requiring Old Solutions And Missing Morality Alex Brown’s proposed solution to a shortage of good apprenticeships for school-leavers was the reintroduction of “the lost option of military national service in order to bolster individual confidence, purposefulness and duty, all of which are lacking in the moral abattoir which is the British education system.” He added that university graduates “could also be compelled to participate in national service post-university. This will help to combat extended unemployment that befalls many university students, whilst also helping to instil a sense of discipline and groundedness that will aid them in whatever sector they then decide to work in.”
In the same article Brown demanded that changes he’d like to see in education “must be based on Christian religious morality which is the base for all legal and political morality in the modern world as well as being conducive to social cohesion and individual wellbeing. This will not only ensure that the new systems are fair, but hopefully the promotion of Christianity to the wider youth.”
He concluded with “education must be modified to reaffirm its moral duties.”
In Christian Virtue In Britain: How Does This Inform Our Culture And Attitudes? Sam George used a religious text – the Christian bible – as his source for opposition to multiculturalism. “In the modern day, it is the case that these values of Britain, in the mire of unhinged multiculturalism, have become largely diluted and misunderstood.”
He explained that he prefers some immigrants to others. “Christian migration [to Britain is] the most sustainable and smoothest progress, because those who understand their faith and more inclined to connect quicker with those who share that faith. Those countries with shared religious or cultural core values tend to exhibit the best responses to acclimatisation.”
In Abortion In The UK: Scientific And Moral Shortcomings Nelly Huszcza spat out fundamentalist anti-science drivel about abortion and was appalled that “it is considered the pinnacle of women’s rights to deny the humanity of pre-born babies.” There is no such thing as a “pre-born baby.” She was equally aghast that, correctly, “abortions today are branded as healthcare.”
In Cutting Foreign Aid Would Save Domestic Lives Dan Mikhaylov used the same religious text as other contributors to state that “charity begins at home” in the context of opposition to foreign aid. He tried to claim there are special circumstances for the removal of foreign aid due to the loss of tax revenue in Britain as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is in this regard [loss of tax revenue] that we urge the UK government to abnegate its existing foreign aid commitments.”
Mikhaylov is not too dim to be aware that Tory government spending and its tax collecting are never for the greater good of the majority of the public but he chose to pretend that he was unaware. “A government, elected by and for our people, would not score points by neglecting the privation in its own backyard. Doing so would be tantamount to betraying the voters. As a result, the most logical conclusion is to decrease our contribution to optimise our expenditure and channel funds where they are most demanded. It befits us to fathom the variety of situations, in which individuals may find themselves, and correspondingly curb our foreign aid expenditure to reconcile the needs and wants of the British people with those of the international community.”
His opposition to overseas aid was much more than skewed economics or deceptive arithmetic. He claimed “stories of money being squandered or embezzled, projects remaining unfinished, children enduring poverty and hunger largely account for our experience of distributing foreign aid even in the 21st century” and he observed that “even the most unequal societies may narrate plentiful examples of how hardworking, ambitious individuals successfully ascend the rungs of social hierarchy.”
The second quote above depicted a particularly nasty and inhumane outlook on life wherein Mikhaylov praised the survival of the fittest and death for others.
His haughty xenophobic disdain for people was expressed in his view that recipients of aid failed to be clever enough to use the aid. “The practice of bed [mosquito] nets itself is good, but simply donating them to uneducated subsistence farmers did little to ameliorate suffering. Some did not fully comprehend the benefits of bed nets and threw them out as soon as state officials had left. Others, meanwhile, took advantage of them, but either struggled, or did not recognise the need, to repair holes in them.”
There is nothing new or useful about the OCs. They have the same old worship of the free-market, the same wilful misrepresentation of their aims and politics, the same mis-use and abuse of language, including the obligatory “grassroots” claim in the first sentence of their introduction, the same unsubtle bigotry, the same cons, the same misdirection and the same tedious fake victimhood of all new right-wing think-tanks. Another floater in the bowl.
Recommended reading: Katherine Denkinson on connections to other far-right think-tanks – Revealed: Youth Group Trying to Push Conservative Party Further to the Right
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks
- Institute For Free Trade
- Centre for Policy Studies
- Countryside Alliance
- Policy Network
- Tax-Payers’ Alliance
- Progress Online
- Industry and Parliamentary Trust
- Royal United Services Institute
- Bruges Group
- Human Security Centre
- Freedom Association
- Policy Exchange
- Migration Watch
- Henry Jackson Society
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Centre for Social Justice
- Adam Smith Institute
- Bow Group
- British Foreign Policy Group
- Legatum Institute
- Due Process
- The Free Speech Union