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Margaret Thatcher ‘totally on board’ with National Conservatism conference

15 May 2023 3 minute read
Margaret Thatcher picture by Israel Press and Photo Agency (CC BY 4.0).

Monday’s gathering of conservatives in London began with an invocation of the spirit of Margaret Thatcher.

Opening the National Conservatism conference in Westminster’s Emmanuel Centre, chairman Christopher DeMuth said he had been “communing” with the late prime minister about the conference.

He told delegates: “I am happy to report that she is totally on board.”

Monday’s meeting was the start of a three-day event bringing together right-wing politicians, journalists and thinkers to discuss the potential of “national conservatism” to provide a path towards renewal for the Conservative Party.

The conference is a project of the Edmund Burke Foundation, a “public affairs institute” based in Washington DC which has held conferences across Europe and America since 2019 to promote the ideas of national conservatism.

Among the speakers on Monday were Home Secretary Suella Braverman, former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Donald Trump-supporting US senator JD Vance.

Other Tories including Michael Gove and Lee Anderson are expected to appear later in the week.

Contributions on the first day ranged from esoteric discussions of “biopolitics” to a discourse on constitutional history from Mr Rees-Mogg and a defence of the Government’s migration policy from the Home Secretary.

But many speakers stressed they did not have many answers, and were engaging in a discussion about what national conservatism should be and where the Conservative Party should head next.

Scrambled

Theodore Dalrymple, one of the speakers and a cultural critic, acknowledged that he “didn’t have any solutions to offer, and no recipe for making whole eggs out of those that have been scrambled”.

Even so, there was a clear focus on national pride and family, with many speakers stressing the importance of having children.

Tory backbencher Miriam Cates was among the first speakers, and identified falling birth rates as the “overarching threat” to UK and western society.

Fellow backbencher Danny Kruger, who has worked with Ms Cates at the New Social Covenant Unit think tank, said supporting the family was a key role of government, while also acknowledging the tension in national conservatism between a desire for freedom and a desire for belonging.

But if the conference avoided offering any easy solutions, it was clear what its contributors were against.

Multiple speakers decried the impact of “wokeism” on British society, particularly Katharine Birbalsingh, former chairwoman of the Social Mobility Commission, who was once dubbed “Britain’s strictest headteacher”.

She urged conservative parents to take their children out of schools that were “too woke”, and criticised private schools for being even more “woke” than their state-funded counterparts.

Ms Cates criticised “woke” teaching for “destroying our children’s souls” and causing self-harm and suicide among young people, while Mr Kruger attacked “a mix of Marxism and narcissism and paganism” that caused “the radicalisation of a generation”.

The national conservatism project has found support among some Tory politicians, with its focus on family, nation, strong borders and pride in Britain’s culture.

But it will compete with other strands of conservative thinking that could determine the future of the Tories beyond the next election, including the Future of Conservatism project being run by the centre-right think tank Onward, at whose launch Mr Gove also spoke.

Between Monday and Wednesday, the delegates at Emmanuel Centre will hope to thrash out a potential path forward for the Conservatives that can prove popular enough to boost the party’s ailing polling numbers.


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Gareth
Gareth
11 months ago

Bunch of Nazis

Alwyn Evans
Alwyn Evans
11 months ago

Now we’ve heard everything. Tories speak to the dead…. and they reply

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Alwyn Evans

Tbf, dead Tories are a) the only good Tories and b) the only ones with the inclination to listen to these utter scumbags.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
11 months ago

A convention of nutters, topped by Thatcher giving her consent from the grave. I can see the current Conservative party imploding after their forthcoming GE defeat. It’s about time as the party is really at least two parties uneasily glued together. It’s time the ‘Welsh Conservatives to assess where they stand.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

i would like to suggest that the Welsh Tories stand in the path of an oncoming steam roller.

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
11 months ago

“Spirt of Thatcher!” Lock up your sons and daughters, but above all else stash away your money and valuables. The Tories are on the rampage.

George Thomas
George Thomas
11 months ago

These Tories had a hard-on for Brexit when EU was natural extension of what Thatcher created.

They have no clue what their icon was about. They’re just looking at Trump in the USA and wanting a bit of that.

The original mark
The original mark
11 months ago

Whoever wrote this article has seriously glossed over just how dangerous the Edmund Burke Foundation is, the real story is the foundation, not who the speakers are, we already know they a bunch of fascists

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
11 months ago

Can you imagine the uproar if a similar group from Cuba set up a “think tank” that then funded and supported political parties in the UK

N.B. I was going to use Russia as an example….but I then recalled that that actually happened and that party is called the Conservative Party.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
11 months ago

Did they ask the ghost if she still believed in Eastward expansion of the EU to provide cheap, immigrant labour and why she created a functioning EU single market?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

This is Weird Sh*t, communion with the body and blood of Maggie Thatcher…

This satanic act from an American Lawyer performed in front of people of this country employed on the public payroll…

Max Hastings suggests that special measures are required to still her children…

Last edited 11 months ago by Mab Meirion
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
11 months ago

National Conservatism Conference supported and endorsed by Thatcher and Putin.

Windy
Windy
11 months ago

I think this poor fella needs to seek professional help

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
11 months ago

Anyone still in doubt about the total insanity at the core of the ultra freak wing of the Tories given the ‘mates’ they hang out with? Doubt no more.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
11 months ago

The Nat-C party?

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
11 months ago

Was RT Davies in attendance?

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