Welcome to our new-look website, refreshed and rejuvenated for the new year, ready for a growing readership as our arguments begin to hold sway, but familiar enough, we hope, not to upset our loyal readership.
It is thanks to the great generosity and commitment of our readers that we’ve been able to effect this upgrade. The website now renders properly on mobile and tablet devices and has improved ‘sharing’ features including ‘WhatsApp’ share on mobile devices. The new ‘theme’ makes the website’s significant archive content more accessible too.
We needed the site to be secure as well as to create the best possible vehicle to communicate our conservative message. This is the bottom line. For it is on the reassertion of conservatism that our country and our civil society, our future and our children’s future, all depend.
Some say at the ConWom we are on the wrong side of history. We are certainly paddling upstream against the cultural and political tide, pushing up against psychological as well as demographic trends.
Conservatism thrives when people are mentally resilient, self-reliant, and strongly invested in the interpersonal bonds that make small government viable: family, friends, and community. At the national level, these psychological characteristics are at a low ebb.
At the demographic level the isolation, alienation and anomie that come from single living, from detachment from family and country, are on the rise, making for the infantilised and dependent society that socialism thrives on. No wonder that in parallel with these trends is a decline in principled conservatism – in personal independence, interdependence and in functioning of institutions and families.
Yet we are neither negative or despairing. To the contrary the young demonstrate a longing for belonging. They count place, job and family as the three things that matter most to them in any question of identity.
@theconwom has, in quite a short space of time, had considerable success in putting social conservatism back on the map, in getting our challenge to leftism and feminism ‘out there’. Most visibly this has taken the form of Laura Perrins’s appearances as a panellist on the BBC’s Question Time, Any Questions and Daily Politics. As a result our readership is up by over a third on this time last year. The comment streams generated by our top team of conservative thinkers and writers demonstrate how keen the appetite is for conservatism – amongst the public if not amongst politicians.
People are not fools. While the State may lead us to believe that it will take care of us from the cradle to the grave, the more it does, or promises to do, the more it disappoints. Our alternative vision of free and accountable individuals ‘answerable for their faults but duty bound to respect the freedom and otherness of their neighbours’, as Roger Scruton puts it, has wide appeal.
Nor is a State that referees between rival identities and victim groups and that incites grievance ever be one that can meet the basic human needs for belonging, for being rooted somewhere. Only attachment to family and country can do that, which in Britain the State has done its best to sever. Ours is not a nostalgic hark back to the past. Our plea to invest in the stability of married family life is a look to the future. It is to acknowledge that it is conservative values, not socialism, that is the family, not the State, that meet people’s needs, secures their freedom and that provide the agencies of both continuity and change.