‘Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.’

Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767)

18 May 2012

From Doctrine to Detail: Why Conservatism Is Doomed

In this week’s essay, I examine some of the implications for British Toryism arising from recent local elections — extrapolating from a Telegraph column by Ed West, ‘Conservatism is doomed. Head for the hills’.

West looks at three factors affecting the decline of the Conservative party: its loss of identity, the voting pattern of its supporters, and the relationship between its MPs and the electorate. These are key ingredients of study for public choice theory, and I argue that one step in the right direction is for Toryism to return to first principles. Paraphrasing Sir Ernest Benn, a Conservative renaissance must begin with a return from detail to doctrine.

Click here for my full argument at the Institute of Economic Affairs.