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Thank you for this beautifully writing piece of work!


This is an excellent piece. Sadly David Davies' interview in the Guardian today equating pop music with homosexuality undermines the party's standing as an arbiter of culture. As far as culture goes, some of our MPs have the mental capacity of something growing in a Petri dish.


I heard of the deplorable decision of the Arts Council to deny funding for the English Music Festival (and the scandalous reason they gave refuse it), but had assumed the decision had been overturned. It is shocking to learn this is still the case, and that government has not taken up the case.


I see that dear old Boris is a VP of the English Music Festival, good chap. Peculiar that the Arts Council objects to the national identity by which the Arts Council England itself is identified.

One would have thought that the Islington Crew would get off on some ye olde England stuff but they probably prefer the nasal faux-accented folkies carcophanating on about the downtrodden mangel wurzel rebellions of 1676. The solution might be to get some bumblebee faced twerp to randomly ejaculate furious revolutionary screeching during performances.

adrian clarke

Culture is at the heart of society and individuals.It should not be a government enterprise.It should be down to the private sector and individuals to promote and support cultural events.This is the problem with MP's of all parties.They believe they are elected to run our lives as they see fit.It is why the rural community can't have fox control by hunting.Why they try to force gay marriage on a hetrosexual community.Interfere ,interfere ,interfere.
If they concentrated on the economy, the law and protecting British citizens,we would need a lot less government

belby la farge

The heart of conseratism is not poetic, it is emotionalistic.

Cultural conservatism, however, has a big future since cultural conservatives will attempt to lead a war against new technologies such as full immersion virtual reality, driverless cars and AI on the basis that they mean the "end of man" and dampen the relationship between "effort and reward"

This is what I mean by emotionalistic, although another phrase would be meanness of spirit.

Frankland macdonald Wood

I regret to observe that the Conservative Party has always maintained a rather common-sensical, Philistine and even anti-intellectual attitude to the arts and culture in general. In that, it rather reflects the Crown and the Court where decidedly low-brow attitudes obtain: "If it does not involve horses we are not interested!"

A devoted Thatcherite as I was, her markedly low-brow views on culture were a major disappointment. There have been notable poets, novelists and historians in the party, but only as a small minority, sometimes barely tolerated. One recalls the awful criticism of the great thinker Ian MacCleod, that her was "...Too clever by half".

Mr Scruton is right to highlight this dull area of the party. One has only to recall the ConservativeHome analysis of the 2010 new intake on preferences in music to see what an uncultivated and banal lot there mostly are.

john parkes

Perhaps if we can escape from the idea that this is yet another area of our lives in which we depend on direct government patronage, we might see a spontaneous eruption of individual and corporate moves to accept responsibility for support for cultural developments.
Spoonfeeding is for infants though and individual curiosity can still be fostered by media outlets. The meretricious tat disseminated by the BBC on all of its TV Channels might be improved to advantage in accordance with its public service role.

Paul Marks


As you know the "Arts Council", and so on, was only created during and after World War II.

Was not culture in this land better off BEFORE all this government intervention?

As for the idea that having a Conservative party gcvernment would make a fundemental difference to government cultural interventionism - was that idea not discredited by the period 1979 t0 1997?

Time to get rid of the "Arts Council" and all the rest of such interventionism. And, surely, time to get rid of the BBC also.

Martin Sewell

Our dominant artistic ethos has become what I call " The Cultural of the Transgressive".

This is not accidental.

The 60's radical left was schooled by the philosophical thinking of Gramski and Alinski - something I seriously doubt is taught at Eton or even maybe Oxford PPE. In this if you want to win power you seek and win cultural hegemony.

It explains why BBC comedy shows ALWAYS critique from the Left; the young like and respond to humour: this makes it hard for youngsters to say - actually I agree with Conservatism.

Until the Conservative Party addresses this issue it will have a regular deficit amongst younger voters and I know people in their sixties who openly recognise a correct policy when they see it but then add " but I could NEVER vote Tory".

Maybe the big panjandrums never meet these people but we do and the failure to listen to those who have identified the problem is the same metro liberal stupidity that has landed the party with the gay marriage cock up.

Martin Sewell


culture of the transgressive

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Jules Evans

I was shocked by Eric Pickles telling Tristram Hunt that the only people who cared about library closures were 'luvvies'.

Perhaps Hunt caught Pickles on a bad day, but even so, it suggested a deep philistinism and disregard of the importance of libraries to local communities and to ordinary people's desire to better themselves. As you say, Conservatism should be culturally informed, not merely the philosophy of shop keepers.

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Sasha Scriabin

Fine piece. However, you appear to commit the common error of mistaking "The Conservative Party" with conservatism and traditional values. These opportunistic crooks, be- suited sharks and psychopathic liars are interchangeable with the "Liberal" or "Labour" clones that are offered in a mocking illusion of democracy and choice


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