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The New Culture Forum

Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion for continuously fighting for Western civilisation and attacking the encroachment of Islamic fundamentalism into British society, see such reports as the following to see why he deserves such an award: http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/pdf/HateOnTheState.pdf

Peter Whittle for his weekly programme Culture Clash and starting the New Culture Forum.

Douglas Murray for founding the Centre for Social Cohesion.

Jeremy Hunt who has been doing some excellent work in his role as Shadow Culture Minister.

I'd nominate Michael Mosbacher at the Social Affairs Unit. While the SAU isn't remotely party-political, at the same time, its publishing programme and blog provide an environment in which conservative thought (of all shades) is treated as normal and mainstream - no small achievement.

This might seem like a long shot but I think the staff at 'Talk Sport' radio have been very good at redressing the balance. Athough Galloway does have a slot on the station, most of the other presenters are clearly Conservative leaning. I particularly like James Whale's relentless attacks on the BBC and I've heard people get onto the radio phone-in's and speak without being cut-off in the name of political correctness.

I'd like to heartily endorse the nominatiuon for Peter Whittle and The New Culture Forum. It's an excellent and thought provoking coming together of minds which regularly offers an alternative take on contemporary, controversial and widely debated cultural issues. In a very short time it has established itself as a serious observer and commentator. I can think of no other new entity which has achieved so much in so short a time. More power to its elbow.

Jill Kirby who is now director of the CPS -- but whose meticulously researched work on the family was instrumental in changing the course of debate on the subject.

This in contrast to the Douglas Murray and TPA types who get a lot of attention but don't win anyone over

Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear team. I am no petrol head, but I agree with Michael Gove:

"Thanks to Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, the programme has become a celebration of individual freedom, capitalist excess and private-sector innovation. It is also laced with laddish distrust of political correctness, nannying and Ken Livingstone-style finger-wagging. Some viewers might find its sensibility just a bit too juvenile, even public-schoolish, with the presenters mobbing each other up and addressing each other by their surnames. But I find it totally absorbing."

To achieve this in a mainstream slot on the BBC is a tremendous achievement. If only the BBC's programming commissioners would learn from Top Gear's success.

Peter Whittle for having started the New Culture Forum. It is gathering great momentum and interest.

I would second Clarkson and his team.Not sure if you can count it as 'culture' in any way but in these days of politically correct comedy could I put in a word for the patriotic Al Murray 'the pub landlord' who'se hilarious and very patriotic!

I support the Top Gear nomination. That said Top Gear getting it would infuriate environmentalists across the land. Hmmm...even more reason to give it to them. Brilliant episode on Sunday just gone. They dont mind offending people and seem to actually enjoy it rather than it being a job.

Peter Whittle (NCF) for founding the first organisation devoted specifically to the culture wars from a conservative perspective.

Douglas Murray (CSC) for unashamedly rebuking Islamism wherever he finds it and providing a useful and compelling definition of neoconservatism.

Melanie Phillips (Daily Mail) for holding the fort on a number of issues such as Islamism and family values.

Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear team.

The BBC wish that they did not exist and resent the success but no other offering on TV comes closer to the public mood.

The Hamster rides a bike if that helps.

Top Gear without a doubt, from highlighting the nonense of the nanny state to promoting the destruction of caravans, they have been a breath of fresh air on the bbc.

Peter Whittle has achieved a huge amount this past year, developing The New Culture Forum into a real force for intellectual debate.

The New Culture Forum - because Peter Whittle has indeed achieved a huge amount this past year.

I have to admit, before this thread, I'd never heard of Peter Whittle. So whatever good he's doing, I'm going to have to be honest and say that it's not having much impact, even on conservatives like me who are fairly interested in 'cultural' issues. Clarkson is a comic turn, and if it's him who's waving the conservative banner in a 'culture war', we deserve to lose. Whereas Michael Mossbacher and the Social Affairs Unit are plainly doing very good work indeed, and deserve more publicity.

It has to be Peter Whittle. The NCF is a serious attempt to take on the left in the cultural sphere - something the right has been pathetic at for decades.

An honourable mention to Dean Godson and Policy Exchange. Not sure if their work against Islamism counts as 'cultural' but it certainly hits the bad guys where it hurts.

'Clarkson is a comic turn, and if it's him who's waving the conservative banner in a 'culture war', we deserve to lose'

We'll be selecting Boris Johnson to run for London Mayor next.

Populism is so damaging to our electoral prospects and 'culture' is right at the top of the public's wishlist. We need more Monets! Damien Hirst is genuinely talented!


While I believe that Douglas Murray and the Centre for Social Cohesion deserve laurels in abundance for fine, courageous and highly effective work in the great culture war of our time (Western values against Islamo-fascist obcurantism), I think the sheer spread of their activities in challenging complacent left/liberal/luvvie/pc domination of the the arts make New Culture Forum and Peter Whittle the winners in this category.

Why on earth is everybody so enamoured by the moronic anti-charms of the infantile Top Gearers?

Rightly or wrongly, Conservatives are invariably considered market-infatuted philistines. The New Culture Forum has already done a lot to combat this Pavlovian assumption; and if conservatives (and Conservatives) are to be taken seriously, then they must at least take part in the country's cultural converation. The NCF fills a gap, and it does so with intelligence, style and not a little humour (not to be confused with oh-so-tedious-and predictably-heavy-handed irony).

New Culture Forum run by Peter Whittle meets all the criteria you mention above. Thought provoking, intelligent, first rate speakers at their events and battling valliantly in a sector of society utterly monopolised by sanctimonious bourgeois lefties. NCF deserves to be recognised for its "David vs. Goliath" struggle

Why on earth is everybody so enamoured by the moronic anti-charms of the infantile Top Gearers? Rightly or wrongly, Conservatives are invariably considered market-infatuted philistines

Yes, and this thread is doing nothing to change the perception.

Where are today's Grey Gowries, with widespread interests in the field of Art and Culture? Heseltine, with all his faults, has left something for future generations to treasure in his beuatiful garden and arboretum.

Even Ken Clarke has a passionate and genuine interest in jazz. I really enjoyed listening to his jazz history series on radio a couple of years ago.

Today we are presented with a set of zombie-like husks with no interests outside politics. They are worse than philistine as Cameron proved with his appalling choice for Desert Island Discs.

Peter Whittle at the New Culture Forum for the vital awareness-raising function he has performed since the founding of the NCF.

I'm a bit puzzled by the push for this 'New Culture Forum' thing. Fearing that I had just been an even bigger idiot than normal and managed somehow to miss something *big*, right wing and cultural, I've just done a Google news search for them, and they hasn't turned up a single reference. Not one. I'm really not trying to be negative, but it's stretching truth too far to claim that you're effectively waging cultural war if no one (uncommitted) has heard of you. Preaching to the choir (out in force on this thread) convinces no one new, and leaves us just where we were.

Whoops. For 'hasn't', do please read 'haven't'.

If, as I suspect, only a tiny minority of Tories regularly attend concerts, the opera and the theatre, the party is set to maintain its poor reputation for cultural credibility.

What the hell has so-called 'Islamofascism' got to do with it? Incidentally, I wonder how many Tories have even begun to appreciate the glories of Islamic architecture?

Adam Wilkinson of the Save Britain's Heritage for many years hard work fighting for Britain's built heritage. In particular fighting Prescott's attempts to bulldoze the north of England in the pathfinder programme


Perhps 'Ahem' should get a new computer - mine shows 111,000 results for New Culture Forum on Google.

I agree with you, Traditional Tory, about the glories of Islamic Architecture.

Have you visited the Nasrid Palace in the Alhambra? I found it to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe.

And, like everyone else, I was overawed by the Taj Mahal.

Next stop Isfahan!

Traditional Tory, you really do live in your own world! If you think culture only consists of the theatre, opera and concerts, then you are living in a time warp. (and why the bizarre statement that "only a minority of Tories regularly attend"? - on what do you base your assertion?)

TV, newspapers, magazines, art galleries, the internet, radio, popular music(not just classical) all have input into what is loosley termed 'culture' and these are accessed on a daily basis by the vast majority of the population.

Their power to influence is immense, and it is about time that people from the right of the political spectrum took on the domination of the left in these areas.

Perhaps 'common sense' should invest in a pair of glasses? I didn't cite google (surely meaningless for assessing political impact), but the far more pertinent google news. And the point I'm making, about 'influence', is exactly the same as the one Graeme above is making. I can't, with the best will in the world, see any evidence of the supposed 'influence', on wider public consciousness, the "New Culture Forum" ought to be exerting if it's a credible nominee. Remember, we're supposed to be nominating someone "who is flying the flag for conservatism in the culture wars, perhaps as a successful player in the left-liberal dominated arts or as a campaigner against cultural orthodoxies such as political correctness". You're not very effectively 'flying the flag' if no one has seen you flying it!

Meanwhile, if 'culture' is defined in a woder sense than merely the arts, I'd suggest the Campaign Against Political Correctness (and yes, they do turn up on google news!)

Your nominations and citations are sought for someone who is flying the flag for conservatism in the culture wars, perhaps as a successful player in the left-liberal dominated arts or as a campaigner against cultural orthodoxies such as political correctness...

On that basis, Top Gear. No contest.

I mean, when they win, just think of the publicity for ConHome it would generate. And it would be fun to watch the Editor on the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car slot.

Traditional Tory, I am a person who likes opera and I think its disgusting how the BBC, a so-called public service providor, gives us almost zero opera coverage on television. There has been a general dumbing down of culture over the last twenty years or so. I'd like to see the BBC create a proper 'Arts' channel, dedicated to higher culture, by that I mean opera, classical, ballet, jazz but not world music! The fact is most people enjoy opera music, we all remember how the nation took to Pavarotti's version on Nessun Dorma, during the 1990 world cup. Thats because people were exposed to it, people often hear snippets of opera and classical on TV commericals and fall in love with the piece. People will never discover the glory of opera if they are never given a chance to see it.

The organization that rebuilt St Pancras International. On time, under budget, brilliant use of our heritage, for 21st century lives. I visited it last night and as I stood by the statue of John Betjeman, I felt proud of my country again.

It isn't British, but if we were to have an international culture wars award then South Park would win hands down. They ridicule the American liberal left on a level that appeals to people outside of the conservative movement, as well as people who aren't particularly interested in politics at all. We have no eqivalent of the same quality and popularity in Britain -Top Gear is probably the closest we've got but really it's not even in the same league as South Park.

'Top Gear is probably the closest we've got but really it's not even in the same league as South Park.'

I think not. Kenny gets killed in every episode but the Hamster can cheat the grim reaper with his super powers and sparkly teeth.

Traditional Tory

Oh, how dreadfully parvenu the perception of high culture as embodiment of sophistication.

Ballet was invented as a form of legitimised
titillation and other than for that purpose it is a load of co#k, as Clarkson might state.

William, I would be worried if Tim was at the wheel in the reasonably priced car slot.He doesn't drive!

Traditional Tory,

on the (admitedly off topic) subject of Islamic architecture I would heartily recommend the Robert Byron book "The Road to Oxiana" about his travels through southern central Asia in the 1930s tracing the roots of Islamic architecture.

A wonderful travel book which also tells a great narrative about the development of Islamic architectural styles.

Peter and the rest of the team at the NCF. The NCF has had some truly outstanding speakers this year.

This award looks as if it was set up to reward Douglas Murray, a notorious if eloquent neo-con, and Peter Whittle. They are "arrivistes" compared to the original Conservative culture warrior, Roger Scruton. He set up the Salisbury Review, the original Conservative cultural magazine. Roger is now teaching in Virginia and writing in The American Spectator. He continues to write great books on culture. Roger deserves the award for his continuous fight against cultural Marxism.

UnScrutonable - we're not electing the Couple of the Year but the Culture Warrior of the Year.
What a shame nobody mentioned Ed Vaizey, the one supposed to be in charge!

Common Sense - Have you visited the Nasrid Palace in the Alhambra? I found it to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe.

Yes I agree, and isn't it fascinating that Charles V showed due respect for the architecture of the Alhambra, even when he inserted his own palace (itself a neo-classical gem) within it.

Good to see intelligent posts from Richard Tyndall and Tony Makara alongside that of Graeme, who is clearly a graduate of the Terry Dicks school of culture appreciation.

Peter Hitchens, for propounding social conservatism, almost alone in the media.

I agree that Roger Scuton would be a very good candidate.

Neoconservatives are social liberals, in my experience, and have limited impact on the 'culture wars' - which in the UK have been more of a massacre, anyway.

I agree with the nominations for Roger Scruton, unfortunately we seem to have been infiltrated by neo-con supporters though, promoting the ridiculous figure of Douglas Murray plus the New Culture Forum. The latter is too narrow in its vision of the right, I cannot see how its neo-conservative view is in any way helpful to mainstream conservative thought. It is not enough to antagonise from a limited viewpoint, that way cultural Marxism wins.

I quite like the idea of Top Gear, much publicity there I would hope!

Douglas Murray is fighting a fight that no-one else seems to be brave enough to stick with. His vociferous defence of British values and freedom of speech is a fundamental cause that we should all be joining him on.

Anybody who can write a book entitled 'Neoconservatism: Why We Need It'is somebody we definitely don't need.

His vociferous defence of British values and freedom of speech

Hello? Hello? Neoconservatism is an ethnocenric American philosophy of intolerance and aggression. We do not want it here.

Malcolm:William, I would be worried if Tim was at the wheel in the reasonably priced car slot.He doesn't drive!

Exactly. Could be great TV. And look at all the coverage Hammond got last year when he had a prang.

I'm not sure we've actually had a formal detailed nomination of Top Gear to the rigorous standards demanded by the Editor, so here goes:

Top Gear, for its exuberant celebration of the Johnsonian virtues, its robust defence of individual freedom and its defiant rejection of metropolitan complacency,
and for doing so with humour and aplomb in an apolitical manner from within the bowels of an organisation infested with dreary liberal conformism.

Quite right William.

Top Gear: for its commitment to performance, mobility, mirth, markets and the post-bureacratic age, its demolition of marketing, men from the ministry, and po-faced liberal conformity, and for its open disregard of the BBC's ethos.


Top Gear could be nominated for other categories, but the Editor might not think we were taking the awards sufficiently seriously. For example:

New Media: for using the car as a campaign tool

National Campaign (1): for highlighting the way in which too many police "services" use speed cameras to generate revenue rather than reduce accidents

National Campaign (2): For consistently highlighting the inefficiencies and failings of Labour's "joined-up" transport policy and demonstrating our need for significantly better public transport infrastructure.

Very good William & Simon. Have either of you thought about a career in politics? I'm sure you could both go far!

Trad Tory:
"Hello? Hello? Neoconservatism is an ethnocenric American philosophy... of intolerance and aggression."

By 'ethnocentric' you mean 'Jewish'? I disagree (and I have no probvlem with Jewish ethnocentrism anyway). Neoconservatism is an avowedly universalist philosophy which says that all people want, need and deserve western style democracy, which it is the duty of the West to provide, through force if necessary. It takes the cultural Marxist idea of 'false consciousness' and applies it to entire non-western civilisations; ie Muslims don't really hate the West, they're just trapped in false consciousness by their leaders - remove the leaders and they'll spontaneously become liberal democrats. This is what is wrong and dangerous about neoconservatism, not some Jewish neocons' concern for the wellbeing of their ethnic kinfolk. Such concerns provide a welcome impetus towards reality-based considerations which would otherwise be entirely lacking.

Peter Whittle who started The New Culture Forum has created something which is always interesting and thought provoking.

Has to be Peter Whittle for creating in the New Culture Forum the most exciting and important new cultural institution in decades.

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