Dead Men Left

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Very British Neoconservatism (preliminaries)

New blog, Shackled Up to the Rigmarole, has a few comments on Douglas Murray, who some of you may vaguely remember as the mildly prodigistic author of Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas a few years back. Seems Murray has had a bit of funny turn of late, penning a shortish tract enticingly entitled Neoconservatism: Why We Need It.

Shackled Up..., extending a convenient parallel, remarks on how the sad decline of anti-homophobic Bosie biographer to Ratzinger groupie mirrors that of Lord Alfred Douglas himself. There's something broader taking place here: Murray's polemic can be filed safely alongside Oliver Kamm's "racist" screed, Anti-totalitarianism: The Left-Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy, the recentish British publication of Irwin Stelzer's Neoconservatism (complete with important set-piece essay by Michael Gove), the foundation of the Henry Jackson Society[*] (see also), and - perhaps most significantly of all - David Cameron's election victory, as masterminded by George Osborne.

It's been brewing for a while, fuelled by the heady excitements of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Belmarsh, but a serious attempt has been concocted to transplant neoconservate thought to this side of the Atlantic. I've remarked before that, even on its home turf, neoconservatism of itself is not desperately popular; but there's no reason to become complacent about messianic Tories. We have, after all, seen their type before.

[*] A small footnote, and a genuine question: why is Daniel Brett, otherwise a nice liberal sort, writing for this lot? Dan?