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Hitler, Franco, & Mussolini all headed coalitions of Nationalist Fascist & Conservative factions, & all subscribed to a far-right ideology which we may call National Conservatism, & which involves scapegoating minorities & the Left as threats to 'Western Civilisation'. ImageImageImageImage
Should we be concerned that it was Britain's turn to host the National Conservatism conference aka #NatCon, aka the #NatC conference?

Unless you've been living under a rock you'll know that in May, the American hard Right came to England. Calvin Robinson did not speak at it. Image
Unlike in Hungary, where last year's gathering of Europe’s extreme-right figures was an offshoot of the Trump & Bolsonaro supporting US Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the NatCon conference here was backed by the Edmund Burke Foundation.

Last year, Nigel Farage told CPAC the "greatest threat we face" is from "the fifth column within our nations who are trying to destroy the family unit, Judeo-christian culture, our history & our pride", happening in "our universities".

#NatCon participants may not be so brazen in supporting white nationalism as their counterparts in #CPAC, but their preoccupations with ‘faith, flag & family’, birth-rates & ‘traditionalism’ also speaks to an Alt-Right & Christian conservative agenda.…
Several organisations represented at NatCon eg Policy Exchange, the Common Sense Society, Free Speech Union, & Legatum Institute, are linked to the 'anti-woke' Koch-funded ATLAS Network, a pro-corporate network which grew out of the #TuftonSt-based IEA.

In Britain, a small densely inter-connected homophily of political actors who share media platforms & cooperate with think-tanks, campaign groups & ‘educational charities’ wage the 'war on woke'. #Spiked is #1 & #GBNews the #2 'anti-woke' media outlets.

The favoured politicians of the contemporary National Conservatives include Italy’s Giorgia Meloni & Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, & their politics are socially conservative, anti-immigration, anti-abortion, 'anti-woke', authoritarian, & invested in an idealized version of “the West.”
In her recent article entitled 'Why So Many Conservatives Feel Like Losers', Helen Lewis wrote about her experience of attending #NatCon, suggesting that 'despite all of its victories, the populist right can’t stop moping.'…
Lewis writes NatCon was a safe space for people who had won a true populist triumph—Brexit—& yet still felt like losers. “Why are so many people in Britain today so utterly disillusioned & despondent at the state of the country?” asked Matt Goodwin, in a typically doomy speech. Image
“Why do so many of us walk around with a palpable sense that something has gone fundamentally wrong, as though we are trapped in a car with the doors locked being driven to some nightmarish destination?”

Why indeed Matt - nothing to do with Brexit or 13 years of Tory misrule? Image
Goodwin then segued into an anti-woke greatest hits, including the “glaring cultural problem” caused by immigration, through the value of marriage & family, & on to the assertion that “our schools have become a Wild West” because 'they teach children that there are 72 genders'. Image
In the opening session, Tory MP & evangelical Christian, Miriam Cates, who with Danny Kruger established the New Social Covenant Unit to "strengthen families, communities, & the nation", identified low birth rates as THE biggest problem facing the West.🤪

Tory MP Miriam Cates attributed the low birth rates apparently threatening 'western civilization' to policy challenges & a form of liberal individualism that she deemed “completely powerless to resist a cultural Marxism that is systematically destroying our children’s souls.” 😬 ImageImage
Tory MP Danny Kruger devoted part of his speech to condemning a “new religion” of “Marxism & narcissism & paganism.”

The historian David Starkey claimed that critical race theorists “do not care about Black lives, they only care about the symbolic destruction of white culture.” ImageImage
Starkey's (& ultranationalist misogynist provocateur & Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes's) far-right edicts echo identitarian rhetoric, which seeks to sanitize hatred of brown immigrants & their liberal supporters by positioning them as a threat to "white culture" & tradition. Image
Rejecting any criticism, National Conservatives claim to be fighting against a ‘political correctness’ & a 'woke tyranny' perceived as 'censorship'.

If criticized, they mobilise 'Victim-perpetrator reversal' to stylize themselves as 'the real' victims.

Helen Lewis writes that she began to keep score of how many speakers asserted that Britain had been through 'a cultural revolution', the only evidence for which was that students are quite left-wing & annoying. Over & over, echoing Farage, this was attributed to “indoctrination.” Image
Next was Yoram Hazony, the Israeli credited with coining 'national conservatism', who said the UK is plagued with woke "neo-Marxist" agitators & called for a return to mandatory military service. As Lewis notes, Hazony has done his bit to avert babygeddon by having nine children. Image
Lewis writes that carping sorts might say that any phrase beginning with national & ending with -ism carries unfortunate echoes of the 1930s, & in branding terms should be avoided as a political slogan, along with, say, “We make the trains run on time” or “Work makes you free.” Image
Lewis realized that none of the #NatCon speakers had mentioned homosexuality, which would have been a staple of a similar conference in 1990, or even in 2000.

'Sorry, gay men, your time as the biggest threat to Western civilization is over; childless women are the problem now.' Image
According to Lewis, "the tonal difference between the US & Britain was striking, & I think indicative of the two countries’ relative appetites for nationalism - above all else, British people are suspicious of enthusiasm. This has proved a great defence against fanatics." ImageImageImage
In the 1930s, P. G. Wodehouse caricatured Oswald Mosley’s fascists as the “Black Shorts,” while Nancy Mitford wrote an entire novel mocking her sisters’ eager embrace of Hitler. Image
'Too many #NatCon speakers resembled someone who would harangue you at a party about their pet cause, oblivious to your glazed eyes. Watching Matt Goodwin work himself into a lather about the fall of civilization made me want to give him a cup of tea & a reassuring biscuit.' Image
'Eventually, the point of NatCon became clear. This wasn’t a political conference so much as a group-therapy session. Here were people who were obviously, startlingly correct about the evils of the modern world, & yet they weren’t being listened to. There must be some mistake.' Image
In that context, the endless, conspiratorial references to the “elite” began to make sense.

The elite is NOT NatCon chair Christopher DeMuth, former president of the AEI think tank, who attended Harvard before serving in the Nixon Reagan administrations.
The elite is NOT the conference’s British organizer, James Orr, a divinity professor at Cambridge University.

It is not Douglas Murray or Father Marcus Walker, who said the prayer before the conference’s private dinner, though both were at Oxford.

The elite is NOT Prue Leith's son Danny Kruger, who told delegates that conservatives had to fight the “intelligentsia, the globalized elite, whose loyalties are to everyone and no one,” and who went to the same boarding school as Prince William.

The elite is NOT Jacob Rees-Mogg, who lives in a 17th-century Grade II-listed Manor House in West Harptree, Somerset, & whose wealth has been estimated to be in excess of £100 million when combined with his wife's expected inheritance. Image
The elite is students. The elite is the “woke mind virus.” The elite is a shadowy Them composed of anyone closer to the political centre than national conservatives are. The elite is whoever is stopping you from getting whatever you want without having to make any compromises. Image
Throughout NatCon, delegates kept returning to one question: Can national conservatism succeed in Britain?

The answer has to be no. Just look at #Brexit, that great populist triumph now dismissed as a failure even by its proponents, a mere shadow of what they were promised... Image

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