There are, as I observe, two depressing things about the Bartlett/Stanley pieces. The first is that they appeared on the blog of the Telegraph, which used to be a reliably conservative newspaper.
I wrote for the Telegraph briefly before leaving England in 1985. They were still in the old Fleet Street premises (whose décor resembled that of a provincial Bulgarian railroad station) under the editorship of Bill Deedes, Denis Thatcher’s golf and drinking buddy, and possibly the model for William Boot in Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop.
The first thing Deedes ever said to me, after an exchange of greetings, was: “Would you like a drink?” He opened a small cupboard door in the wall unit behind his editorial chair and took out a bottle of scotch.
Deedes had been everywhere and known everybody. He made such an impression on me, I later put him in a novel (unpublished). I switched my brand of cigarettes to Silk Cut because that was what he smoked.
Well, nowadays the Telegraph is just another social-democrat rag staffed by Pajama Boys (actually, I suppose, “Pyjama Boys” over there) and angry lesbians, pumping out propaganda for World Government and “diversity.” It’s a shame.
The other depressing thing is…
The other depressing thing is the astonished incomprehension on display when these hipster savants peer out from the lace-curtained windows of Liberal Arts Hotel at the arena of the human sciences, where all the most exciting and challenging ideas of our age are being discussed. Couldn’t they—shouldn’t they—at least try to keep up to date?It’s particularly sad to see Tim Stanley moonlighting for the Thought Police. I’ve seen him spoken of as a conservative, and he wrote a not-unfriendly biography of Pat Buchanan. Yet here he is parrot-squawking against “biological determinism,” by which he means the notion that biology explains anything at all about human nature. Perish the thought!
Perhaps that’s what counts as a conservative nowadays in Airstrip One.