Sean Gabb: Speech to a Traditionalist Conservative Group


http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-02-01-swinton-sig.mp3 Flash Animation

On Friday the 1st February 2013, a debate took place at The Counting House, which is a pub at the junction of Gracechurch Street and Cornhill in the City of London. The question was How to be a Conservative in 21st Century Britain.

Sean Gabb spoke for the Libertarian Alliance. Sam Swerling spoke for the Swinton Circle. Their speeches were followed by a lively question and answer session.

Dr Gabb made these points:

  • That sweeping consitutional and other changes since 1997 have made it impossible to be a conservative in the old sense;
  • That a modern conservative must be a revolutionary – that he must first pull down the existing order of things and then establish a new order of things worth defending;
  • That this new order of things must be heavily libertarian, and its creation must involve reaching out far beyond the normal traditionalist communities, to make often unusual alliances.

Sam Swerling agreed with much of this general analysis, but argued that a more wholly traditionalist reconstruction remained possible.

The questions and answers involved debate over the following:

  • The relegalisation of drugs;
  • The relegalisation of guns;
  • Gay marriage;
  • The European Union;
  • Eugenics

This was a long and honest exchange of views between people from somewhat different traditions. It was conducted in a notably friendly spirit.

Note on the Recording

Sean Gabb recorded the debate on his Samsung notebook computer, using a Behringer C-1U USB microphone. This microphone is highly directional, and almost completely excluded the background noise from a busy pub in the City on a Friday night. However, it also failed to pick up all the questions from the floor, and these questions must be largely reconstructed from the answers.

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14 responses to “Sean Gabb: Speech to a Traditionalist Conservative Group

  1. Best short speech concerning common sense issues that I’ve heard in many a year. Deserved a load of foot stomping at its conclusion but all I could hear was polite applause. That doesn’t matter however. What matters is that a man who can speak, and is not afraid to speak, is saying things that matter to very many people. About time too. Well done Sean. Let me know where and when you’ll be giving another so I can do a little stomping on behalf of the too conservative.

    • Thanks. I should explain that I was using my new USB microphone, which is highly directional. Believe it or not, I was speaking in a noisy pub. Virtually all the noise outside the pickup zone was left out.

  2. The link to your speech seems to have died!

  3. Why on earth would they want to look at the relegalisation of guns, they are
    legal for the conservatives, just not for anyone else. Anything to get votes,
    there false promises never materialise into action anyway!

  4. P. Robinson, Good!

  5. Eugenics, indeed, that’s a laugh they haven’t got the brains to understand
    such a subject!

  6. Of course it may have been a great day for the Conservatives at the “Counting House,” but alas a very sad one in Norfolk, front page news today, Derrick Murphy a top big gun in the tory party and council member had to resign immediately after a probe fround his friend had committed purjury in public office on his behalf, no doubt this has shocked poor old chloe, loosing such a big ship, with a possible criminal trial to follow, this could bring about the destruction of the tories in Norwich North, one thing is clear, “The Wolf Pack” is hunting, today they have secured a great victory, looks as if he might be doing eugenics after all in clink!

  7. Good speech. With regard to coalitions, I think the aim has to be to win over some of the self-describing liberals, who have some kind of residual understanding of liberty, although they have been so led astray by statism and collectivism.

  8. Good points made Richard, Good Luck! And Happy Hunting.

  9. Very insightful speech offering new perspectives and realistic solutions.

  10. They certainly need some new perspectives, one would agree, like living
    in the real world, instead of that bubble of delusion they thrive in.

  11. @Karl Fenn
    “They certainly need some new perspectives, one would agree, like living in the real world, instead of that bubble of delusion they thrive in.”

    Do you mean the liberals or the traditionalists? :-)

    Some of the latter didn’t seem too happy about the prospect of forming alliances with certain groups.

  12. I am wondering when they are going to be put on tiral for all those serious
    crimes, they have allegedly committed, it’s all front page news and suddenly
    melts away without trace. Just resignations.

  13. I mean both, once they join the bubble, they become part of the bubble,
    I think they all live in a world of “Delusion”. It can’t really be anything else
    they are so far detached, Just look at all the fuss about gay marriage, does
    anyone on the steet who can’t pay their gas bill care No!