Conservatism is in crisis, on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet it has never been more needed. We need to argue the case for a thoughtful and realistic Conservatism as a means of delivering a strong economy, assisting the struggle for global stability - and adding to the sum of human happiness. That is why we are launching Provocateur.

Everything was supposed to be very different. By the early Nineties, It almost seemed as if Conservatives were entitled to relax into complacency. The Soviet Empire was collapsing. The ideological triumph of Reagan and Thatcher meant that the socialists' 'isms' had turned into wasms. Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the end of history.

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Chivalry, Croaking and Change

Suddenly, chivalry took over. On the podium, Theresa May looked like a wounded bird. At the sight of a stricken female struggling to continue her speech, judgment gave way to sympathy, at least for a few hours. The audience were loyal, but only one senior Tory will have enjoyed the Leader's speech: Boris Johnson. He is on manoeuvres.

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The case for beauty

Capitalism needs to serve a higher goal than return on investment, says Danny Kruger

Important research published last week by the Legatum Institute shows the ocean of understanding that now separates the British public from the key tenets of capitalism. A large majority want the nationalisation of industry and infrastructure; 50 per cent want state ownership of the banks. The doctrines of free trade, competition and sound money have not been so unpopular for generations.

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Tory Leadership Challenge

Almost all sensible Tories agree that this not the time for a leadership challenge. Theresa May must remain in post. Yet of itself, that is not enough. As Leader, she must lead. Although Matthew Parris of the Times is a devout remainer, it would be wrong to describe him as a remoaner; re-gloater would be more accurate. In his latest column, he wrote: 'We are looking not at a government here, but at a hostage crisis.' In the same issue, the glorious Ruth Davidson, the girl who puts the feist into feisty, referred to the 'internal Tory psychodrama.'

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The Innocence of Uncle Reg

Uncle Reg was a priest in Yorkshire. He looked forward to death with the certainty that it would lead to eternal happiness. On my last visit he pointed out the spot where he wanted to be buried, under the dry-stone wall beside the West Riding church where he used to officiate. It was a beautiful winter’s day. The gravesite was illuminated by a snowy sun; Uncle Reg, by the sunshine of faith. He had fulfilled himself totally. His maximum income from the diocese had been £800 per year, but this had never impeded happiness.

Uncle Reg’s one secular passion (not vice) was motorcycles. The great love of his life (after Christ and the Church) was a Norton 500. As I saw him ascending Pennine hills with the throbbing Norton beneath him, I realized that this was a mechanism for dealing with celibacy. I am sure that this thought had never occurred to him.

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