Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Salisbury Review - A Magazine Review

Now most of you have never heard of The Salisbury Review, but early in 2016 I decided to get a yearly subscription. So what is The Salisbury Review? It's subtitle is "The quarterly magazine of conservative thought" and its a magazine that comes out of Britain. I have known of the magazine for a few years but I had never seen a copy and I wanted to find out if it was any good.

I also decided I would do a review after I had seen all four issues and that time is now. I was very impressed with how quickly the magazine arrived in Australia from Britain, it was obvious that they don't mess around with their orders. When it arrived it was a magazine as advertised, not a journal just a normal looking magazine. So far so good. But then I opened it up and started to read, the first thing was the editorial and it was awful. It started off by saying that Britain needed foreign workers, particularly the Poles as the English working class were terrible. I was both shocked and outraged. A Conservative magazine that wasn't Patriotic is worthless.

A little while later I had dinner with Mr. Mark Richardson of Oz Conservative fame and I told him I had subscribed to the magazine. He asked me what I thought of it, instead of doing that I handed the magazine to him and told him to read the editorial. Now I must explain that in manner he is very much a Gentlemen, doesn't swear, speaks very evenhandedly, doesn't like to raise his voice. But as he started to read this I thought he had developed Tourette's Syndrome, the editorial was that bad.

So how was the rest of the magazine, a lot better than the editorial but nothing great. It was not really concerned with "conservative thought", but with British Conservative thought, now I don't object to that but it isn't what the magazine highlights. I think it should highlight that it is about British Conservative thought. An interesting but I found annoying stylistic feature is their page layout, hardly any of the articles start at the top of the page. I assume that is because there are no advertisements at all, not a single one. I'm not sure if that is policy or not, it shows how Right-Liberal our society is that it seems so strange that a magazine doesn't have any ad's.

There are some good writers and not all of them are well known authors either such as Theodore Dalrymple, who has a truly beautiful sentence regarding Hillary Clinton in the Winter 2016 issue "Her public affability, when she displays it, has the authentic ring of phoniness.".

But in others I find a very Liberal sentiment and I must admit I resent paying a magazine of "conservative thought" money to read a Liberals opinions. I also purchase an Australian political magazine called Quadrant and they have any number of Liberal opinions, so why is it alright for Quadrant but not for The Salisbury Review? Because Quadrant doesn't label itself as being "conservative thought".    

From reading what I have written you may think I hate The Salisbury Review, but I just wish it was better. I have given serious thought into whether I will resubscribe or not and I have decided that I will. It is very hard to get a magazine like this off the ground and they have done that and they have kept it going for 30 years, I admire that. I want to support that and encourage more Conservatism and more Conservative thought, although I must also say that my support is not unlimited.

Why is it called The Salisbury Review?

 It's named after Lord Salisbury who was the last Conservative Prime Minister of Britain to actually be Conservative, he left office in 1902.

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  1. It's named after Lord Salisbury who was the last Conservative Prime Minister of Britain to actually be Conservative, he left office in 1902.

    Yep. There is nothing remotely conservative about the British Conservative Party. Some of Britain's most disastrous prime ministers have been Tories, Ted Heath being a good example. And Macmillan. It's hard to think of any worthwhile Tory prime ministers.

  2. I remember the moment you showed me that editorial. I had braced myself for something right-liberalish, but wasn't expecting it to be that bad. I'm just glad that at the moment the American right is starting to break the shackles of that kind of older style "conservatism".

  3. I was just reading "Conversations with Roger Scruton" by Mark Dooley which mentioned that Roger Scruton had been chief editor of Salisbury Review for 18 years. It must have gone downhill since he left.