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IT is 20 years since the Salisbury Group (a small gathering of old-fashioned Tories, informally chaired by the Marquess of Salisbury, and dedicated to the political vision of his ancestor, the great prime minister) entrusted me with the task of establishing and editing a review, having raised 5,000 [pounds sterling] among themselves for this purpose. I had just published The Meaning of Conservatism, a somewhat Hegelian defence of Tory values in the face of their betrayal by the free marketeers. My credentials as an anachronism were therefore almost as good as the third Marquess's, and I took comfort in the fact that he, despite being opposed to the spirit of his age, had succeeded in imposing his mark on it, on and off, for 20 years.
The first difficulty was that of finding people to write in an explicitly conservative journal. I had friends in the academic world who were prepared in private to confess to conservative sympathies, but they were all acutely aware of the risks attached to `coming out'. They had seen what a caning I had received for The Meaning of Conservatism, and few of them were far enough advanced in their academic careers to risk a similar treatment.
The second difficulty was that of establishing a readership. The money we had raised would cover the …