In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Right decisively won the important economic arguments. But in the so-called Culture Wars, the liberal Left have continued to dominate.
The triumph of cultural relativism and political correctness in the opinion-forming fields of the media, academia, education and culture has meant that these attitudes have become even more deeply entrenched. What started out as a counter-culture has become the reigning orthodoxy.
This orthodoxy now goes virtually unchallenged. And with the recent movement of the political right towards the so-called 'centre ground', even fewer dissenting voices are heard. The liberal establishment sets the terms of debate.
At a time of civilisational threat from extremists, the West finds itself besieged from within and without. Too often our enemies and our opinion formers appear to agree that Western culture is an indefensible horror, that we are, in Susan Sontag's words, 'the cancer of human history.'
This is nonsense. The West is in fact a unique bastion of reasoned freedom. Britain in particular should be proud of the great role it has played in Western education, art and culture.
In June 2006, we formed the New Culture Forum as a response to this situation. An association of people who work in the media and cultural arenas, the NCF is the first body of its kind to draw specifically on these areas.
We believe it is a mistake to assume that people are, as is often claimed by politicians, politically disengaged. Increasing numbers of us are very passionate about political and cultural issues, but feel there is no outlet within an atmosphere which is dominated by the existence of a liberal/left group-think.
The New Culture Forum will
- challenge the discredited left/liberal cultural orthodoxy and change the terms of debate
- provide a strong basis for mutual support and association for centre-right and other dissenting voices who work in the broad cultural arena of the media, academic, educational and cultural worlds
- affirm and celebrate the canon of Western cultural achievement and our own national history, rather than resile from them in ill-considered shame and embarrassment.
- promote a new flowering of excellence in the arts, motivated by aesthetic honesty, not box-ticking or political indoctrination.