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T.E. Utley and renewal of conservatism in post-war Britain.

Stapleton, Julia (2014) 'T.E. Utley and renewal of conservatism in post-war Britain.', Journal of political ideologies., 19 (2). pp. 207-226.


This article examines the writings of T.E. Utley (1921–1988), a prominent contributor to the Conservative press in the post-war period. It does so in the context of Maurice Cowling's concept of ‘public doctrine.’ While attention is increasingly given to the ideas that shaped the Conservative Party in the 20th century, it has fallen short of investigating the broad foundations of Conservative ideology and their authoritative status expressed in Cowling's term. Yet Utley's thought underlines the importance of inquiry at this level, especially in distinguishing Conservatism from rival ideologies after 1945. His concern to ground Conservatism in a theory of moral and political obligation is crucial here; it was targeted against diffuse forms of secular liberalism that conceived ‘happiness’ as the end of human life. The article focuses on the shift in his allegiance from the post-war consensus to the New Right challenge of the 1960s but against the backdrop of his unchanging Tory beliefs. It explores the significance of his association with the Daily Telegraph in this regard and his relationship to ‘Powellism’ and Thatcherism. The article concludes by relating the decline of public doctrine in Conservative Party circles recently to the erosion of the sense of British nationhood that inspired Utley's Conservatism.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Political Ideologies on 20/05/2014, available online at:
Date accepted:23 February 2014
Date deposited:15 July 2014
Date of first online publication:20 May 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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