Origins of the Term “Red Tory”

19 05 2017

A great deal has been written about Theresa May’s political philosophy, which combines a mixture of left-wing and right-wing ideas and which explicit repudiates the Thatcherite belief in individualism and the free market, which is now to be called “selfish individualism”. Searching for a label to describe this worldview, the media have found the term “Red Tory” (see here, here, and here). In a recent piece, the BBC’s Ben Wright credits  Phillip Blond with inventing the term in a 2008 article. The article became a book in 2010.  Blond,  a former lecturer in politics and theology, is the director of the thinktank ResPublica, which promotes a sort of collectivist conservative ideology.  The reality, as any long-term observer of Canadian politics will tell you, is that the term Red Tory is much older (see here, here, and here). Blond merely imported the term, which is of course a respectable intellectual innovation but not an act of pure creativity.

Readers: if any of you know when the term “Red Tory” first appeared in print, please contribute that information in the comments section.

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2 responses

2 06 2017
Doug Bailie

The Oxford English Dictionary provides a reference to the term “red Tory” from George W. Brown’s 1953 book, Canada in the Making.

3 06 2017
andrewdsmith

Thanks for this!

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