Appendix 10A : The Salisbury Review

The Salisbury Review

This is a British Conservative magazine, published quarterly and founded in 1982 by the Salisbury group of Tories which was set up in 1976 to support the view of the third Marquess of Salisbury that “good government consisted of doing as little as possible”. They chose Roger Scruton as its editor for his defence of ‘traditional conservatism’.

In the Spectator of 21st September 2002 Scruton wrote an article, ‘My Life Beyond the Pale’, in which he explained what he saw as the difficulties “of finding people to write in an explicitly conservative journal”. He noted that finding subscribers was initially difficult, and that Maurice Cowling had told him that to “try to encapsulate Conservatism in a philosophy was the kind of quaint project that Americans might undertake”. He also wrote that the editorship – “had cost me many thousand hours of unpaid labour, a hideous character assassination in Private Eye, three lawsuits, two interrogations, one expulsion, the loss of a university career in Britain, unendingly contemptuous reviews, Tory suspicion, and the hatred of decent liberals everywhere. And it was worth it.”

The Honeyford affair

A controversy involving Ray Honeyford, headteacher of a school in Bradford, Yorkshire, gave the Salisbury Review much publicity in 1984. According to Scruton: “This episode was our first great success, and led to the 600 subscriptions that we needed”.

Honeyford’s article for the Review in 1984 discussed themes of ethnicity, culture and assimilation, and educational performance. He had already made public his views in two letters in 1982, to the Times Educational Supplement (TES) and a local Bradford paper, and then in an extended article in the TES in November 1982. He believed that the onus for integration and educational performance lay with the immigrant families themselves! He attacked what he saw as the misplaced use of multiculturalism in schools, and ‘political correctness’ in the form of scrutiny of textbook material.

The 1984 Salisbury Review article ‘Education and Race – an Alternative View’ covered similar ground, but caused a national outcry.

Honeyford had already been in discussion with his Local Education Authority after the 1982 TES article, in the context of Bradford Council guidelines on educational aims issued in that year, but had not been disciplined. After the second article he was disciplined, and was also the target of a campaign for his dismissal. He was sacked, reinstated and then took early retirement, about two years after the Salisbury Review article was published.

Editor’s Comments

This text is taken straight from the document written by Kath. This Appendix relates to chapter 10.

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