Conservative Philosophy Group

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The Conservative Philosophy Group was founded in 1975 by Roger Scruton and John Casey. The group met at 47 Phillimore Gardens in Kensington, West London - the home of the disgraced Tory politician Jonathan Aitken. [1]

According to the group's co-founder John Casey:

There was an eclectic variety of speakers. A clutch of political philosophers and economists from the LSE were members, as well as philosophers and historians from Oxbridge. Over the years, papers were given by Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Michael Oakeshott, Elie Kedourie, the Archbishop of York (Habgood), Shirley Letwin, Peter Bauer, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Robert Blake, Edward Norman. Hugh Thomas, Maurice Cowling, Tony Quinton, T.E. Utley, Peregrine Worsthorne, Paul Johnson, Frank Johnson, Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Norman Stone, Charles Moore, Oliver Letwin, Noel Malcolm were members. So were very many of those who went on to serve in the Thatcher Cabinets, and some on the present Tory front-bench. Enoch Powell never missed a meeting. [2]

Jonathan Aitken writes that Thatcher 'pounced on a throwaway line' from Michael Oakeshott that 'de-nationalisation' should be called 'some thing more attractive like privitisation.' [3]


  1. 'Lady Aitken: Political hostess and loyal mother whose army of admirers spanned generations', The Times, 9 February 2005.
  2. John Casey, 'The revival of Tory philosophy', The Spectator, 17 March 2007.
  3. Jonathan Aitken, Heroes and contemporaries (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006) p.131