Conservative Spotlight: Young Britons' Foundation

When Ronald Reagan faced down the Soviet apologists among world nations and cowardly countries that shirked their duty to stand up against the Evil Empire, he always had one powerful and reliable ally, a nation that from then to now has chosen to stand with the United States of America. Great Britain is America’s most reliable ally and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was Reagan’s most reliable political partner in bringing down the Soviet Union. Today, despite declining under a Labor government, Great Britain has not wavered in her commitment to assist the United States in the war on terrorism.

But like the United States, Britain suffers from internal moral terrorists, usually called leftists or “liberals,” that threaten her more than any Muslim radicals. Unlike the United States, Britain has not had organizations founded to combat the indoctrination of youth promoted so vigorously by leftists in the schools, universities, media, and popular entertainment on both sides of the Atlantic–until now.

“Until we started last year, there was only the Young Conservatives, which has much less independence than your College Republicans,” said Donal Blaney, chief executive of the non-profit Young Britons’ Foundation (YBF). “The Young Conservatives have to follow the party line. We stand for conservative principles all the time.”

YBF tries to do the sort of things that Young America’s Foundation and the Leadership Institute do here in the United States. “They’re trying to form people philosophically and train them to be effective,” said Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute. “Donal is a graduate of our program, and he has brought people over here to be trained.”

“One of the most frequently asked questions of politicians, and often the worst answered, is: ‘What do you actually believe in?’,” says YBF’s statement of principles. “A central focus for the Young Britons’ Foundation is to ensure the next generation have had the opportunity of carefully considering the academic backbone of conservatism–its values, principles and ideas–so that they will have no difficulty in clearly and concisely explaining their beliefs.”

YBF’s list of ideological statements closely parallels those of most American conservative groups: “A belief in the individual, left free to run and be responsible for their own lives; a belief in free markets for a prosperous, strong economy with low taxes and minimum public spending; a belief in nationhood and country, where democracy rests at the national level; a belief in the rule of law and a strong national defense.”

“Here there has been nothing to counteract the propaganda from schoolteachers and professors,” said Blaney. “We are providing the alternative for young people.”

Sir Tim Rice, the famous lyricist, has endorsed YBF, saying on its website: “I am delighted to support the Young Britons’ Foundation in their drive to fight the politically correct and anti-Western bias so often fed to students in particular, and to British youth in general. There are two sides to every argument and it is a tragedy that most people under 25 seem to believe there is only one, and that is usually the wrong one. ”

It used to be said that Britain’s Conservative Party was run by “gifted amateurs,” but the contemporary age with television, soundbites, and degraded gotcha journalism has put an end to that. Our own Founding Fathers envisioned that citizens, with other vocations, would spend a time in public service rather than entrusting the governance of the country to a class of professional politicians, but professionals must run politics now, YBF argues. “The days of gifted amateurism in British politics are sadly over. As our Patron, the author Frederick Forsyth, says in his letter of support: ‘Electable candidates today mean presentable, articulate, schooled, prepared, media-adept, camera-relaxed, issue-aware.’ In one word: trained,” wrote YBF Chairman Patrick Nicholls.

Although Tory politicians focus more on economic issues, Blaney said that what Americans call social issues resonate more with the British people. “They are concerned about multiculturalism, losing their country,” he said. “Organized religion, unless you are a Jew or a Muslim, is over. There are still villages where the people play cricket on the green each Sunday, but they are disappearing.”

The European Union threatens to absorb Britain into its denatured, semi-Socialist super-state–a fate true British conservatives wish to avoid. YBF Executive Director Greg Smith warned students at the University of Washington earlier this year about the danger facing the American-British “special relationship”: “Today, the Convention on the Future of Europe, a body formed of politicians and bureaucrats from all EU member states, has delivered a truly frightening document: a constitution for Europe. A constitution which, if ratified, will confirm the end of Britain’s independence as a nation-state.”