“The Tory Party today is united by its fiscal conservatism whereas Republicanism today is principally concerned with social conservatism”: So wrote one James Kanagasooriam in the London Daily Telegraph early in the New Year. He was attempting to explain how it was that, in his view, “British and American conservatives are speaking a different language,” though the differences are pretty obvious and have been around for a long time. Much more interesting are the similarities—or at least they would have been if they hadn’t been obscured by the blaze of hostile publicity which accompanied former Senator Rick Santorum’s strong showing in the Iowa caucuses a few days earlier. Mr. Kanagasooriam, who disarmingly described himself as a "Westminster anorak with an interest in all things political,” may never have spoken to an actual American conservative, but his anorak—a sort of hooded winter jacket...


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