From far-left to centre-right

Holbrook’s political career began in the now disbanded National Union of School Students at a time when he was the elected chairman of his sixth form comprehensive in Coventry. At Sheffield University he joined the Labour Party and became an elected sabbatical officer in 1984. After graduating with a politics degree Holbrook joined the Revolutionary Communist Party before resigning to focus on becoming a lawyer in 1989.

1981: protesting against student grant cuts

Holbrook frequently contributed to Spiked between 2001-2004 and 2011-2020 (as shown by his author archive here). During this latter phase, particularly with and after the Brexit referendum, Holbrook grew to appreciate that Western societies had become divided between a governing elite and their people, with democracy and the culture war providing the key dividing lines. The elite are administering a society predicated on a global division of labour that serves the interests of the better off. The culture war enables the elite to divide ordinary people on the basis of race, sex, sexuality and gender. The culture war empowers the elite to privilege some on the basis of their identity whilst dismissing as backward those who seek a common identity within a shared nation.

Holbrook sees himself as a centre-right conservative, who has been particularly influenced by the writings of Sir Roger Scruton. In addition to writing for Spiked, Jon Holbrook has written for the New Law Journal, The Critic, Policy Exchange and the Conservative Woman. His essay on The Rise and Fall of the Rule of Law was published in 2019. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the Halsbury Legal Journalism Award.

Holbrook has written on the following issues.

For democracy

For a proper Brexit

Against the left-wing culture war

For strong borders

To repeal the Human Rights Act

Judges have too much power

  • Lord Sumption is right: legal activism devalues the demos

For social conservatism