New Blog!

Liberal Conspiracy.

Opening with many heartfelt paens to the joys of, well:

There is no denying that Liberal Conspiracy is partly born out of the frustration that many organisations who champion liberal-left ideals do not cooperate much with each other. It isn’t just the sectarianism that has traditionally been the preserve of hard-left socialists.

As our politics splits up into single-issue groups concerned about the environment, civil liberties, feminism, anti-racism, social justice, alleviating poverty etc – there isn’t much dialogue taking place between them and there is certainly a lack of broad coalition-building to push for political aims together. We want to be the network hub where other organisations sharing our ideals are promoted and their campaigns highlighted.

It’s all part of building a vast liberal-left conspiracy of course.

Mmmm hmmm.

I hate to tempt fate but, fingers crossed, touching wood and stroking a rabbit’s foot, this blog could turn out to be a rarity: a place where liberals and lefties gather to debate that I don’t feel an immediate urge to leave.

I doubt I’m alone in feeling that way. No need here to recap the British left’s long and turgid history of ideological introversion and sectarian scrapping.

Chris Dillow\’s a part of it which means that it will at least have some good writin and interesting arguments.

I\’d give them, say, three days before the ideological introversion and sectarian scrapping start. Maybe a little longer, perhaps until Chris points out (again, and correctly) that you can\’t have both a large State and a redistributive one. Or that markets actually solve many of the problems "left liberals" whine about.

5 comments on “New Blog!

  1. You can’t have a large state and a redistributive one, but does a redistributive state automatically become a large one?

    Imagine that we had small government, and a party coming to power on a platform of redistribution and greater social equality. Being politicians, they would naturally be tempted to use redistribution as a way of buying votes. They would try to direct money towards favoured social groups or marginal constituencies. They would try to use social justice as a pretext for subsidies, protectionism and other favours to current or potential supporters.

    The next government would do the same, and the one after that. Therefore the power and size of government would slowly increase, as would the level of taxation needed to pay for it.

    A strong public preference for small government would keep the rate of growth slow, but would not stop it. Instead, the public would become gradually habituated to ever-larger government, with each expansion being tolerated because it wasn’t big enough for most people to get worked-up about. But after a few decades you’d end up with bloated mega-government, the huge cost of which would then reverse the effects of the earlier redistribution.

  2. You can have a large state that is redistributive. Chris always ignores public spending in his discussion of this, for reasons unknown.

    A state that taxes all employees 35% of their income, and uses that to pay for a CBI of £10,000 a year for everyone, is redistributive and large. You were advocating something like this not so long ago. If that tax is made more progressive it gets more redistributive and larger.

    Tim adds: 35% would be a smaller state than now……?

  3. Eddie Mair, for he who presents both Radio 4’s PM & iPM took time to hear from both sides of the fence today ( Monday ) Re Lib Conspiracy. Guido more or less trashed it as you’d expect – but there are interviews and more on the iPM blog. Anyone running book on when/if the sectarian in fighting might start?

    Tim adds: I’d offer odds on for, say, Thursday, but then I don’t bet with real money.

  4. “35% would be a smaller state than now……?”

    Well I thought you meant small, not smaller. But 45% then. The current governmetn is quite redistributive – the figures are pretty clear and as I said it’s because Chris ignores spending for a reason that is no clear that he says something untrue.

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