Apparently I\’m a right wing insurrectionist

A rightwing insurrection is usurping our democracy

For 30 years big business, neoliberal thinktanks and the media have colluded to capture our political system. They\’re winning

We\’re winning, Hurrah!

Although I would point to two things.

1) The Adam Smith Institute is by no means the only group deploying the freedom of association to argue for their desired policies. One might, indeed both could and should, make the same point about Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, nef, the TUC, Woodland Trust, ASH and the rest of the alphabet soup.

One might, even, make the distinction between those voluntary associations that do it with voluntary donations and those that do it with tax money (FoE, nef, ASH and so on).

2) There are only three policies which I think could be positively identified as Worstallian. As mediated through the ASI. That we should have a government controlled but paid market in human organs for transplant (not original to me but I seem to have been the bloke arguing for it in the UK). That we should have a proper carbon tax as our solution to the perils of climate change. And that we should indeed move the minimum wage to something like the Living Wage: by not taxing those who earn minimum wage. That is, that the personal allowance should be the same as the minimum wage.

I find it very difficult indeed to think of any of these as being \”right wing\”, or indeed anything close to a usurping of our democracy. One is entirely pragmatic: the only country in hte world that doesn\’t have people dying on dialysis is Iran which is also the only place with a government controlled market in kidneys for transplant. A carbon tax is simply the standard economists\’ reaction to the externality of carbon emissions. Hell, it\’s right there in the Stern Review. And reducing taxes on the poor hardly qualifies as the ravings of a cackling capitalistic bastard now does it?

And the only policy that I know has actually come about as a result of my screeds in favour of capitalism red in tooth and claw is the transformation of maternity leave into shared parental leave (no, really, it did make it into the Lib Dem package as a result of me).

At which point I\’ll quite happily lay claim to, glory in even, the title of \”right wing insurrectionist\”.

Ta George.

Oh, and George specifically mentions the Telegraph\’s \”Britain Unleashed\” series. To which the ASI\’s (or my) contribution was this. Very right wing, eh?

18 thoughts on “Apparently I\’m a right wing insurrectionist”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    2) There are only three policies which I think could be positively identified as Worstallian.

    Don’t forget Ragging on Ritchie. Now a national sport. And that’s your real sin – you don’t respect your elders and betters. People like George.

    Worse still, rabid right wingers like you make him change his mind. On things like nuclear power.

    But I do like George:

    Every Saturday, in a wine bar called the Cork and Bottle, Margaret Thatcher’s researchers and leader writers and columnists from the Times and Telegraph met staff from the Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs. Over lunch, they “planned strategy for the week ahead”.

    How does that differ from, say, the Fabians? Or America’s Journolist?

    Like Marxist insurrectionaries, they often talk about smashing things, about “creative destruction”, about the breaking of chains and the slipping of leashes.

    Is George being dim here or is he this stupid? As I doubt any Marxist insurrectionary has ever talked about creative destruction. That would be Schumpeter. Not noted for his obvious pro-Marxist sympathies.

  2. I’m sorry to see the Woodland Trust in that list. A profoundly conservative organisation which I was happy to support for a long time.

  3. Very funny article.

    Whilst I do think George is mostly insane, he is one of the few at the Guardian who will occasionally voice doubts about his fellow inmates, or their belief systems. It’s always cheery to hear the howls of outrage when he does this (his short-lived criticism of Phil Jones, his position on solar tariffs, and his revised stance on nuclear power).

    However, this article is classic of lunatic left paranoia.

    We are in a pressure group boxing match. The fighter in blue trunks has both his legs tied together, one hand behind his back, one in a splint. He is wearing earplugs and a blindfold.

    The fighter in red trunks has no such restrictions but is now complaining to the referee that his opponent has been left with a sense of smell.

  4. Absolutely hysterical -Tim, your blog as witty as ever and the original source article one of the most ridiculous I have ever seen!

  5. The comments really show how divorced from reality the Left are. I mean, how insane do you have to be to believe that the State and the media in the UK are controlled by the Right?

  6. As any fule kno, all individuals and groups which express views Moonbat doesn’t agree with are backed by Dark Forces, whilst those he does agree with are funded by willpower, or pixies or something…

    Like Stuck-Record, I don’t doubt Moonbat’s honesty or sincerity, only his sanity.

  7. Question 42. Consider the following two quotations:

    1. Stuck-Record “We are in a pressure group boxing match. The fighter in blue trunks has both his legs tied together, one hand behind his back, one in a splint. He is wearing earplugs and a blindfold.

    The fighter in red trunks has no such restrictions but is now complaining to the referee that his opponent has been left with a sense of smell.”

    2. K Olbermann “The right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”.

    Discuss.

  8. Squirrel. OK. Let’s discuss.

    Let’s tot up the left/right ‘influences’ in our UK society, shall we.

    Business (trade and finance).
    The Eu.
    Academia and Education.
    The media.
    Politics.
    Civil service (national and local government).
    State workers (NHS, DSS, Civil service, police and army).
    Charities.
    NGOs.
    Environmental organisations.
    The arts (film, comedy, painting, sculpture).
    Active and influential intellectuals.
    Pressure groups and terrorists.
    Religious organisations.

    and last, but by very much the least in terms of influence…

    The public.

    Be honest and grade each of these:
    LEFT, RIGHT or NEUTRAL.

    Business (trade and finance). RIGHT
    The Eu. LEFT
    Academia and Education. LEFT
    The media. LEFT
    Politics. LEFT
    Civil service (national and local government). LEFT
    State workers (NHS, DSS, Civil service, police and army). LEFT (with v. small police and army exceptions)
    Charities. LEFT
    NGOs. LEFT
    Environmental organisations. LEFT
    The arts (film, comedy, painting, sculpture). LEFT
    Active and influential intellectuals. LEFT
    Pressure groups and terrorists. LEFT
    Religious organisations. LEFT/NEUTRAL

    and last, but by very much the least in terms of influence…

    The public. NEUTRAL?

    If I’ve missed any or you disagree with these assessments let me know.

  9. I suppose that if you’re far enough to the right, pretty well everything is to your left.

    “Politics: LEFT” confirms that you are looking from a position to the right of the Conservative Party.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “I suppose that if you’re far enough to the right, pretty well everything is to your left. “Politics: LEFT” confirms that you are looking from a position to the right of the Conservative Party.”

    But the question is where is the British public? Take an issue like the death penalty. For a long time, and perhaps still now, the British public has been in favour. Our Elders and Betters have not allowed us a choice or even much of a say. That is, they are to the left of public opinion. Europe? Likewise. Immigration? Likewise. Is it possible to think of any policy on which all three main parties are to the right of public opinion? I don’t think so.

    Politicians come from a specific set of people these days. They tend to be the left of the political spectrum compared to the voters. So if you stand with most British people, at the dead centre of public opinion, then yes, British politics is to your left.

  11. SMFS: you need to define “left” and “right”. I don’t know why you think support for the EU is a “left” position – the Labour Party conference ahead of the 1975 referendum certainly didn’t.

    To answer your question about policy to the right of public opinion: my impression is that the public favours higher income taxes on bankers than does any of the three main parties.

    I suspect that public opinion as expressed in response to opinion poll questions is not the same as public opinion when there’s a decision actually to be made. Quite reasonably, most people do not reach a well-informed view on many of these questions until it actually matters.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “you need to define “left” and “right”. I don’t know why you think support for the EU is a “left” position – the Labour Party conference ahead of the 1975 referendum certainly didn’t.”

    That is true, but back then the Left thought it was going to win. They now know better and so need Europe to impose their agenda on the rest of us. Europe is a left wing position because it is held by virtually everyone on the Left except the fringe Trots. Who on the Left still opposes Europe? Tony Benn?

    “To answer your question about policy to the right of public opinion: my impression is that the public favours higher income taxes on bankers than does any of the three main parties.”

    That is an interesting question. I wonder if they do. Do you have any evidence? Notice that they will be given this choice – The Two Eds have said as much.

    “Quite reasonably, most people do not reach a well-informed view on many of these questions until it actually matters.”

    When they don’t get a choice to vote on a large number of issues. As the three Lib-Dem parties have a consensus they do not want to fight over.

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