The death of the Left in British politics cannot be ruled out

Well, only if it actually happens of course.

and to be a little less facetious about it I’ve no problem at all with people desiring traditionally left wing goals. Say, greater equality or either or both opportunity and outcome, more worker control of industry, all the things that people tend to say they want. I’ve a great hatred for the ways in which the British left tend to approach achieving those goals though. In particular I really do despise those who, just as an example, conflate capitalism and markets. To be against capitalism, meh, doesn’t worry me particularly. If you’d prefer a world of worker owned coops (as an example) then good luck to you. It’s the people who conflate that with wanting to have a planned economy, a non-market one, that so irritate. The market is so damn consumer that I regard anti-marketeers as drooling morons.

If we can get rid of that British left that does that conflating then we’d all be markedly better off.

There’s a few other things on the wish list as well of course. A desire that people would actually understand the Nordic economies they claim they so like (more classically liberal than we are but with a heavy layer of tax on top. You can’t get that tax level without that classical liberalism in the engine room) and so on but the death of the current British left? Bring It On!

14 thoughts on “Hurrah!”

  1. The really obnoxious elements in the political left are the loony left and the politically correct. Without those two elements, Labour might have won every election in the last 50 years. Even I’d have voted for them.

  2. The death of the left in British society would be something to mourn. The death of the British left would be a joy . For the British left do not understand the lefty societies they aspire to be.

  3. Eh, the article seems to be standard Westminster bubble type nonsense. A bad conference for the Labours and the Liberals and a mild Tory uptick doesn’t mean the lentil-munchers are going to retire permanently. If Labour had a competent front-man and were consistently walloping the Tories in the polls, we’d be hearing about the ‘Resurgence of the Left’.

    If anything else, the single-issue loons will always need a banner to rally around and it certainly isn’t going that of Cameron or Farage.

  4. Mary Riddell is not to be taken too much account of. I am sure the Telegraph employs her as a sort of online Aunt Sally.

    You’ll never eradicate the left from politics or society because its position is so often unthinking. The same can be said, of course, for the right.

    Example: Daughter No1 has a friend who hates Mrs Thatcher with the passion of a miner’s wife. Why? This person was not born until two years after the Blessed Margaret left office. Poison dripped into her ears as a child, I suppose.

    You can beat the left at the polls, win all the arguments, prove until you are blue in the face that much of Britain is small c conservative and yet still they persist, driven on by one sided notions of fairness.

    Yes, I think Ms Riddell, speaketh too soon.

  5. Imo the biggest problem the Left have is that they have long since left behind community socialism and are wholly wedded to cynical and centralised socialism via Wesminster that often isn’t very socialist at all, and when it is it is just stubborn and bloody minded rather than necessary.

    Labour gained electoral success by beating the Conservatives at their own game. The market has moved on and so has Labour’s main competition. The Conservatives are now blue Labour. What Labour ought to consider (but their current leadership will not) is localism. It is what people seem to want but all the parties are wrestling with the problem of if they did it they would have less power for themselves. But then, who are they supposed to serve?

  6. “a world of worker owned coops” where, presumably, there ain’t nobody here but us chickens. There’s a reason God invented the hyphen, you know.

  7. God forbid Chris. When I finally get my own coop, in my dreams, a late 60’s Mustang, a) I will not want to share ownership, and, b) there will certainly be no chickens in it.

  8. The Left will survive, because it’s the half that isn’t Right. It doesn’t matter where the centre ground is at any particular time.

    Anyway, it’s confusing.

    a) I think we’d all agree that the Clause 4-type left was killed off by Thatcher, and that, in relation to then, we’re all right-wing now.

    b) However, the main thrust of Thatcherism was building a share-owning democracy. That is, a population with their own homes, savings and pensions who would be able (eventually) to be free of the state. Given the state of home ownership and pension provision, and our increasing reliance on the state, maybe the right has disappreared also. Maybe, once all of the wealth (not income) has drifted to the top, we’ll have the same cycle.

  9. Jack C: Nah – that one’s spelt coupe though the Beachboys sang it your way rather than coupé.

  10. @”What Labour ought to consider (but their current leadership will not) is localism”
    It would be a disaster for Labour because
    a) some places would have hard left Labour administrations and would be really useless
    b) other places would have radical approaches to welfare etc which would work and make mainstream Labour ideas look like a bad idea.

  11. @David, exactly what happened. Neil Kinnock’s famous speech:

    “I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that, out-dated, mis-placed, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council – a Labour council – hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers”.

    or if you can bear listening to him:

    IIRC Hatton walked out which is worth watching.

  12. Just had a quick look at that speech – Kinnock was referring to the gathered faithful as “comrades”. It’s no wonder people thought he was a cripto-Stalinist. Well, that and his apparent comfort with the comrades who wanted a Soviet takeover…

    Can you imagine modern Labour talking like that? The modern labour that was rather accurately described a couple of days back as “…a bourgeois club for people who feel guilty about having money.”

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