I have always considered myself a liberal. Liberals respect the other person. The uphold their right to be different. They defend their freedoms. They acknowledge their right to hold contrary beliefs. A liberal realises we do not all share customs, but realises that customs matter to us all. True liberalism is the foundation of tolerance. As a result it is the bedrock of modern society, and our democracy.

It is a million miles from neoliberalism. That is what has corroded our society. Neoliberalism is about abusing the freedom of others for personal gain. It is about the freedom of the individual without regard for the consequences for others. It is as a result the basis of modern capitalism. It is the foundation of our current economic crisis. It is what so many around the world are resoundingly rejecting.

Hodges, though, deliberately conflates the two when they are utterly different.

He is not a fool. It would be easy to think he is, but wrong. He knows exactly what he is doing. By celebrating the end of a liberal elite he is in fact supporting the culture of abuse that underpins neoliberalism. And that is a profoundly worrying development. The opposition to the abusive culture that is really tearing the world apart is itself being attacked. We are living in truly dangerous times. And no one should be deceived by a Conservative Party claiming it is moving to the middle ground. I spy nothing remotely middle like in its agenda. And nor do I see anything very liberal in Labour’s. Even the Liberal Democrats have failed to live up to their name.

These are dark days for those dedicated to liberal freedoms.

The man lacks only the black footer bags to be the Roddy Spode de nos jours. And he insists that he is a liberal?

28 thoughts on “Splutter”

  1. Well, yes. “Liberal”, in common parlance, does not have the meaning that it used to have and you, and many of the rest of use, now use as “classical liberal”.

    It now merely describes the sort of authoritarian statist control freaks that are just short of proper socialists – like the Vince Cables and the WGCEs. In fact, it includes the left wing of the Tories (which is most of them these days – including May as HS and Cameron), almost all of the Lib Dems, the right wing of the SNP and the endangered species to the right of the Jeremiahs in Labour.

    “Progressives” in USian parlance, social democrats (that’s democrat as in 조선민주주의인민공화국) in Europe, etc. Junkers, Delors, Hillary – that sort of weasel-like vermin.

  2. The term ‘liberal’ acquired this meaning when it was used to describe ‘social liberals’ – people who were in favour of loosening up the authoritarian restrictions on women, blacks, gays, sexuality, drug-taking, abortion, disrespect for religion, government, property rights, or the law, and what might be called the ‘family values’ constraints on behaviour.

    To the extent that the ‘Mary Whitehouse’-type of conservative was considered an authoritarian, those who oppose them were classed as ‘liberals’. But it’s only with regard to this particular policy area.

    As ever, authoritarians of one stripe are opposed to authoritarians of all the other stripes. They see it as right and proper for them to impose their own standards of decent behaviour on others, but object vociferously when *others* impose differing standards on *them*.

    To the extent that they’re advocating removing one particular variety of unjustified restriction, they’re technically being ‘liberal’, but by remaining authoritarian in all their other views, the term is highly misleading. They’re a ‘liberal’ on that policy, but they’re not a ‘liberal’ considered as a person.

    It’s a matter of scope.

  3. Spode suggested Gloucestershire be given over to turnip growing etc. He had a National Plan. It might be argued that it was better than anything Whitehall has come up with.

  4. The Fat Comptroller: They (liberals in the R Murphy mould) acknowledge [other people’s] right to hold contrary beliefs.

    I and a number of my alter-egos from Egon Krenz via Florence Foster Jenkins to David Gow-Leiter would dispute this.

  5. ‘It is about the freedom of the individual without regard for the consequences for others. It is as a result the basis of modern capitalism.’

    Yep. You have a loaf of bread, I want to buy it, we agree on one pound, which I give you and you give me the bread.

    NO! NO! NO!

    Was that free trade wheat? Were 51% of the bakers female? Was the wheat genitically modified? What is the mil thickness of the plastic wrap? Is there a recycle center for that plastic wrap.

    Ad infinitum. Free trade – capitalism – is long dead, killed by the fascists.

  6. Liberal is now synonymous with PJ O’Rourke’s description of the difference between Republicans and Democrats

    “A Republican will tell you that you shouldn’t make fun of the disabled. A Democrat will tell you that you can’t make fun of the disabled”

  7. Richard J Murphy considers himself to be a true liberal.

    He defines it by saying one of its traits is tolerance. This from the most intolerant and bigoted man alive.

    He defines liberalism by saying one of its traits is allowing others to hold contrary beliefs. This from the man who belittles and bullies those who believe something ever so slightly different to himself.

    I can see why you spluttered Tim.

  8. “I have always considered myself a liberal.”

    You also consider yourself a democrat don’t you Richard.

  9. Bloke n North Dorset

    I wonder if he’s ever read any philsophy? He probably think the enlightenment was when light bulbs were invented.

  10. By the time the word has been filtered through Cobden, Gladstone, Lloyd George, Thorpe, Ashdown, Clegg, no wonder there’s nothing but piss left in it.

  11. Bloke in ND: Humanity was not enlightened until the great RM began offering his wisdom to the world, so clearly the enlightenment began a decade or two ago.

  12. Ironman

    He is a democratic – in the sense of the ‘German Democratic Republic’ or the ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ – both had/ have electoral turnouts well in the high 90% region…

  13. ‘I have always considered myself a liberal’

    That’s one of the funniest sentences I have ever read

    ‘liberals respect the other person’

    He clearly reads his own comments pages…

    ‘They acknowledge their right to hold contrary beliefs’

    From a man who has blocked over a thousand ‘trolls’ on his website and Twitter….

    I mean you can see on a daily basis why Murphy Richards jacked it in. How can you satirise this? It’s just beyond parody….

  14. Freedom is precious and should not be compromised by loose talk. Liberal thought is being assailed. Synchroise watches and switch to aliases.

    Signed
    The dachshund of Dachau

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    NiV – “The term ‘liberal’ acquired this meaning when it was used to describe ‘social liberals’ – people who were in favour of loosening up the authoritarian restrictions on women, blacks, gays, sexuality, drug-taking, abortion, disrespect for religion, government, property rights, or the law, and what might be called the ‘family values’ constraints on behaviour.”

    Well no. Liberals adopted the term liberal when they realised that calling themselves socialists was not working. It was always dishonest. Because liberals always lie.

    It is also not true that they were in favour of loosening restraints on any of those things. Rather they hated mainstream heterosexual White society. As can be seen by the fact that their victories in each and every one of those areas has been followed up by ever tighter, stricter – and more harshly punished – regulations over those things. They are still allies of Gays so they don’t want to jail them. But they will jail people for saying mean things about them. It was easier to sleep with a girl in the 50s than follow all the rules on a campus today.

    “As ever, authoritarians of one stripe are opposed to authoritarians of all the other stripes. They see it as right and proper for them to impose their own standards of decent behaviour on others, but object vociferously when *others* impose differing standards on *them*.”

    My views are correct and hence are in line with common sense, natural law and man’s happiness. No one else’s views are unless they happen to agree with mine. Thus it is right and proper to enforce my views by law. And not proper for anyone else to do so.

  16. The above comments confirm what I’ve always thought. That there’s no such animal as a liberal. Because all self proclaimed liberals embrace restrictions enable their flavour of liberalism at the expense of other self proclaimed liberals.

  17. “I have always considered myself a liberal.”

    He also considers himself to be an economist, a tax expert and a writer, yet he is clearly none of those things either.

    Next he’ll be saying he’s Jesus.

  18. That there’s no such animal as a liberal.

    There’s no single animal. I even respect the right of R Murphy Esq to hold and spout his own ridiculous beliefs. I’m only concerned about him getting listened to. Particularly by people who are in, or potentially close to, some form of power over people. Especially over me.

  19. Remember everyone, this is the man who wants to use State power to crush the entire population down to a level of consumption he believes is suitable for them.

    He is as far from being a liberal as it is possible to be. He is completely delusional.

  20. Rob, I can assure you liberals wants to use State power to crush the entire population down.

    ‘He is as far from being a liberal as it is possible to be.’

    No, he is exactly a liberal.

  21. “Rob, I can assure you liberals wants to use State power to crush the entire population down.”

    I was referring to the real definition of liberal, not the Orwellian inversion currently popular in the US.

  22. “The above comments confirm what I’ve always thought. That there’s no such animal as a liberal. Because all self proclaimed liberals embrace restrictions enable their flavour of liberalism at the expense of other self proclaimed liberals.”

    It’s always been claimed to be a fundamental self-contradiction of liberalism – that it *forbids* authoritarian coercion. It depends whether you regard “liberty” to mean allowing *absolutely anything*, or only those actions consistent with maintaining the liberty of others.

    The argument usually arises when trying to persuade an authoritarian who want to be able to do anything he wants to embrace liberty, so that he may be allowed to do the things other authoritarians are preventing. From his point of view, it’s just exchanging one set of restrictions for another. This “Freedom” is to be imposed on him against his will. It makes no sense to an authoritarian mindset.

    “My views are correct and hence are in line with common sense, natural law and man’s happiness. No one else’s views are unless they happen to agree with mine. Thus it is right and proper to enforce my views by law. And not proper for anyone else to do so.”

    I can’t actually tell if you’re joking or not.

  23. @ NielsR
    I take offence at that comment. My sons have/had several friends on the autistic spectrum. I have yet to meet anyone on the autistic spectrum who treats anyone who disagrees with them in the way Murphy does.

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