Tag Archives: Liberal England

Are the Tectonic Plates of British Politics Shifting?

Jonathan Calder thinks nobody knows anything about British politics any more.

In April I wrote:

“That party membership is such a minority taste now suggests that the 19th-century model of political parties we still embrace is hopelessly outdated.

Yet no politician has the vision or overweening ambition to wrench it apart and allowing something more attuned to our needs today to take its place”.

Party membership is growing again, so I was wrong about that. But maybe the tectonic plates really are moving.

Already, Remain and Leave across the UK, and Yes and No in Scotland, seem more vital and more coherent identities than the old party labels.

There is a high probability of a significant realignment happening within the next few months, and not just on the left. “Left” and “Right” no longer describe the real political faultlines in England, the big divides are more cultural than economic.

Labour is fundamentally split between its middle-class activist base and its working class roots to the point where there is no reason to exoect white working-class small-c conservatives to vote for a party more concerned with middle-class identity politics. And that’s before you throw the cultish behaviour of the old-school hard-left into the mix. Do you really expect people in Rotherham to support a party who seem to care more about Palestine and Venezuela than the north of England?

The Conservatives are just as split, between neo-liberal internationalists and little-England social conservatives, with cultish Randite libertarians mirroring Labour’s Trotskyite left. It may be that Theresa May will win the leadership election and hold the party together in the short term. If Andrea Leadson wins, all bets are off, and the chances of the party splitting are high.

The Liberal Democrats are seeing a surge of membership as one party who do still have a coherent idea of what they actually stand for. But in the longer term will liberal values be served by a small dedicated party, or as a faction with one of the new parties that may emerge from the breakup of Labour and the Tories?

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Where are the defenders of western liberal values?

Great post by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England in response to the appalling front page of The Guardian following the Woolwich murder, and the equally awful coverage by the BBC.

Almost as depressing as the Guardian front page was the discussion of the Woolwich murder on Newsnight yesterday evening. One participant, the impressive Maajid Nawaz, spoke of the need for a Western narrative to challenge the world-view of Islamism. But you only had to look at the people with him to see there was little chance we would hear it last night.

There was John Reid who, as a Communist while the Soviet Union was the greatest tyranny on this planet, never bought into the Western narrative in the first place and is now employed by the security industry – though Newsnight never reminds of us during his frequent appearances. And there was Alex Carlile, a Liberal Democrat who long ago threw in his lot with the most repressive elements of Labourism.

It seems that the so-called liberal media is not giving nearly enough airtime to defending the values of western liberal democracy, instead giving a soapbox to people like the ridiculous Anjem Choudary  or the totalitarian thug John Reid. While at the same time the usual suspects ranging from white supremacists to militant athiests are using the whole thing to peddle their predicatable message of hate.

It’s all very depressing.

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