February 17, 2006

Getting rid of New Labour

MatGB of Great Britian, Not Little England has some ideas on how to get rid of New Labour. Basically he wants everybody to acknowlege that the realignment of the political landscape is happening, and arguing over the old left/right ideas is not really that important anymore compared to trying to defend liberty from authoritarianism. Nosemonkey chips in in the comments with a Mill quote on the freedom to/freedom from debate
"A theory of 'social rights' the like of which probably never before found its way into direct language: being nothing short of this - that it is the absolute social right of every individual, that every individual shall act in every respect exactly as he ought; that whosoever fails thereof in the smallest particular, violates my social right, and entitles me to demand from the legislature the removal of the grievance.
Which sounds a lot like 'freedom from', you can only be free if you curtail others from doing things that interfer with you, but then Mill goes on with
So monstrous a principle is far more dangerous than any single interference with liberty; there is no violation of liberty it would not justify; it acknowledges no right to any freedom whatever, except perhaps that of holding opinions in secret, without ever disclosing them: for, the moment an opinion which I consider noxious passes any one's lips, it invades all the 'social rights' attributed to me by the Alliance.
Hence why freedom to is the important one, since freedom from is simply an excuse for removing freedom from everybody. Or to use the strap line of Harry's Place 'Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear'.

Mat is proposing a general anti-New Labour, and pro-freedom portal to operate in a similar way to how MoveOn.org works in the US. This is something that I'm sure that many on the 'right' of politics would be willing to join in, so long as it remains about freedom and does not get taken over by the 'left'. What impact it would have si debateable since there was, and still is, Backing Blair trying to get rid of New Labour.

On the old left D-Notice notes in his constituency that Labour support seems to go to the BNP when it abandons Labour, rather than the Lib-Dems. I guess this means that most of the old liberal left labour supports must have already left the party so any further reduction will be from authoritarians leaving.

Stumbling and mumbling has some notes as to why New Labour, and in fact most politians, seem authoritarian, and one of his commenters, New Economist, adds some more:
(1) quite cheap to implement but (2) attract lots of publicity and (3) accord with majority public opinion.
Which is why it is going to be so hard to undo all the damage that New Labour has inflicted.


Blogger MatGB said...

You're right, of course; hijack has to be a significant concern.

Note, I'm not saying economics no longer matters, just that it's less important now.

Change the political system and rollback the centralisation, then economics matters again, but that's an argument for another day.

The paradigm has shifted. But we (all of us) need to make sure we build a liberal consensus, and keep to it. Highlighting and debating those issues we disagree on is just as important in order to keep trust, but the central issues we can push forward on almost united.

3:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old lab voters shift to the BNP because they perceive that as the only party aligned to their interests. White working class voters are despised by NuLab, LibDems and the media, in other words liberals and lefties generally. Go figure.

4:19 pm  

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