Sunday, February 25, 2007

Poltical Language ( Ask the Focus Group )


Political Language

I`ve been thinking about how it is that activists and Telegraph readers so get so very hot under the collar with nice David Cameron, when he doing so well. We have all spent all week, gloating about the prospect of forming government and ridding the country of , one assumes , Gordon Brown ,not to say the disgusting Peter Hain ,and his antiquated politics of envy. All around however, I see weeping , wailing ,and constant harrying from the conservative Blogaspghere.
On Friday there I was ,rubbing shoulders with “Top Bloggers”…..( ?) Like Dizzy , Croydonian and even Guidot . One thing I noticed was the these people tend to come at Conservatism by way of anarchism ,or at least extreme Libertarianism. They are political theorists ,which a Conservative is not almost by definition,.
Perhaps that is why I have this worrying feeling that a lot of the heat in the world of sub mainstream commentators is just far to separate from real political language ,to get to the source of the pain. A country is not defined by dry theories of a contract posited in the 18th century ,it is to do with living traditions and an almost tribal loyalty .These roots predate political theory by a very long way. It is a felt rather than an explicated phenomenon as are the voting intentions of most of the country.

Take Dizzy for example , perhaps as well respected a writer on Politics as anyone , often asked for help by the national Press ,and with a clear sense of setting the agenda for the intelligentsia. In order to do this, he will typically be ferreting around in public documents for unregarded morsels of waste and dishonesty to embarrass the Labour Party. Guidot goes further, and actually prowls the very sewers of Westminster ,acting as an investigative Journalist . If he changed sides though, would the stories really be so very different ?
There are numerous people in the Labour ranks, adept at this game ,and very happy to swap accusations . It is a fair point of Dizzy`s that the Labour Party used the sleaze card brutally ,with little reason , and to great effect, in the Major period .Waste is also a fair intellectual target of statist government ,as well as an ad hoc moan . Nonetheless, I am unconvinced that this is where elections are won.
For me you must always keep the focus on the bankruptcy of the idea of Socialism and the fact that this is still what the Labour party are selling for all their claims otherwise. This is their great weakness ,they must always pretend to be not what they are ,and I really worry that they love to get back to swapping insults..
They like it ,because with no philosophy they can admit to, they have no positive account of themselves to give.David Cameron is able to “Propose", rather than always “Oppose “ .This difference is vital in the felt opinions of the voters.

We can see then that voters and politicos differ widely in their apprehension of the debate , in fact they scarcely cross over at all. To follow this thought up I have invented a Focus Group,

The Focus Group

.In it I have one political obsessive ,I have called ,at random, Dizonian , a non combatant I have called “normal person” ,and one who is able to bridge these disparate worlds; a little-bears-porridge , just right ,sort of person ,I have chosen to call …me..( at random again).
I am going to have look back at Cameron’s progress to his commanding position and submit various points of interest to the imaginary collection. Just to remind us this us this is where we are now this is the ICM Poll which was corroborated by the U Gov Poll later in the week ,Conservatives 40% ,( up 3%),Labour 32% (Steady),Lib Dums ,(18% down4 %) ,Activists moaning .. ( Unchanged position).


Cameron`s Brilliance- Part One - Let The Others Do The Hard Work

David Cameron, once, openly insulted Margaret Thatcher it was during a speech he gave commemorating 9.11 when he distanced himself from her commitment to support America , come what may . It was a miscalculation he has not repeated ,and immediately caused great concern in the party ,which communicated itself as ,treason , to the voter. Since then he has wisely let others define his distance from the our greatest Post war Prime Minister
When Tim Congdon announced his defection to UKIP ,he did so in these terms . “ At some point in her career Margaret Thatcher should have said this , the man in Whitehall doesn’t know best”. He went on...” People were being freed so they could free themselves”. Lumme that’s a bit ideological isn’t it ? Meanwhile to the utter disgust of Congdon ,The boy David was talking about,… “preparing young people for their adult responsibilities to create a greater sense of cohesion “.Congdon ,looked at this ,and with ill concealed contempt ,decided that either he was a charlatan, or he was vaguely endorsing the European Union’s model of Socialist Top Down super state,. The key point is that for him is doesn’t mater much which. What really infuriates him is that a Political intellectual like him , is left out of the equation entirely. David Cameron has a dialogue with the country that is not about “What you say “ but about “WHAT THEY HEAR” ( Frank Luntz).
Tim Congdon would like us to return to traditional political debate of the sort at which he was successful and the sort Gordon Brown also thrived in ,in the 80s. Gordon Brown is the old style of Politician, a...“political battering ram armed to the teeth with statistics “.
Nothing is more obvious to day than that the country has changed ,and Gordon Brown is incapable of changing his language and rhetoric to suit its new mood. Even his body language is determinedly ugly where Cameron naturally dances the ballet of the “Inclusive hands”. Even among blogs only Iain Dale ,I can think of , understands this broad generalist audience at all ,and he is very far from good at it partly because he tries to hard.

Ok so lets pass this over the Focus Group


Dizonian- Blank incomprehension, bitter hilarity at the Third World do goodism ,and social inclusiveness. Fury at the perceived betrayal of the Libertarian agenda ,(Not the Conservative cause which might easily include Paternalism ala Disraeli). More than this ,an irritation at the “My Little Policy “,kiddies Saturday Morning brain dead level of it all. A lot of shouting , a lot of statistics . Sounds Like Gordon Brown

Normal- I can’t see anything I actually dislike about him , and he’s not like that Margaret Thatcher , wasn’t she the nasty one ? ( The spitting image Puppet that is ). At least he’s not bellowing in that boring self important way…
.(normal may well be a woman by the way.)

Quite positive

Me ( Correct person)-Good Work David, well done for dragging our marketing out of the dark ages ,and realising that is what we are doing here .I seriously hope you aren’t expecting me to take any of this as other than mood music though. The point of winning is to enact policies, and I do have a Consevative wish list tucked in my back pocket.

Positive

David Cameron’s Brilliance Part Two- Never be against anything,

Janet Daley who I enjoy in the way an adult retains a taste for sweets into middle age , grew so incandescent with rage , recently, that she actually began to admit the logic of her position ,which is to support Gordon Brown .” If Cameron’s Conservatives succeed ,the electoral future belongs to image consultants. But if Mr. Brown prevails, there might be a return to the real politics . We might find ourselves arguing about the basic principles of taxation, spending , welfare and dependency “ . She concretely identified that Cameron is in agreement with the Blair image, and against Brown. Given that the country overwhelmingly voted for what they thought was Blair ,and loathe Brown ,this is not a bad starting point .In fact ,when I look at what back at Tone said he wanted to do, with Frank Field ,I am not sure this sounds like the worst sort of government even now, but I digress.
So Cameron is not disagreeing with Blair-ism in some ways ,he wants to inherit its popularity as smiley faced Thatcherism . What we got was quite different , and that has to be the best place to attack. Cameron doesn’t say you got it wrong to the voter, he says you got it right, but you were betrayed. Newspapers like to shout and Politicos often have a legal background . People out in the economy selling for a living , know that this is the way you sell . By agreeing

Lets put it to the Focus Group


Dizonian
- I would rather lose the noble way than win by a process of rebranding ,this is just not politics.
I hate him
Normal-Oh I `m so glad they’ve stopped arguing ..well; except for that nasty Scottish man. I just fancy a change .I `m really starting to like this David chap
Me ( Correct ) -It is inevitable that Cameron would be the new Blair ,as Blair was the new Thatcher.I see he has to aim at the centre but having got it where will he take it ?Good work but I`m not voting for a Liberal ,they have to move to me .

Cameron’s Brilliance Part 3 .” Know when to shut the Fuck up”

This change of tone I attribute to Newmania senior who , in his day, was red hot broker ,and he always said to me .” When they are about to sign say Nothing . You will be tempted to talk about why you agree, but you don’t know, and it can only get worse ”
Good advice . Look at where we are. There was a worry for a long time ,that active enthusiasm for the Conservatives was flat lining ,and we still were not over the magical 40%. Anthony King complained, “ All he has achieved is to show he doesn’t frighten the horses.”. If that’s all you need to do ,then don’t do any more. Unemployment is at a seven years high thanks to Brown regulatory mania.The pension system is in ruins. Real inflation is hitting important voter groups like the old ( and hasn’t David been quick to give them a friendly ear,), productivity is feeble ,and education is an international joke.
To enter a debate about any of this would be to confuse it . David Cameron lets New Labour burn as they deserve ,and if anyone doubts his leadership qualities they should take a glance at the icy restraint the shows here. How many politicians could so sublimate their ego`s this way. As Peter Kay would put it . He is not playing

The Focus Group
Dizonian- Look at that big chin hanging out there can`t he just hit it , punch him kick him spit at hime ,pull his hair for god`s sake!

Normal- There is such a lot of bad news and that nice David Cameron is never mentioned around it . We definitely need a change

Me( Correct ) Saying nothing is right but you are vulnerable to the accusation that you have nothing to offer. The answers have to be carefully fleshed out




Cameron’s Brilliance Parts ,…oh just loads of it really

You might be surprised at the people that have been praising Team Cameron
1-Simon Heffer “His left leaning PR campaign for the past 12 months has neutralised the BBC. Having achieved that the Guardian and Independent should be easy
2-The education secretary has been obliged to reintroduce synthetic Phonics
3-The Home Secretary has been forced to drop plans for local Police Forced merging
4 Simon Heffer and in fact the rest of the Party now agree that our Iraq Policy was misguidedly pro US, and should been critically Pro US. On other words ,concerned with our defensive coalition ,not with some stupid idea of putting the world right. Enoch Powell would have approved
5He has taken the liberal’s only consistent card “We are against adversarial Politics” . Let us not forget it is votes from the Liberal Party that are just as important, and he has of course Made Ming the Useless look exactly that
6 Somehow made himself the darling of the women’s vote largely by saying little, and letting the Labour Government destroy the Family .
This has been done with nothing concrete ,but with a manner he has got right for the daytime TV sofa, which Gordon brown cannot emulate . Look for example the way he dealt with ,“Lousie “, single mother and therefore ,supposedly, the scourge of society ,on "You and Yours". Louise asked him what he thought of her and…” he expressed huge admiration for her efforts and only tactfully suggested that fathers should be obliged to pull their weight to”. He could not have played it more perfectly. Brown would have been lost.
7 Regained the trust of the voters on the NHS, by actively campaigning for its improvement, in what was frankly a childishly policy free way. I was staggered it worked myself ,but it did.
8 Lost the racist and homophobic stain that was electoral poison and a non negotiable barrier to the centre voter

You will see looking back at all these field of conquest that almost none this is ever dealt with by right wing commentators who have little interests in PR and Consultancy ,and treat everything as if they were in a Politics debate at University . This is why I fear that arguments are being won while clients,( voters ) are being lost. The entire rhetoric sounds alarmingly like Old Labour locally sometimes and we need more positive messages .

If there is one thing that I would like the committed right for all their marvellous qualities to take to heart it is this . Politics is always about what they hear not what you say ,and we have to learn the code on the right of the party to get our agenda listened to.


IMMEDIATE RETRACTION IN CASE I APPEARED ILL MANNERED

Well I assume noone bothers much with me but within seconds of that appearing Dizzy ..( as in the top blogger) popped in to tell me off. Let me make it entirely clear that Dizzy and Croydonian do proper Blogs both of which are far in the stratosphere compared to a little ,“ I think this “exercise “, like this one. The invented person Dizonian was not meant to be taken either seriously or overly literally. As far as i know it bears no special relation whatsoever to the characters of these two Blogging Titans.
Dizzy has made a number of criticisms and this is one .

“Where we disagreed is that you considered your position to be the only one that matters. That is simply not true and it is a thoroughly unconservative thing to do to rely on some grand theory and negate complexity.”

Can I make it quite clear that I did not wish to criticise any real person. Yes of course all sorts of approaches are necessary .I think my suggestion is this . “Am I wrong that there us a lack of willingness to sell the "right" agenda ?”
But the Dizonian thing was only supposed to be a bit of fun


Many apols if it seemed otherwise just to be on the safe side.

29 comments:

Croydonian said...

You rascal you. I'm not /that/ swivel-eyed.

dizzy said...

I didn't say elections were won on matters of waste. I said that as each little morsel of bullshit breaks out it snowballs.

I made it clear that each part of the machine, each of these groups in the focus group have a part to play, each complimenting each other.

Where we disagreed is that you considered your position to be the only one that matters. That is simply not true and it is a thoroughly unconservative thing to do to rely on some grand theory and negate complexity.

Every where is different electorally. In somewhere like Islington, it would have to be a matter of winning the battle of ideas. In a genunie rotten borough that might not be true though, there you would need to highlight what was happening on the ground.

Let me put it like this, I was out in Thamesmead on Saturday morning. People there didn't care about the inherent failures of socialism. What they cared about was whether something could be done about the state of the streets, and the masses of organised crime.

I think, as I said the other night, we're both right to an extent. You're prime failure however is that you are being constrained by rigidity in your ideas which is not, in my view, a particularly conservative approach to take to the world.

Newmania said...

What did you think that Dizonian was supposed to be you , Not at all I was invented a caricature I was just teasing with the name ?

No offence meant I promise

........constrained by rigidity in your ideas which is not, in my view, a particularly conservative approach to take to the world...

. Not really Dizzy I was only trying to deal with one part of the story . Islington is hardly worth discussing as it is an old Labour haunt with everyone else agreeing to be Liberal.

The idea that local competence exists in a vaccuum is the sort of thing the Liberal Party have been trading on and I have never thought it was enough. I do not for example believe the Conservative party will get anywhere in the Mayoral race by pretending we can do the same thing better. There has to be an ideological element but more importantly when I look at what David Cameron is doing I think its more about a different way of talking and appearing than a specific policy. At elast thats the way so far nationally .

I don`t think my view is the only one that matters I am just adopting a point of view as its easier than trying to be everything.
There is a reasonable point to be made though that the right in "total" should think harder about ways of getting people on their side and less hard about enjoying the fight.

As you say there is room for different approaches whithin the total.
Am I wrong that there us a lack of willingness to sell the "right" agenda ?


Perhaps I should put a PS , in case I appeared aggressive at all . Certainly don`t mean to be

Newmania said...

...come to think of it how the hell did anyonme spot that so quickly ? Thats scary

Steven_L said...

Dizzy is right to point out that London is a different kettle of fish than the rest of the country. These recent shootings have highlighted that the politcal classes react differently to events in London than say Birmingham or Nottingham.

I've worked in a London local authority before, an ex-loony-left authority. What has happened in London is that the lonny-left have grown up. Back in the eighties Southwark council banned staff from eating Del-Monte or shopping at Boots because of supposed links to South Africa. Now councils promote 'fairtrade' products against local competition, even tory councils have jumped on the bandwagon.

'Anti-social behaviour' was a new-Labour invention, but has never been opposed by the tories or tory councils. Now Red-Ken has grown up and become London mayor, grown-up loony-left propaganda is drip-fed to young Londoners.

Central control has reached new heights, be it the EU, what was the ODPM, the Mayor's office, local opinions are ridden roughshot over. Policy comes from international quangos, think-tanks and lobby groups. It is harder now for people to become involved in politcs, and because of all the other distractions of the modern world easier to switch off from it.

You say:

'I seriously hope you aren’t expecting me to take any of this as other than mood music though, because the point of winning is to enact policies and I do have a Consevative agenda tucked in my back pocket'

Don't expect all that much to change if you want my advice. So much is now dictated from the EU, WHO and UN, globalisation dictates the state of the world economy more than ever too.

I'm hoping he'll abolish tax credits and raise personal allowances but I'm not holding my breath.

Newmania said...

I DID NOT MEAN TO CRITICISE DIZZY WHO RUNS A PROPER BLOG THAT IS RESPECTED BY JOUNALISTS NOT A PART TIME NOONE CARES WHINGE SPACE LIKE THIS...and I have no ambitions even try to get to that level

I am about to a hasty edit to make that quite clear I have obviously sounded far more literal and serious than I meant to be as far as that was concerned. IT was a bit of a mistake , what can I say......

Newmania said...

'Anti-social behaviour' was a new-Labour invention, but has never been opposed by the tories or tory councils. Now Red-Ken has grown up and become London mayor, grown-up loony-left propaganda is drip-fed to young Londoners

Now thats a very interestng point and its soemthing I have noticed. Old labour never went away.

Newmania said...

'Anti-social behaviour' was a new-Labour invention, but has never been opposed by the tories or tory councils. Now Red-Ken has grown up and become London mayor, grown-up loony-left propaganda is drip-fed to young Londoners

Now thats a very interestng point and its soemthing I have noticed. Old labour never went away.

dizzy said...

Can I just say that I didn't take the above post as a criticism of me at all.

Newmania and I had a healthy discussion the other night and I just saw it as a continuance.

Newmania, don't be such a silly arsehead, you have not offended me, and don't start apologising for things that you havn't done, otherwise I will have to start calling you Tony and you don't want that do you?

I guess I probably sounded agressive in my comment as well to be fair, not deliberate just my style online really. Plus I have thought about what we were talking about as well.

dizzy said...

oh yes, and I am a political obsessive.

Newmania said...

Phew!!!!! Well thats a relief.

CityUnslicker said...

yikes. These things are best left said after a few beers....

on the other hand, I am not so convinced that the CVameron approach is unstoppabble. It has many positives, but a lack of clear policies is the first step to him losing any case to be a strong leader. When Broon emerges with a fully formed plan, it is possible that Cameron will be left floundering.

Arthurian Legend said...

That was a very interesting post, Newmania.

And for an old Thatcherite, Tebbitite, Hefferite, UKIP-ite right-wing libertarian Conservative like me, I agree that Cameron's strategy has in some respects worked quite well.

Be nice and polite to your enemies.

Try to sound reasonable, calm and mild-mannered. Don't frighten the horses.

Don't "attack" single mothers - criticise the dads who abandon them.

I often think that I would myself have deployed quite a bit of DC's strategy had I been leader...

But, City Unslicker had a good point that DC could be left floundering by Brown where DC has actually and concretely given in to socialist/statist policies. Like supporting and even wishing to raise the minimum wage.

Like supporting membership of the EU when it is clear that from trade to defence to healthcare the takeover is advancing at a very rapid pace.

And DC's failure over the EPP issue was JUST PLAIN STUPID AND FOOLISH. He really shouldn't have given the promise and then welched. That pee'd off a heck of a lot of people, and still left Blair and Co to claim that DC was either currently or in the future going to "isolate" the country in "Europe".

Newmania said...

That pee'd off a heck of a lot of people, and still left Blair and Co to claim that DC was either currently or in the future going to "isolate" the country in "Europe".

I am hard put to think of what he could have done that would not have pee`d of a lot of people though AL. My hope is that whatever he says now will look very differet a few years from now in exactly the way it did for Tony Blair.

Newmania said...

When Broon emerges with a fully formed plan, it is possible that Cameron will be left floundering.


I am not concerned about Broon especially as I can`t see him carrying the Labour Party with any electable plan.You are right that we are in a phoney war now though and being to smug is probably not a good idea

electro-kevin said...

Newmania - an excellent essay along with the writing you posted on Ms Smack about your meeting with bloggers.

I've been publicly derrided by Peter Hitchens (MoS) for suggesting that the Conservatives could regain power by the Trojan Horse method - do I infer too much "wish list in my back pocket" ?
He countered that "... disguised parties are the stuff of banana republics." and that Mr Cameron holds traditional Conservatives in contempt.

Elsewhere I have stated that "we all know the manifesto that would lead to a landslide victory" Mr Cameron certainly doesn't seem to be offering this, unless I've missed it.

I feel he wants a victory but for nothing else to change very much.
Good grief.

He does seem to be a slick media operator though. But could it be that what we see on the tin is exactly what is inside it - Like Blair before him, will he spend his time curtailing the 'extremist' tendancies in his group - that's you that is !

A couple of points:

- Iraq is such a quagmire that there is not much alternative but to criticise the invasion now. The sad thing is that so many people of different persuasions predicted this.

- (your 9.13pm) Social breakdown wasn't 'invented' - all it took was a loosening of ties and for everyone to stand back and watch, including the Conservatives.

My angst is that - while I agree political intrigue, sculduggery etc is fascinating - not much is being done as our country self-destructs.

Do we have time for anything other than directness.

Newmania said...

not much is being done as our country self-destructs.

You might be suprised how many people think things are actually not too bad remember that we have had the longest period of sustained growth in the countrries history and there is a a lot of wealth about in absolute terms .

I wouldn`t worry about. being "Publically derided". par for the course , a day rarely goes by when I am not .

Praguetory said...

Hi Newmania. Hope all is well. I am not a libertarian, but can agree with our libertarian friends on 90 to 95% of their attacks on Labour. Hope to meet you in the flesh one day.

mutleythedog said...

I read it all with great interest and the comments from different people as well. I have to say that I do think DC is doing it right. One of the main problems with the tories in recent years is how unfriendly, unsympathetic and basically uncaring about peoples problems thay have seemed to be

e.g "DC could be left floundering by Brown where DC has actually and concretely given in to socialist/statist policies. Like supporting and even wishing to raise the minimum wage."

Have you ever tried living on the minimum wage? Its awful believe me, starvation time almost. But the comment here is supposed to criticise the idea of a minimum wage itself, a perfectly reasonable point of view and one I share, but it comes across sounding like those on the minimum wage already have plenty of cash, and don't need any rise. Thats sounds or seems very unfriendly and unsympathetic, and disconnected from the experiences of millions of Britons.
Do you get my point?

electro-kevin said...

'self-destructs'

There appears to be a dichotomy on this one - there is often mention of the polarasation of wealth in the UK and remember that we have just been placed bottom on the league for bringing up children. Relegation in prospect ??? This bothers me - genuinely concerned about it.

I can't complain much myself at the moment though I haven't had a proper holiday for 3 years (unless you consider tenting as such); 'twas the same for my parents though and they were my intellectual superiors so I don't grumble.

There is a lot of personal debt, there is not a lot of manufacturing (adding value to base materials) Nearby we export China Clay, predict the weather (the met office) and drink a lot of beer in Weatherspoons. The cows don't seem happy that their milk is so undervalued. Yes the City is thriving and I put this down to our open attitude to immigration (I am at home with multi-ethnicity - it's all I've known and my move to white Devon was a culture shock, I'm serious.) It is also down to the economic whoring of our country and our willingness to drop our knickers.

House prices are booming and this is my pet bug-bear. Since when did housing become the primary commodity (as it seems to be now)?It was meant to be where you lived when you MADE a commodity. We don't have this and yet there appears to be a lot of 'economic' hubub about grim looking terraced houses and pokey flat conversions: estate agents flog 'em, sparkies wire 'em, chippies chip 'em ... blah-de-blah and then go 'round clogging up our streets with white vans with drain pipes stuck on their roof-racks.

Now for some people this might pass as an 'economy' for me it doesn't (I'm a house owner BTW)- people think 'Wahay - we're in da munneee...' then put their houses into hock in order to buy up cheap Chinese goods by the shipload. I have resolved not to use a credit card and live frugally, and yet I find my finances squeezed further and further like what seems every month.

Not complaining.

The down side:

- An awful lot of chavness, gangstersim litter, rudeness, graffiti - increasing violence, ignorance, dependancy, drugs...

- A lot of emmigration of homegrown skilled resources; Aus gets our nurses whilst we take on Phillipinos. A fair deal for us ?

- A lot of Barrat style housing developments and a reduction in living space which is not featured in comparisons of weath between generations. Admittedly we are not coal mining/cotton mill standards ...yet.

- A distraction from Blairist encroachment on our liberties.

I suspect that many of the people you mention who consider things to be going well have their eye on that villa in the sun.

As for me - I'd rather be a 1984 prole. You see - what we have is a very laisses faire ('scuse spelling) economy which fails to give us any cogency and a political class that rides the wave as precariously as a body-boarder on a surf-board (heads-up Mutley). They manage to deliver both the worst of the socialist state(control) and the worst of the capitalist (anarchy) at the same time ...

...how cool is that ???


Cameron ? More of the same ?

Not all of us measure our wealth in terms of money. You don't N, I'm mightily impressed (and envious) of your ability with literature.

Sadly all I can deliver is rhetoric - as usual.

Newmania said...

Well said Mutley..I think you abslolutely have it we cannot be people that only care about ourselves. I believe that under certain circumstances that benefits are actively bad but your comments are a breath of fresh air.

Newmania said...

Sadly all I can deliver is rhetoric - as usual.


You have a remarkable capacity for expression kev I expect you were the teachers pet at creative writing. What I like about this little thread is that between you and Mutley there is a view that comes from outside the "political" obsessive world .

I think you are like me I see things that are wrong but the view I Take of it is quite in flux and can be swayed by things like style a remark or a manner. Thats what real people are like they have not got a big answer and I must try to remeber to stop pretending that I think I do.

When it comes down to it though I do not think you show yourself to be a caring person by taking someone elses money and giving it away. Without Liberty there us no way to be good . That is one of the corrupting effects of statist Policy.


I do think Mutley`s point about the way it actually feels to have nothing is so important though and is absent form thes virtual corridors to much of the time.

( Christ I hope the Hitch doesn1t pop in I `ll be for it )

Newmania said...

hallo Prague I am keeping up with your goings on and enjoy your lefty baiting forays when i come upon them
( which I haven`t for while now actually )

electro-kevin said...

Hope nobody thinks I'm a socialist.

I have always been aware that the middle-class is crucial to civilised society. When I said I'd sooner be a 1984 prole I meant it in the sense that at least they had order and clean streets.

I had't realised how influential dizzy was and am sad to report that my political innocence must be wearing off:

I started with 'excellent essay ...'

Can I ammend that in view of the forgoing ?

'Bye 'eck N - that woz shit !'

Joke of course.


Yes I was teacher's pet and I've had a thing about her ever since (crikey - she must be knocking on 60 now !)

Praguetory said...

Hi N, I do seem to be getting a few complaints that I'm not attacking Lefties enough. Truth is I'm pacing myself for closer to the May elections.

Newmania said...

I had't realised how influential dizzy was and am sad to report that my political innocence must be wearing off:

That does happen and Guidot has a superb post up at the moment . Dizzy gets stuff in the national Press and so deos Croydonian.#

They are proper bloggers

David Allen said...

Wonderful post, N! A bracing canter thru the world according to Dave. And your new hybrid, 'Dizonian', is a splendid creation _ and a credit to whoever inspired him _ to whatever extent!
Personally, I am glad that the Dizonians of this world exist, to keep the flame and to keep the rest of us honest. But theirs is an approach which should inform but not determine practical politics, as you say. However, if a DC premiership really did just involve tinkering rather than major change then I, and I suspect many others with "their eye on that villa in the sun" will just accelerate our plans as fast as we can. I spent the Thatcher years marvelling at her/colleagues success in reshaping the economy but getting increasingly bewildered at the failure to get to grips with the societal/ cultural rot engendered by the welfare state and the underclass it created, which was apparent even a quarter of a century ago. Like N, when I heard Frank Field was to be the Welfare man in Blair's first govt., I thought: "My God! A Labour government is actually going to do what Thatcher and Major never got around to!" but the rest....

Newmania said...

Thanks David what natural style you have

My God! A Labour government is actually going to do what Thatcher and Major never got around to!" but the rest....

Like that.

Personally, I am glad that the Dizonians of this world exist, to keep the flame and to keep the rest of us honest. But theirs is an approach which should inform but not determine practical politics,


Like that to .

In fact this little thread has some of the best comments I`ve ever had and , pathetic though it may be ,I am rather pleased about that. Lets keep Dizonian shall we

David Allen said...

As ever, you are too kind _ from one who merely posts to one who actually hosts, it is I who am in awe of you! (but you seem to have a peculiar take on Brecht, which we must discuss another time!)
Yes, let's keep Dizonian and bring him out to play occasionally! I picture him with the magnificent mane and sneering lip of a Beethoven _ and the yellow socks of our own dear C!

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