Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Progressive Minority

I am banned from Liberal Conpsiracy but I look in occasionally and today I see Sunny Hundal is opining on the great myth that is the “Progressive majority “
It’s a shame I am banned because I would have liked to comment .Fortunately Thersites , ,whoever he may be , has said almost precisely would have said (Thersites incidentally was an ugly foul mouthed and incurably cynical servant who appears in Shakespeare’s most overly political play Troillus and Cressida )
At all events this fine cultured and self deprecating chap is well worth quoting…………..

There are number of assumptions in this( Sunny Hundal`s ) wonderfully jejune piece, that will not withstand scrutiny. The first and perhaps the most amusing is the dream like conjuring of the “Progressive majority “.There is of course no such thing .If by progressive you mean progress towards Europe , mass immigration and anti English-ness then it was on these policies that Clegg was vulnerable . That is because the overwhelming majority of voters ( Labour and Conservative ) are right of the political elite as frequently surveyed , hence the necessity to lie over Lisbon ,immigration et al .On defence (Trident ) Gordon Brown’s criticisms, in particular, were devastating , and Clegg was on the other side of the Trident debate when he was lecturing Huhne on geopolitical realities .

If by Progressive you mean progress backwards into the collectivism of the post war period, then the Liberal Party has been taking baby steps towards Economic Liberalism for years .True they advocate intervention whenever a real question arises .Nonetheless on taxation and the balance of tax and cuts the Liberals are Thatcherite if one were to take their manifestos seriously. I do not , naturally , but we can at least say they are opposed t the authoritarian collectivism of Brown. Liberals and Conservatives agree on protecting freedoms, on oppising ID cards ,and both consider a small state and low tax desirable aspirations .In this New Labour are their sworn enemies
. If by Progressive you mean the luxury rattle bag of pro gay multicultural elf and safety micro meddling then the differences are not deep felt . The Conservative Party, for example , has always been and remains full of gay men who quite rightly do not see themselves as defined by their orientation . The extent to which homosexuality ought be taught in schools is a valid debate for example as is abortion but it is not the Conservative Party but the country that is at odds with Liberals . Labour voters share nothing of this progressive agenda and cannot be counted as part this supposed majority . The major battles are now historical.
The second assumption is that it is anyone’s gift to grant PR . In fact the last survey showed a healthy majority against and if Clegg were to chance it now he would certainly lose . That would be the end and he will not chance it especially now .The pill for Conservatives to swallow is Europe but bitter as this may this must be swallowed . We must appeal to their the Liberal commitment to localism and democracy but this argument also rages within a Conservative Party to whom actually leaving is surelytoo un -conservative.
From the gloomy penumbra between sixth form debating society and adulthood in which you, you Sunny Hundal perpetually reside it is so hard to see how little anyone cares about any of these squabbles .They expect the politicians to run the country and compromise . A failure by the Lib Dems to behave responsibly now will brand them as an irrelevance in the difficult years to come.
Overall ,whilst I think an October election is the most likely result , the chances of a workable Conservative Liberal administration are good .There is certainly a great deal of good will in the Conservative Party towards our friends with whom we are united against the dead statist hand of the 20th century left

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