Sunday, 6 May 2012

Left and Right politicians ... sing from same hymn sheet

[...] There is no Left of the old school – threatening to seize the means of production and the levers of the economy in the name of the proletariat. Not even Mr Livingstone advocates renationalising Britain’s industries or the wholesale confiscation and redistribution of private property. And Mr Johnson, while he is certainly a more forthright spokesman for business interests and lower taxes than David Cameron, would not deny the need to regulate the banks or protect the disadvantaged.

The difference between the Centre Right and the Centre Left (for they are all that remains of the two sides of that old titanic struggle) is now almost entirely rhetorical. The CR wants a free-market economy with an entitlements programme attached to guard against social unrest. The CL wants an entitlement society with free-market activity attached to provide the necessary funds. The argument about the mix is very much confined to the margins – and about how you describe it. The actual differences being so slight (and there being so much flexibility needed to cope with fluctuating reality) that it is necessary to lard the descriptions with emotive, absolutist language to generate some faux passion. Read more

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