Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Let's get this over with then...

After a protracted period of silence on the topic, here is what the rabbit thinks about the election and aftermath.

The Conservatives: I'd forgotten quite how much I dislike them. Dislike is putting it delicately; this is a family blog. It's personal as well as political. I'm not sure which of them I'm going to end up disliking most. William Hague is an early front runner. As is Michael Gove. The word dweeb comes to mind. Actually Dominic Grieve is quite a nice bloke. There may be some other Conservative nice bloke somewhere. Don't say Ken Clarke, though. He has form for selling cigarettes to poor people in third world countries. That's not nice.

The Lib Dems: the rabbit has been quite favourably disposed to them. They were excellent on Iraq. Had the best and most radical positions on civil liberty issues and indeed on equality issues.


One theory is to blame the social democrat input after the union of the old Liberal Party (a body with a long and mostly honourable history) with a bunch of old right Labourists. I think the truth is that, whatever its attractions (often of a process of elimination variety) its centre of gravity was always too far to the right. They have just demonstrated this.

Labour. Frankly, they didn't deserve to win. Whether the rest of deserve what we are about to get is another question. For those of us on the libertarian left, Labour was always clunkingly centralist and statist. The old Labour fault line was the cold war. The old right was Atlanticist. The old left was soft on Stalinism. Domestically, both were in thrall to a centralising dirigiste gig. New Labour retained Old Labour's authoritarian instincts but lost its impulse to equality. The result was an idiot and wholly illegal war (Count 1 on the indictment against them) and an appallingly illiberal approach to personal freedom issues (Count 2). If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem as we used to say in my youth. Labour is part of the problem.

The Greens, I was pleased to see them win a seat but I remain sceptical. I don't trust their credentials on personal liberty issues. I can see a propensity to herd the rest of us. Purely for own good of course.


What I really want is a party that doesn't exist: to the left of the Lib Dems. Decentralising, non-statist and libertarian (compare and contrast Labour in its various manifestations) but less prissy than the Greens. This requires a different electoral system. You never know your luck. The only thing to be said for the new government is that it may become so cordially detested that it brings the whole existing political dispensation down with it - breaks the mould, as it were.

We shall see. That's enough politics.


Mahal said...

I nominate John Redwood for most dislikable Tory:

tony said...

It's strange how all those old familiar faces have come out of the woodwork.Heseltine: Mr Archer et al........Ah! Happy Days!