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Saturday, September 08, 2007

What is wrong, and how it can be put right

The journalist and author Peter Hitchens (the Hitchens brother who's got the brains) has a penned a thought provoking article on what is wrong with today's Britain and how we can put it right.

The basic problem is that in the last forty years Britain has overdosed on both social and economic libertinism.
Social libertinism begets economic libertinism and vice versa: Roy Jenkins and Margaret Thatcher may have been political opponents, but were really two sides of the same coin.
Today, the millions of Britons who are moderate social conservatives, but who don't believe that 'market forces' should rule every aspect of our lives, are effectively disenfranchised. What is needed is a new mass movement/political party, which combines moderate social conservatism (emphasis on the family, personal morality, prioritising on social cohesion above economic 'growth', tougher prison sentences, bans on the sale of violent video games/violent rap music), with measures to rein in the pernicious effects of turbo capitalism.

We need to combine all that was good and decent about the 'old', sovereigntist left, with all that was good and decent about the 'old' sovereigntist right. We urgently need to restore our country's independence and work on a commonly agreed popular programme of national, democratic renewal. Such a programme would include such sovereignty-restoring measures as withdrawal from the EU, NATO and WTO; bringing public transport and the utilities back into public ownership, drastically reducing the gap between rich and poor, and re-introducing capital punishment for murder.

Back in 2003, I wrote of the urgent need for an old left-old right anti-war alliance. But it's not just to stop the neo-cons and their 'liberal' interventionist allies that we need such a realignment. We need it to save our society too.

UPDATE: David Lindsay comments on Peter Hitchens' proposals here.


David Lindsay said...

Very many thanks for the plug.

You're in, then?

Anglonoel said...

Peter Hitchens has struck me in the last few years as the nearest potential British equivalent to Pat Buchanan in the US ie a similar mix of social conservatism, opposition to turbo-capitalism (somewhere in my archives is a Peter Hitchens article from the Express in 2000 calling for renationalisation of the railways)and isolationism. That is, what is often labelled "paleoconservatism". However, he is a man without a party, even a minor party. Am I right in thinking he is no fan of UKIP? However, perhaps his manifesto might lead to something launched (or re-launched) in the aftermath of the next general election. I remember a Peter Hitchens' article in the Spectator back in 2004 on the future of Conservatism, in which he pointed out that virtually alone amongst Western parliamentary systems, the UK has basically has the same political system at national level as during the Cold War (even in the US since 92 you've had the likes of Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot & Ralph Nader challenging the 2-party system there). I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that he went onto argue that sooner or later in Britain this log-jam has to break. I've got a feeling (which I could go on for a while about!) that the next UK general election could break the log-jam, for better or worse.

Neil Clark said...

Hi anglonoel: yes, PH is no fan of UKIP- who are if anything, even more wedded to neo-liberalism/turbo capitalism than the Tories. And he's also a strong supporter of renationalising the railways. We are long overdue a political realignment in Britain.

George McKay said...

No answer to David's question though, Neil, I notice...