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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Power of ten: How neocons and the fake-left took over the British Establishment

My new piece for OpEdge

Forty years ago, Britain could be described as a vibrant democracy. Our parties lived up to their names: a conservative Party believed in conserving things, a Labour Party represented the interests of working people and a Liberal Party was liberal.
We had a mixed economy, in which majority interests were put first, a sensible foreign policy - we pursued detente with the Soviet Union - and didn't seek to go around the world trying to stir up conflicts. The only foreign “wars” we got involved with in those days were the so-called “Cod Wars” with Iceland.
Today, it's a very different story. Our political parties have converged around what author Tariq Ali has labelled “the extreme center.” The range of views which can be freely expressed in Britain without adverse personal consequences ensuing is narrowing by the day.

You can read the whole article here. 


Unknown said...

It was great and informative, you got translated into french, hoping it spreads how GB got within the frenchspeakers. Hope you have against that.

Great article.

Robin Carmody said...

I'd agree with quite a few of these, but not with the Private Eye bit, and in fact I'd regard it as an insult to the seriousness of the genuinely negative developments you rightly castigate to put Ingrams' departure on a par with them. Private Eye has always had a lot of things wrong with it, but they were more seriously and profoundly wrong in Ingrams' time and largely because of his outlook; in Hislop's era it has beefed up its investigative journalism and regularly exposes tax evasion, fraud etc.

In terms of what working-class people were exposed to, and how they were influenced and directed, I'd put Murdoch's acquisition of The Sun & NOTW in 1969 ahead of his acquisition of The Times & Sunday Times, important as those were, because so much of the post-war consensus in favour of the broad social involvement of the working class was framed and defined by the dominance of the Daily Mirror.

The SDP is a grey area. FPTP obviously makes it much, much harder for a new party to emerge overnight and destroy another in one election (as Berlusconi's Forza Italia party was able to do to the Italian Christian Democrats, the equivalent of UKIP finishing off the Tories almost literally overnight which obviously couldn't happen here) but it is a fact that, at the lost immediate pre-Falklands moment, it looked quite likely that the SDP/Liberal Alliance actually would be able to overcome FPTP's nature and do this in one go, and certainly more likely than a Labour win at that point.

Anonymous said...

Hello Neil,
long-time reader (since voting for you in 2007) and former student of yours (2006) here. I wanted to ask you what you thought of Owen Jones' The establishment, if you know anything about it, as it is the latest book on this topic that I have read.
Greetings from Switzerland,