UK politics April 2018


#221

Depends. It’s kind of nebulous. “Neo-liberal” certainly refers to a right of centre, free marketeering kind of attitude.


#222

In the UK, Liberal or ‘liberal’ has never really meant left, I don’t think.


#223

Maybe not by today’s standards, but the Whigs were definitely the liberal left of their day


#224

This has always confused me, as I’ve always taken liberal to be, while not synonymous with left/socialist certainly in a similar area/ball park. And certainly how I took it when I was younger and up to a few years ago.

In the ‘wooly/bleeding hearted liberal’ sense and not in the Republican/Tory sense which makes very little, err, sense to me.


#225

“Partial slavery? Yes and ho!”


#226

I take ‘liberal’ to mean a hands-off approach to both social issues (generally good) and the economy (generally bad). Neo-liberal is a right wing take on that essential political philosophy, which holds that private competition is always a net positive and should be involved in as many aspects of society as possible.


#227

yeah i take it to be people who are socially liberal/fiscally conservative.

liberal: there isn’t enough minority representation on the board of raytheon, and no green initiatives in their statement of values.

socialist: there shouldn’t be a raytheon to begin with.

liberal: you’re a racist and you aren’t thrifty. you can’t come to my james bay listening party.


#228

It was Robinson doing that interview, and he didn’t do well. I don’t think Abbott was particularly great either, but she wasn’t terrible. It’s clear those two don’t like each other.

I think the reason that Robinson ended up getting so combatively aggressive is that he was frustrated by his own journalistic limitations. The point he was clearly trying to get an answer to from the start was basically this: “The Labour party position is that military action in other countries should be endorsed by the UN, but since the UN is dysfunctional and currently systematically incapable of acting in military disputes where one or other member of the security council has an interest, then the Labour Party position is de facto a position of non-engagement.”

Abbott (and no doubt the whole shadow cabinet) is well aware of this, which explains why she was being cagey, but Robinson failed to find a line of questioning that would force her to address that specific question, so instead he fell back on the “which member of One Direction do you think is the hottest” line of “journalism”

Webb is generally pretty good, and maybe Martha Kearney will shape up. Humphrys and Robinson are unsalvageable, Montague was too thick. Jury’s out for me on Mishal Hussein. Today hasn’t had a really sharp interrogator since Evan Davis left, and even he was a bit prone to the odd exasperated sarcasm fit.


#229

It’s entirely possible to be socially liberal and financially(?) (or whatever) socialist of course.


#230

i should have pointed out i didn’t hear the interview, i just saw the guardian’s commentary on it. that was more my beef.


#231

aren’t you a socialist then, tho?

edit: don’t mean that to sound glib, just would assume that an economic socialist/social liberal is effectively a socialist.


#232

I think that makes you a Corbynite…


#233

But partial abolition is certainly better than none, although full abolition would have been better - but that could have endangered the party’s base (ie backers)

Almost like the left-wing party of its day was supporting a bad thing in order to shore itself up as it couldn’t go all-out against it :thinking:


#234

Yeah I guess so. That’s what I mean about it being confusing. If I describe myself as liberal I don’t mean I love bank de-regulation but maybe some people would think that.


#235

Well this is exactly the problem with centrism, that we’d still have fucking slavery just with bullshit compromises.


#236

Fair. That précis does seem to focus on Abbott being cautious rather than her being asked crap questions, which is my takeaway from the interview.


#237

Quite. You’d end up with “More women slave owners!” being a slogan, like we saw the Clinton campaign wanting with those in positions of authority at ICE.


#238

i think it’s also a part of how political language changes over time. i think when someone mentions the term liberal now, we think of people who are very good on abortion, minority rights, etc, but awful on foreign policy, economics, and fundamental structural and systemic issues (all of which undermines their good views, because of how those issues affect oppressed people in our society).


#239

Possibly - think the thing was, back then there was no ‘real’ left wing yet, just the Tory right and the Whig centre. But that makes the centre look like the left (hence my earlier confusion), as compromised as they might be


#240

But not so much on trans rights, for reasons that seem strangely illiberal.