From time to time, we do need to remind ourselves what the differences are between pollical parties and their thinking. Those differences are particularly stark now. In fact, dangerously stark.
So called “conservatives” are in defensive mode. They are lashing out having lost popular support and legitimacy across the nation. The misinformation is suggesting the opposition will form a “monstrous coalition” with other parties. Failing to recognise that the Conservative Party of 2022 is as monstrous coalition at war with itself.
In my mind there has never been a better time to argue for Proportional Representation (PR). It’s a good way that a diversity of political thinking can be fairly represented. My words here are not an academic discourse so please don’t quote literate sources that point to flaws in my opinion.
Libertarian: It’s Anti-Government Government. In other words, reduce the size of the State to the absolute minimum. Thus, remove regulation and social support to create what is often called “UK PLC”. It’s a devil take the hind most thinking. Images of such a society are best captures in William Hogarth’s Gin Lane. A small elite control and prosper but the majority languish.
Socialist: Almost the reverse of the above. Where the State is mother and father of every citizen. The “greater good” transcends individual aspirations and rights. Life is codified and regimented. A levelling takes place where tall poppies are loped off ruthlessly. A small elite control and prosper but the majority languish.
Traditionally, these two have been characterised as far “right” and “left” in politics. Naturally, it’s not so simple as that because there’s lots of variations on the above themes. One common thread is that they both end up becoming authoritarian and destructive. Some would show the ends of the political spectrum as anti-authoritarian (anarchists) at one end and dictators at the other. So, there’s more than a few different ways of cutting the cake.
Where are we? It’s my belief that the vast majority to not fit in either of these two camps.
We live in a liberal democracy or have done until now. That, when it’s working well, balances individual aspiration with social responsibility. Our rights are respected at the same time as recognising our common journey as a nation. We work together to ensure that opportunity is spread far and wide. We cherish our environment. We build coalitions with common goals.
Britan needs to stop and take stock. The Conservative Party is pushing the whole nation in a direction it doesn’t not want to go. It’s strident libertarians are on a disastrous path. These are dangerous times.