Friday, October 13, 2006

On Politics 3

The problem was that people - myself included - couldn't define politics any more. Right and left were further artefacts of the old dispensation with almost no relevance to the new politics. Naturally, therefore, they resorted to personalities and presentation as the key determinants of political power.
I am, by instinct, conservative. But I know of no issues on which I can maintain a definably right wing posture for very long. The only reason to try and do so would be to signal my membership of a tribe - in this instance, the Tory party - and I can see absolutely no reason why I should want to do such a thing. Equally, conservatism is, to me, a constellation of feelings - imperfectly invoked by words like culture, ethos, history, stability, imaginative continuity, cherished ways of life - that does not entail any political affiliation. George Orwell was, in my terms, a conservative as is Nick Cohen today. In power, Margaret Thatcher evidently was not, she was an, at the time, necessary revolutionary and that is the one thing a conservative can never be. This frequently makes conservatives dangerous and stupid, but I don't claim my instincts are necessarily right, just that they are my instincts.


  1. I've said that a number of times, most recently to Chris Dillow that the tags are meaningless. Left, Right, Libertarian, Tory. I'll mock Bush, Blair and Cameron equally but, like you, consider myself of the right. We need new definitions.

  2. No, James, I'm not 'of the right', I am conservative which is, in my terms, neither a right or a left wing posture.

  3. We don't need new definitions - we need new terms - those we have retain too much baggage and are still fighting yesterdays battles and will continue to do so for a generation as long as we have party politics. Hence the rise (and fall) of single issue parties like UKIP.

    I'm a lemon.