Showing posts from August, 2014

There’s no getting away from it: Rotherham exposes the liberal-left’s moral vacuum

In The Open Society and Its Enemies , Karl Popper quotes a passage from Hegel that shows how social ideologies can end up giving free rein to all sorts of bad behaviour. Hegel says in it: “ We may fairly establish the true principles of morality, or rather of social virtue, in opposition to false morality; for the History of the World occupies a higher ground than that morality which is personal in character – the conscience of individuals, their particular will and mode of action.” Here we can see social virtue, or ‘social justice’ you might say, being consciously put up against personal morality and conscience, and beating it. Hegel’s true principles of morality trumped the false trivialities of people being good or bad to each other in real life. The incredible failings of Rotherham Council and police in relation to the industrial-scale child sex abuse going on in that town show how such ideas are not mere fodder for dry debates in the fusty rooms of academia. They ar

Mrs Thatcher was actually right: there is no such *thing* as society

Margaret Thatcher’s comment that ‘ there is no such thing as society ’ has a totemic significance on the left. It serves as the trademark of an uncaring, right-wing ideologue who believed in selfishness as opposed to solidarity and community, to the extent that she didn’t even recognise the ties that bind us in society. The thing is – and this is coming from a lefty – she was actually right. The infamous phrase was uttered in an interview for Woman’s Own in 1987, in which she said : “ Who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first .” She said it in full a little later: “ There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us

The bullying of Austin Mitchell shows once more where hegemony lies in Labour

What I have been saying here about where hegemony lies in the Labour Party has been shown off once more with bells on following Austin Mitchell’s provocative article about Labour women in the Mail on Sunday. The amount and tenor of concerted personal attacks on him have been quite remarkable, encouraged by the leader’s office (not surprising given what he says about it). Before examining what Mitchell actually said – much of which is rather delicious for any serious Labourologist – let’s have a look at what some powerful and influential Labour figures have said in response. It's very much the reaction of an establishment stamping down on an unwanted outsider and hanging him out to dry. The responses of prominent Labour women in an article for the right-leaning Telegraph for example could hardly have been stronger. Lucy Powell, shadow children's minister and Ed Miliband’s leadership bid campaign manager, referred to “ Mitchell’s sexist and misogynistic comments ”. Fo