A couple of years ago, I happened to share a platform with a Lib Dem. The first question from the audience was on House of Lords reform. I'd like to see an elected upper chamber, I explained. The status quo was indefensible.
Then it was the turn of my Lib Dem friend to answer the question. What did they say? Did they welcome support for long standing Lib Dem policy?
Not a bit of it. They framed their entire response in terms of being against the points I had made. Indeed, they almost ended up opposing Lords reform on the grounds I had supported it.
In politics we often use various "isms" to try to define what people believe; socialism, liberalism, environmentalism, capitalism.
But I wonder if many politicians and pundits today are driven primarily by "opposite-ism". That is to say, they define what they believe in terms of what they think will annoy the other lot.
Vince Cable today suggested he opposes de-regulation, except when it comes to more immigration.
Do you suppose he thought through the way that high non-wage labour costs, combined with open borders, might paradoxically, import cheap labour while exporting jobs? Or do you think he just said what he did because he thinks it'll annoy Tories?
Similarly, when some Conservatives rail against legislation intended to ensure equality before the law for everyone, have they carefully considered how to best achieve social cohesion? Or is their attitude a reaction against those they deem to be tediously PC?
Politics ought to be a competition between different parties for good ideas and votes.
Too often instead our rotten, out dated political system boils down to different tribes opposing what they imagine the other lot favour. Favouring whatever gets up their opponents nose. Each tribe projecting on to the other what they wish to see about them.
No wonder folk outside SW1 have so little faith in the whole process.blog comments powered by Disqus
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