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December 16, 2010


Kay Tie

"but that was class warfare rather than pure illiberalism"

Right on bruvver, one out - all out! Take that Thatch... (cont'd p94).

Do you not see how ridiculous you look when you write such tripe?

Luis Enrique

whose egomania? I don't understand why a population of 60 million egomaniacs regards some protests marches are an existential threat. Or do you mean the egomania of those in power?

Are we really sure that the attitude of the average person towards disorder / protests has hardened over time? Were Daily Telegraph readers more easy going in the 1980s?


"Do you not see how ridiculous you look when you write such tripe?"

I think it's pretty ridiculous to deny Thatcher engaged in class war when she all-but admitted that was her aim.


I don’t think we are in danger of losing the culture of liberty, if anything, with the explosion of the internet, resentment has only become more ‘intelligent'. I think we are very rightly moving beyond the violent 80’es towards 21st century methods to express dissent; this is a part of human evolution! And talking of new tools, I hope you can find time to attend the London economics debating society (http://www.meetup.com/neweconomy/) , we all will be very happy to debate with you :)


Long Version:I fear you miss the most simple potential explanation for people being *apparently* more 'averse to disorder'. (& I take you to be talking of *appearances*, as there have always been lots of people with an aversion to disorder, many of them justified).

It is this: in the 1980s (or at least in the first half of that decade) the Labour Movement, with its traditions of public protest and periodic industrial unrest, was a power in the land. With all due respect to the brothers and sisters at Congress House, and on the shop floor, it really is only a shadow of itself now.

So protest - both political and industrial - was a 'normal' part of civic affairs in the 1980s and had been for generations. It isn't now, at least not in tabloid imagery or the depoliticised imaginations of middle England: it disrupts the quietist political settlement attendant on 'The Great Moderation', so, for a whole generation of folk who came to maturity after Thatcher fell, it seems shocking and new.

Protest and disorder are different things of course - but it is very easy for someone with a 'quietist' habitual take on the world to blur the conceptual boundary.

Short Version: The 1980s? Wasn't That When Organised Labour Found Out Its Long Forward March Was Halted? (Even if Hobsbawm told them in 1978)


@ Luis - in some respects, I guess Torygraph readers have become more liberal - eg on homosexuality. But that's a private matter, not a public order issue.
And of course, there was deep hostility to the causes of protesters, but the act of protesting was tolerated.


There's quite a bit I don't agree with, or would debate, in the body of your argument. However, I completely agree with your final paragraph, and I wish it were not so.

Paolo Siciliani

Precariousness is not a funny thing to watch, because it reminds us that it could happen to anyone in a blink of an eye. It is the same as turning your head around not to watch something that scares the hell out of you. To this extent it's worse than hatred of etnic minority, which are a far-fetched threat, whereas precariousness is real and potentially imminent, and it is so across the board, no longer limited to the working class as was in the 80s.
This I think explains a lot of todays lack of tolerance towards protesters.


Is the decline in respect for Liberty connected to the waning of ideas in politics? Most of the world seems to be run by people only interested in money making.

The fall of the USSR has led to gangsters running russia most of said mafia starting as KGB trainees and western politics has become dominated by marketing slogans.

The "end of history" seems to have produced no victory for a belief in abstract ideas of Freedom or equality. But rather the capture of state power for private gain. Then their are religious nutters running about blowing up, also not much progress there either!

It sometimes seems history is going backwards rather than ending.

Kay Tie

"I think it's pretty ridiculous to deny Thatcher engaged in class war when she all-but admitted that was her aim."

In the way that Michael Foot "all-but-admitted" that he wanted Britain run by the Soviets, or Tony Blair "all-but-admitted" he wanted a Crusade against Muslims?

You make yourself look ridiculous by perpetuating such rubbish. Mrs. Thatcher was no admirer of grandees, as you should know if you were an adult at the time she was in office.


Kay Tie,

I'm havering on the question of whether you're being serious. If your tongue is firmly in your cheek - well, congratulations, you've caught me out.

But if not, perhaps you'd like to enlighten the rest of us on the intended meaning of famous Thatcher quotes like,

"We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty."

(A basic BBC primer on background for those under 25 can be found here :http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3067563.stm )

Kay Tie

"We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty."

You think that's "class warfare"? It's warfare, true: but on the anti-democratic militant Left. If you're so deluded to equate bitter old Trots with ordinary working class people then there's no hope for you.


Kay Tie,
OK, I think I'm getting the hang of your linguistic code now, but just let me check:

#'Anti-democratic militant Left'= National Union of Mineworkers, or the Steelworkers, or Printers....or, by extension, any other manifestation of organised labour. (As an aside - a quiet word of advice: if you ever come face to face with Arthur Scargill I'd advise against calling him a trot....)

#'Warfare', as used in domestic political discussion : what Thatcher did to the unions

#'Working class'/ 'ordinary working people'= er, no, I haven't quite understood your definition of either of those terms just yet...perhaps you're right, perhaps there really is no hope for me...

Business directory

The law is simple: we must produce more goods and services.

John Terry's Mum

kay tie:

Why you bother?

Kay Tie

"Why you bother?"

A very good question. I think I shall leave Chris Dillow and his unreconstructed dozy Trots to frot themselves into righteous indignation over the evil capitalist system exploiting the workers who inexplicably voted Tory for 18 years in a row.

Chris Williams

Chris D, have you ever checked out Norbert Elias's theory of the 'Civilising Process'? That offers a potential explanation for a trend towards less tolerance for disorder over time.


If you're so deluded to equate acrid vintage Trots with commonplace employed class persons then there's no wish for you

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