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June 08, 2015



Actually, it's mostly because people "on the right" never hold the Tory party to account. So it's free to by hypocritical because there is no comeback.

Of course, some of that is FPTP in action. But there is also a fundamental tribal loyalty on the right which is hard to disrupt - as UKIP found out...

Finally, I hate to bring it up again, but the evidence against "spontaneous order" (in the Smithian sense) in systems theory just continues to mount. You owe it to yourself to come to terms with that and discover that the good twin of "managerialism" isn't "spontaneous order" but more likely "principle centred guided order" or whatever the kids in seminars have christened it these days...


To explain my loyalty point - most of the linked (bruceonpolitics) points were plain before the election. Many people who talked about them like he does, still voted Tory...

Matt Moore

hear, hear


"Islamofascism in Britain can be beaten by open debate."

But if sympathisers with Islamofascism aren't at all interested in debate?

 Adam Glass

This is simply the fptp electoral system and two (major) party politics at work. The Tory party is essentially an uncomfortable coalition between authoritarian and liberal/libertarian wings held together by a common belief in the free market. In the same way the labour party has a similar authoritarian and liberal split, held together themselves by a common belief in socialism.

With the collapse of the liberal Democrats and labour in disarray, the biggest threat to the conservatives at the moment is their own right wing. Hence the lurch to the right.

Ralph Musgrave

I do like “Osborne's call for a crackdown on those who “spread hate but do not break laws””. How exactly does he propose “cracking down” on an activity which is not illegal? I’m baffled.

Re Tories’ desire to “restrict freedom of movement within the EU”, if that means going back to the sort of restrictions we had prior to the UK joining the EU, I couldn’t care less. I travelled round Europe in those days. There was total freedom of movement. Passport checks at frontiers took about ten seconds.

No doubt getting a job or MIGRATING to another Euro country was a different matter. But “freedom of movement” is much the same now as it always was.



"But if sympathisers with Islamofascism aren't at all interested in debate?"

SHHHH! That's WAAAAAYCIST!!! Never mind that it happens to be true. Just go back to sleep and don't draw attention to the elephant!



Skip Bins Now



I wasn't around for the 70s & 80s, but yeah my impression was that very little has changed; this lot are broadly the same cut just more extremist about it and that liberty for their in group has been the theme with Thatcher as well.

When I think of Tories and liberties, I think of an old 90s Private Eye cartoon with the police breaking up the Teddy Bears' Picnic as an illegal gathering.


I'm surprised that you did not list the restrictions on trade unions -- voluntary associations of self-help. If companies were regulated as such as unions, the Tories would be decrying the horrors of statism at every opportunity.

Moreover, Thatcherism was all about increasing state power and centralisation -- particularly over the working class. It was an experiment in social engineering, utilising the state because that was what was needed. If people objected, they were forced to be free -- by the taming of any intermediate institution between the isolated individual and the market or state. This included trade unions, local government, etc.

The notion that the Tories are pro-liberty is a myth -- they are pro-property, hence pro-authority and ultimately pro-state.

That the right has tried to take the term "libertarian" from the left (namely, libertarian socialists, or anarchists) should not blind us to their inherent authoritarianism driven by their real ideology -- propertarianism


"should not blind us to their inherent authoritarianism driven by their real ideology -- propertarianism"
Exactly. We on the Georgist libertarian right are the true believers of freedom. Muhahaha!


Spontaneous order may well emerge naturally whilst things are going well, but managerialism (the vaguely oppressive kind) may be preferred when things don't look so rosy. Osborne's crackdown on “spread hate but do not break laws” is usefully vague and could cover more or less anything - convenient but objectionable. I don't think the overall philosophy has changed since Thatcher, merely the focus. One might ask whether a Labour government would be much different given the ongoing distortions in society.

The key problem is that things are not going particularly well, the sunny uplands of a liberal society seem to be receding. Top-down control is needed to keep those clinging to the edge of the cocktail glass economy from slithering down the stem.

Ralph Musgrave

"Islamofascism can be beaten by open debate". Tut tut. Doesn't Chris realise that Islamofascism is one of the amazing forms of "cultural enrichment" that we should be grateful for?

But if by any chance fascism should be “beaten”, and if it can indeed be beaten by “open debate”, why didn’t we tumble to the fact that Hilter and Mussolini’s versions of fascism could have been “beaten by open debate”? We expended 30 million lives in WWII unnecessarily. Doh.

I look forward to Guardian readers volunteering to go to the Islamic part of Nigeria and have some “debates” with AK47 wielding Islamofascists. That might knock some sense into the heads of Guardian readers, though I’m not holding my breath. Knocking sense into the heads of Guardian readers can be a Herculean task.


The Economist and Telegraph were simply wrong. Look at football ID cards. A libertarian would never agree to those.

George Carty

Ralph, Hitler and (to a lesser extent) Mussolini required a military response because they were rulers of powerful industrialized states bent on aggressive war. I don't see any evidence that Islamic extremists are on the verge of gaining that kind of power (especially not that they could build the kind of navy they'd need to force a crossing of the Mediterranean and invade Europe).

It also seems to me that al-Qaeda and its spawn do best in desertifying areas. For example, Da'esh took over parts of Syria and Iraq devastated by drought (caused by Turkey's Southeast Anatolia Project), while Boko Haram is based in a northern Nigerian region which is part of the Sahel. Perhaps the answer for Syria would be to ally with Assad against Da'esh, temporarily taking in refugees, and then solving the problem on a longer-term basis by installing some (preferably nuclear- or solar-powered) desalination plants there?


"But if sympathisers with Islamofascism aren't at all interested in debate?"

Stephen and A, the big elephant in the room, whisper it, nudge nudge, look over your shoulder, Muslims are like the insects from Starship troopers. I saw that movie and you couldn't reason with them. look at the Orcs in Lord of The Rings. What more proof that Zombiefied enemies await!

This is where it starts, dehumanise these people, make out they are not capable of rational human thought (like what we are), that they don't think and reason like real human beings and there you have it, your far right recruit, ignorant and proud and staunch defender of the flag!

Ignore the big elephant and see the big knobheads, Stephen and A.


Osborne makes my head itchy for many reasons.

Inciting criminal acts is already illegal including inciting racial hatred. It seems that the Tory papers and government however are doing a good job of trying to incite hatred against certain religious groups via the method of guilt by association. So maybe they should be on trial at The Bailey?

It is not for the Cabinet of ministers to tell anyone what religion to adhere to or persecute people for their faith however misguided. Attempting to do so will not work and will be counterproductive as it will create a sense of persecution itself a recruiting sergeant for extremist views see JS Mill On Liberty for the explanation.

It is also for the public to judge the Cabinet and to be free to criticise it for mistaken policies. Such as illegal wars of aggression. It is high time we stopped treating these public school morons with the respect they do not deserve.


And of course the treatment of the miners during the 1984 strike is hardly consistent with a belief in liberty.

Anarco is correct. The problem with modern conservatism is that it has transformed into a ideology which sees no limit to the claims of private property. Unlimited private property rights is the new religion which is wholly inconsistent with liberty as it is anti democratic destroying the public sphere and the idea of the general good. The authoritarianism partly arises from the theory and partly from a desire to exploit the hard of thinking readers of the Mail. Unworkable oppressive and counterproductive laws are the result.

james higham

Meanwhile, Labour cover themselves with glory as the two brothers fall out again.

gastro george

More a hissy fit from Dave M, surely?


These statements are made in large part to appeal to middle aged and older women voters. They are the troy equivalent of Asbestos that ere invented by New Lab mainly for the same electoral purpose.

There is a huge demand from voters for authoritarinusm and in a democracy the parties compete to satisfy the demands of public opinion.

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