Monday, 17 May 2010

Philosophy and Politics

The sister blog to this blog - 'Philosophy and Politics' - will be taken down in the next day or two because of lack of interest.

It will be replaced by a more formal blog specifically tailored to blog-based academic assignments.

I have rescued and updated one of my posts from this blog that you might want to comment on. Here it is

One thing is clear: the current UK government will have to develop a range of policies designed to bring about a more cohesive society. After the excesses of liberal individualism a new sense of integration and belonging is required. The party that grasp this and articulates it in a populist idiom will be the one that triumphs at the next election.

Can Cameron do this? In theory yes, because these are his political instincts. However, he will be forced to distance himself from neo-liberalism in many ways and this is likely to put him into conflict with the right wing of his party. Cameron suffers from the difficulty that if fig leaf of red toryism is removed we will in all likelihood see his party for what it is, politically, remains: a 19th century liberal party with an outmoded belief in the necessity of a minimal 'nightwatchman' state.

Cameron's real threat comes not from labour or the lib dems but the right of his party.

Neil Turnbull


  1. i wasn't even aware of the politics blog.

    anyway. this is an interesting point. cameron will certainly have to choose between progression and tradition which will ultimately cause a schism, which i think is a sign of the end of the party system. we may see something akin to this in the opposition labour party. The old labour party proponents were pretty deftly silenced by peter mandelsatan and his cronies, but now we have a failed new labour facing a vindicated old labour with some rogue indeterminates too. we may end up returning to the old system, or something similar to it, when whig and tory simply referred to which coffee house you drank in and which how you tended to vote in the house rather than a fixed party with guidlines, a manifesto, a hierarchy etc. yet again we can agree that politics is changing at all levels.
    just as an interesting example referring to the post. after ww1 david lloyd george, a liberal, headed a conservative dominated parliament and cabinet with the majority of his party disowning him temporarily, maybe we can imagine cameron facing the same oddity

  2. What a supremely prophetic post from the beginning of last year. I bow to your sage wisdom Dr Turnbull!

    Continuing with the sycophancy I think I have to agree with Fred. The potential here for a genuine change in the British political system is massive. And not the reformist changes to the bureaucracy that the incumbent coalition proposes, but changes that will be born of responses to the success of that coalition.

    Were the coalition to continue with reasonable success then the rift forming between those coalesced and those unwilling to try, would grow. However it is not that the members of the coalition would want to split off and form a new party, we would just see the breaking up of the conventional party lines. I would love to see a parliament full of independents who care about their constituencies more than party allegiance. I suppose the problem here though is the ever more international side to national politics. Is it asking to much of my (now conservative) MP to ask for support locally in an election campaign based on the way they would deal with Obama or Merkel?

    If it is, this is only what we have now, but the local MP comes to the door with a picture of their beautiful leader telling you how he will deal them.

  3. Also Neil, may I ask what you mean by blog-based academic assignments?

  4. Rob et al

    The blog will be used as a forum for assessment next year - on two modules; one at level 2 and one at level 3.

    Also, thanks for thinking of me as a prophet! However, I did say that I amended the earlier post to meet the demands of the new political situation!

    What's an independent? Surely we all see the world from a point of view that is conditioned by historical and social circumstance?

    I don't think that we can have a society of independents until we get rid of social divisions. This of course will require a social 'revolution' of some kind!

    Of course this isn't possible at the moment (for one it will require the military to switch sides; not a very likely prospect in my view).

    The only thing that might trigger such a thing is a catastrophic military defeat. Again, not a very likely prospect...

    Neil Turnbull

  5. I guess 'independent' is a bit of a misnomer. I really mean anyone who is more interested in sorting things out in their constituency than getting ahead with in a party structure. These people are probably at least as rare as the opportunity for social revolution though.