Shuggy (accusing Chris of being too much of a folkie) says:
"Chris's analogy can be used accurately to illustrate this point: prog rock is shit but states that ban prog rock in favour of traditional music are immeasurably less liberal than states that do not. The same's true of political parties."None of this explains Horslips though. Authentic traditional music in a prog-rock setting. And actually, not all that bad in parts (though fucking awful in others).
(you will have to wait about 1min and 20 secs for the performance)
I still think that Chris has a point, in so far as there is a strong case to be made that political parties are monolithic dinosaurs that offer little of relevance to those who aren't versed in the Kremlinology of it all. The 'least worst way of doing things' defence that Shuggy mounts is a slightly impoverished one (I say this in the full knowledge that it's an argument that I use all of the time).
Shuggy isn't wrong. It's just that I think there is room for a bit of ambition here.
There is a road-map that centralised political parties could follow that would allow them to postpone their impending irrelevance. It involves a conscious decision by a left-of-centre party (in government) to invest in the development of confident diverse local government settlements. A settlement where competent, conversational, intelligent and inclusively-minded people are incentivised to stand for election. But if I go on any further, you'll just accuse me of hi-jacking two very good posts to advance a cherished theme of my own, won't you?
2: The left list over at the Torygraph. There's so much to argue about here, of course. Norm and Dave, of this parish, are at no.77 and no.93, while Sunny Hundal is at no72 - above them both - which is a bit weird. Sunny doesn't really strike me as 'left' at all.
And George Galloway is on it as well, which is even weirder.
3: Iain Dale continues his vendetta against NTaH. Last year, he claimed to have never heard of it at the time of compiling the list (even though he was an occasional visitor to the comments boxes here prior to that whenever I'm rude about him). This year, I get damned with faint praise. Number 97.
4. Here's the Virtual Philosopher explaining why compulsory 'Acts of Worship' teach children to be insincere. Norm's picked it up as well. Both worth a look.
5. And finally, here's another one of those Meg Ryan "yes! yes! yes!" moments, where Tom absolutely hits the spot over at Let's Be Sensible.
"Have Your Say". The chat-up line of every ingratiating charlatan and budding demagogue.