Saturday, April 18, 2009

Paulie somewhere else

This time, over at Common Endeavour.

4 comments:

Mike said...

Didn't really understand the article, and poor communication may be the real issue.

To my way of thinking: England is a naturally Conservative country, and a Labour government is an aberration (3 successive terms especially). A Labour government has to operate within a hostile environment: Tory-supporting civil service, media, City, police. So, a Labour government has to be politically central (eg. light financial regulation), and whiter-than-white (eg. expenses).

What really bemuses me is that Blair took the country into an unpopular war and survived. Yet, Brown has received nothing but criticism for performing a reasonable job.

Paulie said...

"England is a naturally Conservative country, and a Labour government is an aberration (3 successive terms especially)."

I think that it has a naturally conservative media, certainly. And the 'active citizenry' are naturally conservative as well.

I outlined this argument in a bit more detail here:
http://blog.localdemocracy.org.uk/2009/03/10/will-victor-be-the-eventual-victor/

However, the idea that it is a naturally conservative country is a harder one to make - indeed, any improvement in the quality of democracy would have to start with a reduction of the powers exercised by the media, and the way that time-rich citizens drown out the wider 'general will'.

Mike said...

Looks like I'm a victim of the propaganda. In the 17 elections since '45, Labour won the English popular vote 8 times. That's cheered me up.

Paulie said...

... including one election where I think Labour got over 50% of the popular vote - and lost the election (1951 I think?).

Certainly, theres a strong social-democratic case that an election that isn't distorted by a partisan media would nudge the political centre firmly to the left.