I’ve written before about the slowing of blog output. I gather I’m doing better than the normal, which is to give up after a couple of posts. As the joke has it “I’m writing a blog” “Really ? Neither am I”. For the moment, I’m trying to concentrate on some articles that are getting quite long. One is about the need for greater productivity in the economy, which is the only way for one group of people to get better off without taking the money from another group of people. The other is about the state of the education system, and the extraordinary (to the non-specialist) information that state schools do very well, and rather better than private schools. I’m also being nudged by a friend to write something about the current religion that is neo-liberal capitalism, but I’m not sure I can do better than Michael Sandel or Ha-Joon Chang.
Having revealed my views on everything, it requires a burst of anger to get me writing. This week was propelled by an article in the Times by Tim Montgomerie claiming that we were wrong to think of the political right as being the stupid party, as it had been shown to be correct so often recently. My facial control is pretty good, and so I can tell you that my jaw did not hit the floor at such an article being published in the week of the privatised gas men appearing before the House of Commons, and more revelations about bank misdeeds. I like the definition of a conservative as someone who believes reform is a good thing as long as it takes place 150 years ago. There’s a good summary of their general wrong-headedness in this US link, but it is true over here, too. Let us remember who it was who voted against limiting the hours children could work in a factory (contrary to free enterprise – would reduce family incomes and destroy the British economy), against the abolition of slavery (an intolerable intrusion into property rights), against votes for working men and any women (mob rule, of course), against retirement pensions (the King had to threaten to create many new peers to persuade the Lords to accept a measure that would raise income tax to 8p in the £), against standing up to Hitler (after he demanded chunk of Czechoslovakia, ‘a far away country of which we know little’), against gay relationships (which threatened family values). The sad litany continues today, with the brainless austerity programmes that are simultaneously reducing the quality of our public life whilst slowing the economy’s recovery.
I once had a girl-friend who refused to go out with right-wing men, not because they had views that disagreed with hers, but because they tended to be dim. Too right, Joanna, too right.