Quote of the Moment
"All really great things happen in slow and inconspicuous ways." Leo Tolstoy

Friday, 30 May 2008

The true tory progressives...?

Written by one of my recent lecturers - a man of all trades - Philip Blond. Here he drops the theology for something more down to earth with an analysis within the guardian of the direction that the Torys are going within British Politics.

The claim by David Cameron to tackle disadvantage through the revival of civil society looks to many on the left like ideological cover for a revived neoliberal agenda. But is it? The lesson of the last 30 years is that neither the state nor the market is able to alleviate poverty or deliver opportunity for all.

Though the arguments about the failure of the market economy needs expanding Philip makes some interesting points. Not only is the tory party on the verge, it seems, of making some interesting political movements in terms of policy but it also seems to be making the right ones; reducing the state, decentralization and the rethinking of welfare. The only problem may be that Labour is making things too easy...

The danger is that with New Labour imploding after the local elections and Crewe, the Tories avoid visionary thinking and coast to victory. But this is perilous: the electorate is fickle.

The problem with Philip is the ultimate direction he drives his conclusions. Though the thinking above in general seems correct he makes two very radical points, 1) a rejection of the free market, and 2) the rejection of liberalism. Points which seem both worrying and difficult to comment on now. They just seem too radical.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Europe has won...

After seeing this post on the Devil's Kitchen I have to lament what seems to becoming a truism for most students of the day. Europe has won, not through argument or any tangible benefit for the various nations but through the conceptual reality that it is the exciting new project that brings peace, love and bunny rabbits to all of its peoples.

Watch this vid and you will understand I think.

This chimes a chord with my experience of those that have been given a glimpse of the European project in my life. It is basic brainwashing of the most positive kind. Politics students in Lancaster University were given a chance to go and see the project face to face, discuss its pros and cons and come to their own conclusions of whether Europe is a good things or not. I didn't go, but a friend of mine did and in reality what he came across was a summer camp which touched on none of the real issues facing Europe and its constituent member states. Instead the discussion was on the large issue, the fun issues, the conceptual immaterial idealist prospects of what a perfect Europe would be like.

And this is the point. From what little I know (admittedly) those that seem to be whole heartedly won over by Europe are done so first on these idealist grounds of a peaceful perfectly formed federalist state - much in the same way the leftists are won over by their flawed drives towards equality. Just in the same way that the left held the minds of the youth in the second half of the 20th century it is the European project which will be the extravagance of our leaders of tomorrow. And though it will be a flawed understanding, and though it is something which many will grow out of in later life what this does mean is that Europe has in this sense become us. Is now an accepted reality of the British state's existence and not something which we join and continually renew our commitment to, but in the only sense that is real, it is now an institution within 'our' minds.

Post #1

Yes indeed, this is a new and brand spanking (to coin an overused phrase) blog. I hope you like it.

As always, I have a plan. And the plan for this blog comes from a realization that I am 100% failing on the employability front. Not only have I not got any of the experience needed to get into any field of work I actually wish to commit my life to, but my last blog - Special/Blown it - even though it has a good body of work within it fails to be something that can be used to enhance a CV or show to a prospective employer.

For those who may be reading this from such a position, please take most of what is written there with a pinch of salt; it is largely uncensored rantings and I only include the comment here in the aim to show that I have some experience within the blogging world, even if that is marginal.

Anyway, to be clear. This blog has two aims.

  1. To create a body of work based upon comment and rantings which can be something I can be proud of and use in the promotion of me to any future job hunting activities.
  2. Continue to develop my grasp of the English language. To push myself and my ability to create entertaining, informative prose.
I doubt that this will be of interest to anyone but me, and the sorry soul who takes an interest in me and my activities. That being said, I wish to encourage comment and responses to any of the inane ramblings which may be found within this blog.

Wonderful. Now all thats sorted time to get some more tea.