Monday, 15 March 2010

In Safe Hands

The Guardian now seems to be pretty openly backing David Cameron. Or as much as they can without alienating the remnant of their readership. First this. It is sad, in a sense, that it was up to Peter Hitchens to point out that reporting opinion polls is not neutral. The way that they are spinning the closing gap is a sign that they want people to vote Tory.

Then this. George Osborne has authored a column with 'leading US economist Jeffrey Sachs'.

Yes, that Jeffrey Sachs. The guy who oversaw the shock therapy in Russia. the guy who impoverished millions of Russians, created vast unemployment, saw Russian life expectancy collapse and infanticide increase vastly and turned Russia into an oligarchy with a plummeting GDP is a 'leading US economist', who is deigning to endorse the Tories' plans for the Brit economy.

Whilst an open society depends on freedom and expression of conflicting ideas, modern Britain has no real free media. Just numerous people who agree on practically everything. Gordon Brown did a lot to support the bankers and neo-cons, but he just simply isn't one of them. And they won't settle for anyone else. (Though I suppose, Gordy can have a chuckle at for offering signed copies of Andrew 'Mr Nobody' Rawnsley's book of dubious gossip)

The excellent thriller writer Robert Harris wrote a book about a Prime Minister, based on Tony Blair, who turns out to be an American agent. Whilst I can't say what truth there could be in this, unless a Brit politician is so fanatically neo-liberal they could pass for an American spy, then they will not have any chance of election.


  1. Have you heard about the Red Tories? Seems to be combining conservative values and morals with left wing aspects of social equality, often influenced by Christian teachings (their ideologue Philip Blonde is a former theology lecturer). It is really the polar oppostie to Thatcherism.

    This is the piece on them. It sounds positive but I would still not vote Tory as they are still the gatekeepers of privilege. There is a lot on recent tragedies like Baby P and the Edlingotn boys attacks and about how civic responsibilities and morals have been lost

  2. @NK
    I read quite a lot of paleo-con authors and many of them (such as Justin Raimondo, Pat Buchanan and Taki) are both far better writers than mainstream liberals and were far braver at tackling the neo-cons.

    However, their views on economics are largely based on similar fallacies to the neo-cons.

    Peter Hitchens is sometimes one of the best British journalists; but sometimes he is also one of the worst. He's never gotten to terms with 'neo-liberalism' and its blend of foreign policy/economic right and cultural left. Instead he keeps calling everyone he disagrees with (including Thatcher) 'left wing'.

    He speaks more sense about the role of Christianity in modern Britain. I suppose I would add the caveat that France is at least equally secular; though I suppose not learning from the French is one thing the Brits are very, very good at.

  3. Gregor,

    Great post and great blog. I used to be an avid reader of paleo-con authors like Buchanan and Taki, and to a certain extent came to my current economic views based on Buchanan's opposition to globalization and the outsourcing of American jobs.

    So on some issues, I think Buchanan is more left-wing/populist on economics than some Democrats. On the other hand, Buchanan and friends do sometimes go on typical right-wing rants against "socialism" (really just New Deal-style progressivism) which I don't really agree with.

    But the biggest reason I stopped reading paleo-con websites was that they often seem to pal around with some scary biological determinist types. I have read some articles on TakiMag that were about one step from being something you'd see on Stormfront or other "white nationalist" sites.

    ---Mr. Piccolo

  4. Thank you for your positive feedback John. It is true that some paleo-cons like Steven Sailor are positively creepy. But overall, I am pleased that Taki and Buchanan offer an alternative to the neo-liberal hegemony. It's as Chomsky says, to participate in mainstream political conversation, you have to play by the rules. Anything that deviates from the mainstream accepted narrative is welcome as far as I'm concerned.