Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

Sunday review on Monday: “Out of the ashes: Britain after the riots” by David Lammy

19/12/2011, 07:30:19 AM

by Anthony Painter

There is a new moralist movement in British politics. It binds red Tory and blue Labour and even Ed Miliband and David Cameron from time to time. The latter was at it this weekend in his “Christian country” lecture. This new moralism emphasises traditional values, family, responsibility, community, right and wrong, security, good and bad. A judeo-christian thread runs through it. David Lammy’s Out of the Ashes: Britain after the riots is, in part, a significant centre-left expression of this new moralism.

The definitive argument of the new moralism is that Britain has faced two liberal revolutions in the last fifty years: social liberalism in the 1960s and economic liberalism in the 1980s. Both were disastrous and explain why our society faces its current travails. It’s why people are rioting.

This “two revolutions” marker is there in red Toryism, blue Labourism, and it’s in Out of the Ashes:

“The problem is that we can never have enough. The revolutions that shaped modern Britain – the social liberalism of the 1960s and the economic liberalism of the 1980s – have schooled us to think of ourselves as individuals living lives free from each other”.


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Do we have to self-immolate to start a revolution against the British Pol Pot?

19/01/2011, 07:00:41 AM

By David Seymour

The swift and partially successful revolution in Tunisia was started by an out-of-work graduate who set himself on fire. Now others under the yoke in despotic regimes are doing the same.

Self-immolation has repelled me since I saw the pictures of Buddhist monks on fire in Vietnam but I have to admit that it has an impact which no other form of protest does. Not that I am volunteering to lead the revolution.

But the impact of what has happened in Tunisia does make me wonder what we have to do to get the British people to realise what is going on in this country.

I am baffled by the Tories, particularly David Cameron. I have no doubt that he genuinely believes in and treasures the National Health Service. He has personal experience of it which few Labour MPs have. When you spend a night a week sleeping on a hospital floor by the bedside of your severely disabled child, you see too clearly the magnificence of NHS staff.

So why is he introducing “reforms” which will destroy the health service? It doesn’t make sense. Even if he has been suckered into believing the nonsense propaganda of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, he can’t be so stupid that he doesn’t understand what the ultimate effect of Lansley’s changes will be. (more…)

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The old cancer at the heart of the student riot

11/11/2010, 09:00:18 AM

by Luke Akehurst

THE SAD lesson of the hijacking of part of Wednesday’s NUS demo – by a small minority who turned it into a mini-riot – is that some of the iron laws of left politics from the last time there was a Tory PM still hold true.

The mainstream left, whether that’s the Labour party, its affiliated trade unions, NUS or other organisations campaigning against the cuts needs to know that the bad guys are not all to our right on the political spectrum.

Idealistically, we might have thought that the sheer horror of the cuts being proposed by the Tory-Lib Dem government would mean all forces on the left in Britain could unite to protest and fight to protect key public services and benefits.

Wednesday’s behaviour killed that idealistic dream as it probably killed the political enthusiasm of some of the 50,000 ordinary students on the march.

On the plus side 49,000+ of them marched peacefully. By any stretch that’s a remarkable political mobilisation. The entire membership of all the student political organisations in the UK plus non-student supporters and non-partisan student union activists does not get anywhere near 10,000 people. So 80% or more of the marchers were “real people” driven to political protest by the government, not long-term political activists.

This should therefore have been a marvellous opportunity to get an entire new generation involved in politics, inspired by participation in a powerful protest that would have got their case all over the media and put fear in the hearts of the Lib Dem MPs who betrayed their erstwhile student voters. This should have been the start of a campaign that would have seen those 50,000 marchers go back to their colleges and work to either stop a government policy in its tracks or failing that contribute to mobilising their fellow students to evict Tory and Lib Dem MPs in university seats in the next general election. (more…)

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