Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Where the stray votes might be.. 

I think Philip Pullman had part of his tongue in cheek when he wrote this piece on New Conservatism in the Guardian. Ideas without a champion he says.. but some of them sound a little like LibDem notions. maybe (cough cough) we havent been quite as successful as we might in saying what Liberalism might mean...?

(Pullman)... I've noticed that the Conservative party has been rather at a loss recently. It doesn't know what it stands for or what it ought to be proposing to do in government. So in a friendly spirit of helpfulness, I thought I'd point
out some policies that resonate with old-fashioned ideas of the sort that a
truly conservative party might well feel at home with. By good luck, these
policies are without a current champion, and any party taking them up would find
a natural body of support ready and waiting.
To start with, then, there's the notion of noblesse oblige. For those who can't remember, this is the very good and centuries-old idea that privilege imposes obligations. That was ditched over a quarter of a century ago, and since then we've suffered under the revolting principle that we should all be intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich.
A genuinely conservative idea would be to restore the principle that the wealthiest people should bear more financial responsibility than they've been required to do under the filthy-rich system: so income tax for the rich should go up.

Flat-Tax that one... and so on to this.

.... another conservative idea: that of the autonomy of the professions - the
teaching profession, for example. The notion is very simple: you employ good
people and then leave them alone. What you don't do is interfere all the time,
and tell them they can't be trusted, and set them targets for every tiny
activity, and regulate every minute of their lives, and put pompous and callow
government ministers on platforms to tell them how to do their jobs.

Ideas for someone here no doubt.


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