Author Archives: Edward Crabtree

The unbearable uncoolness of being liberal

`What we should do`, says my drinking partner, `is set up garrisons on the border. Then just shoot the buggers when they come in.`

I make squeaking noises about international law, but he will not be stopped.

`Pfff! I once believed in all that flim-flam. But times change`.

He slams his beer glass down, flushing.

`These days I am pretty much a fascist!`

My best mate forms a part of a new social demographic – the Trendy Neo-Rightie (T.N.R). Back in the day, how we laughed at the `Right ons`. Those he or shes who stuck Save the Whale stickers on his or her methane driven cars and gave non –gender specific dolls to their `young adults`. These have long been superseded by Grumpy Old ideologues who, in their forties and fifties have decided that the main problem facing the world is `liberal shibboleths`.

These people do not represent the forgotten white working-class that we have been hearing so much about. On the contrary, well educated and with reasonable jobs they dwell in the leafier areas of cities and, if my own friends are anything to go by, many are expats.

Posted in Op-eds | 9 Comments

Yabloko: Keeping Russia’s Liberal flame alight

Last September an all too rare event could be seen at the exits of some Moscow metro stations: young people were dishing out leaflets in a campaign for candidates in the municipal elections of that year. They stood before stalls and banners emblazoned with a green circle intersected by a red wedge: the emblem of the Russian United Democratic Party – Yabloko.

Whilst ever more stereotyped as a `centre of illiberalism`, the Russian Federation can boast its own liberal heritage – and one that culminated in the short-lived provisional government of early 1917. Yabloko might be viewed as the contemporary legal and constitutional heir to that facet of Russian history.

Yabloko (`apple`) emerged in 1993 and became an official political party eight years later. They adopted a unique stance of supporting the post-Soviet democratic reforms yet criticising Yeltsin’s authoritarianism and his so called `shock therapy` privatisation drive. Without doubt, they are something of a voice in the wilderness in the climate of sociocultural conservatism in Russian society.

Posted in Europe / International | Tagged and | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 19th Feb - 2:22pm
    Alternatively, in classic Chancellor obfuscation, introduce the new social contribution on all incomes but simultaneously reduce the 12% NI rate!
  • User AvatarMartin 19th Feb - 2:19pm
    Further to Paul Barker's comment: From our Liberal perspective Brexit is clearly wrong from both principled and pragmatic standpoints. However in terms of what is...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 19th Feb - 2:19pm
    One obvious solution is to progressively raise the rate of NI above the upper threshold to 12% . The idea that NI is only progressive...
  • User AvatarPhilip Rolle 19th Feb - 1:54pm
    @Laurence Cox Paying extra income tax does not confer enforceable rights. Paying a social insurance premium would. So if an operation was cancelled, a patient...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 19th Feb - 1:47pm
    The reason for our focus on Brexit is that once things start to happen it will be the dominant issue in British Politics, we are...
  • User AvatarAndrew Tampion 19th Feb - 1:46pm
    As a matter of fact none of the candidates to replace David Cameron did argue for a second referendum so the level of support for...