Tag Archives: woke

The alternative reality of the political right

Liberal Democrats operate in a world in which we assume that those we talk to and work with are reasonable, open-minded, fair and generous, and share broadly the same assumptions about society that we do. Except, of course, that those in power don’t. To an increasing degree, Conservatives who read the Telegraph, Mail and Spectator, watch Talk TV and GB News, follow research by right-wing think tanks and see US Republicans as their closest political soulmates live in an alternative reality.

Liz Truss is a classic example of this. After her rapid exit from the Prime Ministership, she travelled to Washington, to institutes already well-familiar from previous visits, to regain her intellectual self-confidence. The lengthy essay the Telegraph has since published for her was headlined ‘I was brought down by the Left-wing economic establishment’. That’s the Treasury, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the City of London, the solid ranks of economists in leading universities in the UK and other wealthy countries, even the business journalists of the Times. They’re all part of a left-wing consensus, against which right-wing free marketeers must valiantly struggle, with only the support of hedge-fund and property billionaires to finance their fight.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 27 Comments

It’s a woke leadership election. That is damaging

It’s one of the most contentious topics of our times but hardly the stuff of debate on the top of the Clapham Omnibus and in the snug of your neighbourhood pub. Many people have never heard of “woke” and a third don’t know what it means.

Yet it features strongly in the Tory leadership campaign, mainly in respect of transgender issues. Why?

The anti-woke momentum in the leadership contest is partly driven by the rise of populism on the Tory right. The right wing media have been gunning against woke, especially transgender issues, for months. Searches for “woke” on Google have accelerated since the leadership contest got underway. Candidates have felt obliged to give a statement of their position on woke. Second runner Penny Mordant had been quite relaxed on transgender but toughened her stance yesterday quoting Margaret Thatcher:

“It was Margaret Thatcher who said that ‘every Prime Minister needs a Willie’. A woman like me doesn’t have one.”

This posturing by the Tory candidates in order to get approval from the right wing press is damaging. Discussions on matters such as colonialism and slavery and the transgender debate need space and time to move towards a consensus. Efforts to achieve a degree of understanding, even if a consensus is impossible, should not be wrecked by the ambitions of wannabe prime ministers.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 14 Comments
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