I’m fascianted to the reaction to one of my blogs this afternoon.
I noted that rather surprisingly Jesse Norman MP (a Tory) and I had sided against the far right in a debate yesterday.
The reaction of one commentator – who I confirm was there – was so typical of the right. First he resorted to sophistry – asking me to define terms (it’s a standard trick of the far right – they hate common understanding of terms expressed in plain English comprehensible to all, which is what I was using).
Then there was denial (“I’m not an adviser even though I sit on an advisory panel”).
Throw in a touch of dissembling after that – “I’m not a right winger – how dare you say so? I’m a free marketeer” type of thing.
So let’s use plain English.
That I know of there is no one on the left who says the role of the state must be restricted as far as possible and that the market must be left to resolve all issues. So it follows that free marketeer = right wing.
And then let’s note that arguing that democracy gives no legitimate right to the state to regulate – a right that should apparently be left to the market without interference – is a) anti-democratic and b) way into the fringes of free market thinking and yet it was being openly endorsed yesterday at a meeting sponsored by and largely attended by members of the IEA and Adam smith Institute. That’s extremism if ever I heard it, and exceptionally dangerous extremism too if I might say so (and as you’re libertarians you really can’t deny me the right).
So it follows you’re 1) right wing and 2) extremists.
I might rest rest my case there.
But let me add that if it so happens people of this persuasion populate the IEA and Adam Smith Institute well, you can see what follows on…it’s not hard to work it out. So if they don’t want the label, expel the thinking. That’s an easy solution for you.
If not live with the fact that I’m right to say you oppose democracy. Because as far as I can see and hear and read that’s what you do.
And much as I hate racists I find that opposition to democracy as repugnant because you share with racists a goal of oppressing people whether on grounds of ethnicity or on the grounds of wealth (or lack of it). And both are an assault on the dignity of all human beings who I believe are, and have a right to be treated as equals irrespective of such issues and gender, sexual orientation, belief, disability and more besides.
You’re challenge that principle - and I name that as extremism. Right wing extremism.