It’s time for the left to move on from neoliberalism – because the right have

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I have already posted once this morning on how to consider the threat from the New Right. Nick Cohen also has thoughts on this today, in the Observer. I know many have problems with Cohen's version of liberalism, as do I quite often, but this seems both correct and insightful to me:

Leftish condemnations of “neoliberalism” miss that the Thatcher/Reagan ideology of the 1980s is over. Conservatives rarely admit it, in public at any rate, but an idea is still dead even if no one turns up for the funeral. Who can now pretend hopes that a small state and free markets would bring prosperity to the mass of people are anything more than a hollow joke?

I think he may well be right: neoliberalism is dead, except on the left. There it continues to create an obsession with the past, when the focus should be on the future. And on the left it still creates an obsession with austerity, balanced budgets and independent central banks which will deliver the austerity the right have now completely abandoned.

It's time to smell the coffee on the left, and start talking about what people really want, which is a fair, just, open, liberal and decidedly green society. But still most on the left insist on playing on the opposition's pitch, even when they have long left it.