Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Laban Tall has a nice round up of what is, superficially at least, one of the strangest trends in British politics at present, namely Lefty opinionistas starting to sound like they're channelling Mary Whitehouse. Myself, I think there's a kind of logic there - the Left's obssession with S-E-X was always somewhat tactical. After all, it's not like the L3 have a roblem with moralising - ask them about salaries in the City, tax evasion or Kyoto. L3 attitudes to humping were always an anomaly.

Given that even university academics claim that slagging off business or the Queen is the height of reckless courage, it's hard to believe there once was a time when Liberalism was as radical and revolutionary as its acolytes still claim it to be. Early on Liberals recognised one basic fact: people being people, they'll always be suckers for a philosophy which will allow them to shag anything that moves guilt free. The sex thing was something of a Trojan horse as far as helping Liberalism into the mainstream goes.

Things have changed a bit since then. Liberals can justifiably quote one of their spiritual ancestors and claim 'we are the masters now', which means - wouldcha'believe it ? - that the self-same people who wanted to smash the system, man (or claimed to) now sound like a parody of the people they claimed to oppose. Here's Tessa Jowell on the Olympic bid:

Whingeing pessimism and hostility will not stop our campaign but it will hand votes to the cities against which we are competing. It is whingers who will weaken our national will. At this moment, optimism, self-confidence and ambition is what we need. Let that win, not the whingers

National will ?

Hell, it wouldn't be so bad if she was talking about Iraq, but no - it's the opportunity to host drug-powered mutants for two weeks that's lit her candle. In truth, a philosophy like Liberalism that requires total control of everything in the whole world, plus the rest, was never going to be compatible with sociological anarchy. It's served its purpose but now it's getting to be a drag, hence hardcore L3 sounding like Viz's Victorian Dad.

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