Dead Men Left

Monday, June 06, 2005

In agreement with Vince Cable

Well, more-or-less:

"It's because of the politics of identity that I can't see the Conservative Party reverting back to the role it had in the Fifties, Sixties and even under Margaret Thatcher as a broad church appealing to people on the middle ground. I cannot see that happening any more. There will have to be realignment.

"I can see a world where there is an authentic party of the nationalist right, an authentic socialist party and several in the centre."

The good thing about privileging "identity" is that you, as a Liberal Democrat, can rehabilitate a classical form of liberalism, shoving economic questions still further from political discourse whilst presenting yourself as terribly cosmopolitan and vaguely of the left. It ignores the ferocity with which those economic questions can suddenly re-emerge: it's difficult to comprehend the French "no" otherwise, liberal-left interpretations notwithstanding. So Cable's right about the possibility of a multiparty system in Britain, but for the wrong reasons.

[I'm particularly embittered about the Lib Dems at the moment as I've just realised, a month after the election, that my university contemporaries are now becoming MPs. This is far worse than discovering half of them are pregnant, getting married, etc. Jo's very personable and all that, but she's too young (though admittedly slightly older than me) and it's just not right. See also BionOc on her podling, with pics.]