Sunday, March 19, 2006

Three myths of the left

In today's (Dublin) Sunday Independent, Eoghan Harris comments on his move away from socialism (he was a member of Ireland's Workers' Party) following the disintegration of the soviet bloc in 1989:

I identified three ideological lines on the left to which I could no longer subscribe: the patronising notion of alienation (which assumes that working people do not know what they want); taking up fixed anti-American positions on foreign affairs (which always finish by favouring the local Provos whether they be Hamas or the Iraqi insurgents) and the notion that crime can be completely blamed on a bad environment.


Many on the British left equally abandoned entirely these notions and ended up on the path to New Labour – a position that was hardly identifiable at all as being on the left.

But others (including not a few Lib Dems) clung to these notions as if to a life-raft in a storm, denying that times had changed.

Which perhaps explains why the British left of today is so uninspiring.

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