Magpie-like, I shall seize on a couple of items from Liberal England that highlight stories I missed when I was away.
Phil Willis’s opposition to parental choice in schools is predictable but still annoying. It is a similar attitude to that displayed by Don Foster on casinos (see previous post). Both seem to have a paternalist, almost Fabian, attitude, with a touching faith that experts know best. ‘You see, the people, the poor dears, they don’t know what’s good for them.’ I can’t imagine that Willis or Foster stop for a second to consider how their pronouncements relate to liberalism either with a small or large L.
And yet somehow they escape the opprobrium that many defenders of Liberalism within the party pour on the likes of Mark Oaten. Although I have by no means always agreed with Mark, at least he genuinely did try to think about the nature of Liberalism and much of what he said was simply about changing how we present our views. By contrast, I find it almost impossible to recognise anything Liberal about many of the public views of Willis and Foster.