Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Another Right Turn On My Political Journey

I've gone through quite a political journey so far in my life...

It all started in 1997. I had one clear political belief; nationalism is wrong. This lead me to supporting, in so far as a naive 13 year old such as myself could "support", the Tories in that years election (with their unionist ideology of "nationhood" for the UK). After the election I discovered that the Tories were in fact small minded, control freak bigots. I warmed to the New Labour government until September 11th. The reaction (of treating the event as the start of a "war" rather than a criminal investigation and removing our basic civil liberties) along with the Iraq War and the fudge over civil partnerships had me re-evaluate my political positions. In 2004's European election I voted Green, the first election in which I had a chance to vote, mainly out of a personal respect for Dr. Lucas who I had first seen giving a speech in 1999. I found myself drawn locally to the Liberal Democrats from then on and found my political beliefs falling well within the "Social Liberal" bracket.

But recently, ever since just before the 2010 election, I've found my opinions evolving once more. I'd still call myself a liberal but more in the classical liberal sense than in the Social Liberal one. I found the bail-out of the banks distasteful, the election expenses scandal upsetting and the failure of the New Labour project a sure sign that my negative gut instincts on mixing free enterprise and social democrat values (in Third Way public private partnerships for instance) were right. I've become more convinced than ever that Government is usually more often the cause of problems than the solution. And my underlying belief, brought through from a sympathy with the left's aims if not their means, in co-operatives and mutuals has become ever stronger.

And so it's time to do a "beliefs audit". My Philosophy classes taught me that it's unhealthy to have beliefs that are in tension with each other. Which means over the next few posts I'll be taking a look at different subjects and trying to analyse why I stand where I do on the matter and whether that is consistent with my underlying political beliefs. First up is a subject that is, understandably, controversial; abortion. I might as well start with the topic most likely to upset everybody on both sides of the argument...

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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