Thursday 28 March 2013

Human Stock Crisis; Depleted

 "And the opposite of socialist is not capitalist. Our party is older than capitalism, and wider than any class. It grew up in the first place out of concern for liberties, traditions and morals. It has evolved a good deal in the past three centuries yet it has retained its essential character; its area of concern is the whole of public life and all matters which should be of public interest down to the treatment of every man, woman and child."


"Such words as good and evil, such stress on self-discipline and on standards have been out of favour since the war with the new establishment. They have preferred the permissive society, and, at the same time, the collectivised society. At first sight this paradox might seem inexplicable. Why should people who believe in strict state control over economic life, who disfavour private enterprise, independent education, private pension schemes, private medicine, so strongly favour what they call permissiveness in social life? How is it that those who claim to oppose the exploitation of man by man and what they call commercialism should favour the commercial exploitation of indecency, the commercial exploitation of woman by man?"


"The decline is spreading. We know that some universities have been constrained to lower their standards for entrants from comprehensives, discriminating against more the talented [sic] because they come from grammar or independent schools. We see how the demand for absolute equality turns into the new inequality.

In the universities, which should be sanctuaries for the pursuit of truth, the bully-boys of the left have bean giving us a foretaste of what leftwing dictatorship would endeavour to achieve, actively cheered on by the casuistry of some members of the university staffs, cuckoos in our democratic nest, and by the pusillanimity of others, by the apathy of many and, I must add, by moral cowardice in public life.


"It was the radical Socialist writer and patriot, the late George Orwell , who described the left-wing intellectuals as men motivated primarily by hatred of their own country. Socialists who spoke most about brotherhood of man [sic] could not bear their fellow-Englishmen, he complained. Their well-orchestrated sneers from their strongpoint in the educational system and media have weakened the national will to transmit to future generations those values, standards and aspirations which made England admired the world over.

It is just because their message is that self-discipline is out of date and that the poor cannot be expected to help themselves, that they want the state to do more. That is why they believe in state ownership and control of economic life, education, health. Their wish to end parental choice in where and how their children shall be educated, in spending their money on better education and health for their children instead of on a new car, leisure, pleasure, is all part of the attempt to diminish self and self-discipline and real freedoms in favour of the state, ruled by socialists, the new class, as one disillusioned communist leader called them."


"It was Freud who argued that repression of instincts is the price we pay for civilisation. He considered the price well-paid. So can we, now. But we must see the dilemmas, we must argue it out among ourselves, to find a way through these moral dilemmas, while we fight for our ideals in wider fora through words and deeds. But you may ask what can fallible politicians in short-lived governments do in the face of all these tidal forces? Most of what needs to be done, I have stressed, is for individuals as themselves and as members of all manner of bodies. But some tasks are for government, and to these I will return on a future occasion.

This could be a watershed in our national existence. Are we to move towards moral decline reflected and intensified by economic decline, by the corrosive effects of inflation? Or can we remoralise our national life, of which the economy is an integral part? It is up to us, to people like you and me."

Keef lays it out in 1974; the eugenics arguments near the end of the speech possibly cost  him leadership of the Party, but did provide the example for Thatcher to cloak 'moral responsibility Toryisms' in euphemism and wordplay. The conception of the left as some pervasive conspiracy is staggering, as is the thought that Joseph was at the helm of Thatcher's policy decisions. As I recall from Peter Henessy's The Secret State, he was also one of the politicians assigned to the government's Cotswolds bunker in the event of nuclear war. Enoch Powell too. Brr.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Black Gold/Black List

Monday 12 March 1979

"... Now the oil companies tell us they want the Government to use the Criminal Records Office and Special Branch - with its link with Northern Ireland - to check people employed on oil rigs. The companies would give us the names, and we would be expected to check them out and blacklist them if necessary for previous convictions or political reasons.
      It would mean moving towards a police state as a by-product of having oil. I put this bluntly to Jasper Cross [civil servant], who said that, if we refused to help out, the Government would get the blame if anything went wrong."

 Tony Benn, Conflicts of Interest: Diaries 1977-1980