Quote of the Day…

I’ve a notion that most self styled conservatives don’t stack up to any considered of what it means to be a conservative. From the introduction to Keiron O’Hara’s new book, Conservatism

“Conservatism is indeed a political idea that problematises change, but that does not render conservatives irrelevant. In fact, it makes them uniquely valuable in our whizz bang world.”

Discuss…

  • Always glad to see Slugger taking an interest in foreign politics.

  • tyrone_taggart

    I don’t think the basic outlook of British Conservationism has changed much since Burke.

    Edmund Burke
    He opposed democracy for three basic reasons.

    First, government required a degree of intelligence and breadth of knowledge of the sort that was very uncommon among the common people.

    Second he thought that common people had dangerous and angry passions that could be easily aroused by demagogues if they had the vote; he feared the authoritarian impulses that could be empowered by these passions would undermine cherished traditions and established religion, leading to violence and confiscation of property.

    Thirdly, Burke warned that democracy would tyrannize unpopular minorities who needed the protection of the upper classes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke#cite_note-55

  • Old Mortality

    Articles
    ‘Always glad to see Slugger taking an interest in foreign politics’.

    Do you mean that political theory is alien to this part of the world?

  • Obelisk

    “Do you mean that political theory is alien to this part of the world?”

    I don’t know about that, we’re a masterclass in the development and research of the oldest political theory in the world.

    ‘Everything that is wrong with your life, was caused by those people over there who are different from us’.

  • Old mortality, I wouldn’t take anything I say too seriously

    But if pushed I guess I’m saying that mainstream politics as practised by them across the water ( and that includes conservatism) is as foreign to us as say slapping sun cream on before we leave the house every morning.

    As for conservatism per se I’m one of the school that thinks that conservatism is as conservatism does and that over the centuries for example conservatives have supported free trade but also trade protection, supported the building of public housing but also the sale of public housing, supported law and order but also civil disobedience. Their overarching aim is to achieve power and retain it, and they will steal anybody’s clothes.

    It might be said that I am following the wellworn pragmatist view of the conservatives but I believe there is an underlying ideology but like any ideology it reinvents itself and to claim that conservatism hasn’t changed much since Burke is to deny not only history but logic.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s practiced across most of the western world articles…

    Political conservatism is largely a broader attitude to life, often conditioned by strong communitarian values (as in Scandinavian, where you might argue the Social Democrats have been the conservative establishment for year… or religious view of the world, as in the Christian Democrats further to the south in Europe…

    TT,

    Burke is something of an example of the above, being that he was a liberal rather than a Tory… like an early day Blair, Tories loved him rather more than his more doctrinaire whiggish friends…

    Not sure I would read his address to the electors of Bristol as anti democratic though… what he was saying was that a representative should not sell his judgement to the highest electoral bidder…

  • I always it took that Burke was referring to the idea of MPs obeying instructions from electors, something which the radicals had been pushing for rather than the highest bidder.

    If your vision of democracy is one where MPs are delegates, then his speech was anti-democratic.

    As for conservatives being uniquely valuable in our whizz bang world, it seems to me that if you look at power relations both within western societies and in the west’s power relationship with most of the developing world, there is not much changing in terms of the distribution of wealth and power, other than it being increasingly concentrated.

    The idea that conservatives like to present of themselves as mere pragmatists without any indeology is of course a myth, and has been since Burke forward.

  • I don’t doubt conservatism is a world wide force.

    As to communitarianism , conversely, there is a strong anti communitarian philosophy in France and the different ethnic groups are encouraged by law and by shared values to leave their origins behind and become French. You don’t get Chinese – French in France as you would get Chinese- Americans in the States emphasising their cultural differences. That’s what the row concerning religious veils was about, there was to be no ostensible signs of difference in schools.

    And my memory of Burke neatly sums up the differences between representative and delegative democracy, Burke insisted on the former but his constituents wanted a delegate.

    But if I was to characterise conservatism it is in its attitude to chang. Liberals, socialists etc welcome change as progress, conservatives do not necessarliy recognise change as progress. On that simple KISS principle look at Norn Iron in the last fifteen years.

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s nothing converse in communitarian values to conservatism… You’re mistaking the Thatcherite emphasis on the individual over society for genuine conservatism…

    Neither are mutually exclusive of conservatism per se, though I’ve always argued Thatcher was a stray Whig who left the family’s one time Labour fold for a bit of post war adventurism.. (or perhaps the social permission to pursue her former class’s quest for wealth)…

    There’s been a strange and odd sense that old conservatives like Simon Jenkins should feel more comfortable with the left on a subject like Iraq than many of his more mainstream compatriots on the right…

  • Don’t disagree about conservatism and communitarianism I was just supplying the but not always.

    Political conservatism is largely a broader attitude to life, often conditioned (but not always) by strong communitarian values

    As to genuine conservatism, which one’s that , High Toryism?

    As to what Thatcher was, anybody keep up with all the literature? I’d like a readable biog/analysis of TBW for a summer read.

  • tyrone_taggart

    “Not sure I would read his address to the electors of Bristol as anti democratic though”

    That was more thanks for voting me it now I can get on with want I think best as I have the judgment for such things.

    Which is still a case of the country is better run by the proper class of people for the proper class of people.

  • The Lodger

    “That was more thanks for voting me it now I can get on with want I think best as I have the judgment for such things.”

    Taggart,

    What?

  • tyrone_taggart

    The Lodger

    Thanks for giving me your votes.

    I am now an MP.

    I can now get on with what I think is the best course of action. As my judgement is better than yours.

  • The Lodger

    Tagart,

    I would suggest a few night classes first.

  • tyrone_taggart

    The Lodger (profile) 24 July 2012 at 12:18 pm
    Tagart,

    “I would suggest a few night classes first.”

    Done a few.

    Even passed them.

    The advantage of the British educational system is people like me who can neither read or write can get qualifications. 🙂

  • The Lodger

    Taggart,

    You might want to seek out a bit of help with your maiden speech. I don’t think that a smattering of random quotes will cut it.

  • tyrone_taggart

    The Lodger (profile)

    “You might want to seek out a bit of help with your maiden speech. I don’t think that a smattering of random quotes will cut it.”

    Thank you for your advice. I do my best to watch TG4 but I need to watch DW to improve my German.

  • The Lodger

    “In regione caecorum rex est luscus.” Erasmus.

    Taggart,

    Feel free to use that one.

  • tyrone_taggart

    The Lodger (profile) 24 July 2012 at 12:45 pm
    “In regione caecorum rex est luscus.” Erasmus.

    HG Wells proved Erasmus wrong 🙂

  • Well played TT, everybody knows the quote but few HG Well’s short story .

  • The Lodger

    Taggart,

    That must have been quite a relief for you.

  • tyrone_taggart

    The Lodger
    “Taggart,

    That must have been quite a relief for you.”

    Nope. If you have posted the following from Erasmus then you would have been nearer the mark. 🙂

    “Da mihi qui dicunt non esse turpe salacitatem Veneris stimulis proficisci non natura sed culpa. Nihil a veritate.”

    Erasmus

  • The Lodger

    Taggart,

    Well at least you have your quotes and your ability to cut and paste. I just don’t see that taking you very far in your new role as an MP.

    Dammit now I understand. You are a Sinner. You don’t actually have to do anything.

  • Not so well played TT.

    You teed him up nicely, you had him on the ropes and just when everybody was expecting the knock out punch you spout Latin.

    There’s a time and place for Latin, TT, and a time and place for a bloody nose.

    In response to his meaningless pawing

    “Taggart,

    That must have been quite a relief for you.”

    You should have hit him with his own ignorant ill mannered

    “What?” (at 10.47)

    Thus returning ignorance with irony.

    Now he’s got a second wind.

  • tyrone_taggart

    articles (profile)

    “There’s a time and place for Latin, TT, and a time and place for a bloody nose.”

    I have had sufficient yellow cards so I give the quote in Latin.

    I like Erasmus and his idea that education should be a joy/fun. When “The Lodger” asked about

    “That must have been quite a relief for you” As anyone who went to university knows what gives the best “relief”: (English and I wait my yellow card)

    “I have no patience with those who say that sexual excitement is shameful and that venereal stimuli have their origin not in nature, but in sin. Nothing is so far from the truth.”
    Erasmus

  • The Lodger

    Taggart,

    Profound.

  • Fair play to you TL for not getting humpty with me butting in.

    As to you TT I can’t improve on TL’s profound. I haven’t seen that in any book of quotations so i’m guessing you’ve read it in situ at some stage. That makes you an Erasmus scholar so to speak.

    But would not a better (if not literal) translation be Venus’s charms which makes it more amatory.

    Now if I could just anticipate Taggart

    Pretentious? Moi!

  • v2

    Fair play to you TL for not getting humpty with me butting in.

    As to you TT I can’t improve on TL’s profound. I haven’t seen that in any book of quotations so i’m guessing you’ve read it in situ at some stage. That makes you an Erasmus scholar so to speak.

    But would not a better (if not literal) translation be Venus’s charms which makes it more amatory.

    Now if I could just anticipate the Lodger

    Pretentious? Moi!

  • Now if I could just anticipate Taggart

    Should read

    Now if I could just anticipate The lodger

  • tyrone_taggart

    “That makes you an Erasmus scholar so to speak.”

    No more than HG Wells 🙂

    If your interested Erika Rummel 1: He is popular in figure in European education.

    Erika Rummel
    http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Erasmus.html?id=HRfMQURW9fEC&redir_esc=y

  • Mick Fealty

    I thought we were doing okay there for a while…

    TT,

    “I can now get on with what I think is the best course of action. As my judgement is better than yours.”

    Whose judgement? The electors of Bristol were a small elite few… aka, the clientele?

  • Pl see tonight’s Newsnight for a good practical illustration of anti – communitarianisn in France, and as an aside it’s impact on GB which practices quasi communitarianism. Sadly it was about FGM.

  • tyrone_taggart

    “The electors of Bristol were a small elite few… aka, the clientele?”

    He still of them said

    “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

    The smallness of the voters only make more extreme the:

    ” relatively fixed interest, few in number and clearly defined, of which any group or locality has just one.”

    Burke

    The man had a point see how SF and the DUP operate look to their electorate.

  • One of the most famous of all political letters was written by the MP Anthony Henley in 1733. He was the MP for Southampton. Southampton Corporation wrote to ask him to oppose an impending excise bill which would cost them money. He wrote back

    Gentlemen,

    I received yours and am surprised at your insolence in troubling me about the excise.

    You know what I very well know, that I bought you.

    And I know well what perhaps you think I don’t know that you are now selling yourselves to someone else.

    And I know that you don’t know that I am buying another borough.

    May god’s curse light upon you all. May your houses be as open and as common to all excise officers as your wives and daughters were to me when I stood for your scoundrel corporation.

    Anthony Henley