Thatcher’s biographer says the left may be right

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 pm, July 23rd, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

This today from Charles Moore, Eton and Cambridge, ex-editor of the Telegraph and the Spectator and Margaret Thatcher’s authorised biographer.

It has taken me more than 30 years as a journalist to ask myself this question, but this week I find that I must: is the Left right after all? You see, one of the great arguments of the Left is that what the Right calls “the free market” is actually a set-up.

The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many, is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything.

It’s worth a read.

27 comments on “Thatcher’s biographer says the left may be right”

  1. Thanks Mike.

    All I can say is amen, amen, amen …

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    It’s only dawning on him now that the traditional conservative agenda has been hijacked by neoliberal economics and crony kleptocratic capitalism.

    Hopefully he’ll then realise that this is no longer an argument of Left vs Right, but of the wealthiest 0.01% (700,000 people) in the world against all others.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The problem there is that the 0.01% who are the wealthiest have about 20% of the population supporting them. Chances are that a lot, if not most, of that 20% are conservatives.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Here’s the thing – its crucial to distinguish between true old fashioned Tory conservatives (those who truly believe in localisation (aka small central govt), the conservation of societal and environmental values) from the crony capitalism neo liberals in amongst them.

        That cleavage plane needs to be split cleanly in two. Here in NZ this is what I have realised:

        The neoliberal supporters of ACT and the National party simply love the idea of asset sales.

        The true old fashioned conservative supporters of ACT and the National party fucking hate the idea of asset sales. With a passion.

        Not enough for them to vote Labour perhaps (after all they are conservatives who love tradition and for them voting National is a tradition), but certainly enough for it to stick like crow in their throats.

        Think about this for a good long minute.

        • peteremcc 2.1.1.1

          Please do point out all these ACT supporters that hate asset sales, I’d love to meet them!

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Go read The Authoritarians again. The conservatives have two options: 1) Vote for Winston or 2) do as they’re told. Most of them will do 2) as they’re authoritarian followers.

        • felix 2.1.1.3

          Not enough to vote for Labour, no.

          If only there were a conservative in the running with a nationalist economic agenda and a bone to pick with ACT and the Nats.

          Hmmm….

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.4

          thanks guys. DTB – haven’t actually read that, looks intriguing.

        • weka 2.1.1.5

          There are also old fashioned conservative National voters who are uncomfortable with what’s been done to core services like health. I agree being able to differentiate between the neoliberals and the conservatives is crucial.
           

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1.1.6

          Since when have the Nats believed in localisation?

          They have always been captured by Corporatism and the model of making labour as cheap as possible. That means centralised control of everything.

          Muldoon did it too- he just had different methods.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.6.1

            They have always been captured by Corporatism and the model of making labour as cheap as possible. That means centralised control of everything.

            I have to disagree somewhat, as i think that your comment underestimates the impact of neoliberal Chicago school style globalisation and deregulation.

            That did not start its run in the Right Wing until the late 1970’s. And in fact as we know all too well in NZ, that ideology overtook both Labour and National.

            However I agree with your comments from the standpoint that Tories have always tended to side “with the Bosses” and not the people.

            The difference now is that the neoliberal economics/money set primarily side with the multimillionaires, billionaires and financiers, and don’t even care about ordinary SME type businesses.

            This is no longer a fight between left and right politics per se, its a fight between the wealthiest and most influential 0.01% in the world (700,000 people) against everyone else.

  3. Where do I collect my prize for multiple postings of this earlier today?

    • prism 3.1

      I-north Well you have our admiration for finding such a good item and our gratitude for giving us the good quotes you did. As the link unfolds it gets more surprising. It is quite a startling summation from Mr Moore of today’s conditions. Who would have thunk?

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      One little sticky gold star from me mate 🙂

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    The damage has been done and it’s now too late. Under Thatcher and Reagan all the conservation work that was underway in the 70s was demolished in a frenzy of squandering of energy and resources… basically suck the North Sea dry as quickly as possible, shift as much manufacturing as possible to China and base the economy on consumer spending… abosolute lunacy.

    Well they succeeded. Britain is now stuffed (as is America) and facing economic, social and environmental meltdown. NZ is not far behind of course, as a consequence of the actions of the sabotuers Douglas, Prebble etc.

    • But their off-spring still will have jobs in retail (on the boards of the companies selling the Chinese made junk to the unsuspecting plebs) – always looked after their own.

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    This is a very accurate summation from a right-wing commentator of the disaster that the neo-liberal experiment has become.

    However the sting in the tail is at the end of the article.

    One must always pray that conservatism will be saved, as has so often been the case in the past, by the stupidity of the Left. The Left’s blind faith in the state makes its remedies worse than useless. But the first step is to realise how much ground we have lost, and that there may not be much time left to make it up.

    The problem with the elite is that they are driven by greed. It is like a drug and once hooked they just want more and more. This has blinded them to the political and economic reality that their own greed will ultimately destroy them. I think what Moore is saying is that for the elite to survive they must give just enough back to prevent the destruction of the system.

    • KJT 5.1

      “The Left’s blind faith in the state”.

      A typical RWNJ misconception.

      Most people on the left want us to have democratic control over our own lives.

      The right wants central control by the wealthy. Hence increasing the powers of the State to protect their wealth. The search and surveillance act , police being equipped and trained against civil disobedience and laws allowing snooping into internet access.

      They right a re the ones who like centralized State power, so long as they control it.

      ” The largest obstacle to democracy is the illusion of the poor that we have it, and the terror of the rich least we get it”

  6. Thatcher and Reagan = Pinochet – Friedman = Shock Doctrine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHrEH5G90wo

  7. Bill 7

    Reads very much like a celebration of the policies and processes of the past 30 odd years with a confused disappointment of the results tagged on alongside the generally celebratory thrust of the piece.

    The right were correct. The left were wrong. But the result, according to Moore was inexplicably perverted.

    Fact is that nothing was perverted. What we have is the natural result of the types of policies and programmes Moore celebrates. So Moore is either a deluded idiot or a shameful apologist. Or both.

  8. lefty 8

    The man is still a right wing idiot with little understanding of the political economy.

    Tories do happen to disagree on policy details from time to time but there is no cleavage between the ‘good old fashioned tory’ and the new breed of neo liberal. Don’t be fooled by the gentlemanly facade some of them are good at projecting. Tory’s have always been nasty, greedy and destructive – this part of their tradition they hold on to at all costs. Everything else is up for grabs if theres a buck in it.

    They have learned they can be as destructive as they like because the B team – the various type of Labour Party, or its equivalent, will always save the day and sort out the problems caused by their excesses if things get too bad.

    We cannot afford to keep indulging them. Labour simply has to stop rescuing them and their system before it is too late for all of us.

    The next time the media and the rest of the establishment start screaming for a Labour government it should come with a price – the dismantling of capitalism.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Labour simply has to stop rescuing them and their system before it is too late for all of us.

      Not Labour, Us. Labour is just another party of business now.

  9. mik e 9

    It makes the GRAPHS on economic growth even more relevent. where govts spread wealth we get more economic growth. This fact has been known for some time but the likes of Thatcher and her neo liberal feudalists ,with the help of the Murdoch style media have had ascendancy for along time.With their little homespun untruths.they stripped the working class and decimated the middle class then say its your own fault while they have been undermining democracy at every opportunity they can through control of the media.

  10. mikesh 10

    The trouble was that Keynsianism copped the blame for the “stagflation” of the seventies and eighties, though I think the the blame for the latter should rather have been laid at the door of oil price rises exacerbated by the wage/price spiral.

    This allowed neoliberalism, with its advocacy of balanced budgets etc to sneak in.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The modern economics profession is an extremely sick, unhealthy profession. It has led entire countries and their peoples to virtual destruction.

      It tries to make out that it is a science, when it is not, it tries to make out that you can mathematize things that you cannot, and it has been captured by political and corporate money.

      Further, the only kind of economics that seems to make the headlines now is a highly financialised macro-economic monetary kind. “Real economics” around the best use of scarce resources, investment in infrastructure and industry, the relationship of people and labour and society to the economy – all largely ignored.

      • mik e 10.1.1

        CV most mainstream economists are tied to the hand that feeds them. Ive read very widely on the subject I can assure you and with more powerful computers economics has become more of a science its just like fox news those economists only put the facts that suit them out their ie like treasury growth charts referred to by a right winger in one of the other blogs.you are right in your summary their. the facts speak for them selves the more you spread the wealth the better economic growth you get better use of resources improves economic growth. thats why Michael Cullen succeeded better than any other finance minister in the last thirty years because he has a PhD with honors at a very young age from a working class background in the history of economics going back to Egyptian times . So he Knew what makes an economy grow and he implemented many of the things required. By contrast Bill English plodded through university long hours of study to make the grade as he dosn,t have the talent, and has been captured by Chicago school/Victoria university model having to put a bit of Keynesian into the mix not of choice but for political survival.

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    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism, Huawei, racism and imperial anxiety
    by Tony Norfield US political opinion against China has two solid bases. The first is the longstanding racist and protectionist sentiment in the white working class; the second is a more recent anxiety about China’s economic prowess in America’s ruling elite. This article notes some historical aspects of anti-Chinese racism ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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