It is not that conservatives necessarily believe in inequality. What they believe is that the existence of inequality (of outcome) is the lesser of evils compared to the results of pursuing equality of outcome.
As Roger Scruton put it so well: “In so far as we are equal, we are not free and in so far as we are free, we are not equal.”
The point is that conservatives see equality of outcome and the existence of liberty as trade-offs. Tilting the needle towards liberty in the conservative world view is preferable to equality of outcome imposed through tyranny.
The trouble with the author’s “conservatives want inequality” argument is that it presupposes:
1. That there are no downsides to the pursuit of equality of outcome and
2. Conservatives are morally depraved and, ergo, that those who are not conservative are morally pure of heart. If an argument depends on the opposing side being evil, then it is a bad argument. A strong argument wins out even when it begins with the premise that its detractors are of noble intentions.
I am surprised that a scholar of history would understand conservatism like this in a child-like “good versus evil” way. My own forays into history have always made the world more, rather than less, complicated.
Yes, your analysis is much more intelligent than the caricature produced by the academic author.
We are all different and hence unequal by nature. We could make the ugly feel they are on a level playing field by having the good looking officially defaced – a sort of good looking tax or free plastic surgery for the ugly. We could have the brains of the more intelligent lobotomised so that no one should feel stupid. But would it be a sensible way of achieving equality – clearly not.
A little tinkering with income levels to ensure some don’t starve in the streets is one thing but attempting to achieve equality is always a destructive fool’s errand.
Watch 2081 on YouTube, a short film where they do much of that to some extent. The beautiful have to wear masks, the strong must wear weights, the intelligent must wear devices that send pulses into the brain to interrupt chains of thought etc.
Nothing to impoverish the rich then? I can’t see the equality in that! The film was made by a rich Tory I’ll bet?
I agree that we are not in fact equal in a certain sense. But we must be careful to define just what we mean when we say so. Certainly we are not “equal” in our abilities, but I have been shamed by the mechanical superiority of the illegal immigrants who would never post in this forum but handily fix my house or my car.
I believe that “equality” is a purely abstract idea, something those of us in the law biz call a “legal fiction” — we are legally constrained by it even though it corresponds to no real thing. It seems to me that we are left, then, with the idea of equality of opportunity, and this is what I have been wondering about: How much of what we take for innate differences in people are the result of nature as opposed to nurture? We cannot enforce equality per se, but we can certainly enforce equality of opportunity. That still will not make a Bill Gates of my illegal-immigrant mechanic, but it might make, say, a more highly skilled – and legal – immigrant of him. Look at the new Tory cabinet and you cannot fail to see what I mean. Then look at the hinterlands of the US, where deaths of despair have become common: How much talent are we wasting through sheer neglect? How much through discrimination?
Perhaps you Brits, with your A levels and O levels and other things we Yanks don’t understand, have built a more efficient, perhaps fairer, system. On this side of the pond, people count mainly as production factors. I fear that that is becoming the case on your side of the pond as well. Ought we not to try, at least, to make equality as real as we can?
The answer to your final question is no – because it brings in its train a whole lot of undesirable side-effects. That is not to say that people should not be encouraged and assisted to reach their full potential in whatever desirable occupation they wish to pursue.
Unfortunately the desire to provide equality in education has led to the destruction of the Grammar school system here that was highly beneficial to bright pupils from poor backgrounds that less intelligent pupils would not have been able to benefit from to the same extent. They were abolished so that everyone would have an equally bad education.
Again because of a desire to provide the same education to everyone we do not have the same system of craft apprenticeships that prevail in Germany to the detriment of those who, like your immigrant mechanic are good at mechanics.
There is nothing unconservative in supporting equality of opportunity provided that is not regarded as an excuse to construct some intersectional hierarchy of privileges based on theoretical disadvantage that the groups concerned may have suffered so that you end up excluding bright well qualified Asians from a university place because they are not regarded as having the same amount of victim status points as other groups as seems to happen in the US.
The Procrustean solution: screwing the ceiling down to the floor (Anthony Flew as I recall).
There is everything unconservative about equality of opportunity! It would mean some blue collar’s brilliant son taking the place of some wealthy chinless wonder in university! We can’t have that!
Also well said.
Very well said. The nature versus nurture thing is something I think about alot. The Enneagram of personality is a fascinating study and reference regarding this topic. It’s too complicated to explain here but the US is a type three personality – it’s all about overvaluing and rewarding achievement -ostentatious wealth, conspicuos consumption above all else. Those who are unable to achieve for whatever reason, nature, nurture or opportunity, are the other America where “deaths of despair” live. But it has always been this way all over the world.What can be done to change it if we don’t know by now.
And perhaps dwarfs should be given stilts in order to compete on the basketball court. And the quick-footed footballers should have weights added to their shorts in order to make them slower on the pitch.
A bit like handicap races.
..oh, so you eant to scrap handicap races now do you?? Eh?
We don’t say dwarfs anymore (nor dwarves)! The little people find it offensive.
“A little tinkering with income levels to ensure some (not all?) don’t starvevin the streets (at home would be okay?)”… what? You’re ‘avin’ larf in’it? Is it the unpleasant sight of the corpses or the offensive smell that motivates such generosity on your part?
I think the equality vs freedom quote was Solzhenitsyn originally.
The trouble with your argument against the author’s argument is that like the Tory party as a whole you’ve given the left the home-field advantage; you implicitly accept that inequality (and its close, more sympathetically-named cousin hierarchy) is inherently a bad thing that at most can only be defended as the least of various evils – “yes we defend inequality but not for it’s own sake you understand, we’re not bad people!”
Thus the right loses even when it wins.
Straw man argument. Conservatives don’t “defend inequality”, but they do defend society against the proven evils of attempting to enforce equality on a population, as evidenced by history. The article was written by a Professor of History, which brings his work into disrepute.
According to that argument, Denmark and Island would be far worse than Nigeria, in which attempts to enforce equality are very very limited.
This is a good point Greta. My contention would be that Denmark and Ireland have high standards of living primarily because they’ve been well governed and protected private property, which in turn has facilitated economic growth through allowing risk takers to share in the rewards of their investments.
They have also had population growth rates far below economic growth rates for some time, meaning people have become richer as a mathematical inevitability over a few generations (precisely the opposite of what has happened in Africa).
Higher wages in places like Denmark are primarily caused by labour scarcity and the increasing productivity of the workforce that comes about through better education and health compounded over successive generations.
I would likely classify myself as economically centre-left, but socially centre-right. So, am I a conservative or not? I don’t know.
I like a nation which attempts to provide equality of opportunity as best as it can to all its citizens and I accept that this inevitably means some degree of encroachment on the liberty of others (since, for example, schools and hospitals for children who can’t afford them can only be paid for through taxes on those who can).
For myself personally, I am happy to pay such taxes, within reason, to facilitate this.
What I am not happy to do is to support the notion that success, in and of itself, is a bad thing and to try to stamp it out (which too many on the left want to do).
And I am not happy to support the idea that equality of opportunity is a human right. In my eyes the opportunities that a society provides a person are contingent on that person’s decent conduct in society.
So I agree to an extent with a welfare state, but I disagree with the manner and the spirit with which it is administered.
And in the above regards I therefore often side with the conservatives: I don’t want people taking benefits from society who haven’t played their part in the betterment of that society. And I don’t want self-described progressives doing things like destroying perfectly good schools in the name of equalising them with bad schools.
In short, many conservatives are, in my view, justly opposed to the Left’s resentfulness of wealth itself, and resentfulness of those who have more than them, as though this is the ill, rather than the absence of opportunity for those who most need it.
These guys, like the GOP in the US don’t want to hear about any Nordic socialism. They just want to compare nice Toryism with nasty communism to win their arguments. They mostly argue on the same side too! So more of a mutual admiration society than a debating platform. Anything they disapprove of is dismissed out of hand, often with vitriol and other forms of abuse: rarely with any reasoned counterargument.
That’s exactly my point. Conservatives should defend inequality on principle but don’t, because it requires a modicum of thought, and thereby find themselves unable to argue for anything except “what the left wants, but about a decade slower (and look, slightly lower taxes!)”
“Modicum of thought.” Precisely what the left wants us to abandon at every turn.
Usually with the active connivance of most of the right, it must be said (cf. our new Prime Minister)
I think they want you to engage in MORE than a modicum of thought! That’s what they want you to abandon! ie your instant rush to judgement based on mindless, unbalanced, identity politics!
That doesn’t make sense, Liam.
I think it was yourself that dragged in rhe strawman!
Well stated. This article is obviously written by someone who wishes to extinguish any potential assault on the idea of a new global, totalitarian hierarchy looming over all of us.
I feel like I’ve read a completely different article. How do you see it as someone “who wishes to extinguish any potential assault on the idea of a new global, totalitarian hierarchy looming over all of us.”?
After reading it a few times I still can’t see it. But I see that most agree with you. I’m genuinely perplexed.
How did equally of OUTCOMES enter the fray? Only an idiot wants that, not least because it is quite impossible to achieve. Equality of inputs is what is required or some decent attempt to achieve that. There are few countries in the civilised world as unequal as the UK (+US). From birth, to childcare, to schooling (11+ fgs!) to university to employment, ti career progression. The whole rotten system is rigged in favour of the already rich and well connected: working on the totally false premise of breeding a superior class ala the N¤zi ubermenschen. Eugenics is alive and well in the minds of Tories: and their lapdogs.
As always with inane articles written by western professors, the only feeling you come away with after reading them is disappointment… disappointment that these people are teaching the next generation.
Indeed; although i find that disappointment, after a certain amount of time and exposure to such discourse, gives way to amusement.
The author refers to “the commanding heights of policy”. He, no doubt, exemplifies the commanding heights of academia, in all its fatuous conceits about itself.
What is it you disagree with?
All of it. I’m not a Tory voter, but lets be honest… the whole point of this article is really just to signal how morally superior this right-on professor is compared to those horrible tories.
The comments by Hayden Eastwood and Jim Jam pretty much cover my thoughts on the actual subject of the article. Ultimately it’s not about “believing” or liking inequality, it’s about not being naive or historically illiterate enough to think forced equality ever brings up the living standards of the poorest rather than just bringing down the living standards of the middle class. This is why it’s so disappointing when a history professor of all people writes an article like this.
I would also argue that the parties constantly dangling the equality carrot (despite making the inequality gap bigger every time they’re in power) are the ones who benefit the most from inequality, not the tories.
Sure. But it’s still an accurate account of what traditional conservatives were. You don’t like them. Fine. But the fact that you don’t like them didn’t make the article inane.
It’s got nothing to do with likes or dislikes. The author presents a mere caricature of what he thinks traditional conservatism was about. It’d be disappointing/amusing coming from a journalist, but coming from an academic actually makes it execrable.
So, if you’re inclined, tell me what a traditional Conservative was.
I’ve never fox hunted and certainly don’t have enough wealth to create trust funds for my grandchildren. Yet I’m conservative as they come. The article was simply a caricature.
Is it particular aspects of the story that you find caricatures Conservatives, like the fox hunting, or their values, or do you find the whole thing a caricature which is why you dismiss it? Because the focus on their values doesn’t seem to be a caricature. I know they may look like buffoons, but is the article wrong in how they’re presented and does it mean they were something else entirely? I may have misread it, but it seems to be a reasonable portrait of how things once were.
You should try? Nothing more thrilling than flying over hedges and fences as 25 mph in close company.
It’s terrifying! I don’t know why more people don’t get injured or killed. The adrenaline is obviously addictive to the hunters.
It’s difficult from the prof not to come across as morally superior: everyone is morally superolior to the Tory elites. I’m sure there are decent enough Tories but they don’t rise to the top. Their decency and moral fibre get in the way. They lack the ruthless disregard for ordinary plebs and don’t have the necessary Etonian or equivalent background!
More like: disappointed they don’t agree with your own narrow poi t of view you mean!
One wonders if the professor has ever taken the time to really ponder the concept of inequality, heirarchy, discipline and the worth of tradition and established institutions: the pillars of the political philosophy that he seems so keen to distance himself from.
Maybe the fact of him likely spending his entire adult life emmersed in a hideously skewed political environment has precluded his making such enquiries; accepting the shallow and witless caricatures of these concepts rather than expending any mental effort digging down and actually thinking through what they mean; how they are not only in most cases unavoidable, but desirable and essential for a society (or any organisation of people) to function.
Or maybe this lack of thought is more simple: for the professor might well know deep down that his position, his elevated wages, his standing within his institution & society more broadly, the respect he commands, and all the other luxuries that he has earned or had the good fortune to enjoy is all dependent on inequalities, heirarchies, tradition, discipline and strong, enduring institutions.
Its clearly much easier not to look too closely.
“They thought that some people deserved to be richer, more powerful and more respected than others.”
That seems to be a fact of life to me that can only be changed (though not really) through socialism in its extreme form. Maybe the denial of this puts us in the circumstances we find ourselves
Genuine question and very simplified but how do you ensure everyone of us is equal whilst at the same time ensuring innovation, excellence, ingenuity and lastly freedom? The short answer, you can’t. History is filled with volumes of why this is true. This professor either doesn’t know this, which is astounding, or is choosing to ignore it in favour of ideology.
Aren’t we on the same page here? And, I don’t understand why you think this professor is leaning towards that ideology.
Like the others you misunderstand the meaning of the word. Do you accept the concept: We are all equal in the sight of God or if that’s too religious how about: We are all equal before the law? Can you manage that one? It’s a start. How about: we are all entitled to equal healhcare based on medical need? Bit tricky for you maybe? OK try this: all primary school kids deserve equal education (poor kids shouldn’t be discriminated against: it’snot their fault): also tricky for you is it? All job applicants should be treated as equal (except obviously for qualifications and skills relevant to the job) ie their accent, skin colour, religion and “class” etc should all be irrelevant. Can you accept that? No? Never mind…
I hope you understand better the difference between ‘(in)equality’ and relevant variation..
Where I think the author went wrong (from your standpoint) is he looked up the meaning of the word “inequality” before he wrote the piece. Many of you would have done well to do the same before you read it!
It’s bigger than the Tories. Civilisation relies upon inequality, because inequality is the natural consequence of difference. To erase inequality is to erase difference, to destroy uniqueness and remove every incentive for improvement. Equality, as a goal, mantra or policy is suicide.
The author’s premise (that conservatives crave and need inequality) skews the whole discussion: it’s not inequality that is needed, but a level playing field and outcomes based on talents and abilities (with a bit of the classical virtues thrown in to allow a person to focus his talents and abilities).
The focus is on merit and contribution, not fox hunting. As someone said earlier – “freedom” requires a level playing field where merit can succeed, the opposite (outcome of results) requires the use of force and basing rewards on arbitrary matters (ie, matters other than talents and abilities in the true sense of the terms).
You think BJ became PM through merit? Ha ha ha.. and wait: Liz Truss too? Okay I guess yer ‘avin’ laigh ain’t ue?
Incorrect. Civilisation relies on difference not inequality. To assume different skills in different people implies inequality is to misunderstand the meaning of inequality. Try this: tell your wife she is not equal yo you and see how you get on? You can discuss difference all day, pros and cons, various skills etc. But let me know how the injuries are coming along if you opt for ‘inequality’ unless of course you pronounce yourself to be the inferior one!
Thanks to a dysfunctional housing market and mass immigration we’ve just lived through the largest upward transfer of wealth since the Enclosures but this guy thinks that democracy has become ‘too egalitarian’ for the conservatives and class division ‘counts for less’.
It’s no longer just an ivory tower, is it? Now it has a moat, barbed wire and machine gun emplacements to keep reality out.
“a dysfunctional housing market and mass immigration we’ve just lived through the largest upward transfer of wealth”
But this has also happened in countries that don’t have Conservative governments. So I’m not sure if you can attribute it to Conservative values. I’d prefer to consider whether the opposite of these values will necessarily make for a better country.
I didn’t mean to attribute it to conservative values. In fact I’d say its much more a consequence of Clintonian neo-liberalism as refined by New Labour. It’s disappointing, though, that we still have so many of these neo-liberals in parliament masquerading as conservatives.
So we’re generally in agreement I think.
It didn’t happen in the Nordic countries. The wealth gap has narrowed there through Democratic Socialism.
If you’re referring to the US and imagine either Party there to be anything other than Conservative you’re mistaken. Both think Bernie Sanders is a communist for wanting universal health care! Just like the Tories in the UK who think the NHS should be privatised like in the US so it can be reserved for the deserving rich.
“If you’re referring to the US and imagine either Party there to be anything other than Conservative you’re mistaken.”
Interesting. You put the words in my mouth then tell me I’m wrong. I bet you’re always right.
“On being asked what he thought of Western Civilisation, Gandhi replied “it sounds like a good idea”.”
That an article should start with this obvious clunker – an ‘opinion’: “Civilisation is a good idea. If only someone would try it.” atttributed to a multitude of people as various as Gandhi and Charlie Parker, the jazz saxophonist, whereas it is quite clearly one of those ‘Reader’s Digest’-style pseudo-witticisms probably sourced to ‘Anonymous’ at random, is not an encouraging sign.
Some of the best are sourced that way: eg “No such thing as a free lunch” and “The more you do of what you’re doing, the more you get of what you’ve got”..the latter being particularly relevant to the Tory Party, ie changing PM every 5 minutes!
The corny old quote from Gandhi (supposedly) rather sets the tone of an article that would embarrass a sixth former, doesn’t it?
100 ‘thumbs up” for that, thank you!
“Most of all, Conservatives believed in inequality.” AND “part of the press serves the same function for Tory activists that hallucinogenic drugs served for the soixante-huitards: the Mail and the Express are now so removed from reality that their readers might as well be getting their information from the website of David Icke.”
Is this the level of historical and political insight that qualifies someone to be a professor today? What a plonker. When I studied history at least the structural Marxists – and the blank slate socialists (most of the social engineers on the left of Labour) and the reluctant Stalin apologists could make a better more informed commentary on the “right” of politics.
He should really up his intellectual game and try to understand what the right thinks and why. I would mark it at grade C.
Harold Macmillan said once that conservatism was about encouraging people to become rich AND about protecting and helping the poor. So yes, it does encourage inequality but it also encourages social justice. The Prime Minister ignores this at her peril. The outrage last week was not just about money but about justice.
Er, no, Professor. The BCP has NOT gone.
amen to that! thank you!
“I have never been a Conservative,….”
Of course he is not he is an academic, and humanities one to boot living on the largess of the public purse.
One mustn’t mock the afflicted, and the Professor is obviously suffering from a terminal case of Oikophobia, or hatred of one’s own home and hearth, but otherwise you are perfectly correct Sir.
Now, now, nothing wrong with the Humanities!
..also some might say he works gor a living rather than living off yhe largesse of the state?
I suppose not if you di it in private, in your own time and at your own expense.
Nearly everyone in our local CoC vocally supports reduced unskilled immigration, increased skilled immigration and bringing back national service. However no one admits to giving a damn about others’ domestic arrangements. Interestingly no-one i’ve met there has ever heard of the paradoxes of freedom and equality – no surprise as they are mainly business owners too busy for philosophising. That 99.9% of journalists and politicians have the same blindspot ought to be surprising but sadly it no longer is.
Lord Hailsham did not say that conservatism was about fox hunting and religion. What he actually said was that one of the defining characteristics of the conservative mindset is that, for a conservative, politics and political struggle are not the most important things in life. As to what the most important thing might be, he gave fox hunting as an example for the “simplest” conservative, and religion as an example for the “wisest”. The author seems either not to have read Lord Hailsham or to have misunderstod him.
Professor Vinen it may come as profound shock to you, but Fox Hunting is very much ‘alive and well’ in my little part of England, and probably has never been so popular. I gather it is much the same in many of the Shires.
As is the English way, the legislation to ban fox hunting was suitably porous to allow it to continue.Tally-ho!
Never word truer spaketh! As a Hunting fanatic of many years, and still more broken bones, and rider outer of jump racehorses, point to pointers and Hunter chasers, I always felt that one of the reasons many ‘ disliked’ Hunting was that, unlike a set of golf clubs, one needed certain things that cannot be bought, not least skill, guts, and courage, as well as patience, judgment and animal harmony, although I am a ” 5th rate pilot” myself…
How modestly put Sir!
known as NS-T NNT as in ” no natural talent” out in the field!
Yes. So much fun when the hounds tear the fix to pieces! Better than sex is it?
There is a really profound message in there I think? The law is for little people not toffs and Tories..
like you.. serfs
What will left wing parties do when we are all equal?
Find a small group of people with a niche sexual fetish and fight for their right to engage publicly in all manner of lewd acts.
…I thought we were ‘there’ already?
… only in the sight of God. Agreed most Etonians believe themselves to be gods but I think they’re mistaken.
Given the rise of the internet and electro communication, so you find it hard to put malt vinegar on your shoulder chips with less accessible old newspapers?..
Some will become more equal than others! Haven’t you read Animal Farm?
A socialist academic’s views on equality and freedom. How predictable and wrong they all are. His advertised book is one I will certainly not be buying.
I do not know any modern country, socialist or not, without a clear hierarchy. Some people do deserve to be richer, more powerful and more respected than others. The way to measure such distinctions and how far they can go makes a big difference, though.
In many underdeveloped countries, a few own billions while the vast majority is technically very poor. When rules are enforced in a very arbitrary way, people loose a sense of security and uprise. If rules are clear, even to get rich, and the majority of the population enjoys some basic welfare and stability, people should only be concerned about foreign interventions or natural disasters.
Now we had Brexit, Covid, devaluation, inflation, a national debt that doubled in 15 years and a war in Europe. Tory or Labour, I do not see many bright ideas to paddle in these muddy waters.
You need to determine how the rich, smart and powerful got to be where they are. If it is genetic then clearly, a successful society will favour its best and brightest. But if it is hereditary, and engineered through nepotism and the ‘Lodge it is wrong: because it is patently unfair, robs the people of fair opportunity and the nation of many of its best and brightest: while imposing entitled cretins into position of power. Hierarchy like Dictatorship works well when it is benign, fair and generous. Sadly it never is!
As Jilly Cooper pointed out in her book ” Class”, whereas Etonians will enjoy the company of a pub full of miners or steel workers, and vice versa, the current ” central casting” identikit Tory from Sevenoaks, Bromley or Guildford would not be seen dead within miles of said establishments, but would be ‘ found dead’ within 5 minutes of entering one ( probably soon after ordering a large schooner of Bristol creme sherry, and asking to see the artisan menu).
The words of a tough broken nosed Geordie Guardsman , from a family of shipyard workers, out one day on Ash Ranges over 40 years ago still ring in my ears ” My father, grandfather, uncles and brother were all Coldstreamers and all said it was best to be in a platoon commanded by a gentleman officer from Eton College…. Sirrrr”!
All said to wind ME up as they knew that I was not an Etonian!
I thing that Gdsmn. O’ Mahoney needs a good rifting on the square….
Ah yes: they knew who their betters were in those days.. ‘bit difficult to wring your cap when you wear a Coldstream hat though..
beret, actually, already wrung out after a hot soaking, lining removed with razor, then shaped over the head- Guardsmen who had ‘ family’ were allowed to wear brass, not staybrite capstars, with garter star cross “polished out” so they to had a non- rank ” pecking order”….
I think this writing off of the Tories is a tad premature given that the election is two years away.
15 months ago they swept the local elections and there was an inflatable Boris in Hartlepool to mark their by-election win.
A slice of forbidden birthday cake, a leadership election and they are suddenly dogmeat? I don’t think so!
The Conservatives are known for periods of chaos followed by beating Labour in elections. I suspect a Tory majority is still the likely outcome in 2024.
(Whether Liz Truss is PM going into the election is another question).
It’s a bit different this time though, emboldened by the fact that they managed to oust an elected prime minister with 80 seat majority over a piece of birthday cake the media misinformation machine has cranked up to a significantly higher gear.
Most mainstream media basically just feels like an arm of the Labour party now, constantly trying to undermine every new policy no matter how small. Then we have social media where Labour MPs tell blatant lies 24/7 that get widely shared by accounts with huge followings and never get called out for it. And finally the ‘fact checkers’ who also constantly post fake ‘fact checks’ (see todays example: liz truss comp school comment, where fullfact, ITV, sky news & bbc all incorrectly ‘fact checked’ it)
Wherever people get their news from, unless they have time to do proper independent research (which most don’t), they’re now only getting the media’s distorted view on everything. I’m not really a fan of the tories, but the unhinged nonsense you see supposedly intelligent people on ‘the left’ spread now feels far more dangerous. A prime example of what their rhetoric has encouraged was last night, where a nurse felt comfortable enough to say on TV that she felt tories didn’t deserve resuscitating.
tl;dr I’ll eat my hat if the tories win again in the next election. I just hope when Labour win they act significantly more mature and responsible than they’re acting now.
‘‘Twas always thus with the media. Same against Maggie. Same glee as John Major imploded.
The problem here is that the party has chosen a dud to lead them. Sort that out and they win next time.
I thought it was the mass resignation of his fellow Tories that toppled BJ? You say ot was the Media wot done it?
..but after the birthday cake wasn’t there the smallatyer of a hugely inappropriate appointment?
Granted a week (let alone two years!) is a long time in politics! However, to suggest a Tory majority in ’24 is “likely” is stretching credibility a little too far I think? Your hint that it mght just happen without Liz Truss moves it into the barely credible category perhaps but only given a huge amount of luck! The inevitable hardships that UK voters will suffer in the interim makes the luck factor itself very tenuous! Pigs might fly?
What kind of equality are we talking about? I’ve probably misunderstood but doesn’t equality have different meanings depending on the context? Equal wealth, equal ability, equal opportunity, equal intelligence. There must be lots of ways we can be equal or unequal.
..for sure: but the question is what do we do with those natural inequalites? What causes them in the first place? Heredity? Genes? Luck? Graft? Nepotism? And how real are they?
Personally, I don’t read Vinen’s article as implying that those of a conservative bent aim to promote social and economic inequality.
I thought his implication was that political conservatism, across the Anglosphere at least, has lost the will to defend hierarchy as a scientifically demonstrated fundament of nature’s architecture.
Thankyou. I was beginning to doubt my ability to read and comprehend.
It is very clear that intelligent people and those who have invested heavily in the economy (also usually intelligent) should have more votes than ordinary, less well educated people, especially welfare recipients but there are clear dangers and something morally reprehensible about such a notion.
In the same way, people who are a drain on the economy should lose their votes but again it somehow seems wrong at a moral level.
The country would be immeasurably better off if the criminal classes were neutered so they didn’t breed new criminals. But damn it, that too sounds somehow not quite right. And as for the disabled and mentally challenged well, clearly…. best not to even say it!
The fact is that such thinking is clearly evil by its very nature. Such a mindset is reprehensible. Instead we judge a government by how well it looks after its least fortunate. It doesn’t sound like a good evolutionary strategy and yet that is the accepted (by most) philosophy..
Maybe it’s because we think we’re noble and better than animals? Or that money, wealth and power are not the most important things in a meaningful life? It’s a conundrum.. If we go too far in either direction we run into trouble so a balance needs to be struck perhaps?
A hierarchy isn’t a bad thing but it works best when Christian (or other religious) values are applied and maybe it’s the death of religion based morality is the problem?
…that looks like the problem alright. Leaving aside the priesthood theatricals, it’s the accumulated wisdom of the centuries underlying the major religions, (Islam is arguably somewhat of an outlier though) which points to the narrow middle path.
Brillant article.When was the last time you heard a Tory politician argue that generally equality is the enemy of freedom barring the obvious exceptions such as all genders,races should be able to vote etc
I’m glad you said that. Most comments seem to believe the contrary and I was beginning to think I’d misread it.
The focus on outcomes is a dangerous red herring. For me it is the focus on equality of opportunity which is key; boost this and outcomes will surely increase. ‘A hand up rather than a hand out’ should lift all boats.
“restoring national service, controlling immigration and deterring couples from “living in sin”. Such opinions would be unimaginable now.”
Are you kidding me? You clearly have no idea how the majority feel about these issues. Being against these clearly sane approaches to a stable society marks you out as someone who cannot be trusted to encourage virtuous living – a high aim as old as Socrates at least and never out of fashion.
The modern take on these three alone would be apprenticeships for all, fair, controlled immigration (but absolute support for genuine refugees), and stopping dickheads dancing with policemen in the streets with dicks stuck to their heads in the name of pride, inclusivity, diversity and equality instead of stable relationships with somneone they love.
Perhaps a healthy mix of both? The death of religion and the absence of a replacement is a real issue. Atheism breeds Hedonism and worse, hopelessness and despair. A little compassion and understanding are vital but the new Woke / cancel culture is reminiscent of the decadence before the fall of Rome!
I know we are currently enjoying inflicting a mass beating up on the Conservative Party, and as far as this article goes, self proclaimed Conservative supporters as well, but this is a truly stupid article. XR the new Tories? Does the author actually know anything about XR, an.organisation founded by a certain Mr Hallam, who declared in terms the main goal was to overthrow the government – very conservative that. And popular papers which he doesn’t approve of compared to the ravings of David Icke. Who dared to name Stephen Lawrence’s murderers, the Daily Mail, not the usual pusillanimous bien-pensant lefties, who are with few exceptions notable for their cowardice.
Diversity of opinion is all well and good but UnHerd is now in danger of becoming associated with a bunch of people who simply can’t develop a convincing argument but are just contraversialists, sensational ists and provacteurs. Aris Roussinos has already gone down this road with his truly moronic attitude to free market economics.
Conservatives do ‘is’ and make adjustments based on what actually is.
Labour do ‘ought’ and try to create a framework that reflects what ought to be.
Guess which approach is more durable.
The only hunting that modern Toiletory MPs undertake is for Easter Eggs and bargains at the January sales
The problem is when conservatives are only concern about conserving their privileges, even at the cost of selling out the country. A country that refused to have the euro as a currency to see its own currency devalue faster.
Tories not only believe in inequality but their political & economic goals also require a pool of around 3 to 4 million unemployed who are grateful to work for a pittance.
I believe everyone who purchases anything, such as food for their tables, gas for their cars or trinkets for their mantles rely on a pool of unskilled workers to manufacture, grow, harvest and drive those products to market. Not everyone can live as an academic and criticize from their perch.