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To refer to the 'left wing' in this day and age is propagandist. Watch

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    The "center ground" of UK politics consistently shifts, and as neo-liberalism has taken hold more and more over the last 30 years, it's drifted further and further to the right, to the point at which the term "left wing", with it's connotations of socialism (which were unfair in the first place given that we've only ever had "social democracy") are utterly devoid of meaning.

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    This image explains why Obama can be called a socialist in spite of the fact that he holds a similar political position to some Republican ex-presidents (just swap the colours), and a similar issue occurs in the UK.

    Surely, it's time to either refer to our parties and politicians as more Right or less Right, or alternatively, use a different system to understand their relative positions altogether?
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    Lol

    The size of the state (as a proportion of gdp) has increased over the last 30 years.
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    And yet, the size of the state reflects the delivery of state services... it's not like the state has taken over the car industry since the 80s... let alone the utilities or the railways, in spite of some pretty powerful arguments to do so.

    In fact, we've seen a massive run of privatisations of nationalised industries and infrastructures, the end of 'a job for life' with the introduction of the 'flexible labour market' which has reduced job security in the interests of a marketised system of labour, we've seen a deregulation of the financial sector accompanied with its decoupling from the national economy, we've seen increasing emphasis on 'free market solutions', and we've seen an acceleration of the socioeconomic divide between the few percent of the richest in the country with controlling interests and the rest of the population.

    Right wing doesn't necessarily mean 'small state'.
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    (Original post by Elusia)
    And yet, the size of the state reflects the delivery of state services... it's not like the state has taken over the car industry since the 80s... let alone the utilities or the railways, in spite of some pretty powerful arguments to do so.

    In fact, we've seen a massive run of privatisations of nationalised industries and infrastructures, the end of 'a job for life' with the introduction of the 'flexible labour market' which has reduced job security in the interests of a marketised system of labour, we've seen a deregulation of the financial sector accompanied with its decoupling from the national economy, we've seen increasing emphasis on 'free market solutions', and we've seen an acceleration of the socioeconomic divide between the few percent of the richest in the country with controlling interests and the rest of the population.

    Right wing doesn't necessarily mean 'small state'.
    Manufacturing and industry are not the only determinants of a neoliberal society. The size of the state has still increased, and the regulation in the UK has also as a whole increased massively over the last 30 years. Public sector size is still the best indicator of whether we have seen "free market solutions" and its increasing power doesn't back up that silly graph of yours. Neoliberalism is all about a small state.
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    Surely if, as you acknowledge, the centre ground shifts, the respective positions of the two main parties can still be understand in terms of relative left and right? Certainly the political trajectory of each of the two main parties in the UK is interdependent with that of the other. For example the extreme left wing Labour party of the 70s was followed of course by the extreme ring wing Thatcher government of the 80s. Similarly the centre left New Labour government of Tony Blair was followed by the centre right David Cameron led Conservatives. The UK consistently voted for an extreme form of capitalism rather than an extreme form of socialism in the 80s. Tony Blair realised this. This is why he set out to show Labour was business friendly. In turn the shift of Labour to the centre forced the Conservatives to go for a centre right leadership. The modern trend is for the public to blame politicians for being too similar but this process of fighting over the centre ground actually denotes the defeat of outdated ideologies that are no longer relevant and is not necessarily a bad thing.The Labour party is currently in a state of flux and still trying to work out its direction of travel over the next 2-3 years. If it moves towards the centre, it keeps the Conservatvies to the centre left, maintaining relative centrist governance of the UK even if Labour lose the next election.If it moves back to the left it will simply give the Tories lee-way to move further and further to the right.
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    The problem is that while the relative positions of "left and right" change, and so shift the center ground, the idea of what constitutes "Left" or "Right" does not.... and nor does it give any indication of the actual positions of the parties in a wider context.

    This colours perceptions of what the parties actually stand for, and is regularly used as fodder in political slanging matches between them, adding to the issue.

    In respect of outdated ideologies though... we have never had extreme socialism in this country, nor was it advocated... the closest we've ever seen to it is "social democracy" which carried the fingerprint of Keynesian economics with it - it saw one of the most stable and prosperous periods in history, with an increase in equality. This did indeed become outdated and would never survive today... the electorate saw that, and so 40 years after it arrived, the country rejected it in favour of the beginnings of a more neo-liberal approach (which is when we first began to see nations acquiring and living on massive debts per the norm.)

    It's 35/40 years since the advent of neo-liberal ideology now, and it's Hayekian underpinning. That, too, is proving itself outdated - but we've yet to see it's replacement emerge. There's no guarantee of a rightward lurch next, no-matter what Labour does, and no matter how the Tories respond.
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    (Original post by Elusia)

    In respect of outdated ideologies though... we have never had extreme socialism in this country, nor was it advocated... the closest we've ever seen to it is "social democracy" which carried the fingerprint of Keynesian economics with it - it saw one of the most stable and prosperous periods in history, with an increase in equality. This did indeed become outdated and would never survive today... the electorate saw that, and so 40 years after it arrived, the country rejected it in favour of the beginnings of a more neo-liberal approach (which is when we first began to see nations acquiring and living on massive debts per the norm.)

    It's 35/40 years since the advent of neo-liberal ideology now, and it's Hayekian underpinning. That, too, is proving itself outdated - but we've yet to see it's replacement emerge. There's no guarantee of a rightward lurch next, no-matter what Labour does, and no matter how the Tories respond.
    The prominence of the Trade Unions in the 70s and the 50% taxes of the Labour governments of the era were too extreme for the UK after 10-15 years.

    Camerons speech at the weekend was a real one nation Conservative style of speech. I was impressed with it despite being a predominantly Labour supporter. As long as he can withstand the current pressure from his back benchers he will keep the party in the centre right ground I feel

    Ed Milliband gives me the impression he is mindful of the need to mark his centreist credentials whilst appearing to me to be viscerally left wing. I think this is his problem more so than the style issues people keep throwing up against him. If he has a credibility problem which I think he does for me its because he is not in his heart of hearts a centreist but he knows thats where he needs to be because thats where Cameron is and where the fight for the next election lies. But I think a lot of people are uneasy with him because he doesnt appear to believe in it himself so no one else ever will. As things stand I honestly see another Coalition on the cards in 2015, even though it is the absolute last thing most people will want.
 
 
 
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