November 1, 2005

LESS STATE, MORE SOUL:

Labour is in no position to preach to us about respect (Alice Thomson, 01/11/2005, Daily Telegraph)

After Cool Britannia, which he swiped from John Major for the end of the 1990s, [Tony Blair] has nicked another of his predecessor's ideas - not the Cones Hotline, but his even more contentious Back to Basics plan. Mr Blair calls it "Respect". But it's the same concept. It's all about capturing the moral agenda. Both Mr Blair and Gordon Brown have become obsessed by turning the Noughties into the moral decade, outdoing even the 1950s for its puritanism.

The Prime Minister wants to ban everything - out have gone chewing gum, thin models, hoodies, smoking in offices, Turkey Twizzlers and hunting. All for our own good, of course, to save us from our baser instincts. Mr Brown's speech at the Labour conference was about his "moral compass", which he said he had inherited from his father, a Scottish minister.

When Mr Major tried this, his ministers ensured it was a fiasco.


The Third Way, with its return to an emphasis on the private sphere, requires an according restoration of private morality and personal responsibilty.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2005 8:13 AM
Comments

And theiy're going to tax them until they get it.

How does morality improve by not chewing gum?

Posted by: Sandy P at November 1, 2005 9:27 AM

Good manners demonstrate respect for others.

Posted by: oj at November 1, 2005 9:33 AM

and gum is very messy. leave such low practices to the cows and goats.

Posted by: Lee Kuan Yew at November 1, 2005 10:08 AM

There is a difference between "good manners" and "private morality and personal responsibilty." It's possible to have the first without the second, though not the second without the first. The problem is if you just hammer the good manners, you'll only get resentful conformity, that will break down as soon as the pressure is loosened. Which it inevitably will be at some point.

Posted by: Brandon at November 1, 2005 11:06 AM

it's a new victorian age aborning.

Posted by: Ben disraeli at November 1, 2005 11:46 AM

There are no more Queen Victorias. We turn our pious control freaks out of office every few years.

Posted by: Al Cornpone at November 1, 2005 12:24 PM

All manners and morality are simple conformity.

Posted by: oj at November 1, 2005 1:35 PM

Al,

that's no way to talk about gore

Posted by: Ben Disraeli at November 1, 2005 1:56 PM
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