Friday, 6 May 2011

How to spot a left-liberal policy: a handy print off ‘n’ keep guide

Actually, it’s dead simple: does it involve taking money away from people and regions who’ve worked for it and handing it to people and regions who haven’t?

That’s the defining characteristic. Once you’ve answered that question, you’re on pretty firm ground.

But there are other attributes which help you decide whether you’re being sold a lemon. They may not all be present in every instance, but some of them invariably will be, while none of the opposing characteristics will be in evidence in any way shape or form. 

Here’s an example. The policy will require hiring more public sector workers to “administer” it is left-of-centre. Contrariwise, any policy requiring fewer public sector workers than currently exist is, by its very nature, right-wing.

See? What could be easier?

The policy will require that a group of non-elected “experts”, preferably with backgrounds in light entertainment or pseudo-scientific subjects (i.e. all those with the word “Studies” in the title) be appointed to oversee it. (It’s vital that these people are unburdened by achievement in any vaguelyrelevant field.)

The policy will lead to many blameless people being unfairly disadvantaged either financially or in terms of their education or employment prospects. There’s no point in some people benefitting if no-one suffers. If no one gets directly punished – as in the case of some tax-breaks for enterprise zones – the policy isn’t left-liberal.

When the policy fails – as it will – the people it was designed to punish (invariably middle-class tax-payers) will be blamed for its failure.

If the policy leads to a measurable drop in standards or productivity or profitability – all of which were predicted by its opponents – it’s a left-liberal policy.

If the policy is applauded by the EU, it’s left-liberal. If the EU hates it, it’s right-wing. (This also applies if the policy’s advocates use Sweden or President Obama as examples of its previous success.)

If the policy diminishes the choices of ordinary, working people by placing more power in the hands of unelected gauleiters or trade union officials, it is left-liberal. If it gives more power to ordinary, working people, it’s right–wing.

If the Guardian and the New Statesman approve of the policy, it is left-liberal – and its effects will prove spectacularly malign.

If the policy exponentially exacerbates the problem it was supposed to “solve”, it’s left-liberal – and will be proudly described as a “flagship” policy by the party which championed it.

If the policy has to be excused on the grounds that “we’re not getting our message across”, it is left-liberal, because this means it has both failed andoutraged the public.

If the policy sounds as if it was dreamt up by a sixteen-year old with no experience of life and no understanding of what makes human beings tick, it is left-liberal. 

If a government winds up assuring us that the only reason the policy hasn’t proved a success so far is that not enough of our money has been spent on it, it is left-liberal.

If the policy’s predicted success is based on the assumption that the public are far less self-interested than right-wingers assume, it’s left-liberal.

Finally, If the policy makes university lecturers, pop stars and BBC comedians feel even more smug than they already do, it’s left-liberal.

This is by no means a complete list, but it should mean that, in the vast majority of case, we are in doubt as to political impulse behind a proposal - and, therefore, how likely it is to fail.

No comments:

Post a Comment