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Monday, 9 November 2009

Tony Benn and the Tories

The other day I called him Tony Bandwagon Benn.
"Tony Benn doesn’t hate the Tories anymore".

"There are issues I find myself in agreement with some of the Tories on, particularly on civil liberties,” said Benn. “All this security state stuff is very, very worrying. Libertarians like David Davis, a right-wing Conservative, resigned over the government’s 42-day detention law and I went to speak for him.” He said he also agreed with the Conservatives over the Lisbon treaty.

Steady on, mate. Socialists shouldn’t find themselves in agreement with the Tories on anything. Ever. We might share the Tories’ opposition to given aspects of New Labour authoritarianism, but that is a different thing entirely from being in agreement with them. The difference is one of nuance, perhaps, but nevertheless vital to grasp."

You don’t jettison your underlying ideas, but you do have to sharpen up your arguments. So while I do still want to see the bourgeoisie swinging from the nearest lamppost, it has finally dawned on me that this is something of a long-term strategic perspective.

But at the same time, this means that I have a different ideology to that of the Tories. And that I want to be divided from them, as they will want to be divided from me.

That is why Benn is wrong to privilege issues over ideologies in seeking out alliances. I fear that his newfound tendency to elision brings him to the brink of final political collapse."

To me, Benn will never recover from opposing Foot. Now he's jumping into bed with Tories.
I applaud David Davies for being a libertarian who resigned over the 42 days detention. And what happens to him? Backbenches.
I may oppose authoritarianism, but I don't support the Tories

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