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How a 'right wing' policy is in reality 'left wing'.

In the world of factional politics, there has been for yonks reductionist vocabulary, of  'left' and 'right'.
This is linguistic archaism.  What there is in reality is 'ideas' and labelling them in  a reductionist fashion, of 'left' and' right' is long past its sell by date.

 For as Janet Daley points out, the most interesting and worthwhile policy initiatives of the moment achieve the miraculous feat of appealing to the Right (which effectively means most real people) while being so truly progressive that they are almost impossible for the Left to attack.

The quintessential example of this is, of course, welfare reform. Capping welfare payments and making it harder for people to claim incapacity benefit would, on the face of it, seem to reflect established Right-wing impulses. But the case that is being made by Iain Duncan Smith with patent sincerity is that trapping people in welfare dependency destroys their life chances, and damages society by creating an underclass without hope or concern for the future.
So the welfare reform programme is a true instance of compassionate conservatism. And it is this clear sense in which the policy is benevolent and socially responsible – quite as much as its resounding popularity with the electoratewhich makes it so very difficult for Ed Miliband and his army of throwbacks to oppose it. It is perfectly plausible, in other words, to produce policies and pronouncements that square the circle: that appeal to the natural Conservative supporter (which is to say, most of the population) but that are unimpeachable to  the Left. as they huddle under their totemic moral umbrella.

A further 'left' wing action emanating fromn the 'right' is ending automatic early release, to which the prisoner is now entitled so long as he has done nothing utterly egregious – such as assaulting a prison officer – during his stay. Instead, an offender would have to earn this premature ending of his imprisonment by taking on some positive training, education or rehabilitation while he/she was incarcerated.

I can just see the left wing 'think tank' crowding round that moral totem pole parleying on how they will oppose these 'left wing'measures.

Source Janet Daley


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