Sunday, 16 May 2010

Jotting in equanimity

I, personally, accept the Con-Lib coalition with equanimity. Labour does need time to reassess itself, its purpose and values. As son T pointed out over lunch, the Lib Dems are in many ways to the left of New Labour. From all one reads, the next five years will require a stable government and a degree of solidarity among the partners. Not a bad time to be in opposition, if handled wisely.

It is not ideology but pragmatism that dictates events for now. In any case both ideologies need time to redefine themselves. I'd be very surprised if too many Tories retained their boundless confidence in the market to arrange everything, nor would too many in the Labour party bring back large-scale state ownership of industry if only because that would be impossible unless a good number of other states did the same. It is hard to see any contemporary state as a free-floating island in splendid, or otherwise, isolation. Socialism in one country is only possible to a very limited extent. More than that requires more cataclysmic political events than seem immediately likely.

Though who knows? Greece is interesting from this point of view. Portugal? Spain? Much depends on how the cuts are managed: how stark they are, how sudden, how deep. Then there is the rush for Arctic oil and other resources. Developments in the Middle East. Changes in the climate. It's quite interesting to have lived six decades. Little, if anything, has remained unchanged.

I don't do original thinking in politics, of course. But I register this as state of mind at a particular time.

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