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A small crisis of conscience October 20, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Bwargh, Law, Sheer bloody-mindedness.

This is a post about that ubiquitous creature that resides in law, politics, sociology and occasionally economics libraries the world over: the Irritating Liberal.  We all know about them.  Not the sort of liberal who just wants everyone to be happy and for the world to be a better place, not even the sort who despises Tories on principle (and its newer counterpart who despises New Labour on principle), but the sort who knows exactly how this is to be done, and anyone who disagrees with them is at best Unenlightened and delusional, and at worst a Bourgeoise Oppressor, intent upon homogeneity of all people, the stifling of originality and, of course, the subjugation of the working classes.

Of course, this is a bit upsetting, especially when, as they tend to in law, they start going on about how we can’t trust politicians in the slightest (especially Tories/New Labour) because they’re just out for what they can get.  Of course they are.  They’re human beings.  That’s how it works.  Every human being is at least to some extent self-serving.  It’s how we’ve developed; it’s how we’ve survived.  We’ve also survived by working in communities, and there is a balance, and there will always be a balance.  It might not always work, but honestly, it’s pretty darned good.  No, I know you know Marx was unenlightened and delusional as well.  But that is no reason, no reason at all, to remove power to any extent from politicians, and give it to the courts.  The courts are not elected.  Judges may be good, they may be bloody good, but they’re not legitimate, they’re not elected and they’re not representing anyone except for arguably the crown.

I was having a discussion the other day with a friend because I happen to believe that we should be paying our MPs quite a lot more than we are doing, and she thinks they don’t deserve it.  (But that’s another bedtime story – what can I say, I think I took a bit too much market economics on board.  Also, I promise it was a discussion, not an argument!)  Part way through this, she brought up the fact that I went to a private senior school.

I don’t object to people’s points of view.  But I object to having my point of view dismissed as uninformed.  Because not having gone to a state school does not entitle you to talk about state funded education or how to make things better for people who did.  Because disagreeing with Irritating Liberal means you’re obviously lingering under the delusion that only Irritating Liberal has seen beyond.  (The friend in question isn’t an IL, by the way, although I did get chatted up by a slightly tipsy one about a year ago and it was one of the most surreptitious-rage-inducing situations I have ever been in.)  And the thing about the Irritating Liberal is that I can’t disagree with them.  I’ll lose face.  I’ll end up disagreeing with them because I think they’re a tosser as opposed to because I disagree with them.  Or maybe I’ll start calling them Just Plain Wrong, and then there’ll be two of us.

On the subject of which, I’m really sorry for this blog.  I had to let it out somewhere, though.  Pot, this is kettle; kettle, pot.

Incidentally I have about fifteen pages of this article left, about which I have to talk in a seminar tomorrow morning, and I think I have torn my hair out so much my scalp is crying.  So far we’ve had examples of, in the red corner, General Haig, Thatcher and the Soviet Union, and in the blue corner, Oscar Wilde and Auguste Comte.  Jolly good, chaps.



1. windmillsofyourmind - October 20, 2009

Anyone who thinks like that is a blithering idiot. I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I’m allowed an opinion on what’s going on there.

Bloody people.

L xxx

2. Eurovision « de minimis - May 12, 2011

[…] and just parrot what you’ve been told by People In Positions Of Authority.  Remember the Irritating Liberal?)  Personally, I think we should have joined the Euro in about 2007, but I can understand why we […]

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