Still too busy to think straight, although the end is in sight – at least I think it is. In lieu of interesting original content, I direct your invaluable attention towards Mr Thompson who, sadly, really did need to write a blog post explaining why admiring one aspect of a person doesn’t mean you automatically agree with everything that person says.
That the quality of political debate is being reduced to such a pathetically dismal level – these desperate, clawing attempts to land any sort of wound on your opponents, no matter how utterly spurious or inane your argument really is – is a source of continued angst for me, and makes me want to get my spanking bat out.
It’s depressing that anyone would accuse Dan Hannan of dog whistle racism – although I don’t really know enough about Hannan to know about his specific attitudes, but one the really interesting features of liberalism, especially classical and libertarianism (in which category Hannan places himself) is, as a rule, most of us are lovers of Free Trade. Free Trade explicitly demands free movement of people, which means we’re quite often the most pro-immigration people in the room.
One of the other interesting things about individualists is that your race, gender, sexuality, physical ability are usually completely irrelevant – it may decrease the odds of you meeting, but when you do meet you’re going to be taken on your merits. Now if you haven’t got any merits and want a head start because you’re male, white, hetero-sexual and gosh darn it British then you can, pardon my french, obtenez baisé. It works the other way too, though – no special favours for anyone is the nice easy way of treating people equally.
But, away from theory and into the nitty gritty of winning elections, you’d think with immigrants being public enemy number one there’s more populist mileage in condemning Hannan for that. In fact, let’s check the pulse of the majority, for a second:
Free movement of Capital: Evil.
Free movement of Goods and Services: Evil.
Free movement of People: Ultimate Evil.
Seems to me the best way to defeat libertarians is to focus on the ‘soft on immigration’ aspect, which is why the Conservatives will never be a libertarian party, and which is why I’ll never be a Tory, and why, obviously, I’ll never be Prime Minister. Free Movement of People? I may as well club baby seals for all the votes that’d win.
Hmmm… did I accidently write a blog post here?
Update: The “Not Labour Honest” Conspiracy blog has an interesting take - condemning Hannan for not being a proper libertarian. This tickled me.