This post is by Colin Byrne from Byrne Baby Byrne
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2 months since I blogged. I’m a bad blog-boy. That said, with a busy job and five kids, it is possible to be “too busy to blog”.
Today’s British Social Attitudes Survey, basically showing that we are more liberal on homosexuality and “living in sin”, but are increasingly seeing ourselves as Conservative sympathizers and don’t want to pay (even) more taxes, is reported by many papers as counter-intuitive. Not to me.
I spent a lot of time around Labour activists and trade union folk in my past. Some were very liberal. Some were verging on homophobic and racist. One gay friend of mine suffered a virtual witch hunt during his Labour selection process. Some of the most illiberal people I have ever known were my Trot fellow travelers in my yoof, who used to describe sex and inter-personal fun as “a diversion from the revolutionary struggle”. Snappy slogan huh?
I know some very liberal Conservatives on private life issues, who are still hawkish on tax and spend. The Left has always confused the stereotype of the Blue Rinse Tory Lady with the reality of changing social attitudes among people whose vote is swayed by issues like crime in their neighbourhoods and how much of their hard earned dosh they get to keep. And by increasing access over the past few decades to higher education. The Turnip Taliban and Little Englanders are still out there, but they are no more representative of the people now considering voting Cameron than Militant were typical of hard working Labour voters twenty years ago.
David Cameron will want to learn from the “back to basics” mistake and hypocracy of the last Tory PM, John Major.
One paper notes the liberalising impact of Tony Blair. Quite rightly. As Tony prepares for the Chilcot enquiry and gets skewered in the papers again over his speaker fees, it is surely time to remember that there is more to this great statesman’s legacy than the divisive issue of Iraq. Time for a rehabilitation of Tony I say. A Blair Revival is overdue.