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Lillico was wrong. You were right the first time Peter.If he had been right we would see such a leftwing BBC dominating the media in this country


That should read 'wouldn't see such a leftwing BBC in this country'.

Alan S

Peter's right. Andrew is wrong. The left dominate education, the bureaucracy, the BBC, the arts and the law. Do we have a plan to reverse this? Perhaps Peter and Andrew could dedicate their next columns to that question?


You don't get it do you Peter Franklin? All this navel gazing and trying to assert yourself over a part of the Tory party achieves nothing for the Tories and lots for Labour. Whose side are you actually on?

We lost in 1997 because of sleaze, fears for the NHS, Labour spin, media bias and a collection of ministers even a mother couldn't love. It wasn't ideology that cost us. I don't expect you to remember because you were probably about 10 years old.

The problem is you talk about the new left and its flaws but Cameron is moving us that way and you support it. Andrew Lilico was right. The Tories are the ones debating ideas, making proposals and talking about ways of improving things using principles long held. People are supporting Labour because of its success in making us look nasty. Because of its "class war" against "Tory toffs" in the midlands and north. Not because policy was wrong. Remember how our policies were liked until people found out they were ours? How does changing policy fix that? It doesn't. It makes us look like chancers not changers.

People don't support Labour because of their bloating of the public sector, political correctness and the cultural establishment. They support them because they believe the rubbish about education, NHS, fixing poverty, and welfare. Where's the ideology in all this? Labour's vision is empty. So too is yours.

Paul Oakley

Andrew's argument was a brave one. Although the right does have some first-rate new ideas, we are not making the case strongly enough.

Peter, sad to say, is correct. The 'second left' has followed Gramsci. Realising that it cannot win the battle on the streets, the left has infiltrated the institutions. Its success in doing so has been facilitated by those who are not true believers but are aware that they will be marginalised or, indeed, persecuted if they do not comply with the prevailing world view.

Education is a particular worry. Peter is spot on when he points out that the failures of our schools are blindingly obvious to all. But then, an under-educated population is obviously more malleable.

Thus endeth the conspiracy theory.

Simon Newman

Peter you're right of course, Blair was very successful in entrenching the New Left at the centre ground of British politics.

Simon Newman

Paul Oakley's comment is spot on.




The terms "left" and "right" are rightly said to be over-used and out of date. When we debate our policy in these outmoded terms we immediately give the policies unhelpful connotations associated with them.

In modern politics we need to try to find new terms to define our ideas. How about "freemarketeers" and "statists"? If we use these terms we can see at once that state intervention is increasing under all governments since the war. This even happened to some extent under Margaret Thatcher, particularly through the EU.

It is hard to imagine any modern government not churning out more and more regulation. Can anyone come up with an example of a government that has seriously reduced the power of the state? Our lives are increasingly managed by the state, and people are not seriously opposed to it. Most voters are either broadly in favour or apathetic. Of course many people quietly ignore a lot of it, and enforcement is patchy, but it is there nevertheless.

Most business may be in private hands, but the hand of the state is increasingly pushing its way in.


Peter you are right. The Nu-left has two overarching policies: for the domestic it is political correctness and for foreign policy it is all things anti-American

Michael McGowan

I agree with Paul Oakley and Simon Newman.....but this state of affairs can largely be laid at the door of the Conservative Party. The left's onward march through our institutions barely faltered during 18 years of Tory Government and we know that many of the modernisers share the Cultural Marxist dogma of the New Left.

Simon Denis

Spot on, old sport, but now that so much of society is under left control don't imagine that capitalism is safe. Hain's noises about bonuses, the appointment of the sinister Malloch Brown - things like this suggest that having bulldozed our outposts the reds are moving on to the citadel.

Some time ago it occured to me that this website is too introspective. Let's have more about what Labour is up to, I thought, so that we can attack them, instead of squabbling with each other. But how can we attack Labour when so much of what we could say has been taken away from us? It is precisely because we are too frightened to retake the outposts that we have no stomach for any kind of fight. So we turn on each other, in the absence of strategy and purpose.

You mention schools. The worst, most philistine and manipulative teaching fad of all was for comprehensives. It is the foul monster which has spawned all the other wretched, fanciful and absurd theories you refer to. And yet Cameron won't say it. He will not fight. He would much rather negotiate with a few wavering soldiers in the opposing army and win a breathing space, like some late Byzantine Emperor, despairing of a proper victory.

The only way the tories will win genuine power again is by fighting for what they believe in. The socialists could not do this in 92 and 97 because their belief system had been exposed as a tissue of lies. The tories, did they but have the guts to acknowledge it, have the heavy guns of vindicated capitalism on their side. It is time they started firing them.

The Huntsman

Anything remotely of the right has been expunged from both the television and the radio. I cannot think of any idea which one might think of as emanating from the right which gets a fair hearing from either, if it gets a hearing at all.

The written media presents a mixed picture. The Toynbee end of the market plainly does not do 'right' stuff. The Express is Diana-centric and the Sun is the Sun. I am not sure these days what the Daily Telegraph is.

But there are pockets of the written word which espouse that which we think of as emanating from the right. It is not much, however, in the face of the overwhelming position of the BBC and other left-liberal broadcasters.

I have a theory, upon which I would be interested to read the views of others, that one of the reasons why right wing blogs(whether of the centre-right, middling right or very right) seem so much more lively and stimulating than those of a more LibDem or Labour cast is because the right is institutionally excluded from the broadcast media and it is now finding a platform in cyberspace. Or perhaps only we think of them as more lively and stimulating and they are all deathly dull!

Mike A

Peter Franklin was not, alas, 10 years old in 1997.

Despite his youthful appearance, Peter Franklin has, in fact, been a key Tory adviser since the Exclusion Crisis.

His age, according to his Conference application form is 'Mesozoic'.


It is all very bemoaning the demise of selective education, but as has been said many times, it was Conservative governments that presided over its downfall, except in a few isolated places. I suspect that in the long term private education will grow as the state system becomes more disliked and the wealth of the middle classes increases. That is not a policy, but it is the inevitable result of state failure. The same will happen with health. Indeed it is already happening with private insurance schemes.

People cannot wait for governments and ideological battles; they use their freedom of choice. Only the poor will be left behind and that is the result of a free market. As wealth increases the difference between the poor and the rest will grow wider. Hardly anyone now believes that we should subsidise the poor to give them equality with the rest, so in some senses the "right" has won the argument.

Patsy Sergeant

Perhaps one of the reasons that Labour has been so successful at staying in power over the last ten years is that a deliberate policy of creating a smoke-screen (spin) went hand-in-hand with a cynical policy of 'feed them cake' - to paraphrase Marie Antoinette, and if the Treasury (Mr. Brown) could tax the 'cake', so much the better!

The voters I am referring to here are the thousands who think they don't understand politics, and are looking for an 'easy life', with as many goodies as possible. I am not talking about 'couch-potatoes', but people who work for a living.

Now the Wizard has departed, the cake is getting more expensive, and the dear leader is a dogmatist with the spending habits of Marie Antoinette. Soon the cake will become stale........

Tony Makara

The end of manufacturing in Britain meant the end of an ideological trades union movement. The series of defeats suffered by the left during the 70s and 80s and the fall of communism necessitated a change of strategy. The Charter88/Gramsci-reading generation were able to marry the concepts of statism and being career-politicians. The new brand of leftists saw being-in-power as being a goal in itself. The left now sees the state as being the instrument of new left ideology, top-down politics, instruction from on high, from the state to the people, from the state over the people. State subjugation in the name of social democracy.

Matt Wright

The left started entryism into various organisations in the country a long time ago. The media in particular was seen as a key tool and once a few got into key positions others followed and it just became the trendy home for various shades of socialists. Other than the fact that the left have made some organisations their home, I actually don't think things are as bad in terms of left or right debate as some people make out. Socialism has failed, as it was bound to do, because its just not based on reality and when people don't do what their told by the idealists then Statism steps in and fails even more. Capitalism has undoubtedly won the war and most of the battles, but ironically in doing so most people have come to accept that Capitalism is far from perfect either. Market forces do not solve everything, far from it. We are now still in a sort of third way era (hate to use that term) where people try to get the balance right and are working out how you get the benefits of capitalism without some of the downsides. I return to the issue of the media though and we have to get a fairer hearing but also improve our game. I hope to see media handling improve massively in the party,


Tony Makara

Interesting points Matt. The thing that facinates me when I read left-wing literature is that the hard-left still talk enthusiastically about 'Reclaiming the Labour party' and I'm puzzled as to what exactly they mean by that. Do they see the New Labour project as being 'Deviationism'?, if so they clearly haven't understood that the Labour party of Castle and Wilson is confined to history, never to return again.

The Labour party today is about one thing, political-careerism, about individuals using the state to forge a career, it therefore becomes the remit of the career-politican to expand the state, self-empowerment. Administrationism has replaced vision. The only thinking being done today is in the Conservative party.

Labour have given up on trying to create the future, they are just happy to control the present.

Simon Denis

Just because toryism was as usual too purblind and complacent to fight for the grammar schools in the seventies, it does not mean that they should acquiesce in that dereliction today.

Still on the subject of schools, I should like to point out that a fairly hard left interpretation of the academic curriculum has been gradually superimposed upon the old subjects. English excludes anything from before 1900 and puts the emphasis on "protest" writing; Geography has nothing to do with capital cities and square mileage but instead focuses on the "exploitation" of the third world. And so on. In such circumstances it will not be long before the hard left has recreated its old, gadarene constituency and reignites its lunatic war on wealth. Factor in the new migrants, the colonising of minority interests by marxist "spokespersons", the huge state payroll and we have gerrymandering on a grand scale. If we do not fight now and fight hard against comps, mass immigration, high taxes and much of the illiberal "equality" legislation - see adoption and the Roman Catholic Church - we will be in deep trouble. Freedom will be a thing of the past.

The tories were cowardly to retreat from social and cultural policy. They bet the firm on the economy so that when they fluffed it, under the fruitcake Europhils, they had no more songs to sing. It is now, in the darkest days, when we have nothing to lose, that we should put these omissions right.

David Sergeant

Franklin is mostly right. One has to remember that the public services establishment (and that includes the BBC) stands to lose out if market forces are proposed to supplant their control. Any proposals will be referred to them by all the media and their status will carry the argument.

The approach is to pass control AND responsibility to the front line managers within, more or less, the existing organisation. Which is, more or less, the Cameron approach. You can't privatise the NHS in one governments term. The big idea behind this is that the public services should be run for the benifit of the customers on the ground and not politicians. Even Brown's best friend would agree that Brown has been running public services for the benifit of him and his philosophy.

Henry Mayhew - fruitcake / delusional / closet racist

A sensible article from Peter Franklin! Either he is lurching to the right or I am becoming a Cameroon.

Matt Wright

David, hhmm.. in part. Actually in big organisations the only way you can improve things is to remove some of the tiers of managers and give more responsibility to staff. That way more of them can start being innovative and doing a better job. Its the only way forward but its a long haul as its largely a cultural change. Its at the root of many problems in the UK. That is why I liked the "social reponsibility" stuff, I think it just needed developing into more catchy terms and using practical examples and ideas,


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