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Is "Right-wing" the wrong way to describe ourselves?

Tim Montgomerie

While enjoying dinner last week with a friend I was talking about the Right's need to fight for the moral high ground (it's the subject of my 3,000 word essay in the latest edition of Standpoint). He replied that the label 'Right' was part of the problem. The Left, he said, had so successfully contaminated the word that it was associated with too many negative things.

I decided to test this thought by asking Tory members to say whether they were happy to be described using a variety of words. My friend was right about Right. Just 46% of Tory members are content to be described as "Right wing". "Centre right" is okay as a describer for 54% of Conservatives. 11% were happy to describe themselves as "Hard Right"!

Here's a word cloud* for all the better-scoring describers I tested (click to enlarge):

Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 21.51.15

I'm annoyed I failed to test "Tory" but was interested in the high scores for Thatcherite, Compassionate, Pragmatic over Ideological, and Free Market. Here are the percentages for all of the words.

Related link on the importance of the words we use: Global warming or climate change? Cuts or savings? Little or Big Society? Enterprise or jobs?

* Tagxedo generated the word cloud. I thoroughly recommend it.


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