Friday, February 12, 2010

Intellectual drift

Yesterday evening I attended the launch of Professor Jeremy Black's latest book, The Politics of World War Two, published by the Social Affairs Unit. [There appears to be no link yet. Professor Black is clearly far too prolific for the internet to keep up with him.]

In his introduction, Professor Black spoke of the differences between conservatives (though he is also a reasonably stalwart supporter of the party with a capital C) and the socialists. Without being anything like a socialist Professor Black expressed som sadness at the thought of the modern Labour Party's intellectual rudderlessness. The cause was that they had abandoned history. The party of Major Attlee and Ernie Bevin, he said, had a clear idea of British national history and traditions. Their understanding was not the same as that of people on the other side of the political spectrum but it was real, nonetheless. There is nothing like it in the Labour Party of today.

That is very true and it is what makes NuLab such a tiresome bunch of utter bores. The trouble is that Professor Black then proceeded to explain that conservatives were very different. To be fair, he did not say that the modern Conservative Party was different but there was a strong implication of it. That, I fear, is simply not true. NuCon, just like NuLab is intellectually rudderless with no understanding of its own or the country's history.

Of course, I am rather looking forward to reading the book. It has a long chapter about World War Two in subsequent history and perception.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly.
    I came to the conclusion, many years ago, that successive governments (of this country) have deliberately ensured a second/third-class education system is inflicted on the 'masses' in order that the politicians have a completely free reign, without the inconvenience of having to be scrutinised by an 'informed' and intelligent electorate.
    Unfortunately, I think they have been too successful in that the 'unlearned' have now managed to inhabit Parliament itself.
    I have listened to many well constructed, intelligent and stimulating 'debates' in the Commons over the years, but not for a very, very long time.
    I do not bother to listen now.
    Perhaps that's what they have been working towards.

  2. I am reminded of the Goon Show's take on the Commons - snores and silence interrupted by the querulous 'What about the rabbits in Australia...?'