If Only Again

While writing “Not in 50 years“, published earlier today (or on medium) I had cause to look at my 2013 essay, “If Only” (also on medium), which is a powerfully written, even if I say so myself, attack on triangulation and careerism and a call for courage and truthfulness. It was inspired by David Edgar’s play of the same name and set in 2010 & 2014 which at the time was in the future. I wrote the article after seeing the play in 2013. My post briefly talks about democratic policy making which I looked at in my blog essay, “Ideas, alliances and promises” (also on medium).

I have made this post to encourage people interested in understanding what’s happening in the Labour and Tory leaderships to have a look at my”If Only” essay (also on medium). which I think has aged well. The play and the essay are a call for principled truthfulness and a criticism of triangulation.  …

If Only

Last weekend, I went to see “If Only”, a play by David Edgar about the politics surrounding the formation of the coalition and a subdued appeal for the political parties to rediscover their identities; identity destroyed by triangulation.

If Only

Triangulation is a political strategy used mainly by social democratic parties and the US Democrats, of moving to the right and forcing your opponents to differentiate themselves by moving further to the right. It’s extremely cynical and extremely dangerous. However, if it’s just about winning, it clearly worked for a number of years for the Labour Party, isolating the Tories under the leadership of Major, Hague, Howard and Duncan-Smith. The danger in this strategy is that many of those who genuinely agree with the policies abandoned have no-one to represent them in the national political debate; the left in society become politically voice-less. A further danger is that neither the acolytes of triangulation nor their supporters believe in what is being said and promised by politicians, it reinforces the slur that all politicians are liars by making it the truth. …