Peter Hitchins: incoherent and delusional

29 May

In today’s Guardian, Peter Hitchens has written a bombastic diatribe against the political establishment, as he argues that New Labour is not, as conventional wisdom states, rightwing; but is in essence, everything that is wrong with centrist liberalism.

There are some strange statements in Hitchens’ piece. Not least his claim that: –

Blair’s [tactics] only succeeded because the collapse of the USSR robbed the Tories of their claim to be the only reliable defenders of national security. It also undermined the belief that socialism could or should be achieved by government ownership of the economy. The left could now appear reasonable and responsible to those who had once feared it.

Oh, right. So it had nothing to do with two-decades of Thatcher and Major? Was this guy not around in 1997? Does he not appreciate the collective relief most of the nation felt when we had rid ourselves of a deeply discredited Tory government?

Hitchens’ piece is also a fine example of wishful thinking. He claims that: –

…lifelong leftists gain too much joy from believing themselves to be in internal exile. They hate to admit that they are in fact in power. That would compel them to think, an unsettling activity. It would also make them at least partly responsible for the Blair government. And the left are nothing if not irresponsible.

The arrogance and incoherence of this statement is astonishing. If Blairism were indeed liberalism in action, why would the Liberals want to dissociate themselves from it? The reason liberals abandoned Blair is exactly that he doesn’t govern progressively. Progressiveness has suffered blow-after-blow in the last 5-years, as Blair’s obsession with keeping the likes of Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch happy, has mutated the leadership into a reactionary and terrified executive unable to administer proven progressive solutions.

Indeed, Blair’s very failures have stemmed from the very social conservatism that Hitchens’ preaches. Hitchens is a hypocrite. Newspapers such as Hitchens’ own Mail on Sunday are as guilty for the muddled ineptitude of Blairism, as any among the left are.

More to the point, what is the purpose of Hitchins’ brand of conservatism anyway? If a political party were to pander to the likes of Peter Hitchens and Anne Atkins, they would be slaughtered at the polls. The silent majority that such commentators love to evoke doesn’t exist. We’re a liberal society governed by a reactionary and confused political establishment poisoned by a powerful rightwing print media.

Hitchens is right on one thing: Blair’s government is corruptible, too statist, and ineffective, but his reasons are hopelessly wide of the mark.

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18 Responses to “Peter Hitchins: incoherent and delusional”

  1. jacoblurch@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    Was thinking of blogging the Hitchens (Peter) nonsense. I am not that fond of Hithcens C but Hitchens P is definitely out there with the foaming dogs.I thought it was pretty much drivel.

  2. jacoblurch@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    Was thinking of blogging the Hitchens (Peter) nonsense. I am not that fond of Hithcens C but Hitchens P is definitely out there with the foaming dogs.I thought it was pretty much drivel.

  3. woodland_ian@hotmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:27 pm #

    A good article about the ex member of the SWP.Hitchens the ‘crusader’ yearns for that brand of conservatism that even the Conservatives have dumped.He is fixated by some kind of free enterprise utopia where everyone is middle class/middle england. The tragedy is that I suspect there are some people in New Labour who might agree with him.Ian

  4. woodland_ian@hotmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:27 pm #

    A good article about the ex member of the SWP.Hitchens the ‘crusader’ yearns for that brand of conservatism that even the Conservatives have dumped.He is fixated by some kind of free enterprise utopia where everyone is middle class/middle england. The tragedy is that I suspect there are some people in New Labour who might agree with him.Ian

  5. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    Jams, I’m utterly confused by P Hitchens politics. Social conservatives??? What are these people? They hate the hulking nanny state, but equally they resist social freedoms. They’re not modern liberals, they hate socialism, they are not Classical Liberals, and nor are they libertarain rightwingers. So, if they’re non of these anti-statist ideologies they must be statist bigots. I remember National Socialism having a large rightwing state.What is it exactly that they want from the state?

  6. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    Jams, I’m utterly confused by P Hitchens politics. Social conservatives??? What are these people? They hate the hulking nanny state, but equally they resist social freedoms. They’re not modern liberals, they hate socialism, they are not Classical Liberals, and nor are they libertarain rightwingers. So, if they’re non of these anti-statist ideologies they must be statist bigots. I remember National Socialism having a large rightwing state.What is it exactly that they want from the state?

  7. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:33 pm #

    Ian,From what I can see, he’s got beef with everyone, hence his penchant for believing he has a monopoly on truth.He has all the markings of a conspiracy theorist.And, Ian, if it walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck…

  8. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 2:33 pm #

    Ian,From what I can see, he’s got beef with everyone, hence his penchant for believing he has a monopoly on truth.He has all the markings of a conspiracy theorist.And, Ian, if it walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck…

  9. jacoblurch@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 4:58 pm #

    To be honest Tyger I have him marked down as a nutter and try not to bother fathoming him out…oh and you’ve been <a href="http://thepoormouth.blogspot.com/2007/05/when-i-was-17-err-18.html“ rel=”nofollow”>tagged

  10. jacoblurch@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 4:58 pm #

    To be honest Tyger I have him marked down as a nutter and try not to bother fathoming him out…oh and you’ve been <a href="http://thepoormouth.blogspot.com/2007/05/when-i-was-17-err-18.html“ rel=”nofollow”>tagged

  11. null@childfacsimile.biz May 29, 2007 at 5:54 pm #

    If anything, Hitchens seems to have far more in common with American right-wing evangelical Christians than any of sort of established political grouping in this country. The one difference between them might be that Hitchens, unlike his brother, opposed the Iraq war.

  12. null@childfacsimile.biz May 29, 2007 at 5:54 pm #

    If anything, Hitchens seems to have far more in common with American right-wing evangelical Christians than any of sort of established political grouping in this country. The one difference between them might be that Hitchens, unlike his brother, opposed the Iraq war.

  13. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 7:58 pm #

    septicisle,Yup, I had actually described Hitchens’ conservatism as Christian Social Cons. and then deleted it. You’re right.

    The one difference between them might be that Hitchens, unlike his brother, opposed the Iraq war.

    Well, a broken clock is right twice a day.

  14. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 7:58 pm #

    septicisle,Yup, I had actually described Hitchens’ conservatism as Christian Social Cons. and then deleted it. You’re right.

    The one difference between them might be that Hitchens, unlike his brother, opposed the Iraq war.

    Well, a broken clock is right twice a day.

  15. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 8:13 pm #

    Jams, re the tagGive me a couple of days. Busy tonight and don’t have sound on the work PC. Oh, and tmrw eve I have to suffer Pirates 3…

  16. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 29, 2007 at 8:13 pm #

    Jams, re the tagGive me a couple of days. Busy tonight and don’t have sound on the work PC. Oh, and tmrw eve I have to suffer Pirates 3…

  17. mrsmopp104@hotmail.co.uk July 9, 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    peter hitchens is right about this corrupt incompetant government they have turned this country into a cesspool with the help of do gooders like you,though when i talk to people they are really getting angry with this crap joke of a government,i was one of those idiots who voted for this lot in 1997,but i can honestly sat come back lady thatcher your country and true people need you,by the way how does your paper stay in circulation i thought you only had 50 readers, oh yes we the tax payers subsidise you when your leftie government advertises for pretend jobs doesnt it.[Editor – tyger re-entered this comment. It was lost when I backed up the site after an upgrade issue]

  18. mrsmopp104@hotmail.co.uk July 9, 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    peter hitchens is right about this corrupt incompetant government they have turned this country into a cesspool with the help of do gooders like you,though when i talk to people they are really getting angry with this crap joke of a government,i was one of those idiots who voted for this lot in 1997,but i can honestly sat come back lady thatcher your country and true people need you,by the way how does your paper stay in circulation i thought you only had 50 readers, oh yes we the tax payers subsidise you when your leftie government advertises for pretend jobs doesnt it.[Editor – tyger re-entered this comment. It was lost when I backed up the site after an upgrade issue]

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