In what looks like the end of ‘New Labour’ – the ‘centrist’ or ‘Third Way’ form of Labour championed by Tony Blair and his fellow travellers, which positioned the party closer to the ‘political centre’ of British politics following the Thatcher era (the ‘centre,’ or course, having been moved dramatically rightward by the policies and ideology of Thatcher and her minions throughout the 1980s) – Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the British Labour Party. (For readers unfamiliar with British politics, Vox has a pretty decent overview of Corbyn.)
Whether this leftward lurch means the end of Labour as a major party within the United Kingdom, or the revitalization of Labour, especially given Corbyn’s strong rejection of the Conservatives’ (economically self-destructive) austerity spending cuts, I do not know. I certainly hope that the latter is the case, despite my disagreement with a number of Corbyn’s foreign policy views (many of which, such as the withdrawal of Britain from NATO, I suspect will be downplayed and/or revised significantly in the coming years).
And what was the alternative for Labour? Another ‘Tory lite’ New Labour leader? Labour failed in Scotland in the last election in large part (if not mainly) because the Scottish National Party ran to Labour’s left, especially in opposing further austerity. Although I don’t follow British politics as closely as Canadian or American politics these days, I’m sceptical that another New Labour candidate would be in any better position to challenge the Tories in the next election. Given a choice between ‘death in glory, or death in boredom,’ then, it makes sense for Labour to opt for the latter. But perhaps, just perhaps, glory without death might be achievable...
What is this blog about?
What is this blog about?
I am a political philosopher. My 'political philosophy' is a form of 'liberal egalitarianism.' So in this blog I reflect on various issues in political philosophy and politics (especially Canadian and American politics) from a liberal egalitarian perspective.
If you are curious about what I mean by 'liberal egalitarianism,' my views are strongly influenced by the conception of justice advanced by John Rawls. (So I sometimes refer to myself as a 'Rawlsian,' even though I disagree with Rawls on some matters.)
Astonishingly, I am paid to write and teach moral and political philosophy. I somehow manage to do this despite my akratic nature. Here is my faculty profile.