Tom Fowdy truly believes in Ukip and is clearly on the libertarian wing of the party. I assume he sleeps with Ayn Rand books under his pillow so as to absorb her “wisdom”. His latest blog sums up nicely the “intellectual” wing of the party. Apparently he is a journalist for Tyne and Wear news but judging by his latest blog post he has not taken on the editors mantra that less is more. I will try and write this blog in plain English, something that Tom needs lessons in.
In 1767 words Tom manages to state that a modern liberal state is one that imposes a “religious” type of ideal of what is morally allowed preventing individualism – acting in an “authoritarian” way. The whole post is in fact a way of declaring that Political Correctness is the state controlling freedom of speech, that our morality has been chosen for us and we are all incapable of thinking for ourselves.
“Their doctrine is taught in the schools, in the media and through popular institutions. Again liberty has not become a means of personal action and protection, it has become a means of morality imposed upon you. Therefore, imposing social or even legal consequences upon you if you dare think outside or challenge these given”
Yes, Tom, we do teach in schools that there are rights and responsibilities enshrined in both the law and in the morality of society. That under the law and under a “liberal” society equality exists for all as long as your behaviour is such that it does not remove the rights of others.
The state does not impose morality Tom, not since religion was implicitly removed from our law making process – we no longer fine people for not going to church on a Sunday. Society has chosen over time what is acceptable and what is not. Hence the idea of Golliwogs, once acceptable to a largely homogenous white society, are now seen as something different by a society in which black people are our neighbours, work colleagues, lovers and friends. That we then criticise those who think differently, both as a society and as individuals is our right. They may think that way; and I may choose to label them as ignorant and to question wether they value other individuals in society.
You claim that the state has created a moral framework that allows bigotry, as long as one is acting within the framework, that the liberal society has “imposed” on us. That one can be “bad outside of it”. I would argue that it is the purpose of the individuals in society to determine together what is seen as being acceptable. That the framework is ever changing and has never been fixed in place.
You believe that the “state” should not have any moral authority. I would assume that you believe that to teach in schools that homophobia, sexism or racism are “bad”, would be for you, the state interfering in the rights of individuals.
Tom, your type of libertarianism assumes that those who are racist or homophobic need not be challenged by society unless they cause harm through their thoughts. However those thoughts, when expressed, are given credence and legitimacy if not challenged. If the child at school is not taught that homophobia is a bad thing, that child can become an adult with the power to discriminate in subtle ways, to cause harm to the individual. Take the case of the subtle racism that exists to prevent young black couples from viewing properties in London.
“ We must not be punished for what we think, even if others perceive what we think to be wrong. We must not receive social and media persecution for what we think, even if others disagree. We need not a state enforced modern liberalism which interferes, but we need a system which government minimally intervenes with. A moral ideology established by a government is dangerous, because when a government has an ideology it also therefore has to have an enemy. The doctrine of modern liberty is therefore a threat to liberty itself.”
Your blog post is confused, you talk about social and media persecution and then maintain that we have a government enforced ideology. You speak about the people as if they are idiots who can not think for themselves and then vote according to their beliefs, to create a society that reflects the majorities beliefs. The press reflects what the people think, they make a calculated decision on what to print, reflecting the wider beliefs of the their target group – it’s about maximising profit.
I would accept that you have point of view if you were not a complete hypocrite. You complain that we label people for their views and yet you as an individual label people. You are keen to ensure that Ukip is not seen as racist.
Because that is the overwhelming view of society, not because of a “modern liberal” state conspiracy to make us think like robots, but because humans are inherently decent. We have “learnt” that we are all the same under the skin and colour should not be a determining factor when we form views on individuals or groups.
Ukip as a party is authoritarian. You ban past members of the BNP and EDL from membership. Surely this is the ultimate collective labelling of individuals, the assumption that they may not have changed their views over time.
Tom you have written blog posts to defend Ukip against accusations of homophobia and racism, stating that the majority consensus in the party is against these attitudes, you said this on racism within Ukip;
“A few silly gaffes or unprofessional remarks by party members do not constitute real racism and nor do they constitute party policy, stance or the ultimate prevailing consensus in both the party and in modern Britain that racism is not acceptable and should be a thing of the past”
These views should be challenged and if they are racist should be labelled as such. This is not a “liberal” conspiracy to define us, but rather society growing, maturing and developing a conscience.