Whilst learning how to blog I wanted a good header for my page. I needed a strap-line to set people’s expections when they get here. After all, not everyone will be bothered to plough through the About Me biog or the page explaining my political philosphy. The phrase ‘Moderate Centre-Right Fundamentalist’ was a bit of fun intended to make a serious point: It’s the extreme wings of politics that always have the loudest, angriest voices. Those either side of the centre always allow ourselves to be branded as pragmatic chameleons absent of ideological compass. This branding must stop.
I’ve decided to tackle head-on anyone who chucks this at me. I can be just as loud and passionate and unapologetic about my views. Splitting every issue into a litmus test of someone’s left or right credentials drags us to the level of a sixth-form debating society where half the class has only just discovered Marx and the other half Freidman. Back in the real world there are those awkward shades of grey needing far more subtle thought. Neither the left nor right-wing hardcore seem to cope well with the ‘subtlety’ needed in the real world.
For instance, “I believe in the miraculous power of competition in the free market” – sounds much like – “I believe in the miraculous power of the Free Market”. But read again and there is a subtle difference. Personally, I am an advocate of the first. The gentle change of a few words brings as seismic shift in the substance of what is said. I don’t think people miss the difference because they are not smart enough to get it. It is rather because people like me haven’t shouted our view loud enough, we get drowned out by noise from the extremes. The right wing nutter may hear me say my phrase and note I qualify the power of market forces, the left wing nutter just hears that I admire the free market – both would write me off. Well, don’t write me off! There is nothing wrong with my idelogical compass. It is set to the right of centre, I’m proud of it, passionate about it and ready to shout about it- I make no apologies that it requires grown-up sophisticated thought to grasp – the world is complex, and some complexity is requried to fix it. So, please do call me a ‘fundamentalist’ for my views… bring it on.