This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Public Services and 'the parasitic classes' - A classic quote !

Here is Tristan Mills' view of public services :

So called public services don't serve individuals, they serve the parasitic classes who live off the sweat of others.

Huh ? Do we inhabit the same planet as well as the same party Tristan ?!



Anonymous Adrian Sanders said...

He attacked me a while back for defending my constituents who were about to lose their jobs at Riviera Desserts!

I'm suprised people who share his views feel at home in the Liberal Democrats when there is a UK Libertarian Party in existance.

To me Liberalism is freedom with a safety net. Libertarianism is more licence than liberty, and the only safety net is the one you can personally afford. In practice that means for a large number of people there is no safety net at all.

Keep up the excellent blogs Barrie.

11:44 am BST

Blogger wit and wisdom said...

I will go straight home, take my son out of his state school and decry him on the village green for being a member of the parasitic classes.

Shame on him!

I shall then decry myself for driving on the roads to get to my village. How dare I use public roads when a private solution could be provided. I will henceforth only use roads that I have provided for myself to get to work.

Oh god, I work for a local authority which empties parasitic bins, keeps restaurants, bars and cafes free of disease and stops people sleeping on the streets! Goodbye, cruel, 'parasitic' world

12:58 pm BST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The haverings of the "libertarians" on line are chillingly reminiscent of the Alan B'Stard mould of eighties tory.
Their tactics are similar to those of other extremist groups. They set up a false dichotomy along the lines of "Either you agree with us about X or you are not a liberal. If you disagree you are a social democrat." In recent days, X has been such topics as cutting taxes for the rich or the smoking ban but it could be anything else. By doing so, they seek to exclude others from calling themselves liberals and aim to claim the title for their own narrow meaning and label anything else as something other than liberal. They do not want to allow the fact that people can take different sides on most issues from perfectly valid liberal principles. In this sense, as with other extremist groups, they do not allow diversity and as such they are fundamentally authoritarian in nature. The way Liberal Vision is organised comes as no surprise in this context.
The really sad thing is that younger people, who cannot remember the pre-merger parties, even people who I might have thought were intelligent enough to avoid the trap, are being taken in by this over simplistic and erroneous characterisation of liberals and social democrats.

1:50 pm BST

Blogger Barrie Wood said...

I'm one of those 'hate figures' for libertarians. Liberal in all things, but in economic terms social democrat influenced.

1:55 pm BST

Blogger wit and wisdom said...

You're a Liberal Democrat?!

The shame!

1:58 pm BST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On course the most social democratic party at the moment is the tiny continuing 'Liberal Party' formed to oppose the . But that may be bcause they always want to be different. Take referenda for example, they used to be totally opposed, but now they accuse us of hypocrisy, for not supporting a referendum!
Quote: “In contrast to the Liberal Democrats who have called for a referendum on a common European currency - among other things - the Liberal Party opposes referenda in principle, believing that the democratic forum is the crucible of debate and decision making and that one referendum opens the door to demands for others and would dangerously undermine the democratic process.”

2:49 pm BST

Blogger Tom Papworth said...

Obviously I can't speak for Tristan, but I suspect that the reference was not to the service users but to the elites that they benefit.

Schools that leave c.20% of the population functionally illiterate and with no qualifications. The worst cancer recovery rates in Europe. I hardly think the public services are doing a great job for the nation's children and sick.

OTOH, they do very nicely for politicians (who dispense patronage) and bureaucrats (who get jobs for life and gold plated pensions).

The caricature of libertarians is also mistaken, but if it makes it easier to make your point to demonise those with whom you disagree then go ahead.

9:02 pm BST

Blogger Tristan said...

I criticised Adrian Sanders for being a mercantalist and falling into the make work trap - basic economic misunderstandings - he replied by attacking me viciously (not surprising he physically attacked another LibDem - for which there has been no sanction I note - one rule for the powerful).

None of you understand libertarianism - you just trope out the same fallacies and make things up to attack.j

9:09 pm BST

Blogger Barrie Wood said...

That is out of order Tristan. The matter you refer to is now firmly closed and neither Messrs Littlewood or Sanders will make further comment.

I don't know Mark Littlewood, but Adrian is a fine MP, approachable and an all round 'regular guy. Your comment is a pitiful cheap shot which I hope you'll withdraw.

9:23 pm BST

Anonymous Adrian Sanders said...

Don't worry Barrie, the only parasites here are those who misuse the Liberal Democrats for their own ends when there is a perfect vehicle for their views in the UK Libertarian Party.

I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking straight. Parasites give something back to their host.

9:28 am BST


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