How to save the Left
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How to save the Left? Let the Tories win Yes - the impending electoral defeat is almost irrelevant. “Socialism frees man from the tyranny of living for others.” Oscar Wilde knew of the truth in paradox. Whilst too many use the term to denote insoluble contradiction, its actual meaning carries no such connotations; rather, a paradox is only an apparent conflict of ends. A keen mind untangles the threads; in revealing the consistency in paradoxical statements we find the truth. Paradox is the dialectic in action. I can claim for myself a good record of predicting the unpredictable. I anticipated Leave, called the election for Trump, was quite sure of the outcome of the referendum in Turkey; I was sceptical of the Boris coronation and speaking, albeit cautiously, in favour of May. But the piece I now flaunt before you, the one which really serves to illustrate the point, is one I wrote on June 10th last year. It predicts, with a fairly high degree of accuracy, Farage’s resignation from UKIP, and that party’s subsequent malaise. UKIP, I argued, would be doomed by its own triumph. The title: Hate Farage? Vote Leave. It is because I have had proven and demonstrable success with this method that I now propagate it. It is because the method has been successful that I make the following claim, and do so in full confidence that it will prove not absurd but sane: losing the next election will be good for the Left. More than that: losing the next election is absolutely necessary for the Left. There is another truth-by-paradox that we would all do well to remember: the true sign of your victory is the manner of your opponent’s success. Not for nothing did Margaret Thatcher claim Tony Blair as her greatest achievement, and not for nothing did Cameron - the ‘heir to Blair’ - elevate his progenitor: Blair accepted all of the key tenets of Thatcherism, and sought only to expand upon them. Cameron, similarly, challenged none of the assumptions underlying Blairism; he wanted only to refine them.
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