Sunday, August 12, 2007

The eternal sunshine of the moral high ground

Anthony Jay has an article in The Times about the liberal prejudice of our chattering class. It is good, though strikingly similar to one he published in The Telegraph in July.

I liked this bit. He's talking about the four factors that have shaped the liberal attitudes of such institutions as the BBC.

We saw ourselves as part of the intellectual elite, full of ideas about how the country should be run. Being naive in the way institutions actually work, we were convinced that Britain’s problems were the result of the stupidity of the people in charge of the country.

This ignorance of the realities of government and management enabled us to occupy the moral high ground. We saw ourselves as clever people in a stupid world, upright people in a corrupt world, compassionate people in a brutal world, libertarian people in an authoritarian world.

We were not Marxists but accepted a lot of Marxist social analysis. We also had an almost complete ignorance of market economics. That ignorance is still there.

The moral high ground has always been irresistible. Getting off it is like coming off drugs, or going blind. My wife always used to refer to the people up there as having the moral superiority of the cyclist, a comparson that becomes truer by the day.

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