The Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end (in its current form)


10:41 am - October 25th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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After 8 years of running blogs as an editor, and blogging almost every day, I think it’s about time to hang up my boots. I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

Eight years. That makes me a granddad in internet time. When I started blogging in August 2005, YouTube hadn’t even launched yet, let alone the widespread use of Facebook or Twitter. In total I’ve written around 3000 posts on LC (around 1 million words), and another 3000 posts on my previous group-blog Pickled Politics. Around 2 million words in total; the mind boggles.

I founded Liberal Conspiracy (with the help and support of many, many others) as a hub for left-wing opinion and news at a time there were hardly any group blogs. It was an attempts to raise our collective presence. Editorially, it was an independent and non-aligned left platform with a focus on campaigning. But the enduring success of Guardian CIF, and more recently the New Statesman and Huffington Post, have made other general opinion-blogs redundant. Frankly, there is just too much opinion out there. There is more space for news-focused blogs I think, but they require a level of time and energy I no longer possess.

With the help of its readers, this site has had some good hits. We:
leaked the Coalition Agreement before the parties published it.
exposed Nadine Dorries’s fundamentalist friends during her anti-abortion crusade
– exposed Jacob Rees-Mogg MPs links to the xenophobic Traditional Britain
– helped stop Rod Liddle becoming editor of the Independent
– organised the advertiser boycott of the News of the World over its phone-hacking.
– helped hobble the government’s Workfare programme
– exposed how BBC journalists were ordered to use ‘savings’ instead of ‘cuts’
– forced Newsnight to apologise for misrepresenting a single mother

… and much, much more.

This site also gave a platform to lots of people to build their name (including Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, Adam Bienkov, Ellie O’Hagan, Tim Wigmore, Tim Fenton and many others).

As for me… I’m certainly not bored of news, politics or even blogging in fact, but I just can’t dedicate the time. I’m working with the BBC to get a documentary off the ground; I’ve been invited to speak at two TEDx talks abroad (and have to prepare) on violence against women in India; I’ve started lecturing p/t at Kingston University. Plus, I want the time and space to work on new projects.

It’s time for something new. I’ll continue tweeting news and opinion of course, and occasionally blogging here and elsewhere, just not with the same vigour. Better to go on a high than when in decline. It was a good run, and a long run… but everything must eventually come to an end. Thanks for all your tips, guest posts and comments.

Addendum
The pissy right-wing response to this has been a joy to read. Remember, the more vindictive they sound, the more they were burnt by my blogging.

Also, there are a few thanks I missed out for friends who went beyond just contributing to the site. Special love to: Aaron Heath, Shantel Burns, Sarah McAlpine, Jennifer O’Mahony, Ellie Cumbo and most of all, deputy-editor Dan Paskins.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Bye.

I’m honoured to be credited up there.

And it’s been a big help with building Zelo Street.

Many thanks Sunny.

Congratulations, Sunny, on a long and influential run!

What will you be doing instead?

Best of luck Sunny. It was good while it lasted.

Thank you for running such an interesting website for so long.

So long and thanks for all the fish

Thanks for the memories, Sunny. Best of luck with everything.

9. Richard Carey

Adios Sunny, it’s been fun.

All the very best of luck with your new ventures.

Just a shame you let the site drift so far into irrelevance before letting it die.

As a wise man once said – “quit while you’re ahead”

Or in Libcon’s case – quit before you fall so far down the pack it gets embarrassing

Look forward to seeing you in other outlets.

Please don’t forget our global temperature bet!!

Many thanks, Sunny. I’ve enjoyed my times here and hope some others have found my posted links to what’s out there on the internet of interest.

I’m sure we all wish you well in your several new ventures.

Posted suggestions as to other eventful and informing blogging holes to dip into would be appreciated by me at least.

Thanks for putting in such a great deal of hard work. Nobody does the same thing forever, and eight years in 21st century would not seem to be too little..
Best of luck in your new ventures.

I suppose this had become inevitable. I’ve enjoyed your blogging and the reactions it has drawn. I hope the same energy, irreverence and independence follow in your future ventures. Thanks and good luck.

There was a lot of interesting topics raised on LC, but it seriously lacked something IMO. The ability to engage with anyone who took a different view to the overall editorial line. Even being critical of something like the Occupy movement or climate change direct action activists would simply be dismissed or ignored. Similarly any differing point of view on the far right or the EDL.

And random stories about a racist attack on a tube, or the ranting racist woman on the tram would be highlighted, but the story I’ve just seen in The Times ten minutes ago about an American student being attacked and battered by Asian gangbanger boys in Whitechapel – even though it was the same kind of horrible attack – would get completely ignored.
Actually, random attacks by groups of nasty violent young men are not that newsworthy at all really.
They happen all the time in most societies.

As forums for discussion go, I think that this is actually much better.
Battle of Ideas 2013

Two days of high-level, thought-provoking, public debate organised by the Institute of Ideas at the Barbican.

They have their faults (IMO) but at least they are trying and are reasonably open to arguing the toss.
I know that Sunny was less than interested in even giving them the time of day though. And that was the problem of this site for me. Too dogmatic and ideological. Sectarian even.
Very interesting subjects, but too close minded.
A great opportunity squandered would be my lasting opinion of this site.

Shrivelled Politics.

Thanks for providing debating space here and previously at Pickled Politics.

Good luck in your new role as Russell Brand’s policy advisor ;-)

No. More stock photos of a police officer in a riot with a shield and helmet,when the article is about NotW phone hacking,or a picture of a skinhead,when the article is about immigration, plus those wonderful articles,about a policial party supports a certain policy,because one member,or supporter of that party has put something on face,book,so it must be their policy,

I’ve enjoyed my time here, could you clarify whether you are leaving or that LC will be no more, either way, good luck for the future.

Sunny,

Everything worth knowing that I know about blogging, I learnt from you. You may not know this, but you inspired me to start Same Difference.

Same Difference continues to grow beyond anything I ever imagined. I will be forever grateful.

It was always a pleasure and an honour to contribute to your sites.

All the best with everything that is to come.

Sarah

Sunny – you’ve run two lively blogs in your time, this one and Pickled Politics. So respect to you and best wishes for your future.

It’s been interesting and frequently informative reading and commenting on this site. Good luck with future ventures!

What Rosie said. At the risk of bringing you into disrepute – I quite often find myself in agreement with you.

25. Old Slaughter

What possible qualification have you got to lecture on journalism?

When do the Thanksgiving celebrations on Conservative Home and by the Adam Smith Institute start?

Many thanks for all your work over the years.

Thanks for creating the space to let me say my ha’p’orth – and to meet the views of so many others.

Change is best planned and when on a high. Hopefully the next big shift you make will be at time when we don’t have a government that shows such a distain for its people, and shows willful ignorance of coherent policy making.

Thank you, Sunny.

30. Richard Carey

First Tommy leaves EDL, and now Sunny leaves Lib Con.

Thanks sunny
Yesterday our lives were filled with rain but sunny you formed a forum to ease the pain.
I bet you never heard that before? Not.
Sincerely, here’s a pat on the back. I wish you well. You moderated my few contributions with consideration and care. A proper leftie.

32. Paul peter Smith

I knew that Tommy leaving the EDL had hit you hard but i think your over reacting.

I’ve spent more time than I care to remember bickering with people in the comments here. Thanks Sunny, and all the best for your future.

Sorry to see it go, it’s been a much-needed voice.

Perhaps the biggest failing has been the lack of encouragement for liberal voices outside the Labour Party. I had hoped to see more support for the left wing of the Lib Dems and even the occasional liberal thinker in the Conservative Party (there are some, possibly even Cameron in his earliest incarnation). Instead the site has been too partisan (and I write as a Labour supporter) while the Lib Dems have been overrun by the Orange Bookers and the Tories have topped up on the Thatcherite Kool-Aid.

@34. Badstephen: “I had hoped to see more support for the left wing of the Lib Dems and even the occasional liberal thinker in the Conservative Party (there are some, possibly even Cameron in his earliest incarnation).”

I think it would be wrong for LC to close amongst a load of “sorry to see you go” messages. It needs to go off with a hell raising thread which places classical and social liberals head to head. A verbal cage fight such as we have become accustomed.

36. Richard Carey

@ Charlieman,

I like that idea, indeed no true liberal (ahem) would disagree.

So farewell then, Sunny.

First the leaders resign, and now the EDL’s PR machine is closing.

I don’t suppose we’ll hear about them ever again.

Thank you, Sunny. This site has provided me with much useful information in recent years. My best wishes to you for the future.

Anyone looking for a new home on which to post might like to consider this left-inclined forum:-

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/

40. Raymond Terrific

self-indulgent and self-promoting.

Where will all our resident boffins go now when we need to “get things sorted!”

see ya

41. Raymond Terrific

This kind of utter shite:

“Everything worth knowing that I know about blogging, I learnt from you. You may not know this, but you inspired me to start Same Difference.

Same Difference continues to grow beyond anything I ever imagined. I will be forever grateful.

It was always a pleasure and an honour to contribute to your sites.”

BLLLEEEUUUUURRGGGHHHHHH

@40. Raymond Terrific: “self-indulgent and self-promoting.”

Those are normal traits. Have you never considered your own. Or that you might be imperfect?

43. Matthew Blott

Well Sunny you occasionally flirt with the left’s lunatic fringe and your obsession with Tommy Robinson and the EDL as being on a par with Islamic terrorism is ridiculous but your heart’s in the right place and I do agree with you from time to time and I would think the sort of society we both wish to live in would be pretty similar. So on that note, all the best.

Matt :-)

it surprises me a bit as you kind of expect a group blog to live forrever or be passed on to a new editor. i havent read things like the mainstream media won group blogs. i thought that blogging was to give a space to discuss things independent of them. it seems that everyone gets fed up of blogging eventually. but the post reads like you are slowing down rather than giving up so maybe you could pass it on to someone else eventually.

Sunny,

“The pissy right-wing response to this has been a joy to read. Remember, the more vindictive they sound, the more they were burnt by my blogging.”

Exactly who got burnt here?
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/douglas-murray/2013/10/is-sunny-hundal-the-best-person-to-lecture-on-journalism/

Wishing you lots of luck with whatever you do you appear to be a nice guy worthy of some good fortune.

Take care with impressionable young minds of students who are too young to see through much of what you are talking about – Kingston Poly students are not the sharpest knives in the drawer …. I know, I married one.

End of an era.

End of an error.

Just so you know, not every person who regularly disagreed with you was right wing.

Incidentally, Sunny, have I been subsidising you to write your crap for all these years?

http://timworstall.com/2013/10/26/this-is-fairly-vicious-about-sunny-hundal/

So you’ve been a leech? And the best that the benefit reforms can do is force you into a part-time job in a fourth-rate ‘university’?

What do you imagine socialism will do with useless parasites like you?

49. Arthur Seaton

Farewell then Sunny, the site’s certainly had plenty of good stuff over the years, so warm congrats for all that. A shame to see you go. I’m sure Pinochet and Le Pen cheerleaders cjcjcjcccc and So Much for the 6 Million will no doubt agree, though I’m sure they’ll find another host to infest.

Don’t agree at all that CiF and Huffington Post are adequate replacements. A space is opened up for a decent liberal-left column blog, and I hope someone will step up to the plate.

Thank you Sunny!

51. Scarlett Dee

many thanks for keeping us informed,good luck in your new ventures.

Many, many thanks for all of your hard work and insight, Sunny. Best wishes and with so much respect,

Neil H

53. John Butler

Thanks , and well done !! Don’t worry about all the fish ; there’s lots of it about .

It’s been a pleasure to contribute and to read the fantastic analysis and opinions others have posted here over the years. This site encouraged us at The Third Estate to get involved in political group blogging and I’ll be sad to see it go.

@ TONE

“Incidentally, Sunny, have I been subsidising you to write your crap for all these years?

http://timworstall.com/2013/10/26/this-is-fairly-vicious-about-sunny-hundal/

So you’ve been a leech? And the best that the benefit reforms can do is force you into a part-time job in a fourth-rate ‘university’?

What do you imagine socialism will do with useless parasites like you?”

In my experience the biggest leeches are billionaire bribemasters and big bosses. Meanwhile you are casting aspertions with your mindlessly authoritarian, reactionary drivel in their name…

@ Sunny

“Addendum
The pissy right-wing response to this has been a joy to read. Remember, the more vindictive they sound, the more they were burnt by my blogging.”

Definitely agreed there!

57. Churm Rincewind

Well, all I can say is that I’m sorry to see you go. You provided a unique platform for which your examples of CIF, Huff Post and the NS don’t really compensate.

But it’s your decision. Thanks for the past, and good luck for the future.

58. douglas clark

Sunny,

A few questions if I may?

1) I’d have thought blogging was in your DNA. Is this site giving up on it’s collectivism and going to become your personal, occasional, outlet?

2) You, probably folded Pickled Politics when it was as at it’s lowest ebb. Frankly, without your, and Rumbolds[‘, above the line comments remaining confrontational rather than being matters of historical record, you called it right. It had lost it’s edge, as has this blog over the last few months. So, where does the ‘voice’ go from here?

3) I am delighted that you are getting a career. I look forward to hearing more about your documentary with the BBC. When will it view?

_____________________________

Anyway, Saor Alba and best wishes for your future. Our routes are now divergent, but I will never forget the generosity of spirit within the Asian community that you introduced me to. I have learnt a lot from both you and the people that commented on your blogs. It has been a fascinating experience for me.

No doubt this post will be followed with yet another downsider. Well, fuck them! You did it, they didn’t.

Best wishes.

douglas clark

Well done Sunny. Surprised that I was bloggin a year earlier than you were anyway facebuk killed off my blog years ago, that and my main subject matter going to jail! Anyway onward and upward.

Oh and I am surprised you mention Huffpost. Something about that site makes me want to join a right wing militia and hole up in the mountains!

Dissident @ 55:

“In my experience the biggest leeches are billionaire bribemasters and big bosses.”

Classic ‘whataboutery’. Answer the point about Sunny, rather than trying to change the subject

“Bribemasters” is a very silly and loaded term; but the “big bosses” have a crucial role in a system (free market capitalism) that is reducing poverty wherever it is introduced and doing so faster than any poverty-reduction programme in history. Go look at Africa, India and China, all of which I’ve visited in the last few years. Your anti-capitalist fantasies, if ever realised, would plunge us all into a new Dark Age.

“Meanwhile you are casting aspertions [sic] with your mindlessly authoritarian, reactionary drivel in their name…”

Sunny can always refute the aspersions…

Perhaps “ukliberty”, now that he will have to find a new site, will finally stop calling himself that, pretending that he is the fount of all knowledge on the issue of civil liberties and linking to a site that hasn’t been updated in years.

Sorry, I just happened to remember this site from a couple of years ago or so and I remembered having a great big long argument to do with the immorality of Philip Green avoiding £300 million in tax and “ukliberty” (amongst others I think) wanting to know how I would change the law to deal with tax dodgers like Green, despite the fact that “ukliberty” didn’t actually have a problem with what Green was doing.

I think that was the point in which I got fed-up with this site, because it seemed to be full of people like “ukliberty” (and Tim Worstall and cjcj as well) who wanted to argue endlessly about all the problems with changing the law even though they were clearly perfectly happy with the law as it stood. It was childishly just wanting to argue for the sake of arguing.

@ TONE

“Bribemasters” is a very silly and loaded term

Bribemasters is merely another way of describing the ‘lobbying’ that the super rich indulge in. Why think an assesment of what happens in the corporate and governmental corridors of power is an anti-capitalist fantasy? Or are you just obediently following a billionaires propaganda campaign?

“but the “big bosses” have a crucial role in a system (free market capitalism) that is reducing poverty wherever it is introduced and doing so faster than any poverty-reduction programme in history.”

This doublethink about lifting millions out of poverty rings a little hollow when you look at the real history of the world – especially when capitalism is corrupted into a hollow ideology by those who accumulate the most. Which parts of Africa, India and China did you visit? The war zones, shanty towns, garbage dumps, poisoned fields, denuded hillsides etc, did you parrot the inner party’s doublespeak to the disposessed, desperate and disenfranchised about how they should be grateful, as they now have 2 whole dollars to rub together. Or was your itinerary restricted to the gated communities, plush hotels, glittering skyscrapers, and sanitised numbers on a spreadsheet?

Oh and this fantasy of a free market – what doubleplussgood piffle. The last thing the current system can be described as is free. Unless you are talking about the freedom of the rich to do whatever they damn well please, irrespective of the consequences for our civilisation and the rest of the world.

Very Orwellian.

“Your anti-capitalist fantasies, if ever realised, would plunge us all into a new Dark Age.”

Ironic. Your blind obedience of billionaire policy is doing that as we speak, in the name of their own personal power and privilidge. Which are merrily chewing up more of the worlds resources than can be replaced every year. Just like on Easter Island, except on a global scale. Whenever evidence of that is spelled out to you, whether it is by scientists or anyone else, what do you do? Ah yes, you go into denial.

Either you are ideologically hogtied, or you have bought the most stylish and shiny tinfoil hat going ;)

I must just emphasise, before anyone starts nit-picking, that what got me was that these posters wanted to argue endlessly about problems with changing the law even though they had no ethical objections to what Philip Green did. It therefore made arguing about how the law could be changed completely pointless.

Anyway, that’s all from me, I won’t be back.

PS. I still support UK Uncut and wish them well.
(Who the long argument was about: http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/targets/3)

Comments deleted to the last moment, ah what a true leftist you are…LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

I think we can be sure that Bankers will be really pleased that LC is closing down in its present form.

@ LibCap

“Comments deleted to the last moment, ah what a true leftist you are…LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL”

You must feel right at home on your favourite rabidly rightwing sites then. How many times are dissenting or critical comments deleted there? All to maintain the fake consensus of the rich, by the rich, for the rich – complete with simplistic comments from brainwashed patsies like you (assuming there is indeed enough neurones in there to wash)

Dissident

As we have seen, assessments of “elite economists” diverge on appropriate fiscal policies for the situations in Britain’s economy 1981 as well as now and also about the causes of the failings of the Euro. Some use that as a peg for claiming that economics is therefore, at best, just a matter of opinion or, at worst, rubbish.

Economics has become a hugely technical subject and Keynes is often traduced because so few have read his seminal book: The General Theory, and understand the message there. In fact, Keynes virtually started what has come to be called ‘Macroeconomics’. His stated intention was to look for a theoretical model to explain how a capitalist market economy could sink into a low-level equilibrium with relatively high persisting unemployment and more or less stay there – a situation that was regarded as merely a temporary aberration by the preceding conventional wisdom of his time. Some economists and some politicians have become stuck in that old conventional wisdom. FWIW I think the 364 economists who signed that petition in 1981 were correct in their assessment.

Neither Keynes nor his followers have claimed that economies couldn’t eventually upturn without a government fiscal boost. There are plenty of theoretical (mathematical) models of market economies which exhibit cyclical behaviour without government interventions – the illustrious names of Paul Samuelson, Richard M Goodwin, Roy Harrod and John Hicks come to mind. The political controversy turns on whether the recovery of Britain’s economy in 1981 as well as now was/is slow by comparison with other G7 economies.

German economic policies have come to dominate the Eurozone with potentially disastrous consequences. The German claim is that the German trade surplus is the result of super-cometitiveness – the irony is that Gerhard Schroeder, Merkel’s predecessor as Chancellor, deserves the credit for introducing the policy measure to curb welfare benefits and make the German labour market more flexible: among the reforms was making prostitution legal.

The important insight is that the current magnitude of Germany trading surplus with its Eurozone trading partners exerts a powerful depressing effect on their national economies. The worry is now about whether the Eurozone economy could sink into a period of deflation with continually falling prices so that consumers and business investors postpone spending decisions in the confident expectation that prices will be lower new year.

You are absolutely obsessed & bursting at the seams with hatred for the rich, or anyone who aspires to live in comfort, or any who aspires to live a lifestyle beyond that of the 13th century..the entire world for you equals your version of events vs all else who happen to be “brainwashed patsies for the rich” and of course are “wrong”.

And you have the nerve to say others are simplistic? Do tell, whats simplistic about asking what experience you are drawing your conclusions from? Actually no, do not bother..

Team left.. a raging socialist with the cheek arrogance & simplistic world views + solutions one would expect to be present in a teenager, a life long smack/crack head who suddenly stopped being a junkie and realized he knows how the entire world should work plus a 36 year old who has never had a job in his life!

Not that this comment will be here for long enough for you to read, leftist to the end and all…

Maybe you should just end it and do your part to save the planet.

69. Bob B: “The worry is now about whether the Eurozone economy could sink into a period of deflation with continually falling prices so that consumers and business investors postpone spending decisions in the confident expectation that prices will be lower new year.”

I have postponed my extended holiday to Greece for four years. It is/was irrational that Greece became a member of the Eurozone. Greece needs to get out of Eurozone as many economists have suggested. But Greece is trapped by political manoeuvres which do not serve the interests of Greek citizens.

As others have said on LC, Greece needs to go bust.

@70. LibCap: “And you have the nerve to say…”

This is an interesting turn of phrase. Historically, it is used when a person might express an opinion, but his/her words are deemed to be inconsequential; the other person is presumed to be submissive and an intellectual inferior.

So fuck you, LibCap.

Aww touched a nerve with that one, honey? The justice in this world is that no matter how much toxic crap you spew into this world you are the victims, you and you alone feel the full effects of your irrational bizarre hate filled belief systems.

The world is not with you, it never was, oh and out side of this site, you are all laughing stocks, enjoy the rest of your lives protesting the same non points in search of self importance, wont you…

Matt,

Perhaps “ukliberty”, now that he will have to find a new site, will finally stop calling himself that, pretending that he is the fount of all knowledge on the issue of civil liberties and linking to a site that hasn’t been updated in years.

I’ve never suggested I’m “the fount of all knowledge on the issue of civil liberties”. Indeed on the site I haven’t updated in years I explicitly say, “I am not an expert”, “This is not a one-stop shop and I am not a legal expert. In fact, I’m not expert in anything.”

Sorry, I just happened to remember this site from a couple of years ago or so and I remembered having a great big long argument to do with the immorality of Philip Green avoiding £300 million in tax and “ukliberty” (amongst others I think) wanting to know how I would change the law to deal with tax dodgers like Green, despite the fact that “ukliberty” didn’t actually have a problem with what Green was doing.

I don’t recall expressing a view about what Green was doing. It’s true that I am interested in people’s suggested solutions to problems they identify. As I recall, people were quick to criticise Green but slow to come up with a solution and to date they still haven’t, AFAIK.

It was childishly just wanting to argue for the sake of arguing.

That’s what powers the internet.

I must just emphasise, before anyone starts nit-picking, that what got me was that these posters wanted to argue endlessly about problems with changing the law even though they had no ethical objections to what Philip Green did. It therefore made arguing about how the law could be changed completely pointless.

IIRC, no-one made an argument for changing the law, that’s the point. No-one critical had a solution. “It must be stopped” is not a solution.

70

The term ‘left’ and ‘socialist’ are not necessarily referring to the same political ideology. For your information socialists hate the system not the actors. Capitalism, as a system, is disliked because it is an inefficient mechanism to distribute resources that is why the central state is pivotal to its’ (capitalism) survival. Libertarians dislike neo-liberalism and balk when the two become confused just as socialists attempt to put clear blue water between themselves and social democrats.

75

That tells us precisely nought about how “socialism” would allocate resources between competing uses without the besetting inefficiencies of market capitalism. The prospect of “socialism” of the Soviet Union variety is hardly encouraging.

Even Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1776) recognised potential market failures of capitalism:

– “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary.”
Source: Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations; (1776), Book 1, Chapter 10, Part 2

– “The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”
Source: The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book 5, Chapter 1, Part III

For online access to the Wealth of Nations, try:
http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/adam-smith/Wealth-Nations.pdf

76

‘That tells us precisely nought about how “socialism” would allocate resources’

Well spotted, but the purpose of my post @75 was to clarify how socialists viewed capitalism not to outline how the economics of socialism would work. Indeed Adam Smith used over 1000 pages to outline how markets did/should work so it would be unlikely that a post on a blog could do justice to an entire economic system.

‘Even Adam Smith ………recognised the potential market failures of capitalism’.

I doubt if he would have envisaged the spectacular failures of existing markets and the extent of central state intervention such as – £62.2 billion on state education, £105 billion on healthcare, £30 billion on tax credits and £21 billion on housing benefit and that doesn’t include child benefits and unemployment benefits, infrastructure and administrative costs.

Capitalist states and the Soviet Union have a great deal in common not least that they both pretended to be what they were/are not.

77

“I doubt if [Adam Smith] would have envisaged the spectacular failures of existing markets and the extent of central state intervention such as – £62.2 billion on state education, £105 billion on healthcare, £30 billion on tax credits and £21 billion on housing benefit and that doesn’t include child benefits and unemployment benefits, infrastructure and administrative costs.”

Fair point but Smith’s seminal book was published in 1776 when Britain’s market driven, pioneering process of industrialisation was scarcely underway. There aren’t that many books orignially published c. 1776 which can still usually be found on the shelves in university book stores. To its credit, Parliament soon recognised with the early factory acts that legislation was necessary to intervene in free markets to prevent the worst excesses of the exploitation of women and children. And it wasn’t until legislation of 1870 that Parliament realised that the schooling of children couldn’t be left to the churches and charities. Britain was well behind Germany in introducing the beginnings of state welfare by way of state pensions and a social insurance scheme to cover personal healthcare costs.

In 2007, just prior to the start of the financial crisis, general government expenditure as a percentage of national GDP was only a whisker lower than in Britain, where the percentage was lower than in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and France.

So much for the mendacious claim that the financial crisis in Britain was caused by profligate government spending. But an important insight is that the continuing problems of the Eurozone are not accidental but due to flawed analysis of the stability conditions needed for a sustainable monetary union along with the consequential policies.

It’s all very well to claim that economics isn’t “a science” but the discipline has become hugely technical where dabbling amateurs as politicians are apt to perpetrate costly errors.


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    […] morning Sunny Hundal, the Editor of the left-wing blog Liberal Conspiracy, announced that after 8 years of blogging he was no longer going to be up-dating the […]

  3. I’ve got some good news … and some bad news. | Red Letter Days

    […] a sadder note, the prominent left-winger blogger Sunny Hundal today announced that, after 8 years, he is bringing his work and editorship of Liberal Conspiracy to a close to […]

  4. In praise of Sunny | It's not the despair

    […] Conspiracy is kind-of shutting down but not quite after eight long years. It’s a good moment to say thanks to Sunny Hundal, one of […]

  5. Is Sunny Hundal the best person to lecture on journalism? » Spectator Blogs

    […] guessed from the fact that the proudest moments from his career that he lists as he winds down his blog include the claim that he ‘helped stop Rod Liddle becoming editor of the Independent’. What an […]

  6. Tax Research UK » Farewell Liberal Conspiracy

    […] Sunny Hundal has been both since August 2005 – 10 months before I started. His Liberal Conspiracy blog has been widely influential since then, and an invaluable source of new thinking and comment. Now he’s retiring from regular blogging. As he says: […]

  7. Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

    […] Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an […]

  8. The demise of LibCon and the future of political blogging | Alex's Archives

    […] Hundal has decided to close Liberal Conspiracy in its current form. Liberal Conspiracy was undoubtedly one of the big beasts in the forest. If it […]

  9. Why you have to love blogging | Flip Chart Fairy Tales

    […] always thought of as a permanent fixture packed up last week. Sunny Hundal’s decision to close Liberal Conspiracy caused an outbreak of […]

  10. On Blogging | John Rentoul | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs

    […] Norm – his post was prompted by another significant change in the blogworld last month, namely Sunny Hundal’s decision to stop blogging – but he could have […]





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