Richard Grayson has an article of his own on the Guardian website in which he complains:
all we hear from Nick Clegg is lots about John Stuart Mill. Rarely, if ever, is there talk of the Liberals cited by Ed Miliband, nor the originators of social liberalism such as LT Hobhouse or TH Green. A philosophy which seldom goes beyond Mill is firmly stuck in the 1850s, as if more than a century of social liberalism never happened.The explanation for this can largely be found in an article on Mill that I wrote for Liberator in 2007:
It is fashionable to name check L.T. Hobhouse and T.H. Green, but I suspect that few who do so have really read their works. Hobhouse’s Liberalism is approachable, but hardly profound when set against Mill, while Green is next to unreadable. In part this is because Green’s heyday came during that brief period in the late nineteenth century when Idealism was the dominant force in British philosophy, and it is hard for we 21st-century realists to make much of him as a result. Equally, however, there was a tension in Green’s thought between his espousal of liberty and the enthusiasms, such as Temperance, which he derived from his religious views. The suspicion must be that he sometimes found it convenient to take refuge in obfuscation.In short, Green is unreadable and Hobhouse is not that good. But I do strongly recommend Peter Clarke's Liberals and Social Democrats, which looks at the intellectual circles of which Hobhouse was a member.
I was also a little amused that Richard complains that Nick Clegg is stuck in the past, but can offer no alternative thinkers more recent than Hobhouse (who died in 1929) and Green (who died in 1882 ). I wonder what Professor Grayson would make of a student essay that presented these two as representatives of modernity?
In my Liberator article I did manage to mention more recent names: Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin and Richard Rorty (who had only just died when I wrote it). But what we really need are some current-day Liberal thinkers.