Saturday, March 23, 2019

Calder's Sixth Law of Politics: All Lib Dem leadership elections are reruns of Steel vs Pardoe

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My suggestion that every Liberal Democrat leadership election is a rerun of the 1976 Liberal Party contest between David Steel and John Pardoe has been getting some traction recently.

The idea , as I said in that original post, is that you get a recurring pattern where one candidate (Steel) is orthodox, sensible and a little dull and the other (Pardoe) is more charismatic, more open to new ideas but less reliable in his judgement.

It is discussed by Mark Pack and Stephen Tall in their latest Never Mind the Bar Charts podcast and it also got some notice on Twitter.

I was told by one person that this theory "has become one of the bits of mental toolkit for a few of us when talking about the party".

But then I was told by another that it is "an incredibly simplistic approach".

Anyway I have decided to elevate it into Calder Sixth's Law of Politics.

So here they all are - the fifth has been firmed up since I first stated it:
  1. If all parties are united in support of a measure, it will turn out to be a disaster.
  2. The more power the state takes to itself, the more arbitrarily that power will be exercised.
  3. When politicians do something which they think is very clever, it will eventually turn out to have been very stupid.
  4. The more extreme a person's views, the more certain he or she will be that the majority of voters share them.
  5. No argument that involves expressing indignation on behalf of a third party is to be trusted.
  6. All Liberal Democrat leadership elections are reruns of Steel vs Pardoe

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1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

Regarding Law #1, I argue for retention of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. It is useful to have an example of daft legislation that our MPs or their families can remember being debated.

My favourite law is the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 which repealed the Witchcraft Act 1753. Sadly it was replaced by an EU directive which in UK law is called Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. There is however a sequence from abolition of witch hunting to ineffective laws protecting citizens from confidence tricksters.