(On Mr Cameron's Amsterdam speech): If you really think that the EU is over-regulated, uncompetitive, in hock to vested interests, overspending on welfare, and bloated in its state expenditure .. and therefore will inevitably decline against China and other nascent Asian powers, then why would you believe it can self-reform? And if it can't, shouldn't we leave so we can get our own house in order?
Just a question.
(On Matthew Parris in Cuba): He writes of meeting a middle-aged Cuban in Havana who understands the dysfunction and imminent demise of Cuba's 'communist' project, but nonetheless regrets the loss of that egalitarian vision.
I notice that convinced Catholics (and no doubt Buddhists and other religions) share, by virtue of their faith, a life-project which they believe to be ethically progressive and which gives their lives meaning. (Only in that sense is secular Marxism 'like a religion').
Parris bemoans that Conservativism, the politics of getting capitalism to work properly, is devoid of any vision which speaks to the heart. As we used to observe on the revolutionary left, 'No-one ever died for IBM.'
The anomie and alienation of capitalism is a known bug, or feature. At best, this most dynamic mode of production merely provides a playing field or a theatre for those human causes, ideals and projects which do come from the heart - anything from stamp-collecting to science to environmentalism to religion to jihad.
For good or ill.