Saturday, 16 January 2010

Greed Aspiration is Good

Gordon Brown's theme for the Labour election campaign is a re-spinning of Tony Blair's successive appeals (1997, 2001, 2005) to Mondeo Man, Worcester Woman and the Bacardi Breezer generation.

I am in good company in feeling distaste. Chris Dillow, usually described as a "left-wing" economist even quotes John Stuart Mill who "deplored the 'struggling to get on…the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other's heels' as a 'disagreeable symptom' of a passing phase of society. Brown, by contrast, seems to glorify such grubby materialism."

I do not argue against aspiration, merely against Blair's and Brown's (and Mrs Thatcher's before them) narrowly defining it in terms of material possessions.

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