‘Neoliberal’ is an unthinking leftist insult. All it does is stifle debate

“Leftist” lesson of this past decade — political power or political purity? Cut the phony posturing, in unity there is strength: “…What is obvious, looking back, is that the right did not so much win the 2010s as the liberal left lost them. And it lost because at bottom it has a fatal, divisive weakness. Lack of any agreement about what being liberal left can and should mean creates a sectarianism that unless confronted consumes it, the left defining itself as the custodian of the “socialist” flame and everyone else, in varying degrees, as a traitorous ‘neoliberal’.

“…on the left, the passions aroused created a never-ending sectarian war. Making the compromises necessary to create a governing coalition that could exercise power is not on its agenda: the left’s struggle is all about fighting for and delivering a particular definition of socialism – or nothing.”

“… addressing the challenges of our times falls more naturally to the liberal left than the right. But without the same ruthlessness about the pursuit of power, the opportunity may never arise. So: no more sectarianism, no more hurling vacuous insults at those who don’t sign up to the faith. Exploit the left’s natural advantages and back political winners. Otherwise, the right will control another decade.”

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