Bruce Dickinson on BBC Radio 4 "Any Questions" (2nd November)

I'm kind of lost at what your point is, though.
Sorry... this is a tough format to play pundit (and I'm ignoring work while playing on my phone anyway, and doing a bad job at both). I / we were speculating what role Bruce Dickinson's obvious admiration for Churchill might've played (or revealed) about his political leanings, in light of his recent comments about the EU. Someone said that Churchill favored a United Europe; I pointed out that he actually fought against it.

So... would it be more "Churchillian" to be pro-Brexit or anti? (My guess is, both sides can cite shit he said that would bolster their arguments, but WC would be on the pro-Brexit side.)

But reasonable people can differ, of course.... and I'm sure they will!
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
He isn’t wrong. Living in the US, I often find that, while I disagree with them, conservatives are friendlier to people and better at expressing their beliefs than liberals who prefer to shout down anyone who disagrees. There’s good and bad in every faction and most of the time people just have different ways of looking at the world and trying to help others out. For instance, I think my beliefs are the right ones. You would hate a good bit of them.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
Bruce is an old fashioned businessman. His father wanted to better himself and his family, and Bruce was sent to stuffy old fashioned private boarding school. These places had barely changed since the heydey of the British Empire, all ritual and hierarchy - stiff upper lip, don't let the side down old chap, and king and country, yessah! There was widespread respect, if not admiration, for hereditary gentry. Well-connected military figures with strong resolve like Churchill were considered ideal role models for boys back then. The archetypal Englishman, if you like. Even though he didn't fit in and was eventually kicked out, he learnt to walk the walk and talk the talk, and it's very likely that some of that mentality rubbed off on him. He certainly plays the role. That background's got very little to do with present-day American ideas of political conservatism, and I don't see any direct link between his opinion of the likes of Churchill and his view on EU membership.

As I said in the Brexit thread, Bruce is one of that increasingly rare sort of businessmen who has an interest in investing in something for modest profit only, and running businesses that do or produce something useful. He seems to have a few old style business principles. Of course businessmen don't like regulations and multiple layers of bureaucracy, because it gets in their way, and they have to bargain with the authorities to be able to get what they want at times. It becomes a game. Businessmen also get frustrated with the way that public sector decisions take ages to come about, because they're so procedure-bound.

Bruce is also huge on marketing. He's trying to sell Britain as a brand in all of this, and be ultra-positive about the future, at a time when it's very clear that the country's leadership is hideously disorganised. He's harking back to past glory days because it's an image of strength, decisiveness and influence.

For the record, the NHS isn't a third class healthcare system that routinely endangers the lives of cancer patients. Basic private healthcare is practically identical to NHS healthcare unless it's for a very niche service. Only gold-plated healthcare packages would be significantly better, and part of the attraction there is exclusivity.
 
I agree with most of what Brigs says. Just a few comments...
... and Bruce was sent to stuffy old fashioned private boarding school.
This still says quite a lot, to me, about his background though. One, that his parents would consider this. And two, that they could afford it.
Bruce is also huge on marketing. He's trying to sell Britain as a brand in all of this, and be ultra-positive about the future, at a time when it's very clear that the country's leadership is hideously disorganised. He's harking back to past glory days because it's an image of strength, decisiveness and influence.
In an odd way, this is also very similar to past British behaviour; talking up Britain in the face of the stark reality, so much so that it begins to look/sound deluded.
For the record, the NHS isn't a third class healthcare system that routinely endangers the lives of cancer patients. Basic private healthcare is practically identical to NHS healthcare unless it's for a very niche service. Only gold-plated healthcare packages would be significantly better, and part of the attraction there is exclusivity.
Not sure who this was a response to, but agreed. For anyone unfamiliar with secondary care in the UK: you still wouldn't choose to get an operation done privately if it involved a medium-to-long stay in hospital. If you knew the facts that is...
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Just FYI, the conservative-liberal binary is essentially meaningless outside the US.
It's a shame the partisan dogma isn't meaningless everywhere. To see people going on about political philosophies as if it's a football team they support is absolutely moronic. Especially when it gets down to the level where people are looking at a particular issue and deciding how they are going to feel about it by looking at what their "rivals" opinion of it is first and then choosing the opposite side arbitrarily.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Americans refering to the left as "liberal" is one of the worst misnomers in political discourse.

It results in contradictory usage like referring to the authoritarian left as liberals.
Also, liberalism is a right wing position to begin with.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Also, liberalism is a right wing position to begin with.
I wouldn't agree with that. It's a centrist position. Becomes center-left if you're a social liberal, center-right if you're a libertarian, dead center if you're a classical liberal.

Not that it matters too much, since the left-right spectrum is outdated anyway.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I would say srfc is correct, in the context of economy. Cut down taxes, de-fund the state programs, replace them with market programs, that's both the "liberal" and the "center-right/right-wing capitalist" talk.
I also won't accept the social category of "liberal". If I don't care what you fuck or how you spend your life, if I think that's your right to do so as you wish, that doesn't make me a liberal, that makes me a normal person.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
It's a shame the partisan dogma isn't meaningless everywhere. To see people going on about political philosophies as if it's a football team they support is absolutely moronic. Especially when it gets down to the level where people are looking at a particular issue and deciding how they are going to feel about it by looking at what their "rivals" opinion of it is first and then choosing the opposite side arbitrarily.
I think srfc has hit the nail on the head. While most places do have a division between at last two political stances or parties, this habit of automatically labelling everything in line with the team philosophy ahead of analysing any situation independently is really building up massively in democratic countries, maybe with the help of social media. It's possible to bury yourself in an existence where everything fits your/your team's perception of the world, and block everything else that doesn't fit. Who needs censorship? I heard this kind of 'I'll do the opposite of what my least favourite politicians probably want' being used as a deciding factor by someone in the EU referendum. Cameron says remain, and I hate Cameron, so I'll vote leave. Some of my least favourite Conservative ministers say leave, but it's probably just a ruse set up by Cameron because he knows everyone hates those ministers and will vote against what they say, therefore I'll vote leave.

I thought I'd explained the Bruce situation before, though. British conservatism, and Bruce's own brand of conservatism, comes from a completely different starting point to American conservatism. Gun ownership for one thing isn't any kind of expectation for the vast majority of people.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
Just to be clear, I didn't question the validity the American use of the words "conservative" and "liberal" to describe the situation within the US. I'm not in a position to do so. But knowing that these words describe something entirely different within the US than outside, I simply wanted to point this out to @Operations666. In my country, conservativism and liberalism are two political ideologies that are quite compatible with each other, and both are by default on the centre-right of the political spectrum. In essence, my point was to say was that someone who doesn't agree with, say, a political stance from the American right wing isn't necessarily a liberal.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I would say srfc is correct, in the context of economy. Cut down taxes, de-fund the state programs, replace them with market programs, that's both the "liberal" and the "center-right/right-wing capitalist" talk.
It's more nuanced than that. Social liberals, or welfare capitalists, have a more favorable view toward regulation and taxes than do libertarians and conservatives. Their support for such policies may pale in comparison to a social democrat, but it's still clearly distinct from center-right/right-wing capitalism.

Also important to point out that the left-right spectrum includes both economic and social policies, which is the reason why it's unnecessarily complicated and counterproductive. If an ideology that's centrist economically tends to be more progressive on social issues, their placement on the spectrum tilts to the left a bit. Such is the case with social liberals. If an ideology that's right-wing economically tends to be progressive on social issues, their placement on the spectrum tilts to the center a bit. Such is the case with libertarians.

I also won't accept the social category of "liberal". If I don't care what you fuck or how you spend your life, if I think that's your right to do so as you wish, that doesn't make me a liberal, that makes me a normal person.
That's an unreasonable statement to make. There are plenty of ideologies that want to dictate the way you live your life, which is the exact reason why "liberalism" came to be as a movement. What you consider to be "normal" isn't the norm for many ideologies, and isn't the norm for many current societies.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
To make the thing worse it is the same political philosophy, I'm not talking about USA only but a lot of other countries too. The platforms are essentially the same, but have different attitudes towards something, such as tax brackets or level of gun control. It's not like we have two -isms pitted against eachother. And based on that something, a small social or economic detail, well people will pick a camp and fight. Why on Earth would you do that is beyond me.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Well I disagree. I think blurring the lines between different schools and ignoring nuance, especially when it comes to policy-making, is very problematic for political discourse. I think it's pretty clear that social liberals care more about providing people a safety net than right-wing liberals do.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
To see people going on about political philosophies as if it's a football team they support is absolutely moronic.
I certainly get this among a certain crew of my mates. They would all consider themselves open minded, left leaning people but gods forbid ye want a reasoned debate about the grey areas of an issue. Not possible. They seemingly want to ban or drown out any discussion or argument from the other side. Their minds seems fully (and predictably) made up on any political or social topic that comes up. They all seem to think en masse and on one side of a very rigid line.
I wonder do they get memos that im not privvy to.
And never do I hear anything like "Im not sure, what do you think?"
Does my tits in but can make for an eventful nights craic.
 
Top