Philip Booth on Phillip Blond

I have blogged before on Phillip Blond - I am not just jumping on the bandwagon after the launch of ResPublica. But it is interesting that his philosophy seems to have the approval of David Cameron – I hope that DC thinks about it a little more deeply.

Blond’s roots go back to the distributist movement that has some adherents amongst Catholics in the UK. It emphasises widespread ownership, the inevitability of a free market degenerating, the importance of guilds and so on. Indeed, Blond claims the support of Pope Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in veritate for many of his views. I have written about that encyclical in four articles at least, but I am afraid it offers no comfort for Phillip Blond’s overall strategy (though neither could I claim it for the free market case). The pope repeats what has been said many times in the last 40 years in official Catholic Church documents that the Catholic Church has no economic models to offer – only a critique of certain issues in the context of our times and in the context of the theology and morality of the Catholic faith. If Cameron really does embrace Blond then the headline “Cameron embraces Catholic economics that the pope himself rejects” would not be inappropriate.

Blond’s ideas take a lot of unpicking. I only have a few hundred words. As such let me make four points that, I believe, hole “Blondism” beneath the waterline – not necessarily as a political philosophy but as a political philosophy that should be embraced by a broadly free market party…

Read the rest of the article at ConservativeHome.

An excellent article, Philip. One can’t help thinking that there is something deliberately perverse in so called ‘progressive conservatism’. As we saw with Blair’s ‘Third Way’, a political party can show they have properly changed by adopting some of the jargon of their opponents. Hence the Tories seek to lose their ‘nasty party’ tag by adopting the label of ‘progressives’. As with the Third Way, however, it may be little more than an electoral ploy.

Peter – Let’s hope it’s an electoral ploy. I fear, however, that many of those close to Cameron really do believe in various forms of socialism and constructivist rationalism. International socialism is particularly strongly represented, as shown by the commitment to ring-fence foreign aid and the strong emphasis on environmentalism.

Great piece, Philip. Peter makes the same point I do on the Telegraph site today on how Blond’s incoherent ideas provide mood music to Cameron, rather than policies the Cameroonies will adopt:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alexsingleton/100018739/is-phillip-blond-now-david-camerons-most-influential-thinker/

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