Progressive politics is a package deal. It is a political set menu with cult-like or at least communitarian characteristics. It is a tribal political identity rather than a series of beliefs and policy ideas people can weigh up and decide on based on their individual merits. Defending the rights of racial and ethnic minorities is both progressive and objectively right. The same is true of cutting carbon emissions and seeking greater economic justice for the poorest people in society, but the same cannot necessarily be said of other complex legal and social issues.
Boris Johnson, our new Prime Minister, is a man who shamelessly stood in front of a bus during the Brexit referendum campaign and told voters that leaving the European Union would return £350 million every week to essential public services like the NHS; all the while knowing this was untrue. Since moving into Number 10 he has repeated over and again that his government is engaged in ongoing negotiations with its European partners, when the European parliament and commission have unequivocally stated this is not the case.
Thanks in large part to the way the internet and social media work we have been herded into tribes of opinion, rarely coming face-to-face – or “interfacing” – with people of radically differing opinions. Trends in the development of identity politics have perceptively homogenised our tribal opinions, making us less independent thinkers than subscribers to our chosen tribal groupthink. What this means is that people are increasingly finding themselves pressured into adopting a package of positions so as to conform to the expectations of the collective.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, on the other hand, is the real McCoy. He is full fat, and he might well be Britain’s first Catholic Prime Minister. In the main this is to be welcomed. In 2017 there should be no religious bar of any kind on any elected position. I would still argue that a Catholic should not be monarch, but that’s because I am of the opinion no one should be monarch.
Austerity in the United Kingdom has managed to plumb such entirely new depths that we can be sure now we are talking to beasts – people whose moral compass is so skewed their policy decisions can only be considered an affront to human dignity.
The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.
Abortion, as a means of population control, was high on Kissinger’s agenda. He mentions abortion 44 times in the 123 pages, strongly indicating his opinion that this should be pushed on the Developing World, but, unfortunately for him, Section 114 of the Foreign Assistance Act (1964) prohibited the use of US foreign aid funds to “be used to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”
There is a case to be made that in the eventuality of a fatal abnormality the foetus may be considered not an “unborn” for the purposes of the eighth amendment, or that if considered an “unborn” then its right to life may be presumed unengaged as it has no real prospect of life outside the womb.