My name is Marc Mulholland. I am a Fellow (lecturer and tutor) in the History Faculty of Oxford University. My College is St Catherine's. I come from Ireland.
This is a blog relating to my book published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservativism. Now on sale here and here. If you want 20 per cent off the price, I can arrange that! Send me a message or leave a comment, and I'll tell you how.
The thesis my book is examining was rather pithily summarised by Leon Trotsky in 1939: "Wherever the proletariat appeared as an independent force, the bourgeoisie shifted to the camp of the counter-revolution. The bolder the struggle of the masses, the quicker the reactionary transformation of liberalism." [Context is here]
However, my book isn't a defence of Trotskyism, or indeed any particular ideology. It's a study of an idea that took shape in Left, Right, and Centre variations.
This blog has tid-bits not included in the book, and other thoughts that occur.
You can see book details at the OUP website.
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Tories: Natural Party of Government, or of Opposition?
Benjamin Disraeli had famously characterised Tory government as 'organized hypocrisy', for the very demands of governance must inevitably pull the party from its true function: voicing scepticism in the face of all attempts at 'improvement', championing conservation of traditional ways hallowed by age and usage. But, in fact, Disraeli didn't much enjoy the calculated obduracy of the Tory squires, and he set himself the task of making the Tories once more the 'natural party of government'. They became so by the 1880s, and held on to that role for most of the twentieth century.
The 90 Tory MPs who opposed House of Lords reform seemed pretty indifferent to the near inevitability of Clegg's revenge. But the price of their rebellion, failure to reform constituency boundaries, substantially decreases the chance of a Tory government from 2015. Is Opposition a price worth paying for delaying Lords reform for a few years? Are these backbenchers consciously attracted to the old Tory tradition of opposition for opposition's sake?