Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Would the Levellers favour Dave's Conservatives Ltd.?

There was an interesting post on Douglas Carswell's blog that suggested, inter alia, that the Levellers would vote Conservative if they were around today.

Would they?

Douglas is a fine Localist, and with the exception of his foolish support of measures to keep MPs' addresses secret, generally sensible. But he's also a fully paid-up member of the political class, as are the entire Conservative leadership and central party structure. Everything the Levellers did or said was aimed at preventing not only the establishment of a permanent political class, but also the formation of political parties. They would loathe the modern Conservatives as much as they would loathe Labour.

To prevent citizens becoming permanent politicians, the Levellers wanted MPs elected for only a year at a time, with none allowed to stand for two consecutive years, and a ban on political parties ("no Factions made to maintain corrupt Interests"). They were also strongly Localist, giving power to boroughs and counties to balance the power granted to Parliament.

And Dave's Wimmin's Quota would have found little favour with the Levellers either. They wanted to restrict the vote to male householders over 21, provided they were not in receipt of alms. They were also strongly in favour of private property rights, free trade, a flat-rate tax, no imprisonment for civil debt and religious freedom with exemption from Tithes on grounds of conscience.

Lilburn's petition HERE.

That they have much in common with Old Tories I can see, but with Dave's Conservative Party Ltd? Nah.

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