Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

They Don’t Like it Up ‘Em

“Fairness” is one of the most moveable feasts in politics. One man’s fairness is another man’s grievance.

However, it’s always satisfying to know you’ve wound up the opposition.

Labour furious at Tory jibe about ‘fairness’

George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, has sparked a bitter row by accusing Gordon Brown of adopting the principle of ‘fairness’ merely because of its popularity with focus groups.

He will use a speech this week to claim the Tories are now the real champions of social justice and equality…

He will also say that the Tories are now ‘the driving force behind the ideas that will create a fairer Britain’.

His words drew a furious response from Labour, which has been associated for a century with the equitable division of wealth.

That final sentence, from a commentary by a leading left liberal newspaper, exposes a fundamental difference between Left and Right, Labour/Lib Dem and Conservative. The Left look for equality of outcomes such as the “equitable division of wealth” (equitable in the case of socialism, in it’s simplest form, simply meaning “equality”). It’s telling that after a century of being associated with such things, the gap between “rich” and “poor” is still widening. Conservatives, however, look for equality of opportunity – the fundamental means to create wealth, not the distribution of wealth itself. Whether or not you take that opportunity, and how much you make of it, is up to you.

To the Left the cry is “you can afford it, what are you complaining about?”.

To Conservatives the credo is “you can do it, we won’t stand in your way”.


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