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What's so bad about being conservative?
2012
unknownj
I've been re-evaluating my outlook on the whole politics thing.. because hey, why not?

Webster defines "Conservative" as "One who desires to maintain existing institutions and customs". On the back of that, I looked up the basic definitions of left and right wing.. Left wing simply means that you believe in reform, right wing means that you believe in leaving things unchanged.

Of course, you have to add capitalism and socialism and all that into it, which just confuses the issue. But on the face of it, with those definitions, I can't help but feel that conservative isn't such a bad thing to be.

I quite like this quote from Wikipedia though..

"Peter Singer (Princeton University, Professor of Philosophy) defines "the left" as being those who place minimizing suffering above other moral imperatives, such as tradition or rights. This definition handles the formation of leftist politics and modern bioethics issues well, but is intentionally over simplified and favorable, and does not handle some historical issues, like state communism correctly."

I agree that this definition is ridiculously biased, and doesn't represent anything in the real world, but it's still a nice idea..

But in any case, a few things lately have got me thinking.. The first is the 11+ exam, which I can't help but feel ought to be brought back, provided it could be done properly (which is a whole other issue). I've been thinking about it for a bit, and at age eleven I know I would've aced that exam, and gone to a grammar school. And I can think of certain 'elements' from my secondary school who wouldn't have been able to get in. And given that, I think my school life would have been a lot happier.

Now this might on the face of it seem like a rather selfish thing to say, and it probably is, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Provided the testing method is fair and comprehensive, and there are adequate opportunities for reassessment, I don't see why a multi-tier education system would be so bad.

When I was younger, I used to argue that being split at that age means you don't mix with a representative cross-section of society, and that was somehow a bad thing. With hindsight, I don't see how my comprehensive secondary school was a representative cross-section of society - it was in an environment that stunted social and emotional development, ratially biased towards being very white, and overall it was just a wee bit rubbish.

And does going to school with a good cross-section of society promote tolerance anyway? Is there any real advantage to it? Again, probably not.. It might only encourage and reinforce racial stereotypes and tensions, as it seems to do in northern cities with high levels of racial integration (and much like it did in France recently). As such, I can stop hiding behind the idea that it's important to go to school with people of every culture, intelligence and background. I doubt it helps anybody.

So yes, if the schools were managed properly, and fairly, and all children had equal opportunities to try to get into them, then I don't see what exactly the problem is. But I'm sure my father will correct me on that...... :o)

Anyway, lunch is over, it's meeting time.. More later, no doubt.

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Silly me, I just posted a completely redundant comment. No change there, then.

So, to rephrase, you're completely right about Lord Bill's. There might be people there who think they're working class, and there might be people who think they're black, but, in reality, this is a very, very middle-class, white, samey area. The only difference I can see between myself and the people who liked to think they were working class is that they could afford to buy over-priced food from the canteen every day.

The closest we get to diversity is the mix of uninterested Tories and attention seeking hippies.

But I'm sure my father will correct me on that......

So if you know that I will correct you then you know you are wrong.


By the way The Carpenters only covered one Beatle song that would be on a Best Of album and tht's "Ticket To Ride". They also did "Help". You might be thinking of "Please Mr Postman" which the Beatles covered. The original was by the Marvelettes (I think).

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