Blogger’s Note: This week marks
the end of a four months hiatus by the blogger. During this break, the blogger
has racked up miles and has been doing some soul searching. This article will
answer some of the more frequently asked questions about The Politician itself during its break.
SOME readers, particularly those used to
the left-right split in most democratic legislatures, are bamboozled byThe Politicians
political stance. The blog likes free enterprise, lower taxes and tends to
favourderegulationandprivatization. The blog also has no qualms withgay marriage and pushes for female empowerment as well as
equality. We want drugs legalized anddisapprove of monarchy in any part of the world. So is this
blog right-wing or left-wing? What does it stand for? Neither,
is the answer.The blogger started writing in December 2012. The blog
seems to be influenced by classical liberals in the tradition of Adam Smith,
John Stuart Mill, William Ewart Gladstone and yes, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
intellectual ancestry has guided the blogger's instincts ever since: it opposes
all undue curtailment of an individual’s economic or personal freedom. It is however
not dogmatic. Where there is a liberal case for government to do something,The Politician will
air it. Early in its life, the blogger has been a keen supporter of income and
inheritance tax. For example, it is shocking that only 10% of Indians pay
income tax and houses worth millions of dollars in Nigeria are untaxed and
passed on from generation to generation, creating a yawning inequality. The
blogger backs causes like universalhealth care, welfareandgun control.
But its starting point is that government should only remove power and wealth
from individuals when it has an excellent reason to do so, as stated above. The
blog also believes governments should cater for the weakest and those with the
broadest shoulders should carry the heaviest weight - like religious institutions.
concepts of right- and left-wing predateThe Politicians foundation by two centuries. They
first referred to seating arrangements in the National Assembly in Paris during
the French Revolution. Monarchists sat on the right, revolutionaries on the
left. To this day, the phrases distinguish conservatives from egalitarians. But
they do a poor job of explainingThis blog’s liberalism, which reconciles the left’s
impatience at an unsatisfactory status quo with the right’s scepticism about
grandiose redistributive schemes. So although its belief is as rich as that of
any reactionary or revolutionary, the blog has no
permanent address on the left-right scale. In most countries, the political divide
is conservative-egalitarian, not liberal-illiberal. So we have no party
allegiance, either. When it covers elections and yes it does, it gives its
endorsement to the candidate or party most likely to pursue classically liberal
policies. It will throw its weight behind politicians on the right and on the
left.It could support centrist politicians and parties who
appear to combine the best of both sides, such as Tony
Blair, whose combination of social and economic liberalism was persuasive (though it criticized his government’s infringements of civil liberties).
WhenThe Politicianopines on new ideas and policies, (like
its big yam idea for Lagos, Nigeria). We do so on the basis of their merits, not of who
supports or opposes them. Some, like attacking monopolies and targeting public
spending on the poor and the young, had a leftish hue. Others, like raising
retirement ages and introducing more choice in education, were more rightish.
The result,"True Progressivism", is a blend of the two:
neither right nor left, but all the better for it, and coming instead from what
The Politician likes to call the RADICAL CENTRE. Put simply, we
have economic and social liberalism to spare.