Friday, 16 March 2012

Inside The Box

The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts is refusing to publish research commissioned from Phillip Blond's ResPublica, and is apparently bemoaning its agreement to fund work across so broad a range of topics or into, for example, the Lombard roots of capitalism itself.

In other words, forget about getting public money in order to form or articulate a critique of neoliberal economics, social liberalism, and neoconservative geopolitics, an undeniably coherent, atheistically based whole as those comprise. That whole is the only acceptable opinion. If by some miracle you did manage to secure any such funding, then you would have to publish the finished material yourself, regardless of any previous assurance.

NESTA's recently appointed Chief Executive would have been given a peerage and ministerial office if Cameron had won outright, and has presumably been given this as a consolation prize. He is Geoff Mulgan, the veteran Trotskyist who was ecumenically made the founding Director of the Blairites' beloved Demos when that think tank was created out of some of the rubble of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Only because there was no more Soviet money for its previous purpose, the CPGB's last office was seamlessly transferred to the proto-Blairite legal successors at Democratic Left, then to the Blairites of the New Politics Network, and now to the Blairite flame-keepers of Unlock Democracy, in an unbroken succession.

As with the failure to appoint Rod Liddle as Editor of The Independent, Ronald Reagan's 1981 appointment of the neoconservative Bill Bennett (who remained a registered Democrat until 1986) instead of the paleoconservative Mel Bradford to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities is called to mind by David Cameron's appointment to NESTA of someone like Geoff Mulgan rather than someone like Phillip Blond.


  1. “Before Red Tory and Blue Labour there was David Lindsay. He was arguably the first to announce a postliberal politics of paradox, and to delve into the deep, unwritten British past in order to craft, theoretically, an alternative British and international future. It is high time that the singular and yet wholly pertinent writings of this County Durham Catholic Labour prophet receive a wider circulation.”

    Professor John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham.

  2. To paraphrase John Milbank, before there was NESTA's refusal to publish its commission from Phillip Blond, before there was David Cameron's appointment of a Trot instead of a Tory to run NESTA, and before there was the failure to make Rod Liddle editor of the Independent, there was the removal of David Lindsay from Telegraph Blogs. Not only our prophet, but also our protomartyr.

    That said, you are better off out of that shambolic freak show these days. Peter Oborne's magisterial statement of Morning Post/Peter Simple/Evelyn and Auberon Waugh Americoscepticism in the print edition, straight out of Confessions of your Old Labour High Tory, was never put up there. It was just the same post from Nile Gardiner over and over again.

  3. Even Peter Hitchens struggles to get books published, and even more to get them removed or into bookshops. Your stringing along by a think tank unofficially owned by Kamm until it refused to so much as send you the right galleys also springs to mind, although of course you get better endorsements and reached as many people or more without them as you would have done with them. PH can only gets reviewed in the paper that employs him as a columnist, so without that you have had exactly as many reviews in Britain as you would have got if you had been published, like him, you had gone through something as mighty as Continuum.

    As you say, only the (COLHT quote coming up) "godless, rootless, meterosexual, hypercapitalist" position of neoliberal economic policy, liberal social policy and neoconservative foreign policy is permitted any kind of hearing. Which is literally commercial concerns' own business. But NESTA is not a commercial concern. It is a device for allocating public money, nothing more. Arguably, it should not exist at all. If it does, then it certainly should not think or behave like this, and it certainly should not be headed, no doubt for some six figure sum of our hard-earned cash, by a man with the record of this Mulgan person. Here and in your book, you are right to expose the entire New Labour project as coming out of that sinister little world and as having the Cameron project as the continuation of its control over the national debate.

    But we have started to create our own parallel Establishment. It will take us a generation, but the future of influence can belong to us if we make the effort and nobody is making more of an effort than you, Mr. Lindsay. As Milbank and everyone else say, you have been the first in the field. In a generation's time, you will be the grand old man. Maybe even the Chairman or Chief Executive of NESTA or whatever replaces it. Them who got what and how much would be up to Lord Lindsay of Lanchester.

  4. Mulgan once turned up in the comments of the American Conservative, hardly his natural reading matter, to deny both your facts about his past and your facts about what Cameron then had in store for him. But he didn't bother when you repeated them on your Telegraph blog and even though people like that certainly read this site he has not turned up here, either. Just fancy that.

  5. So many scales fell from my eyes reading your book, the first ones only a couple of pages in: at UK and EU level alike, the Far Left and Far Right are now our joint permanent government based on pretending to be the centre so as to delegitimise any other opinion. They are putting that into practice by their control of things like this. I am delighted that an alternative Establishment is emerging, even without the undeserved benefit of sole public funding for the existing one. Do please keep your readers abreast of developments. I know you will.