It's been reasonably well shredded already, my main problem with it is that it tries to do too much, lumps many different issues together, many of which I agree with, others I distinctly do not, and, well, it's a bit verbose.
Actually, it's very verbose. I mean, I go on a bit, but this? Paulie, respect the opinions and all that, but couldn't you have trimmed it a little? Any decent radical knows that you need 6 key points that can be summarised very quickly. This just goes on and on and ... You get the point. Daniel, in rather hyperbolic fasion, made me laugh the most though.
Biggest problem? So many words, so few specifics.
We value the traditions and institutions, the legacy of good governance, of those countries in which liberal, pluralist democracies have taken hold.Guys?
- name one where you believe there truly is a legacy of 'good governance' within a 'liberal, pluralist democracy'
- This seems to imply a liking for aspic. Yet you describe yourselves as progressives.
Constitutions and institutions evolve, adapt, and change. Currently, in this country at least, they're being abused, and have been for some time. I had hoped Blair's New Labour would improve things. They've actually made things worse (constitutionally, anyway).
The United States of America is a great country and nation. It is the home of a strong democracyOK, the first bit, I can't disagree with. The second? You can't get elected without a bankroll that makes the loans for peerages sums look like pocket change. Hanging chads, dodgy Diebold, a two-party duopoly in which both are to what us Europeans would describe as the Right. Incredibly low turnout figures.
That's not a healthy democracy. It's not a strong democracy. It's most certainly not the beacon of truth and justice the Founding Fathers meant it to be.
Criticising the US Govt isn't "anti-Americanism". It's pro-America. You lost me on this one I'm afraid, telling me to accept the way the best challenge to Bush was from a boring patrician with a bank balance larger than many small countries is the sign of "strong democracy"? No. It isn't. Ths US system of govt is failing the people of America even more than the UK system is failing us Brits.
Respecting traditions is fine. When they work. When they don't, we need to change and update them.
The great shame? I agree with all of this:
10) A new internationalism.It's a damn shame that our Govts do not.
We stand for an internationalist politics and the reform of international law — in the interests of global democratization and global development. Humanitarian intervention, when necessary, is not a matter of disregarding sovereignty, but of lodging this properly within the "common life" of all peoples. If in some minimal sense a state protects the common life of its people (if it does not torture, murder and slaughter its own civilians, and meets their most basic needs of life), then its sovereignty is to be respected. But if the state itself violates this common life in appalling ways, its claim to sovereignty is forfeited and there is a duty upon the international community of intervention and rescue. Once a threshold of inhumanity has been crossed, there is a "responsibility to protect".
I supported intervention in Afghanistan. I opposed Iraq. For many many reasons, mostly the mess they made in Afghanistan, and the very low priority Saddam's regime was compared to, for example, Burma and N. Korea. Also, of course, effectively abandoning Afghanistan has meant the Taliban are still there, the warlords are still there. The intervention I supported failed, and mostly because it was abandoned in favour of an easier target.
The manifesto; some fine ideals, hidden between lies, half truths, and turgid prose. Shame.
I should be right in the middle of their target audience.