Heirs of eternal Liberalism

Andrew Adonis is right about Labour and the Lib Dems.

My colleague James Macintyre mentioned this morning a piece that the Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, wrote recently for the Independent, urging tactical voting and articulating what he called the "fundamental Labour-Lib Dem identity of interest".

The key paragraph in Adonis's piece was the following:

Philosophically it is a nonsense to pretend that the Lib Dems -- or the "Social and Liberal Democrats", to give the party its original name -- are equidistant between left and right, or Labour and Tory. The Liberal Party of Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George fought the Tories relentlessly to introduce democracy and social rights. Keynes and Beveridge -- Liberals both -- produced the rationale and the blueprint for the modern welfare state enacted by Attlee's Labour government after 1945.

Adonis is right. And he might also have mentioned the influence on British social democracy of "New Liberal" thinkers such as L T Hobhouse and J A Hobson. Indeed, his historical strictures apply as much to his own party as they do to the Lib Dems.

As John Maynard Keynes wrote in an article in the New Statesman in 1939: "Why cannot the leaders of the Labour Party face the fact that they are not sectaries of an outworn creed, mumbling moss-grown demi-semi Fabian Marxism, but the heirs of eternal Liberalism?"

Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.