In recent weeks in the news I have begun to hear a new word bandied around. Everyone claims to be it. Of course not everybody can be it.
This word is "progressive".
Everyone seems to be claiming to be progressive. At first I saw it as a roundabout way of saying that something is a step in the right direction but then I got to thinking. Who gets to say what is the right direction.
The word is used everywhere and seemingly in every debate nowadays to justify one course of action over the other or to vaunt one taxation policy over another. Surely they cant all be right? Is it even good to be progressive? If it is then why isnt there just one party called the progressive party which everyone loves and votes for religiously.
It turns out that progressivism is a little less gleaming than the current zeitgeist would have you believe...
Wikipedia describes it as this
Now this muddys the waters even further.
If progressivism is to all intents and purposes liberalism then what on earth is going on in a country where the traditional vote has been polarised to one or other side of the political spectrum?
I'd venture a fairly simple answer to this little puzzle.
What we are seeing is a fight over the middle ground that the kingmakers, (LibDem) occupy in an unashamed attempt by both ends of the political spectrum to either cosy up to them in order to cement the coalition or drive a wedge into the coalition by showing just how far from being progressive they have strayed.
So, next time you hear the word "progressive" being used by a suit on the news dont believe the hype. The landscape has changed now and the ways that they compete are subtle and wily.
Unless you voted LibDem, progressive is not what you voted for.