Honoured

27 Sep

This Blog has been honoured by a comment from Prof Gavin Phillipson – see the comments on the previous post. Our gratitude should be duly recorded, and readers are invited to read both the original items again and also the Prof’s reply to Prof Oliver’s remarks and reflect for themselves.

In the wise words of the Bard, “‘Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes Between the pass and fell incensèd points Of mighty opposites,” so we leave the details to the Profs. Perhaps there is a bigger-picture difference of approach (of attitude, even ?), in terms of the where or how the balance is to be struck between “the astonishing power of the actual” (which is, actually, actual) and “democratic legitimacy” as an important abstract value. If Prof P accepts that the House of Lords works reasonably well as it is (he will please feel free to correct that impression if he wishes), then the question is perhaps what level of risk is acceptable in a plan to cure its admitted defects? The more one inclines to safety and the actual, the lower risk level is acceptable. The more important (perhaps especially if we mean ‘important in absolute terms’) the abstract value of ‘democratic legitimacy’ the higher the risk level that will seem acceptable. Perhaps that explains the impression of ‘conservatism’ and ‘parochialism.’

(Tweaked to clarify meaning)

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