It is not so much that their ideas and arguments are harebrained and impracticable: some of their causes are in fact admirable. The trouble – you might even say the tragedy – is that their implementation by governments eager for media approval has progressively damaged our institutions. Media liberal pressure has prompted a stream of laws, regulations and directives to champion the criminal against the police, the child against the school, the patient against the hospital, the employee against the company, the soldier against the army, the borrower against the bank, the convict against the prison – there is a new case in the papers almost every day, and each victory is a small erosion of the efficiency and effectiveness of the institution.
I can now see that my old BBC media liberalism was not a basis for government. It was an ideology of opposition, valuable for restraining the excesses of institutions and campaigning against the abuses of authority but it was not a way of actually running anything. It serves a vital function when government is dictatorial and oppressive, but when government is ineffective and over-permissive it is hopelessly inappropriate.