Gordon asked:

In the UK, the Liberal Democrats are a spent force and Labour with the election of Jeremy Corbyn have made themselves unelectable. What would be a credible political philosophy that could serve as the basis for an alternative political party to the Conservatives?

Answer by Shaun Williamson

You are confusing many different things here. To start with this is a philosophy web site not a politics website. However I will try to answer your question. Any political philosophy would serve as an alternative to the Conservative since as far as I am aware they do not have a political philosophy. If they do perhaps you could tell me what it is. You claim that Corbyn is unelectable but you don’t know that. Let us wait and see.

Jeremy Corbyn has an understandable, creditable and ethical political philosophy although that doesn’t mean all of his ideas are well thought out. Perhaps you should think about voting for what is best for your country rather than just trying to be on the winning side.


Answer by Geoffrey Klempner

In the arena of practical politics, a ‘political philosophy’ has as much in common with philosophy as a philosophy of soccer.

Say, you are a British Premier League soccer team looking for a new manager. You want someone who will help the team to win. Apart from deep knowledge of the game, this requires a range of skills, including those of the diplomat and negotiator. Broadly, all successful team managers share the same tried and tested ‘philosophy’.

The same principle applies to electing the party and their leader to govern the country. All the main parties broadly share the principles of Western liberal democracy. The key difference, however, is that, unlike soccer, there is not just one thing that counts as ‘winning’.

At the present time, the Germans are way ahead of the other European countries in the ethical competition, as shown by their brave approach to the refugee crisis. On this score, Germans have every reason to be proud of their government and of Angela Merkel.

What of Jeremy Corbyn? This is not a site for expressing political opinions. However, as with any new party leader, the first and most important test that Corbyn will have to face is whether, in fact, he is capable of leading his party.