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The Times - United Kingdom | Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The battleground between 'progressives' and 'reactionaries'

Columnist David Aaronovitch suggests traditional 'left' v. 'right' labels no longer suffice to define politicians. What is important, he claims, is knowing whether they are progressive or reactionary. "All over Europe this redivision is complicated by the fact of an ageing, often comfortable population, which has a vested interest in resisting change and which tends to be neurotic about its own security. It worries excessively about crime, even when crime figures are falling; it doesn't want anyone building new houses right next to Dunroamin; it is suspicious of all these strange accents and odd clothes. It wants higher walls, greener grass and no foreign entanglements. ... Progressives, who exist in most parties, tend to believe that there are no walls that can keep the rest of the world out, and that it is counterproductive — immoral even — to try."

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