I have blogged before on Phillip Blond – I am not just jumping on the bandwagon after the launch of ResPublica. But it is interesting that his philosophy seems to have the approval of David Cameron – I hope that DC thinks about it a little more deeply.
Blond’s roots go back to the distributist movement that has some adherents amongst Catholics in the UK. It emphasises widespread ownership, the inevitability of a free market degenerating, the importance of guilds and so on. Indeed, Blond claims the support of Pope Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in veritate for many of his views. I have written about that encyclical in four articles at least, but I am afraid it offers no comfort for Phillip Blond’s overall strategy (though neither could I claim it for the free market case). The pope repeats what has been said many times in the last 40 years in official Catholic Church documents that the Catholic Church has no economic models to offer – only a critique of certain issues in the context of our times and in the context of the theology and morality of the Catholic faith. If Cameron really does embrace Blond then the headline “Cameron embraces Catholic economics that the pope himself rejects” would not be inappropriate.
Blond’s ideas take a lot of unpicking. I only have a few hundred words. As such let me make four points that, I believe, hole “Blondism” beneath the waterline – not necessarily as a political philosophy but as a political philosophy that should be embraced by a broadly free market party…
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