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Political notes

Supporters of an open society can be found on all sides of British politics. But they are declining in number, and on the retreat

Tony Blair suggested three years ago that the big distinction in politics was between open societies and those which were closed. How far Blair meant to endorse Karl Popper’s view in The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) is not clear—Blair, for his many virtues, is no philosopher. But in the early years of New Labour the direction was open markets, a more open democracy and a freer, more liberal society.

Blair removed the difference between the age of consent for gay and straight sex, introduced civil partnerships and tougher anti-discrimination laws. Popperian or not, he shared a liberal conviction…

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