Peripatetic commenter, and noted graphic novelist, Ian B comments here, but his comment, as happens so often, is a post in itself. So, without seeking his agreement, here it is, promoted from the letters section to the front page.
The “presbyterian conscience” is more significant than perhaps many give credit for. As I keep banging on, the anglosphere form of socialism is distinct, and is descended from religiously motivated social reformism- literally methodism, not marxism. It absorbed and adopted much of marxism in the early 20th century, but that was always a secondary thing. In fact, the Labour party- the methodist party- spent most of the 20th century in a fierce internal struggle between the anglosocialists and the communists, until the discrediting (and “fall”) of communism cleared the way for the anglosocialists to gain total control.
This is what “New” Labour was. It is why the vicarish Blair was its perfect leader, and why we have Gordon “Son Of the Manse” Broon now. These people are not, as is believed by some, tepid marxists or conservatives pretending to be socialists, they are perfect exemplars of the anglosocialist tradition- “puritanical” social reformists for whom command economics is merely a means to that end, rather than the primary focus, as for communists. These are the descendents of the temperance movement, sabbatarians, vicars storming into the local pub to lecture the happy drinkers about the Demon Rum; their aim is not a workers state (they distrust and despise “workers”) but Port Sunlight on a mammoth scale. They don’t mind businessmen, so long as they are wise, socially responsible philanthropic ones who don’t enjoy their money too much- or at least don’t look like they are.
Anglosocialism. It was born out of the non-conformist religious revivalism of the late 18th, and 19th centuries, that gave us “Victorian Values”, social reform and missionaries and huge political charities and the consequent plunge into statism. It is what americans call “liberalism”, this distinct anglosphere, social gospel socialism. It is why we have the “nanny” state, the war on drugs, on drink, on tobacco, on “obscenity”, on fat people and tasty food, on the comforts provided by capitalism which the green hope to bring to an end. It is the enemy now, not communism. Communism really did fall. What was left was just as bad, but different.
It certainly "feels" right.