True to my word, during the first week of every month, Spineless Liberal will take the well-known “Political Compass” test, to see if my views change over the year. On the 2nd of February (delayed posting for my ECFR Scorecard post on how Britain stands within Europe on matters of foreign policy), here goes take two…

Reasonably similar to last time (-6.50, -5.18). I’ve shifted to be slightly more economically right, and slightly more Libertarian? A good Liberal Democrat then..

All answers were the same except…

Military Action that defied international law is sometimes justified
Strongly Agree -> Agree

Personally, I blame the Intervention in Africa module I was studying at the time for my high-score previously… now it’s not quite so much on my mind and high on my agenda, I’ve moderated.

It’s a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.
Strongly Agree -> Agree

Again, perhaps the fact I was looking more into my Hydropolitics dissertation at the time changed my score a little?

 The rich are too highly taxed.
Strongly Disagree -> Disagree

This one has been altered by political events – the controversy over whether the Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Stephen Hester, deserved a million-pound-bonus this year (£963,000). Frankly, I was on his side. Surprisingly…

- He turned the fortunes of the bank around, and was excellent in his job.
– The bonus was delayed for three years (no immediate payoff) and would be paid in shares, so if the bank doesn’t do well… nor does he. Seems reasonable to me.
– The bonus is comparatively small. The Chairman got £1.4million, and other banks are far higher.
– The contract had been negotiated by the previous government so this is one thing that really does lay at their feet.- The government debate managed to wipe, supposedly, £300 million of the value of RBS’ shares… really worked in our favour, that.
– It would have been a populist move, and I’m always naturally suspicious of those.

The only reasonably question is whether the government should pay the money while we’re making such deep cuts. Given that it was a million pound investment that may have stopped us losing £300 million… possibly. What I would personally have most liked to have seen, was not it being turned down by Hester, but being donated to charity. Lovely.

So, in light of this, perhaps I’m a little more pro-business.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
Disagree -> Agree

I actively dislike this question, because it’s wrong. If we take it at the accepted meaning, then it is repulsive, and indeed “will make the whole world blind” (Gandhi).

But that, I have read, is not the intended meaning. It doesn’t mean “if someone takes your eye, take his”  (vengeful) but “if someone takes your eye, only take his eye) and was a form of limitation to proportional punishment in early Jewish law. If this, then I agree.

Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.
Strongly Disagree -> Disagree

Since reading about Twigg, Labour’s education shadow, and his thoughts on how to change education, I’ve thought a lot about  education. Perhaps some are better served outside the classroom environment. It all depends on the question – yes, at least some schooling is mandatory, but should everyone be forced to stay in school till 16/18 and attend RE class? Or are the basic skills, a more engaging method, and vocational activities better? I’m still working it out…

Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.
Disagree -> Strongly Disagree

It’s been in the press and on twitter the past few days. I think Lammy said something?

I thought that, perhaps, there was a small case for discipline, in a vast minority of cases. But then again, what does spanking teach? That violence is the correct response? That the resort to violence is acceptable? That kinky fun is ok?

Well, that last one is ok (hey, no one should be enslaved by conformity, remember, LibDem Constitution), but seriously…

Discipline can be achieved in other ways. If it gets to the point where you have to spank your child, something’s gone wrong earlier in the process.

It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.
Disagree -> Strongly Disagree.

Will you laugh if I say it’s because I watched American History X yesterday? Come on, if a neo-Nazi like Vinyard can get rehabilitated, anyone can. Perhaps anyone can be “cured” of criminality. I’m not convinced jail is the way to do it but…

Well, those are the changes in my politics over this past month, apparently. Check in later (well, in March) to see if they’ve changed again!