Quoting Pascal Bruckner, James Bloodworth writes in the Independent:
... when asked who is to blame for some particularly egregious atrocity or violation of human rights, the Western liberal's response is increasingly reducible to two short words: "we are".
In view of recent posts at normblog I don't need to say I think that James is on to something. I would, however, just like to register - as I've done here before - that 'liberal' doesn't have to, and doesn't always, assume this debased meaning and neither should we let it. Liberalism has also been a brave and indispensable political tradition, one that is essential today to any left worth taking seriously; it is the repository of certain fundamental values to do with liberties, rights and the rule of law, and there are liberals for whom the protection of these values is central to why we need to fight murderous obscurantism rather than making excuses for it.