Friday, 23 May 2008

A Lucky Escape, Britain

David Cameron described the C&N result as the "end of New Labour". It could, if we're really lucky be the point at which the Labour party goes into its final death throes. Having been a poor election winning machine over the years (no, really. The last decade aside, they've only ever had one previous decent working majority), it may not recover from the thumping it is about to receive. After all, the progressive left has somewhere else to go. And the Tories are finally making headway in the heartland where the Yellows have also been successful. If the Liberal Democrats ever look like pulling level at any point in the next decade, then the argument that "only they can stop the Tories" will have resonance, especially given the total hash the labour party's made of it every time they've got a sniff of power. Think how bad it was for the Tories during their wilderness years, but they have no opposition on the centre right and were therefore given time to recover. The last time the Labour party was this unpopular, the Liberals were busy merging, splitting and generally annoying the electorate. Unless the Lib Dems are totally incompetent this time round*, it is now time to start writing the obituary of the Labour project in it's entirety.

Historically, this project has been to create a socialist utopia, at first on Marxist lines and when this proved (murderously, more often than not) unworkable, they attempted to create a kind of big state social democracy which attempts to tax and benefit the inequality out of the income distribution and provide solutions to all life's ills in the warm embrace of Nanny State's bosom.

How have they done?

Their original project, state ownership of the means of production and industrial planning, was less than successful. The state-run provision of services ushered in by the post-war Labour government is still with us, but the benefits are at best, mixed. The NHS is far from being the envy of the world of left-wing imagination, and yet that's the state social service that runs best. The worst examples are mere wastes of resources and means of employing "graduates" from the "new universities" at the expense of the Taxpayer, to box tick, interfere and generally make a nuisance of themselves to all right-thinking, self-reliant folk. Socially however the socialist attempt to break the British culture of deference was successful beyond their wildest dreams.

New Labour abandoned the economic dogmas of Marxism, realising that Thatcher was actually 100% right, though the labour party never had the grace to admit this publicly. They did instead attempt to moderate the perceived injustices of the free market system, by redistributing wealth using the tax and benefit system. Their much vaunted attempts to take people out of poverty since 1997 have merely moved people from one side of an arbitrary line - 60% of median earnings - to the other, by giving them just enough cash to achieve this. The proportion living in real, dire poverty - less than 40% of median earnings for example have increased in number. Why? Because this form of poverty is an effect of widespread benefit dependency - the real cause of poverty in modern Britain. So the tax credits nightmare is not motivated by a desire to help the poor, but to meet an arbitrary target, to allow the Government to crow about this "Achievement". Finally the fiasco of the 10p tax rate shows what the Government really thinks of the low-waged. They may have increased the minimum wage, but most of this is clawed back in NI contributions and tax creep rather than benefiting those it was supposed to help, and filling the exchequer. It also created a hurdle for the very poorest - those who have never worked to jump over before they get to the labour market. It makes more intractable the poverty trap. Labour is attempting to buy the votes of a perpetually out of work underclass using money from the working poor. Its the poverty of aspiration and spirit which is so distressing and so immune to Labour's approach to the problem.

The great blairite belief that education was the route to social betterment led to Sure Start, which is a waste of resources, delivering no measurable benefit. Neither is the mass herding of youths to university to study degrees of questionable worth. Instead of asking "did you go to university", employers now ask to which university did you go. The Russell group and a few others have maintained standards. Most have not and have simply achieved what you always achieve when you increase the supply of a resource (in this case, Graduates): Inflation. Quality graduates who can spell are rare and get paid a lot. The rest are considered to have wasted their time and are paid less than their friends who got 3 years work experience. A degree in Media studies from the southbank University has the same worth as a Zimbabwean Dollar, and for the same reason. Having removed every fucking Grammar school, they have, in fact removed a ladder for bright working class youngsters into higher education and conned them into debt for worthless qualifications instead. As a result, Social mobility has declined under this Government, if your parents are poor and ill educated, the chances are you will be too. Sorry. Meanwhile the upper echelons of society are more dominated by the Public schools than ever before. This is BECAUSE of Labour's attitude to education, not despite it. The reaction to this: They want to destroy the bit that works! Remarkable, really what spiteful, useless mediocrities they really are...

The economic legacy too is lamentable. Everything that I said about Gordon Brown's stewardship of the economy 3 years ago (See here) has happened. He has overspent and now we're paying for his profligacy. If he'd spent less, there would be money in the kitty for some tax cuts to stimulate the economy. But he didn't, there isn't and it won't be. I don't want to bang on about this, but it's obvious to anyone of even passing familiarity with the basic tenets of economics that Gordon Brown is a cunt.

Where this Government will be most damned by history is in its half-baked, self serving constitutional reform. Devolution was undertaken with no effort made to answer the West Lothian question and the political structure was almost designed to maximise the Labour representation. Nevertheless, the party to benefit was the SNP, which means the Labour party may have broken the Union.

Lords reform has merely reduced trust in politics by making the appointment of Lords overtly political, and leading to allegations of "cash for Honours" and reduced the influence of the revising chamber to no great benefit to representative democracy. It's merely entrenched the 5-year dictatorship of the executive.

If there was any Government which needed checking its the abortion's turd we've endured for the last 11 years. They've introduced a crime a day (yes every day) since they've been in power. They've curtailed civil liberites and granted the police so much power they don't know what to do. In return for the power, the police have subjected themselves to the same appaling culture of targets which so distorts the delivery of the Governments poverty agenda. The police in adhering to targets end up harassing the law abiding whilst turning a blind eye to the misbehaviour of the underclass, over whom they have precious little leverage. The middle class by contrast are easy, co-operative collars to feel. The culture of targets allows the political elite to further undermine the public trust in the police by setting an agenda which few agree with outside the Guardian reading salons. The result: the alienation of the public from the police, and a gross erosion of civil Liberties. But you always needed a police state to enforce the behaviour demanded of Soviet man, didn't you?

In short the post war socialism which I admit was inadequately resisted by the Conservatives has given way to a velvet fascism of bureaucratic state control of, well, more or less everything. It is miserable, cloying and it's becoming oppressive. Furthermore it's expensive and we're broke.

The Labour party is an Expensive failure. They are going to be thwarted in their attempt to introduce totalitarianism by stealth. You're lucky you woke up in time Britain, You'll know better than to ever vote for the cunts again.

*Oh. Hang on.....


Umbongo said...

"You'll know better than to ever vote for the cunts again."

I hope you're right there. However, those of us of an older generation thought that in 1979. It was the Conservatives under Thatcher - not the Conservatives under Macmillan or any of the other slow-motion socialists or EEC fanatics of the post-1945 Conservative Party - who redeemed this country. Cameron may become the next PM but he will not keep Labour out for 18 or more years unless he has the courage to dump his Heir to Blair policies and demobilise the nanny state's foot-soldiers and their ideological supporters in the state media, academia and the upper reaches of the public services.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Posting links elsewhere.

Prodicus said...

First rate analysis - and writing.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sure, agreed to all that, but once you've finished gloating, do you seriously think that the Tories will be any better, or will they just be less-worse (agreed, they'll be more efficient, less venal, possibly more honest)? What's your solution to turning the Tories into a small-government, free-market, old-fashioned Liberal party?

Matthew said...

That was the most insightful political post I have ever read,card carrying UKIP member that I am.

Anonymous said...

New Labour was like a fruit. Should have been consumed long ago, instead left to go Brown.

Jolly good article, by the way.

Mac the Knife said...

'They are going to be thwarted in their attempt to introduce totalitarianism by stealth. You're lucky you woke up in time Britain, You'll know better than to ever vote for the cunts again.'

Sorry VBD, but that's pie in the sky arse-custard. A few years of tory/ukip/lpuk government and they'll be back again, with the same bullshit, and the electorate will fall for it again, they always do.

They've introduced totalitarianism by stealth through the Lisbon treaty, and unless a British executive has the guts to blow the EU out and circumscribe the powers of parliament once and for all via a written constitution, my kids will have to go through all this again.

Granted, Boy Dave came up to periscope depth this AM making noises about 'big government' and 'top down management' but I'm a very long way from convinced.

Jackart said...

So No-one noticed the spelling mistake in the title...?

Jackart said...

So No-one noticed the spelling mistake in the title...?

lost_nurse said...

Quality graduates who can spell are rare and get paid a lot.

Well, I went to Oxford - and I get paid fcuk-all. :)

Cameron is on a roll, no doubt about it. But wanting to kick the bastards out ain't necessarily the same as a shift in political allegiance (itself a complex, and probably mixed affair). In short, I am deeply unamused by most politicos.

Anonymous said...

It will only be a lucky escape if the Tories govern as Conservatives (completely rejecting the Left's agenda) and not as a form of Blu-Labour (as Peter Hitchens describes them).

Will the next election see merely a change of party, or the actual governing doctrine?

If Cameron does the former he will utterly destroy any hope for this country. If the latter then there is a chance for redemption and he will be lauded as a hero for generations to come.

Unfortunately, I have little faith, on Cameron's present behaviour and language, that it will be the latter.

Ray Griffin, Coventry

John Pickworth said...

"...and it's becoming oppressive"

It is. I can't even begin to form the words to tell you how much I feel 'pressured' by the State. Seriously, I'm not over-stating it (excuse the pun) but I'm sick of form filling, complying with silly rules and watching my back so I don't get a ticket/fine/penalty. Meanwhile the benefit supported drunks and druggies are walking the streets without a care in the world.

I hope the incoming Conservatives dare to be bold and do something really radical (more so than Thatcher ever dared). They might start with a public promise to reduce the size of the State by 50% (or whatever an appropriate figure might be). They should slash taxes ruthlessly. Give notice that benefits really will be a safety net and nothing more (except for those cases where there is little other alternative - eg. the disabled, handicapped or elderly).

Whatever the future holds for this country... I hope its never again seduced into voting for the 'jam today' Labour Party.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that whilst our esteemed Mr Bracken is the number 19 most popular political blog spot in GB....he was at my number one hiting my right spot tonight....... Thanks baby


Anonymous said...

I would like to second the comment that has just been made...he was in the immortal words of Sharpe......"Fabulous"

Lorelei and Nutmeg


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