ARE the Tories on the way out? Are Labour poised to take power? Daily drama for the front pages but would we otherwise notice the difference?
The Conservative Party has proved itself to be utterly useless. Entirely lacking in any convictions whatsoever – other than what the wets lamely assume will keep them in power – they now face oblivion and apparently seek to oust a Prime Minister barely 20 minutes into the job who, despite her hubris, unreadiness and communication bypass, is apparently more ready than any of the rest of them to face the financial challenge.
Ostensibly they are outraged by her wish to cut taxes. You would be forgiven for believing this was because the cuts would be funded by borrowing. But no. It’s the hint of reining in public expenditure that brings on outrage. Once upon a time this objection might have passed muster, but it is borderline laughable. After the years-long orgy of accumulated government debt, excoriatingly detailed by Laura Perrins in TCW yesterday, the vast majority of nincompoops sitting in the House of Commons are yet to rediscover their fiscal backbones.
They are just sold-up social democrats, wetter than wet. They are part of the unibrain that dominates society and all its institutions. Hence they regurgitated the media-fuelled hysteria that met Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget, suddenly obsessing about exchange rates and the gilts market. A similar thing happened after the Brexit vote, each fraction of a penny up or down against the dollar taken as a portent of doom to those who feed the drama beast.
It matters to a certain degree, natch. But I’d rather obsess about the bigger picture. You know, the one where our sclerotic economy, barmy immigration policy, over-bloated bureaucracy (to name but a few topics) gradually drag HMS Britannia beneath the waves. One would think such threats might concentrate minds – alas, not.
To put it in terms more understandable for the power-mad and craven among the Conservative Party (that is, almost all of them): it is the same course we have been on since 1997 and which will be turbocharged by Most Boring Man Alive™ and his cerebrally challenge cronies seizing power. It will be our final undoing as a serious nation.
Yet, having been spoon-fed the notion that Big Gubberment Will Solve Everything, the British public is reluctant to make difficult choices. Cakeism, instead, is the mantra of the land. Any politician who ventures to point at this grotesquely large elephant in the room will be given the Truss treatment.
Just take, for example, the bizarre argument that benefits should be tied to inflation. When wages are falling in real terms, why should the workless profit more than the gainfully employed? With over five million already out of work, it will only incentivise more to suckle on the teat of the state.
But why not? The Johnson government has already taught us that we can be paid a full wage while not contributing a jot to the economy. Although furlough – in its generosity and scale – was a mistake of historic proportions, nobody will be seen as ‘nasty’ enough to point it out.
Or, perhaps, the energy price cap: a solution which, as far as I can make out, only makes the problem worse. You can print funny money to pay for things, but you cannot print more gas: without a price mechanism to disincentivise consumption, people will just use more. With Nord Stream mysteriously blown to pieces, it will be interesting to see how this particular piece of political pandering plays out. It is but a sticking plaster on the necrotic limb of cretinous government policy.
I do wonder what goes through the heads of our elected politicians. For many of the Labour Party, I assume it is not much – akin to the static of an untuned radio, interspersed with renditions of The Internationale. For Conservative politicians, I can only imagine it is much like the thought process of an unpopular child seeking the approval of his cooler peers. ‘Please like me, don’t hate me!’ they intone, reeking of desperation.
This would make sense as there are clearly not enough adults left in the party to make a stab at governing properly. Instead, we are left with the conniving and the vacuous. The time is ripe for a competitor on the right. After all, the last thing the country wants is Starmer and his acolytes in power. Their momentary popularity is merely a reflection of the utterly empty and dispiriting political landscape we inhabit.
This would make sense as there are clearly not enough adults left in the party to make a stab at governing properly. Instead, we are left with the conniving and the vacuous. The time is ripe for a competitor on the right. After all, the last thing the country wants is Starmer and his acolytes in power. Their momentary popularity is merely a reflection of the utterly empty and dispiriting political landscape we now inhabit.
This article appears in Frederick’s Newsletter and is republished by kind permission.