Tuesday, December 10, 2019

UK General Election : The Clown vs. the Cold Warrior

I've only just moved from the UK to Australia, but I spent 14 years living there and so have been through three general elections, and the EU referendum.  The 2019 general election wasn't meant to happen, but it was inevitable after the 2017 general election that didn't need to be called, because the 2015 general election gave the Conservatives a majority for the first time since 1992 and the UK has five year electoral terms.

Most coverage will claim that this is a Brexit election, and although it is a major factor, for me it isn't the number one factor.  Sure, if you want Brexit done you'll vote Conservative (except for a tiny handful of seats where the Brexit Party has a much better chance than the Conservatives), given Labour is campaigning on a second referendum (where it will negotiate a different deal with the EU, and then Corbyn will be neutral on it) and the Liberal Democrats are campaigning on remaining in the EU.

However, to me although that is important for many reasons, it is much less important than what SHOULD be the biggest issue of this election - stopping the election of a hardcore socialist and his team, who are fundamentally opposed to capitalism, individual freedom, property rights and highly sceptical of the values of the Enlightenment and Western liberal democracy.

I wont say much about Boris Johnson because I don't like him.  He's a flake, a showman and a clown.  He is enthused about vanity projects (there were plenty when he was Mayor of London) and when he isn't interested in anything he wont worry about detail and wont focus.  An entertaining raconteur and journalist, a great philosopher he is not.  He lies and obfuscates, and changes his position to suit whatever is popular.  There are many reasons why he didn't proceed to be a candidate for leadership in 2016, but he is the man of today - and he is beyond doubt profoundly preferable to the entity on the other side.

Corbyn is a mediocre mild-mannered pathetic little man, who has surrounded himself with sinister flunkies who range from the moronic to the despicable.  His record on openly supporting the IRA, including inviting senior members to Parliament days after the Brighton bombing, is well known.  You can almost guess his position on every single international conflict and issue by working out which side is supported by the West and be sure he is on the other side.  He did shows on the Iranian propaganda TV channel Press TV, his first instincts are always to believe the side that isn't a member of NATO, which isn't a Western liberal democracy and always isn't Israel.  He even backed General Galtieri - the Argentinian military dictator - over Britain in the Falklands War. 

His most senior advisors are not just Cold warriors but actually pro-Soviet and in one case pro-North Korea Marxist-Leninists (Seamus Milne and Andrew Murray).  He himself bemoaned the fall of the Berlin Wall because of the loss of the "achievements" of the German Democratic Republic (not those shot dead trying to cross the Berlin Wall of course).  Corbyn cheered Venezuela's Chavez regime as being a model for the world, and he openly celebrated the Cuban regime as well.  This was quaint and vile as the MP for Islington North, as potential PM for the world's fifth largest economy, NATO's second most powerful member and a nuclear power, it's simply scary.

The anti-semitism is well known, as his Labour Party has sheltered and selected candidates who have openly anti-semitic views.  At best he has a blind spot and doesn't know what is anti-semitic, at worst he simply thinks Jews aren't an oppressed group because, of course, they tend to be wealthy and successful, but worst of all, Israel - a country he has spent his political life campaigning against.

Beyond that are the policies his Labour Party are promoting this election.  Not just higher taxes and more spending, but a quantum leap in spending every year.  Some of the more sinister policies include requiring all businesses with 250+ employees to hand over 1% of the company shares to employees each year, over ten years.  Effectively a form of confiscation of the business.  There are mass nationalisations, with the Government deciding how much it will pay for them, no negotiation, effectively a third world style confiscation of businesses (and the reasoning behind it being that they are "profiting too much" from consumers, except that energy prices are capped, water prices are regulated by Ofwat and rail prices are determined by the Minister - none of the nationalised sectors bear much resemblance to a free market).  Labour wants to exchange shares in private businesses for newly issued public debt - because that's what you want, a promise from a socialist government with its heavily devalued currency, to pay you. 

For those who say there is nothing to worry about, let's be clear what a vote for Labour is in this election.   It's a vote to say:
  • Capitalism should be overthrown;
  • Private property rights are worthless, the state can take businesses off you to give to whoever it wants or take for itself;
  • The Government should monopolise education (no private schools)
  • Businesses should get permission from government to open (any business with at least 50 employees will need state certification for being gender neutral)
  • The media to be "fairer" to the policies, politicians and opinions of the Labour Party and its ginger groups;
  • Israel shouldn't exist;
  • Russia, China and Iran are morally equivalent to the United States at best, and morally superior at times;
  • State control of prices is good for everyone;
  • Calls for Islamist government aren't to be feared (just blank out the misogyny, homophobia and anti-semitism)
  • Identity politics is central to public policy (all business will have to report their sex and race pay gaps and explain themselves to a bureaucracy why they are apparently sexist and racist)
  • Jews should just put up and not complain, because the anti-semitism they say they get is just because they back Israel (which is an apartheid state little different from Nazi Germany).
I didn't mention Brexit because honestly, it pales into insignificance.    Yes it is an opportunity to free the UK from the EU's overweening control, and its commitment to a fortress against free trade from the outside, and protection of sunset industries.  However, as good as that opportunity is, the UK doesn't have a major political party willing to take advantage of much of that, in fact the Conservatives are promising to maintain and enhance labour and environmental laws, and beyond opening up trade to the world, there is little sense of the opportunity to liberalise domestic laws outside the EU.

Moreover, the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson is centrist, it is promising to spend billions more and has abandoned fiscal discipline in favour of trying to compete modestly with Corbyn's absurd levels of promises of spending.   Anyone who claims Boris and the Conservatives are far right, are either ignorant or just revoltingly minimising what actual fascism is - because there is little difference between the Conservatives and Blair's Labour - the main difference being the end of the EUphilia of the Blair era.  The Conservatives are still regulating the energy market to raise prices for a transition away from fossil fuels, they are still planning to ban the sale of fossil fuel powered motor vehicles and they are unrepentent about supporting more money for the world's biggest civilian bureaucracy - the NHS.

Yet don't think it can't happen that Corbyn can win.  He raised Labour's vote in 2017 to 40% from 30.4% in 2015, primarily by raising turnout.  The great failure of the Conservatives (and indeed the Labour right) has been to not confront, challenge and undermine the philosophy of socialism and Marxism, in fact the UK education system has been a vehicle for some to promote it, and this has been reinforced by the broadcast media (especially Channel 4 and the BBC, both state owned) and universities.  The Conservatives, by and large, don't push more trust in individuals and markets, they embrace interference, tax, spending and regulation.  So why be surprised when the party that BELIEVES in central planning, control, socialism and a big state is more convincing, especially to the young.

Realistically if Boris doesn't win, it is more likely the UK has some cobbled together coalition of the left, with Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and a handful of others maybe able to create a majority government (but they wont get support from any Northern Irish MPs, because Sinn Fein refuses to sit in the House of Commons - that so many of its members at one time wanted to blow up).  If it does, it will be because of Boris and because of a long legacy of failure to communicate and present a clear choice.  In 1983 Margaret Thatcher took on Michael Foot's socialist Labour Party, and won convincingly, because it was a fight between a similar level of Marxism as Corbyn, and Western liberal capitalist democracy.  Sadly in this election, Boris is no Margaret Thatcher and more frighteningly Corbyn is no Michael Foot (at least Foot was no anti-semite)