03 October 2017

NZ election result: winners, losers

First the biggest loser:  

You, that's assuming you're not seeking to extract other people's money from the state.  

You, if you believe that freedom of speech matters, and that there shouldn't be a Harmful Digital Communications Act.

You, if you believe that you own your body and shouldn't be criminalised for what you put in it.

You, if you believe that government should stick to justice, law and order and defence, and should not be involved in the delivery of health and education, that it should not seek to be parent to everyone and should not respond to all of the calls to impose "social justice" (a euphemism for "take money from people we don't like and give it to people we do").

The news from overseas sources makes New Zealand seem like it still basks in the age of the reforms of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson.  However, that's only because if you look at subsidies, protectionism and regulatory rent-seeking, NZ looks better than Australia and the US.  If you look at taxation, NZ is much simpler than most economies.  Yet, that relative position doesn't make NZ a free-market haven, and certainly not on personal freedoms.  

So what about the parties?

National, optimistic but too soon to tell will think it won, and to be fair Bill English did shake off his reputation as the biggest loser as a party leader in generations.  He did it by being evasive, by focusing attention on his rival's spending plans, even though his own plans are not fundamentally different.  It is on form, as a party that doesn't really reform anything.  Riding on the back of an economy that gains from the reforms of the 80s and 90s, on high commodity food prices and the spending power of new migrants, its approach to most issues is not to change much.   At best it does seek to cut taxes, but at worst it rolls back virtually nothing Labour does.  The middle class welfare package instituted by the previous Labour Government was kept.  Yet, in an MMP environment the Nats did successfully frighten people into turning out and voting for it.  It deterred ACT supporters from voting ACT (and indeed some NZF supporters too).  Being in a position to get a fourth term is an achievement historically, but you have to ask for what?  Does National exist primarily to stop Labour et al from doing stuff?  The number of National supporters keen on governing with the Greens tells you exactly that.  Principles don't matter, the role of the state doesn't matter, nor is there interest in pushing back against a culture of dependency and statism.  National exists to stop Labour, this time we'll see if it worked.

Labour disappointed but too soon to tell  thinks it has won, because it could conceivably lead government with the Greens and Winston Peters.  Yet it did so mainly by consolidating the vote on the left.  It decimated the Maori Party strategically, it presented a leftwing manifesto and took the Greens back to its core.  Yet the widespread "Jacinda-mania" star status proved to be for little effect.  Few National voters were convinced that a young woman who has never had a job in the private sector, and has never even been a Cabinet Minister could be Prime Minister.  Labour did win the media narrative (along with the Greens) about relative child poverty and river pollution, all without much scrutiny about the statistics (or the causes or better yet, the solutions).  It has a chance at power, but has a long way to go to attract votes from groups other than public servants, beneficiaries, students,  Maori and Pacific Island voters and unionised workers.  It hasn't broken through in most regional towns and cities, nor significant parts of Auckland.  Yes Jacinda has almost done it, but if she does become PM, she'll be getting wagged by the tail of James Shaw and Winston Peters, and that is NOT a winning position to be in.  

Winston Peters won (I mean really, he runs it, it is his) lost seats, but is the master of political positioning.   Seriously, he has won, whilst Bill and Jacinda slut around him for the next few weeks.
 He puts himself in the centre, whilst being a populist who embraces the left (more money for pensioners and opposition to privatisation) and the right (sceptical about immigration, sceptical about higher taxes and opposition to identity politics by race if not nationality).   He leads the only truly fungible MMP party, in that he could support either main party and no longer would he really upset his base of supporters (like he did in 1996, but only because he broke up from the Nats to oppose them, and misjudged that his supporters cared about policy - when they are largely driven by gut emotion).  He'll get a good job and do little with it, he'll give a bunch of ne'er do wells (most of whom couldn't hope to get a job as "highly paid" as an MP) employment, and he'll one or two totemic legacies.  One might be the economically ridiculous idea of relocating the Ports of Auckland to Marsden Point, better would be a referendum on the Maori seats.   Winston won and why are you surprised?  He knows MMP better than anyone else, and no other politician is willing or able to replicate him.

Greens never really lose and were hit fairly hard, not least because it showed itself to be the party of welfare cheats.  Jacinda-mania attracted the airheads back to Labour, but it showed itself to still be a ginger-group of hard-left finger-waggers whose main instincts are to tell people off, tax what they don't like, subsidise what they like and virtue signal.  The good news for the Greens is that they still get an easy ride on most of their policy positions, particularly the constant false claims that "action on climate change" will save lives, the war on fossil fuels and their obsession with identity politics.  The media still loves them, even given the Metiria scandal (which actually exposed their fundamental belief that everyone owes everyone else a living).  Yes the Green Party has never actually been in a coalition, but it is very very influential and relies on new cohorts of optimistic state worshippers being recruited year on year.  

ACT lost badly in part due to the Nats successfully scaring voters on the right to voting National, but also because David Seymour moved too far away from having a coherent position on issues.  He was seen as backing National, but whether it was too hard for him to get traction on multiple issues or he lacked ground support to campaign, the only policy that got a lot of publicity was in increasing teacher pay.  ACT once had a coherent less government, lower tax position that promoted more competition in public services, was tough on law and order and rejected identity politics.  Yet Seymour couldn't break through with such a message.  The brand is mixed, he made statements about abortion which would alienate some, but he tried hard.  ACT needs to work out who it is targeting and what message it is giving.   There is a gap on the right, one that will open up large when a certain Maori ex. National MP finally retires.  ACT can't fill much of that gap, but it sure can grab some of it.

Maori Party is nearly finished as Labour branded it as National's patsies, which was unfair.  Maori are smarter than identity politics warriors fighting "colonialism" as Marama Fox implied. It will probably remain for some time, but looks like it is slipping back to be another Mana Motuhake.  It would have a chance if Labour gets power,  with the Greens, as it could position itself as the Opposition for Maori again.  However,  its real future is threatened by a referendum on the Maori seats, which if it includes Maori who choose to be on the general roll, could completely render the Maori Party obsolete.  

TOP did well for being led by a vulgarian.  For all of the rhetoric, TOP had policies based on a philosophical position, not simply "evidence led".  The philosophy was to penalise asset ownership as a solution to a market failure, rather than address the supply side element.  Everything else it stood for was a redistributionist/environmentalist agenda that competed with the Greens and Labour.  Gareth Morgan got the party attention, but also turned off many.  He topped it off by blaming voters for being selfish and stupid.  What more is there to say?

United Future has no future

The youth didn't turn out in the magical numbers to vote for the left, and if they did turn out they were not a single bloc (who is?).  After all the left is the mainstream.  Besides housing (which has become a problem because of the enviro-left approach to planning, through the RMA and the application of new urbanism to city boundaries in Auckland and Wellington), the narrative about child poverty was from the left (Beth Houlbrooke from ACT was hounded down when she suggested people on low incomes should not have children they expect taxpayers to pay for), the narrative around the environment was partially a banal question around "should there be fewer dairy cows" (the sort of nonsense seen in adolescent level policy debate).

What now?

Winston will make his choice, either Bill English will get to have three years of do little, conservative (literally) government.  Otherwise Jacinda Ardern will suddenly find she has gone from MP to PM without even having sat in on a Cabinet meeting, with Winston wagging her dog and the Greens on the sidelines providing confidence and supply.  I am uncomfortable with the latter, primarily because culturally the bent of Jacinda will be to support more identity politics based on race and sex, less freedom of speech and fewer private property rights.  Not that the Nats are practically better, but Labour and the Greens actually believe in state power and collectivising people over individual rights and individual responsibility.

ACT needs to refocus

For those who think government does too much, who think individuals alone or with others should have more power and responsibility to find solutions to the problems of today, there is little to offer.   The best hope might be for ACT to be in Opposition, regardless.  To campaign more clearly on principles, which should be around private property rights, everyone being equal under the law (including the abolition of Maori-only political representation), opening up education to choice and diversity, tackling the culture of welfare dependency, opposing state subsidies for business, more taxation and more state ownership.  ACT should firmly come down on limiting the scope and powers   of local government, on ridding central government of wasteful politically-correct bureaucracies and taking on identity politics.   Yes it should support other parties when it comes to victimless crimes, but there should not be a unified view on abortion.  It should be tough on real crime, tough on parental responsibility, but also take on measures that governments have done that increase the cost of living.  This includes the constraining of housing supply, and immigration policies that mean new migrants utilise the capital of taxpayer funded infrastructure, without actually paying for it.

What Winston does as his possible swan song is of minor interest, what matters is there being a party that stands up for something different.  For now, only ACT can do that.

20 September 2017

Auckland Airport debacle should be celebrated by the Greens

As Peter Cresswell has rightly pointed out  little is more hypocritical and sanctimonious than the Green Party joining in the criticism of the Government for the accidental disruption to the pipeline from Marsden Point refinery to Auckland.

The accident, which is essentially a grand scale version of the sort of minor accident that contractors cause on water, gas, electricity, telecommunications utilities from time of time, is the first time this has happened for the over thirty years that the pipeline has been in operation.  The pipeline is privately owned, having been privatised by the fourth Labour Government (and is owned by a consortium of all of the major oil companies), and was built for sound reasons.  It is cheaper and much more energy efficient (and has much more capacity) than the coastal oil tankers, railway and road tankers used previously.  Note that much of the rest of the country is served by coastal oil tankers that then get fuel distributed by road.  

Yet consider how the Greens treat fossil fuels now or indeed the entire environmental movement?  Imagine if NZ Refining Company was seeking to build that pipeline today under the RMA.  It would take years to gain consents, and the Greens would oppose it, claiming it "intensifies Auckland's dependence on fossil fuels, which are killing the planet" etc.   I bet there would even be murmurs had Auckland Airport sought to expand its storage facilities for jet fuel, after all no transport mode is more fossil fuel dependent than aviation.

So the widespread cancellation of domestic and shortfall international flights should be celebrated by James Shaw and his band of serial underachievers in the Green Party list.  Think of the CO2 emissions cut, as serial planet killers (airline passengers) are shepherded onto fewer flights.  Think of the hurricanes stopped, think of the oceans that stop rising, think of the glaciers saved.

The Greens want no more oil exploration in New Zealand, no more oil extraction,  they along with their sister outfits like Greenpeace, and the analysis free virtue signalling zone called Generation Zero, cry foul anytime there are any steps to increase production, reduce the cost or provide new ways to use fossil fuels.  

You can be sure the Greens will one day campaign for Marsden Point to be closed, and that they will oppose Auckland Airport's proposed second runway when it seeks resource consents for it to be built (on its land) after 2020.   You see this is the same Green Party once led by Jeanette Fitzsimons, who some years ago wondered why there couldn't be less international trade, as she talked about ships that went between countries carrying the same goods ("why couldn't we just make more of what we need at home"), this is the same Green Party that wants you to pay more for energy and transport (whether directly or through taxes) so that there can be a zero carbon future.

Well you sure are now, these are Air NZ airfares from Auckland to Christchurch tomorrow.  Stay home peasants, save the planet:

So it's like this.   If you really want to boot out National and annoy me with a Labour Government, then vote Labour.  Leave the Greens alone, let the simpering, hypocritical, virtue signalling haters of science, individual freedom and Western civilisation drop below the 5% threshold.   They lie openly about the impact of their policies on climate change, for it is like telling a child to stop peeing in Lake Taupo because it will save the lake from pollution, they conceal the impacts on energy prices, taxes, transport and the effect on the economy.   Let's be VERY clear, if the philosophy of the Green Party was applied across the world today, New Zealand would be a much much poorer place, because many of our exports would be shut out of overseas market (with the inane "food miles" idea), tourism would drop dramatically because air fares would be much higher, and imports would be much more expensive as import substitution is attempted - again.

Make the Greens history this Saturday. 

18 September 2017

New Zealand General Election 2017: The choices for freedom

Well as many think the election is interesting, I find it mind numbing.  It has become the Bill vs. Jacinta show.  Bill, who is not media savvy, not very good at tough decisions (especially around cutting loose liabilities in his party, who keep stacking up in every growing numbers) vs. the shallow, empty headed Jacinta, who has ridden on the back of the same vacuous enthusiasm that brought Macron and Trudeau to power (and is partially responsible for both Obama and Trump).

The bigger picture is there is a fairly simple choice between two governments.  A National-led one almost certainly needing support from NZ First, and as usual ACT, possibly the Maori Party (although that looks difficult).  A Labour-led one with the Greens hand in fist, possibly with the Maori Party, and maybe even needing NZ First.

Frankly, either look grim.  National is looking tired, and the McCully nonsense smells, Steven Joyce is fast and loose with figures and Simon O'Connor is appalling.   After three terms, most governments run out of ideas, and the Nats are overrun with kneejerk, reactive politics.  It is difficult to know what it stands for, except staying in power and keeping Labour out.  Reminiscent of how the National Party has governed almost always, and even campaigned, except perhaps from 1987-1993 when it believed in the government doing less, or 2005 when it stood for tackling the growth of identity politics in New Zealand.   Now it is a party of "we wont tax you as much as Labour".  It is a party of corporatism, the status quo and of being in government.  It has had nine years to fix the housing bubble and is only now starting to appreciate that the fundamental problem is in the planning system, that it defended, and the obsession of local authorities to restrict the supply of land for housing.  Does it tackle the narrative about child poverty by noting that absolute poverty is low, that the solutions of the left of more welfare wont work, that the fundamental problems of poverty are poverty of aspiration and attention from parents, insufficient use of birth control and the shocking incidence of intergenerational welfarism?  No, it wont point out the size of the welfare state, the urgent need for education, stable and safe family structures, and to address cost of living issues that are due to state intervention (e.g. housing, cost of local government).  It embraced the middle class welfare Labour put in place.  It only looks good for one reason.

Look at Labour.  It has a manifesto filled to the brim of ideas that are as if nobody learned from the 1980s, with the law of unintended consequences devoid from its policy.  Its policies on housing are xenophobic and based on hundreds of thousands living in state owned ghettos, but at least it would abolish Auckland's urban growth boundaries.  It will constrain the rental homes market, presumably so the state can be landlord, with all of the success that has brought in recent decades.  It will tax water (but daren't think of commercialising and privatising water or rivers).  It wants everyone to pay for tertiary education and is committed to not raising the age of National Superannuation.  Nothing like bribing both ends of the age spectrum with borrowed money is it?  It wants more welfare.  Yet it's what else Labour embraces that concerns me.  It wants net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, regardless of cost (and certainly regardless of benefit, which is zero).  It's the warm embrace of identity politics, there needing to be special programmes for every group, and topped off with the application of the Human Rights Commission against discrimination based on gender identity - which raises the prospects of trans-women having access to women's facilities (and even questioning this is treated as an act of "hate", rather than establishing boundaries between the objective and the subjective).   It is the Labour Party that continues to see nuclear weapons as bad generally, putting our allies in the same camp as North Korea, Iran, China and Russia.  It wants to grow media by making you pay for media that will suit its perspectives on the world.  State media rarely provides an outlet for the views of those who want less government, in part because its very existence depends on left wing politics. 

So I'd prefer National over Labour, simply because the changes Labour wants to bring all involve more spending, more taxation, more regualtion, more government and less treatment of people as individuals before the law, and more as "categories".   There would be less economic freedom, less prosperity, less individual freedom and more rent-seeking from the public sector, Labour's preferred groups (media, unions, local government) and less accountability to consumers and taxpayers.

The Greens are beyond the pale, demanding vast amounts be spent (or taxed) to pursue high cost virtue signalling around climate change, despite it having no net impact on climate change.  The Greens resist treating people as individuals, as they promote structuralist identity politics on a grand scale.  Everyone is judged on sex, race and other victim/oppressor identity classifications.  Labour in power has a high chance of bringing the Greens on board.  The Greens want to gut the private rental market by making it almost unviable for small scale landlords to operate.  The only element of Green Policy that is worth supporting is on drugs, but that is small in the scheme of things.  This is the party that wants to wage war on gambling,   It has policies on umpteen minor matters, it wants people to be able to get leave from work as victims of domestic violence, but proven by whom?  It perpetuates the radical feminist myth that raw stats on pay mean women are being actively discriminated against in pay.  It wants Treaty of Waitangi claims to be perpetual and maintains the Maori nationalist myth that Maori and non-Maori are two nations who are working separately, with the Maori nation in a form of separate development, with race based democracy entrenched and expanded.  It doesn't think of Maori participation as Maori people participating, but in Maori organisations being treated as having a special interest on all public policy matters.  The Greens would impoverish New Zealand, reward poor behaviour and parenting, tax success and restrict who you can trade with, what you can do with the money you have left, and treat everyone as belonging to an identity group.

The Maori Party, of course, is primarily about identity.

So what's left?  Legalise Cannabis? Well yes, but it has no chance of any influence and it wont confront any other issues.  TOP?  Well the party led by the man who wanted to sue me because I confronted him on his idiocy on North Korea could be dismissed by me on that alone, but on policy as well it is dire.  It wants to tax wealth, so that anyone who has saved gets their savings taxed, as well as the income on it.   There is no fairness in widening the tax base, and it is claimed to be a way of addressing issues that are largely unrelated to tax (such as housing supply).  Beyond legalisation of cannabis, TOP would take a decidedly nannying view on healthcare with new taxes on food that it doesn't like to subsidise food that it does like.  

So what about NZ First?  NZ First I have always written off, because the economic nationalism and populism is largely nonsensical.  However, there is one element of NZ First worth supporting, which is the rejection of Maori nationalism and identity politics.  No other party is prepared to argue for all New Zealanders being treated equal under the law and abolishing separate political representation for Maori.  This is toxic in itself, and is one reason I am less concerned about NZ First than I used to be, but beyond that it is a party of economic lunacy and more state control.

So I am left with ACT.  ACT is weak on dealing with identity politics, but strong on reducing the size of the state on economic issues, and in reducing the state's power on education (which is very important).  ACT largely gets what is needed on housing as well.  It takes a more pragmatic evidence based view on environmental policy (unlike almost all of the others).  On immigration it strongly supports migrants embracing liberal democracy.  I'm not keen on David Seymour's views on abortion, and ACT is silent on drugs (except for reducing police efforts on personal consumption) but that isn't enough to dissuade me.   It is the only party seeking to constrain the welfare state, lower tax and has a strong tendency to support less rather than more solutions from government.  It is welfarism, mediocre education, the sclerotic planning system and the culture of dependency and identity politics that is holding New Zealand back.  It is a shame ACT wont confront the latter as strongly as it once did.

So I party voted ACT and electorate voted National (my candidate in Wellington Central seemed ok, although her chances are poor).   I'm hoping that it will mean National needs ACT to govern and so will be positively influence further in education and hopefully in other ways.   However, I'm far from enthused, I'm more motivated by avoiding the Jacinda and James show. 

07 June 2017

UK General Election: A choice between uninspiring statism and barely concealed evil

There is nothing to inspire me to vote Conservative in the UK General Election.  Theresa May is an unreconstructed statist big-government conservative.  She is instinctively authoritarian.  She advocated for the security and police wet-dream on surveillance as Home Secretary, so that UK ISPs and telcos now keep a record of every single website visited in the UK over the past 12 months - because somehow what you read should be able to be accessed by the state when it sees fit.  She is pushing further, driven by concern over terrorism, but wanting to sanitise the internet to make it "safe" - the state working with parents, parenting us all.

Yet, it was all known that she takes a "trust me with your private information" approach to surveillance, rather than focus on the real issue, which is Islamism.  She explicitly says that we should remember "the good that government can do" and then outlines plenty of areas the government intervenes extensively in, such as energy, but instead of blaming virtue signalling policies like the Climate Change Act (which has seen the UK Government guaranteeing to a French led consortium that it will ensure it gets paid a price for electricity generated at its forthcoming nuclear power plant double what is the current market price for electricity).  She thinks libertarians are atomistic and people who seek to take advantage of others and thinks she is as distant from that as she is from Jeremy Corbyn.

That may well be true.  She said this:

We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We believe not just in society but in the good that government can do. Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised society.

Tom Harris in the Daily Mail said she was a real socialist offering left wing policies.

I couldn't vote for her if she was my Conservative candidate, like I couldn't vote for Amber Rudd (who thinks a solution to terrorism is to "make" WhatsApp end encryption, yet stands on a platform with a known Islamist because the UK Government is too ignorant to call them out.  Fortunately I have a tolerable choice and it is a safe Conservative seat.  The Conservatives have pledged not to increase VAT, unlike the previous election when there was a pledge to not increase income tax and National Insurance (another form of income tax), because the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants "more freedom" but pledges the Conservatives are still the "low tax party".

It's nonsense.  The Conservative manifesto could almost be one from any of the Labour leaders since 1997, except the current one.  It's a cynical move to move to the centre-left to try to hoover up votes from the middle and to destroy the Labour Party, but there is one problem.  It has backfired due to ineptness, a lack of enthusiasm from the rank and file of many Conservatives and the simple fact that May does not ooze authenticity.  That doesn't mean Labour will win, thankfully, because it isn't just led by an inept naive idiot, but a nasty hater of capitalism, individual freedom and even Western liberal democracy.

I disagree with most of what the Labour Party advocates, and accept that it holds a fundamentally different view as to the role of the state from me, but Jeremy Corbyn and his closes allies are not like that.  Jeremy Corbyn has never, repeat never held any office of significance in Parliament under any Labour Government.  He was never an under-secretary, nor Chair of a select committee, although he has been on select committees.  He was never trusted with power by his colleagues, he was no Michael Foot

Corbyn invited senior members of the IRA to Parliament three weeks after the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton which targeted the Conservative Party conference, both killing and maiming people.  His history in supporting the IRA and campaigning for those who had killed for the IRA, is brushed aside as saying he wanted to talk to "all sides", but no one can recall him ever meeting Unionists. Corbyn opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (which set out between the UK and Ireland how devolved government would work in Northern Ireland) and his right hand man John McDonnell opposed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 (which ended the terror campaigns from both sides).  

Corbyn opposed the UK ejecting the fascist military dictatorship of Argentina from its invasion of the Falkland Islands.  He has called Hamas and Hezbollah "his friends" (although has apologised for his use of words), but spoke on a platform with Islamists who were calling for war with Israel.

His Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell called Lenin and Trotsky his greatest influences and stands on a platform alongside Stalinists.  Indeed Andrew Murray, a Stalinist open supporter of north Korea (which he calls "People's Korea"), is now helping Corbyn with his campaign.  The same man who after the Paris terrorist attacks said:

“The barbarism we condemn in Paris is minute compared to the barbarism wrought by imperialism across the planet in the last 13 years and we must condemn that… It is a sad lesson we have to re-learn from the attacks in Paris, it needs bringing home again and again.”

Of course Corbyn blames the US for "escalating tensions" with north Korea, not the totalitarian police state that has developed nuclear weapons and keeps testing missiles whilst uttering bombastic rhetoric about attacking the United States.  You see Corbyn was Chair of the ironically named Stop the War Coalition.  An organisation that has never once campaigned for any anti-Western regimes or militant groups to stop waging war.  It never took on Russia, Hamas, the Assad regime, Al Qaeda, ISIS, north Korea et al.  Stop the War is only too much in favour of war, as long as it is waged against any Western liberal democracy including Israel.

Corbyn claimed that 9/11 was "manipulated" into blaming Al Qaeda.  He has been paid by Iran's international propaganda TV channel, Press TV, to appear, but not, of course, to criticise human rights in Iran, but to criticise the West.  

Corbyn has admitted that he would never use nuclear weapons, effectively making the UK's nuclear deterrent worthless.  He has long campaigned for unilateral Western nuclear disarmament, including during the Cold War.  Was he a pacifist who just believed the USSR would follow, or was he not too fussed if the Red Army had rolled its way across Europe to "liberate" it from capitalism and "US imperialism"?  In any case the British Communist Party wont be fielding candidates in this election, but is uncharacteristically supporting Labour.

Corbyn is a strong supporter of the Chavez/Maduro authoritarian socialist disaster in Venezuela, but you can't be surprised at that.  After all, he says Castro was a champion of social justice, what with all those opponents he got murdered.  Corbyn also seems to attract anti-semites, not just Ken Livingstone's obsession that the Nazis were in cahoots with Zionists and Jews, but supporters.

These people appear again and again.  However he does join in on Quds Day rallies organised by the Islamic Republic of Iran (yes that bastion of peace, diversity and human rights) to criticise Israel and call for it to be pushed into the sea.

Corbyn is a sympathiser of Russia's position on Ukraine and Georgia, presumably because it is the opposite of the US and European position.  He blamed the Russian insurgency in Ukraine on "NATO belligerence".  After all, how dare Ukraine dump mother Russia led by such a nice liberal democratic regime to embrace the evil West right?

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said on balance Chairman Mao did more good than harm, which will be news to the tens of millions murdered or starved by his policies, with the bizarre justification is that he left China on the verge of a great economic boom (even though China's economic success has been because the Chinese Communist Party abandoned socialist economics).

So as awful as Theresa May is, and corporatist and centre-left as they may be, it is not a party led by IRA sympathisers, appeasers of Islamism and sympathisers of Stalin. 

The moral turpitude of these entities is utterly beyond contempt.  Corbyn refused to condemn the killing of Osama Bin Laden (much better to put him on trial, give him the benefit of the doubt), he has linked terrorism to British foreign policy (but doesn't explain, of course, why neutral Sweden and non-interventionist France get attacked).  

He and his ilk have spent decades on the backbenches campaigning for "understanding" for just about every group that sought to wage war with the UK, whether the IRA, fascist Argentina or Islamists.   He has campaigned for the UK to be disarmed, to withdraw from NATO and to distance itself from the US.  He allies himself with political leaders that torture and murder people, and who use violence.

Of course many Labour MPs know and hope he loses, just that they don't lose their seats.  It is because of them that Labour remains committed to NATO and the nuclear deterrent, both positions Corbyn opposes.

He isn't a nice guy, despite his softly spoken manner.  

He is an advocate of political violence who has appeased and turned a blind eye to brutal murderers, because he shares their political ambitions.  He supported the IRA because he believed in a united Ireland by all means necessary, and to hell with the opinions and concerns of Unionists (whose views he never courted and sought, presumably for a Marxist they were the hated bourgeoisie).  He supported the Galtieri military dictatorship, the same one that imprisoned and tortured socialists in Argentina, because it dared take on the bigger evil - Thatcher's government (hence why he didn't care less than the IRA tried to murder her and did kill several Conservatives) over the Falklands.  He is warm towards Hamas and Iran because he supports the Palestinians and supports just about any regime that dares take on the hated United States and its ally Israel.   I understand concern for the plight of the Palestinians (although keeping Hamas in power is shooting yourself in the foot), but to treat Iran as a partner is morally bankrupt.

He is without doubt the worst candidate for Prime Minister put up by any major UK political party in modern times.  Those who stand with him should be ashamed of him, and the ONLY reason to vote Conservative is to send the strong message that Corbyn and his group of violence touters have no place in government.


07 May 2017

France wont reform, wont improve, for now

Regardless of the result of the French Presidential election the outcome will, at best, see little difference to the structural sclerosis that contains the French economy, nor will it see a reform in terms of support for basic freedoms and individual liberty that France also needs.

As appealing as anti-Islamism of Marine Le Pen is, the bottom-line is that she is not from a tradition of liberty, but one of collaborationist fascism.  The facade slipped when she went into denial over the actions of the Vichy regime, which not only appeased, but collaborated and worked hand in glove with the Nazis to terrorise France, deport and execute Jews.  The fight against Islamism is not won by handing power to one who channels fascists, even though she had made significant efforts to distance herself from it (including, to be fair, rejecting the explicit anti-semitism of her vile father).

Some conservatives and even some libertarians regard her as a hero, and are cheering her on.  I'm not and I cannot see how anyone, ANYONE, with a critical mind and appreciation of individual liberty can give her support.  Even if you accept that France needs to contain and confront Islamism (and it does), to then hand it over to a fascist, nationalist, protectionist movement is figuratively cutting off your nose etc, but is more counterproductive.

Nothing will play more into the hands of France's Islamists than Marine Le Pen making it difficult for  non-Islamist and moderate Muslims to go about their daily lives, for it will recruit thousands to the Islamist cause.  Similarly, whilst she would admirably likely defend the likes of Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons lampooning Mohammed, she is adamantly opposed to Charlie Hebdo depicting her the same way or depicting Christianity in an offensive manner. 

Notwithstanding that her economic policies would be as ruinous to France as similar policies have been to Venezuela.  She is, very much, a national socialist.  Having said that, it is likely that if she were elected, the UK would be better off, at least in respect of the Brexit negotiations, because she would be friendlier to the UK.

Macron on the other hand, is pablum.  He may deliver some modest tax cuts and a "sinking lid" civil service (not replacing those who retire or leave, in net terms), but will not address France's sclerotic attitude to free enterprise and new business.  France needs the level of reforms Fillon was advocating, as a bare minimum, but his own corruption ruined his campaign.   Macron wont seriously confront Islamism, he will embrace the EU and move too little too late.  Worse, he will seek to punish the UK for leaving the EU, and will continue the main stream dirigiste economics of glacial reform that France has experienced for years (in part because the EU pushed it along).

France's fundamental problem lies in its civil service and the closed system by which the only people who advise the French government, by and large, are those qualified by a school that teaches one philosophy of government.   Until a President is elected that takes that system on, that breaks out of the single ideological domination of French domestic policy, France will remain unable to confront the primary causes of unemployment, regional stagnation and relative decline compared to northern Europe.  

I expect Macron to win, and France to continue to muddle through, but unless he has a secret agenda of serious reform, he will make little difference.  Le Pen at best will provide a distraction and a shock, but she not only would stagnate France, she would chase away private enterprise, reduce individual freedom and make her supporters poorer.

Neither is worth voting for, but I think the majority of French voters, who dislike Macron, would rather not have a President who is an apologist for Vichy.  They would be right to make that choice, to vote against opportunist blood and soil nationalist socialism.