Theresa May seems to have lost her voice, at least the voice that the people used to listen to, whilst at the same time, Jeremy Corbyn seems to have found his, and impressive it has become too. The spectacle of the recent debate was unedifying a slanging match in which the so-called ‘progressives’ ganged up on the hated Tories. It was binary politics at its best. The sad truth is however that the only ‘progressive’ party who will do well on current numbers is Labour and this is because of the electoral system. Once elected though the whole sorry lot will be corralled into the binary politics of the Westminster chamber. This eighteenth-century model forces all shades of opinion into two halves of an argument managed by the party system. The result is that ordinary people feel like observers of an argument the outcome of which will directly affect them but with no ability to contribute to or nuance the outcome.
Political arguments are still being forged by this elderly political system, as they have done since the early 19th century. The difference now is that with diversity increasing, the need for the cooperation of the ordinary person is increasing also. Whilst Labour has made a monumental comeback, the long-term realities are that the binary division in Parliament will continue. Nothing is likely to change the nature of the binary bureaucratic British state and the same old approach will be maintained. With Labour in charge borrowing and spending to ‘invest’ in things for which there will be little obvious return is likely to go up and the challenge will merely be carping from the opposition benches. Corbyn sounds good, he sounds passionate and coherent, the problem is that debt, the weak economic fundamentals, and the cost of the state itself are unlikely to change very much on his watch, but then again he is turning into a man of surprises.
Three weeks is a long time in politics. We have seen the Brexit bonus squandered by a Tory party trying to fly some non-Brexit policy under the public’s radar, and not getting away with it. The adult social care fiasco was a typical example of the hubris of the political elite thinking that they ‘knew’ the public appetite for their policies. Mrs May and her team need to remember this is a Brexit election. Every other policy idea is generally irrelevant and the Tories should stick with the Cameron manifesto which still has three years to run. In trying to get one over the public they have given Corbyn’s ‘have what you want warriors’ an adult social care bounce. That said the left is ideologically muddled, whether that left is Labour, Lib Dem or Green. They have a tax and spend mentality to help them support their big state obsession in an age of quantitative easing and colossal personal and government debt. There is nothing progressive about any of them. The Tories may have squandered their Brexit bonus, we hope not as Brexit should be all this election is about, that is certainly what the public think.
As for the Greens and Ukip, they seem to have assumed a previous irrelevance. The sad state of Ukip highlights just how the Parliamentary system self-corrects around the two main parties which is why we believe there is a need for a Blue Revolution. The Parliamentary system is the problem with democracy in Britain, not as the parties would have us believe just the electoral system!
Finally the Lib Dems. The Tories have made a calculated error over their manifesto the Lib Dems have done the same thing on an almost catastrophic scale by saying they will subvert the will of the British people by using Parliament to frustrate Brexit. In doing this they are not only counter-revolutionary they are neither Liberal or Democratic. They have probably set back for a generation their cause, a cause that could have seen them over ten or fifteen years replace the hapless Labour party as it stumbles into a kind of post-industrial muddled Marxist senility.
Britain is ageing and we are now living longer so there is a problem looking after us and no account has been taken of this fact by politicians who reflecting the demands of various lobby groups keep us alive for longer but largely unhealthier. We are fatter and have chronic conditions such as diabetes. In the past, we would smoke and die prematurely, we would have heart attacks and die prematurely. We would die before we suffered from dementia. Today we are capable of being kept alive long beyond the point at which we are able to maintain ourselves, and we become a burden. We become a burden on someone the issue is on whom should we become that burden.
Mrs May was trying to ensure that on behalf of the taxpayer she got some of the costs of adult social care back by getting homeowners and those with an estate to contribute to their care post-mortem so to speak. The amount one could pass on to relatives was raised to £100,000 but there was no cap so a person in need of expensive care could see all but £100,000 of their estate being gobbled up in care costs. The furore seemed to take her and the Tories by surprise. However, it shouldn’t have done. Like student debt, the policy is intended to relieve the state of a financial burden but in passing the cost on to the person in need, it becomes a case of letting the state off the hook whilst over one generation removing an element of financial support for the next generation, which in turn burdens the taxpayer at a later date. A cap on the amount the state would expect the individual to pay quickly followed.
The reason we are concerned about this whole situation is that it reveals how the state is enthusiastic to withdraw funding and therefore responsibility for social support, (as it has done with higher education another related issue here too) a responsibility that it has taken on relentlessly since the end of the war. It has altered Britain, changed the nature of the family and now finds itself unable to discharge its responsibilities. As the state withdraws so it is the poorer end of society that suffers. Without the capping, and perhaps even with the cap, within one generation, there will be fewer elderly people wealthy enough to make a contribution as their inheritance would have been spent on their parent’s social care. We thus create a pauper class over time. This is intolerable but would be understandable if the state itself didn’t squander millions on maintaining its own antiquated structures.
Before the state pulls out of paying for essential services it should look at how it can reconfigure itself so it uses modern technology to eradicate ‘top salaries’ and develops alternative ways of delivering essential services at a reduced cost to the taxpayer. Our programme is the only programme, contained within our manifesto, that offers this approach as opposed to the approach of other parties which is simply to tax more or pass on costs to those in most need but who are least able to pay as the poorest get it free anyway.
A concert aimed at girls and their mums. A singer with an empowering feminist message. This is the reflection of a society that accepts independence and liberation for women as well as men. It is a society that has evolved from the reformation through Protestantism and having had its values seared into its western culture by capitalism and industrialisation now offers the world the free market. The free market is an asset to the world albeit one that is exhausting the planet due to its relentless ‘growth’. It is however at the same time as granting personal freedom the one thing that really seems to infuriate the Islamist to commit acts of unbelievable horror. But why is this?
The Islamist has a rigid view of the world, a neurosis almost which in pre-capitalist times would have been a common characteristic among many people of faith. It is prescriptive and determines who has power and authority. In this antiquated system, men have power and authority women less and what power they had, they would exercise through the authority of their husbands. There were set ways to do things and transgression was punished. This is 15th or 16th Century Britain but also Saudi Arabia today and this is the mindset of the modern Islamist terrorist. We have a problem.
The whole diversity agenda spoon fed to us by the Blair regime failed to recognise that different cultures and religions view basic differences between people in very different ways and this gives rise to discrimination. In simple Islamic societies rights are accorded on the basis of gender and status and some groups not only have no status but can be put to death for expressing themselves in ways that are prohibited. Freedom of expression, sexual liberation, choice and the right to consent to what happens to you are alien concepts in this kind of faith. They are alien because we enjoy them in the west as a result of our economic and social evolution. Contract, Choice and Consent come with capitalism. You can’t have one without the other. The free market is also based on these freedoms as it has evolved from capitalism in the late 1970’s.
So the narrative which we must adopt when dealing with Islamists or indeed anyone who professes a faith is this; “to what extent does your interpretation of your faith reflect the rights of the individual, of any individual (female, homosexual, person of whatever faith) to contract with others freely, to consent to behaviour or refuse to consent, and to choose their own lifestyle as long as it doesn’t affect others”. If you ask anyone of faith this question you would see immediately whether they accept the West’s heritage drawn from its capitalist history or whether they cannot reconcile our freedoms with the demands and rules of their faith. If Trump had asked the Saudis these questions we think he would have been shocked by how few if any “shared values” there are aside from selling arms and buying oil.
We don’t need to brag about our free market culture, there are many things that need improving but in giving the world Contract, Choice and Consent capitalism has liberated us all. Perhaps it is our freedom and its link to capitalism that makes the left so squeamish and prone to controlling policies and which finds Corbyn making common cause with those who hate the West. Corbyn needs to understand that capitalism wasn’t just an economic model that exploited workers, it also gave people freedom and a way of life that the Islamists are now trying to destroy.
Individual Muslims may have had their own personal reformation but the religion hasn’t and can’t. That bit of history has been and gone leaving its legacy only in the West for us to share with those who will listen.
This and other international posts can be found on www.ABlueRevolution.Com.
This as a brief post as we have been shocked by the riots in the U.S. and the demonstrations in Europe over Trump. The anxious foot-soldiers of the illiberal elite clearly believe that Trump represents a shamelessly divisive and discriminatory perspective and will roll back decades of progress in respect of social integration and sexual equality. This is of course, as far as we are concerned, rubbish. The reason is that the U.S. is a democracy with a constitution that makes it impossible for Trump to deliver an agenda based on hatred or discrimination. He may send some reproductive rights back to the individual States but that is pretty much as far as he could go.
What the foot soldiers of the illiberal elite are protesting about is that Clinton didn’t have an argument at the U.S. election and therefore lost. She and the elite demonstrated an absence of a so-called “liberal ideology” that takes America beyond the Clinton, Bush, Obama status quo. A status quo which has sucked up to amongst others the Saudi’s with their heroic record of women’s rights whilst turning on others no better but certainly no worse.
The foot soldiers of the elite don’t know who to blame for the mess America (and the EU)) is in. The wealth inequality, the celebrity culture, the banking crisis, social and moral decay etc. The foot soldiers can’t possibly blame themselves or the liberal elite who have helped them gain their individual personal identity and employed them in the government sector. All this whilst giving the blue collar workers the order of the boot as their jobs were exported abroad.
So they will blame Trump for…. well-being Trump, a seventy-year-old locker room jock with wandering hands, bad hair, cringeworthy chat up lines, and a self-important turn of phrase. In the overall scheme of things Trump probably comes in well ahead of Obama and Bush in the sexual preoccupation stakes……but well behind “old man” Clinton, the adulterers’ adulterer.
As we posted yesterday Trump will, of course, be his own undoing. Which is sad. But it is unlikely to be a sexual impropriety that does for him.
The vision of Blue Revolution is to extend democracy and make Britain safe in perpetuity. We need it as violence both domestic and street violence is going up and the binary political system can’t deliver an answer. The nature of politics, therefore, has to change and we need to extend the legislature down to almost parish level using elected representatives and technology in a wholly 21st century way. Our aim, therefore, is to deliver enhanced democracy into a parliament that has been designed (in the 18th century) to meet the needs of elites past and present. This is why Corbyn can argue that the ‘system’ works against the people, but he hasn’t done his analysis and therefore doesn’t know why. We do know why and will make every elected representative in the country a contributor to the legislature and to the national debate. Had this happened in the recent past we would not have got ourselves up to our neck in the EU, We would not have had the industrial unemployed silting up the departments of the state with crime and unemployment. We would have adjusted public spending to accommodate the effects of globalisation, rather than throwing these workers into the hands of global markets which promptly found no use for them and put them on the scrap heap, there maintained on a diet of welfare and health care.
So what of our pledges at this election in Boston and Skegness. Well out of the EU but with closer trade links with the real countries of Europe. This is fairly obvious but in reality may be difficult to deliver. However, it is the trade that has healed rifts within the continent of Europe, not the EU which is now threatening to destabilise the continent due to tensions around migration, youth unemployment, bailouts, the Euro and demands for an ever closer political union and economic convergence. A vision of a contented continent trading freely is a vision every country will identify with.
More workplace democracy for public sector and publicly funded workers. It is clear when you speak to public sector workers who operate in some of the most hostile environments that they feel bullied by a system that demands performance to a measured set of targets. We would recommend that targets are scrapped and the hierarchy in public services flattened. Rank structures that owe more to the 19th-century industry rather than the 21st century public services must go and staff at the actual delivery end of public services should design implementation models for the services they are the experts in and deliver to the people.
Cut State Bureaucracy but not the public services we the people pay for and need! Above the delivery end of services, there are ranks of highly paid people who don’t deliver services but manage the processes and targets set by the government. Essentially they add no actual value but they cost money to employ. We would simplify the structures within public services whether it is street lights or adult social care and cut at the top, not the bottom. Modern technology will be used to make this happen.
Deliver education suited to all abilities and scrap SATS and Student Debt. SATS are a cruel measure of schools and a child’s aptitude. Simple school-based tests which are based on Maths and Spelling should be used to inform children and parents about a child’s attainment level with advice on how to improve. The whole “it’s the schools’ fault” ideology which has undermined education and morale must go. We support selection but selection can be accommodated within schools by having certain students learning via IT at virtual grammars within their own school. Students’ in debt is an outrage, it deters progression up career ladders for the working class indebted student, as debt repayment kicks in. It thus reinforces the disadvantage it is supposed to prevent. The use of technology should allow students more flexibility with living costs and with cutbacks in the number of universities the debt should in our view be put back on the state’s books. This might be utopian but the option needs to be considered.
Stop people getting rich at the ordinary taxpayer’s expense. The upper echelons of the state machine and local government offer some horrendous examples of people getting hundreds of thousands of pounds in salary. Sunderland’s Chief Executive earns about £600,000 pounds in addition to a pension no doubt and the left wing councils are unsurprisingly the most generous. This outage will have to stop. No one paid directly or indirectly by the taxpayer should have a pensionable salary above £150,000 and no one should earn more than this at the public’s expense, indeed most should earn well below this.
Changing society and making social progress is a slow process, hence the reason the shortest timescale for a Blue Revolution’s radical agenda to transform and increase democracy and make Britain safe for all is thirty years. The reason progress is slow is that we like to adopt the mean, go for the middle, and so extreme views create shift incrementally and only over time does the mean change. It is as with Ukip often quite capable of shifting back too. Hence the current shift back to the 1970’s with both Labour and Conservatives. The 1970’s provides two well known although out of date operating model for both parties which somehow feels wrong to us in the 21st Century.
What is interesting about the Labour approach to economics is how it mirrors the authoritarianism of what one might call capitalism at its worst. With capitalism at its worst, we had the man with the stove pipe hat ordering exploited workers about and then taking the proceeds of their labour as his profit. The reason socialists deride ‘capital’ is that it is the store of value which rightly belongs to the workers but has been appropriated by the capitalist. The structures within which the appropriation takes place are hierarchical, authoritarian and deny the worker a sense of owning the processes of their labour. They are alienated from the production process and therefore alienated from the economy. They, the workers, exist in an economy over which they have no control.
What Corbyn and the Labour party want to do is replace what they believe to be a system which is like this system, with their socialist New Jerusalem. Jeremy Corbyn, Seamus Milne and John McDonnell at the head of a system that takes tax off people and which pays for services and industry. The means by which they will do this are unfortunately hierarchical, authoritarian and deny the worker a sense of owning the processes of their labour as even the poor have to pay tax for this expensive system and will operate in a hierarchy over which they have no control. The reason why the Socialist New Jerusalem is like this is that it takes its inspiration from the old capitalist system it is so quick to condemn. However where the capitalist system has risk and failure built in so that there is a churn in the market generating lower costs to consumers and improved services, in the left’s New Jerusalem the state halts all of this. It takes on ownership of the means of production and the delivery of services but with no functioning market, the whole system becomes atrophied. What also does not change is the hierarchy which has serried ranks of officials and politicians paying themselves tax payers money so they can enhance their personal wealth, payment to them for running the state and its industries. Unfortunately, this mirrors the exploitation of the worker under capitalism.
The bad news for Britain is that the progressive parties are far from progressive and the Conservatives whilst not wanting to re-implement this taxpayer exploiting model don’t do anything to reduce the people’s tax burden. No wonder we feel alienated, frustrated and ill. No one is arguing for us they are all in various ways looking out for themselves, most notably the progressives of the left.
“She’s so 20th century, she’s so 1970’s she knows the right things to say she knows the right clothes to wear coz she’s a modern girl oh yeah”. Bob Geldoff somehow caught the spirit of Mrs May back in 1978 and after the one nation One Show sofa saga it seems opportune to remind ourselves that modern politics is currently being cast in the past, the 1970’s for both Mr Corbyn and Mrs May. We would suggest a little earlier for Mr Corbyn, perhaps 1973 to Mrs Mays 1976. In any event, we are experiencing politics which is clearly forty years out of date. Brexit which should be understood by all as a liberation from the yoke of an oppressive and tax gobbling overlord is seen by many an opportunity to renegotiate on the basis of a 1970’s EEC-type iteration of the EU. Not wholly bad but again a bit 1970’s.
The problem with the EU and its component parts is that it is manifestly inefficient like a middle-aged man living comfortably off a credit card with a huge credit limit but who’s income always seems to fall a little short of expenditure each month “old boy!”. As a result of this predictable long-term terminal decline we have a duty to not just to try to negotiate a safe 1970’s EEC style deal, if indeed we get that, we still might get nothing, but we should also be a critical friend to the countries of the EU. Like the disassociation that exists between the parliamentary system in the UK and the people who pay for, it the EU is not hugely popular with many ordinary Europeans. Like the Brits with Brexit, most EU citizens understand the EU doesn’t pass the sniff test but they are powerless to deal with it as no mainstream party wants to come on board. Like Clegg and Cameron, the mainstream continental parties see the EU as an exciting place to waffle, shuffle paper, and make a lot of money from somewhere. Macron is like that too so all the best to France. So we should stop being so 1970’s in our dealings with the EU and help the EU reach a position of sane self-awareness.
The EU is a continental sized liability a few short watery miles away and we are not living in 1976. The threat of the EU is enormous not as a warrior but as an unstable and unsustainable economic behemoth. A rendering back of power to nations states with an EEC style deal for all of the countries of the EU would at least offer the prospect of a controlled implosion when it finally comes. As it is we are facing at some point the collapse of a bloated arrogant and self-deluded pseudo-nation state with all the horrendous economic and social consequences its collapse will inflict on both them and us.
It is not good being too 1970’s about this, Mrs May needs to understand that it’s not just what you wear and what you say…..it’s what you think that matters and in what decade you think it!!
Theresa May is clearly a good person with a conscience which sees merit in some of the compassionate social policies of the New Labour era. People have grown accustomed to having the state on their side not only establishing a framework in which they can exercise social and economic freedom but also standing up for them at times of fear and hardship. So far so good. The spiteful ‘Old’ Labour idea of squeezing the private sector wealthy as though they were some kind of hideous raptor screwing the country over, whilst allowing the well-heeled public sector elite to up their wages to compensate for higher taxes is outrageous. But politics today is a bit outrageous. So what of the May incursion into the Labour Party ideological heartlands?
Well, Mrs May’s new labour policies reflect the poor state of modern Britain. Elderly people being overlooked by offspring who have been conditioned to think of themselves as economic consumer units rather than social creatures with human obligations towards the young and elderly. Enabling some twisting within the economy to allow the economically active to step out of role seems fair but it will come at a cost. We calculate the cost will be considered justified on the basis that it is cheaper than adult social care. However, people being out of the workplace are a cost to companies and the state, particularly when you have to consider covering their absence with temporary staff and then taking them back later. There is also the problem of the stressed public sector which can’t recruit at the best of times and the sheer grind of coal face work in the public sector making the option of opting out very attractive. Unfortunately, Mrs May’s new labour policies are just more of the state putting a sticking plaster and another expensive one at that on the gaping wound of failed economic and social policies. It very much reflects but in a different way the problem of how to manage the millions of people who now form the second and third generation unemployed ex-industrial and agricultural workers who have been patronised and outrageously labelled the underclass by remote politicians who patch them up with welfare and healthcare, rather than work.
However, there may be a proper solution to these twin problems. How about turning the welfare benefits system into a public wage system and require everyone in the benefits system to work pro rata at the living wage for their welfare. The welfare system was set up when a man (we are talking about 7o years ago) could lose an industrial job and get another one relatively quickly. Now mortgages and debt trap people and the jobs are not going to come back anytime soon. So rather than politicians holding out the forlorn hope of the unemployed moving to another industrial job, why not empower and pay the unemployed to look after their own. Turning the second and third generation unemployed ex-industrial and agricultural workers into the first generation community social workers. We would say that was welfare well spent.
Anyone who has studied economics knows that ‘opportunity cost’ is what you don’t get when you do something. The alternative so to speak. The opportunity cost of a car might be the foreign holiday you can’t have because you have the car. In politics we have reached a point where the left and right unite to maintain the existing political system and the opportunity cost is a democracy and a political system that can encompass all shades of British public opinion and manage it with fairness and transparency.
The reason for this is for us quite simple. Both left and right either don’t recognise that our 19th-century political system was based on an evolving class system which has now ceased to exist in any meaningful sense or they want to protect their own party based model. The party model was always based on power groups who managed as an elite and promoted vested interests. This went on right up to the 1940’s when the Labour party created a post-war political settlement which delivered much-needed welfare to the working classes. This 19th-century model has and always will swap power between two opposing parties and even the hard left would rather see this system continue rather than demand its reform. The best anyone can come up with is reform of the electoral system which will leave the power structures intact and protect the rights of the elites of left and right to govern us as they see fit. Along with them, you have the media also deploying the lazy journalism of the ‘reductive polarity’ so as to reflect the interests of their polarised parliamentary collaborators.
It’s incredible but the left wing really doesn’t get that the way power is delivered and managed in this parliamentary structure and the vested interests whether it is media, money or the Trades Unions that underpin the way power is delivered are holding back the social progress that they claim to want so much. It is baffling too, that the right wing says they want small government and lower taxes whilst continuing to promote as a model for 21st-century democracy an increasingly remote, expensive and unrepresentative political system. Some people might conclude from this we are anti-monarchy, we are not! The Monarch is the only part of this creaking 19th-century system that works and is seen to work by the people. It’s the parliamentary bit that needs change before it goes pop, or the people do!