This is the season for giving thanks, and we ought to give ours for having been spared the horrors of a Marxist Walpurgisnacht.
To inject a bit of levity, we may then mock Corbyn’s statement issued in the aftermath: “We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority for change.”
But as we mock, let’s remind ourselves that he’s fundamentally right. Of course, if by ‘we’ Corbyn means his band of Troskyist ghouls, he’s his usual idiotic self. Yet if his ‘we’ refers to socialism in general, he has an irrefutable point.
However, that particular argument wasn’t won in this election. In fact, it has been a victory by attrition, whose foundations were laid down in the 18th century – and I’m even in sympathy with those who date the onset of that calamity even earlier and more precisely, say back to 31 October, 1517.
We may argue about this, but there’s no argument that, by the time this election rolled along, socialism had triumphed by setting the terms of debate and chiselling them in stone.
The conflict isn’t between socialism and conservatism, but between more or less socialism. Throughout his campaign, Boris Johnson didn’t utter a single word I’d recognise as conservative.
He was consistently flogging a view of the world that’s different from Corbyn’s only quantitatively, not qualitatively. Johnson didn’t challenge a single socialist presupposition; he only offered a softened version of them.
The essence of socialism (as opposed to its sloganeering) is a maximum amount of state control over the individual. This can be exerted through various channels – economic, cultural, educational, social and especially linguistic.
Whoever controls language, controls thought, and this is the salient desideratum of every socialist government, be it communist, social democratic, liberal, liberal democratic, socialist or totalitarian. Whatever they are called, they are all glossocratic, striving to impose their own catechistic mantras and hence the underlying vision.
Johnson’s victory saved us from an extreme manifestation of this evil, and thank God for that. Yet his vision is socialist too, just less so.
Did Johnson repudiate extortionate taxation? No. He only promised taxation that’s less extortionist, as if the state grabbing over 40 per cent of the nation’s income were par for the conservative course.
It isn’t: confiscatory taxation (and the middle classes are indeed taxed at a confiscatory rate) is one of the mechanisms of socialist power. It’s designed to make more people more dependent on the state by taking away their means of achieving economic independence.
Did Johnson promise to curb runaway social spending, which destroys not only the economy but, more important, the social fabric of the nation? Not at all. On the contrary, he committed his government to ending ‘austerity’, which is, next to democratic socialism, the most mendacious term in today’s political vocabulary.
Austerity, as defined by previous administrations, is deficit spending proceeding at a promiscuous, rather than suicidal, rate. Used that way, it’s a valuable addition to our political glossary, ousting such anachronistic terms as ‘fiscal responsibility’ and ‘balanced budget’.
Defined in such a dishonest way, austerity presupposes not a reduction in social spending, but only a slower rate of its increase. Any real reduction would mean fewer people dependent on the state, which is anathema to any socialist government.
Did Johnson point out that the problem with the NHS is that of principle, not mechanics? On the contrary, he wants to enshrine in law automatic, ironclad increases in the budgets of that bloated socialist enterprise, which is already the world’s largest employer.
Did he promise to get rid of our idiot-spewing comprehensives and restore grammar schools to their erstwhile presence? Not at all – nationalised education rivals nationalised medicine in being off-limits for any substantive criticism. All that’s allowed is a lament that we haven’t been spending enough, supported by the oath to spend more.
Did Johnson promise to undo the constitutional sabotage perpetrated by previous administrations? Get rid of superfluous Americanised contrivances like the Supreme Court? Restore the House of Lords to its vital constitutional role? No, no and no. Not a word to that effect.
Did he promise to reverse moral, social, cultural and aesthetic abominations like homomarriage, encouraging kindergarten pupils to change their sex and teaching them how to use condoms, unspoken racial and sex quotas imposed openly in public service and tacitly everywhere else? Be serious – of course not.
Did Johnson intimate that perhaps treating women as an oppressed minority is as destructive socially as it is ridiculous arithmetically? Not on your nelly.
Did he utter a single word against eco-fascism, or suggest, however obliquely, that the cult of global warming is subversive hogwash, which, if encouraged, can lead us into an economic abyss? That perhaps getting rid of fossil and nuclear fuels and instead densely covering Britain with eyesores might not be a great idea? He wouldn’t dare.
Did Johnson promise to build more prisons and fill them to the gunwales if necessary, with early releases being rare exceptions, and not just for terrorists? Did he say he’d empower the police to do their work – and indeed restore the traditional understanding of what that work should be (feeling collars, not filling forms)? Don’t make me laugh.
All Boris Johnson kept banging on about is Get Brexit Done, and even that is a halfway house at best. In fact, he’s committed to tying Britain down to most of the EU regulations. Ask our fishermen what they think of Boris’s Brexit; they’ll tell you.
So yes, congratulations to Boris, with thanks for delivering us from the ultimate evil of extreme socialism. But neither he nor anyone else can ever deliver us from the evil of socialism tout court.
That argument has been lost, and all that remains of the Conservative Party is its name. Still, thank God for small favours. Socialism could have become dominant, rather than merely all-pervasive.