There’s just no satisfying some people. In fact, as our Chancellor is finding out, there’s no satisfying any people.
The Right of his party are accusing him of not being sufficiently like Margaret Thatcher, God rest her soul. The Left of his party and both wings of Labour and LibDems are accusing him of being too much like Margaret Thatcher, may she rot in hell. Presumably for fear of libel litigation, no one is accusing George of just being George.
The Labour Party has the balls, or rather Ed Balls, to claim the economic high ground. The words ‘teapot’ and ‘kettle’ immediately spring to mind whenever they give it to poor George in the neck. What Labour must be congratulated on, however, is their ingenious, far-sighted electoral strategy.
A century of unabashed socialist propaganda has conditioned the British to feel well disposed to Labour’s cherished central idea of redistributive justice. That’s why, come election time, our electorate gets its finger out, jerks its knee and votes Labour without thinking twice about it – unless, and this is an important proviso, the Tories provide an irrefutable argument of why they must not do so.
When the government robs Peter to pay Paul, its electoral prospects depend on the relative numbers of Peters and Pauls. Writing back in the 1930s, way before our welfare state blossomed, R.G. Collingwood described the fall of Rome in a way that presaged our own:
‘The critical moment was reached when Rome created an urban proletariat whose only function was to eat free bread and watch free shows. This meant the segregation of an entire class which had no work to do whatever; no positive function in society, whether economic or military or administrative or intellectual or religious; only the business of being supported and being amused. When that had been done, it was only a question of time until Plato’s nightmare of a consumers’ society came true; the drones set up their own king and the story of the hive came to an end.’
Labour strategists must have read this warning and liked what they saw. Their task was clear: they had to make sure there would be enough drones to set them up as kings. Coupled with the general, if relatively recent, leftward inclination of the populace, ensuring a preponderance of dependent Pauls over robbed Peters was a blueprint for cyclical electoral success.
The cycle is as simple as truth itself. First a socialist government (sometimes masquerading as a Tory one) takes over, robs the ‘rich’ (those who work for a living) and gives to the ‘poor’ (those who won’t). This transaction predictably runs the economy into the ground, but this doesn’t necessarily spell an electoral disaster.
The trick, and Tony-Gordon must be elevated to socialist sainthood for having devised it, is to destroy the economy so thoroughly and for preference irreversibly that, even if the Tories won the next election, they wouldn’t be able to straighten out the mess in their five years. Even if they managed to improve things slightly, this wouldn’t provide a strong enough argument for the electorate to override its natural instincts. Back in comes Labour, smug smirks on their faces, their hands on the handle of the printing press.
Margaret Thatcher, God rest her soul, broke that cycle for a while by displaying a courage and decisiveness seldom seen before her and never since. In that sense she was an aberration, a one-off deviation from the norm. The norm rebelled against Maggie and kicked out, after which normalcy returned. The drones have since been electing the kings they like.
Lady Thatcher didn’t eliminate the drone class. She didn’t even reduce it, for the numbers were already stacked against her. What she did do was show the drones how they could become fully fledged, hard-working bees. However, most of them heard her out and then just buzzed off back to dependency.
Then Labour took over, first in the crypto form of John ‘Classless Society’ Major, then without even such a thin pretence. And now Balls and his real Labour are accusing George’s crypto-Labour of not being able to do what ever variety of Labour has made impossible: restore the economy to health.
Caught up in the emotionally charged event, George wept at Lady Thatcher’s funeral. Perhaps his tears came from the realisation of his own impotence – he has neither the qualities nor the mandate to do what needs doing.
Given that state of affairs, arguments pro and con his cosmetic ‘austerity’ are purely onanistic. The only way for Britain to return to economic health is to follow, as we did in the past, St Paul’s dictum: ‘…if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ That means not trying George’s phoney austerity on for size but eliminating the welfare state altogether. Those who can work must either do so or give up the habit of eating – it’s as simple as that.
Then there would be no need to run a suicidal debt-ridden budget. Welfare recipients will have to go to work. Even those drones who have managed to land in mock, which is to say government, jobs will either find productive employment or starve, which would also improve the quality of the environment by ridding it of particularly noxious effluvia.
With state borrowing declining precipitously, banks could only stay afloat by lending to small businesses and private entrepreneurs – and these are the groups that make economies grow. Recessions, triple-, double- or single-dip, would become a nightmarish memory.
Mention any of this to George and he’ll agree, adding mournfully that alas something like that wouldn’t be politically feasible. Meaning that our thoroughly corrupted populace would revolt at the polls the next chance they get. Labour would take over and demolish the economy even more thoroughly. They’ve got Balls for that.