They don’t call them wet Tories for nothing

That was one parade it did rain on. The skies opened just as Rishi ‘Washy’ Sunak was announcing a snap election on 4 July, and the PM’s suit got as wet as his policies.

The decision to call the general election four months earlier than he had to came as a surprise to most people, and surprise instantly caused logorrhoea. All and sundry are wondering why the PM took that step and whether he is crazy enough to believe he can win.

My ignorance of, and indifference to, electoral mechanics ill-qualify me to enlarge on this subject. Suffice it to say that Labour’s lead in the polls stands at 25 per cent, and I don’t recall any candidate overturning such a deficit in my lifetime.

Hence even Rishi’s wife probably thinks he’s going to lose, but perhaps he hopes that by jumping the gun he can still hold on to enough seats for the Tories to be a valid opposition.

Ignorant though I am of such matters, I’m always willing to plug the most gaping holes in my education. To that end I happily read what experts have to say, and they agree on most things.

Rishi went for it because the inflation had just dropped down almost to the target of two per cent, a reduced National Insurance tax will add £900 a year to the average-income earner, the Bank may lower the interest – and hence mortgage! – rates, and the first planes carrying illegal migrants to Rwanda just may take off in time.

Yet wiser heads refer to Harold Macmillan who warned that it takes a long time for voters to equate less tax with more cash. If so, that makes voters quite dim, but then what else is new?

They also say the Bank will be reluctant to lower the interest rate so close to the election because it’ll look like a gimmick. And no one thinks that a few planeloads heading for Rwanda will solve the problem of the flotillas carrying illegal migrants (criminals, in other words) to our shores.

Thus spake public opinion, which in reality means a few dozen pundits and politicians. But being a man of the people (wipe that smirk off your face – I wrote ads for 30 years, and if that doesn’t establish populist credentials, I don’t know what can), I’m more interested in the public-house opinion expressed by Tom, Dick and Harry over a pint.

And those three proverbial gentlemen are unanimous: the Tories are rubbish. One or two even modify the last word with an off-colour intensifier.

I agree: the Tories are pathetic. But any sensible electorate would still give him a landslide victory. Allow me to explain this seeming paradox.

Voting for the opposition should be a game of two halves. The first half is deciding that the ruling party isn’t doing well, and this part Tom, Dick and Harry have got down pat. Sorted, as they’d say.

The second half is harder but even more important: the realistic hope that the other side will do better or, barring that, at least the certainty that it won’t do worse. ‘Things can only get better’ is the ubiquitous mantra of most elections, and yet it’s the worst fallacy of politics.

Things can always get worse, and here I’m going out on an unfamiliar limb and actually making a prediction. No, not on the likely result of the election – my crystal ball is murky. But I can bet everything I hold dear (except perhaps Penelope who claims I have no power to gamble her away because she’s an autonomous individual) that, when they get in power, Labour will make things much, much worse.

It’s also my contention that people who don’t realise this, and in general ignore the second half of my proposed whole, shouldn’t be qualified to vote. They are incapable of casting their vote rationally and therefore responsibly.

These people keep repeating that tired old chestnut, ‘It’s time for a change.’ No it isn’t. It never is. It’s always time to change for the better, not just for the sake of variety.

So why are the Tories rubbish? The short answer is, because they aren’t really Tories but Labour Lite. Just look at how they handled Brexit.

The Tory hierarchy, as opposed to the grassroots, didn’t really want it. They were fused with the EU bureaucracy personally and didn’t mind taking the country with them. Cameron only agreed to the referendum as a sop to the conservative element within the party because he was sure of the Remain vote. That, and his subsequent inept anti-Brexit campaign, was a sign of Tory incompetence, one of many.

Now, the underlying reason for Brexit was strictly conservative: a guarantee of the traditional sovereignty of the nation and its Parliament. The inner logic of that step called very loudly indeed for further conservative steps to build on the momentum.

However, though forced to repudiate EU membership, the government chose to stick to the EU social model. The situation was crying out for shedding the shackles of such continental abominations as the ECHR – we don’t really need Germans to teach us about human rights. I dare say Britain’s historical record in that area stacks up well against that of Germany, France and just about any other major European country.

But continued adherence to that continental setup makes it harder to stem the influx of illegal (i.e. criminal) migration, one of the key issues in the upcoming elections.

Then there’s the post-Brexit economy, with the Tories accentuating the drawback of Brexit and squandering the benefits. The drawback was a restricted access to the huge market at our doorstep. The potential benefits came from an unrestricted ability to cultivate other markets and attract investors to our own.

The easiest way of achieving the latter aim is to make it worth the investors’ while to move their businesses to Britain. In other words, to make it cheaper for them to hire and easier to fire. Yet the government raised the corporate tax, while preserving the social guarantees largely (to be fair, far from exclusively) inspired by the EU.

Under the Tories, the NHS is costing more and achieving less. Their suicidal restrictions on policing make law enforcement risible. They lack the courage to stop the slide of our education into the mire of woke barbarism. In general, you can continue this list of failures, but you won’t be able to offset them with any appreciable successes.

So much for the first half. Now, which of those things do you think Labour will do better?

The party is committed to higher social spending, which means higher taxation. Labour has already announced its intention to return to the unions the powers Margaret Thatcher took away from them. They call it Workers’ Control; I call it destroying the economy.

They are committed to go on throwing billions into the black hole of the NHS, their beloved brainchild. That too means higher public spending and more taxation.

These combined measures are guaranteed to make the cost of doing business higher and the prospects of new investment lower. As to renewed rapprochement with the EU, Labour leaders have hinted broadly at another referendum and subsequent return into the fold.

Labour leaders refuse to commit themselves to assigning specific primary sex characteristics to either sex. They see the entire history of Britain as a story of racism and colonialism, and insist children should be educated in that spirit. In his earlier tenure as Director of Public Prosecutions, their likely PM, Starmer, never saw a criminal he couldn’t let go – they were all victims of social injustice.

And so on ad infinitum: anywhere you look, Labour is guaranteed to do much worse than even the pathetic Tories. The latter may be Labour Lite, but the new government will be Labour Full Strength. And I haven’t even touched on foreign policy and Labour’s unwavering commitment to the ‘Palestinian’ cause and its understated commitment to defence.

By this circuitous route we’ve arrived at my recurrent theme: the gross inadequacy of unqualified, unlimited and unbalanced democracy. Things I’ve outlined aren’t the stuff of which doctorates in political science are made. They should be instantly obvious to any even remotely qualified voter.

Yet they aren’t. That means our voters aren’t qual… Oh well, there I go again.  

2 thoughts on “They don’t call them wet Tories for nothing”

  1. Yes, all just so! But what can a 91 year old citizen do to avoid being dragged down by these sorry circumstances? Nothing but to die, I am sorry to say. Roll on death!

  2. Every year we have a big push to register people to vote. There is never any talk of educating people on the issues. If one actually reads the provided election materials he will quickly learn that public propaganda (sorry, advertising) often includes issues that are in no way a part of the proposed legislation.

    Universal equality means that all adults are qualified to vote. Feelings are more important than facts, knowledge, and wisdom.

    California prints election materials in 27 languages. While I could not find a full list, these languages have been added since 2018: Bengali, Burmese, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Lao, Mien, Mongolian, Nepali, Tamil, Thai, Telugu, Urdu, Panjabi, Hmong, Syriac, Armenian, Farsi, and Arabic. (NPR – the most outlandishly progressive of all media outlets – lamented the fact that no state or county has voting materials available in Haitian Creole.) For anyone who has ever had a good laugh at advertising materials translated into his native tongue, imagine the description of a fiduciary bill being translated from English to Hmong. Some languages are more equal than others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.