Leftists’ trust in government sounds exactly like blind faith in God

big govt

Cartoon by Bob Gorrell

One thing I’ve noticed about people on the left, whether it be the moderate left or the far-left, is that one of their defining attributes is their faith in the state to look after everyone, particularly the poor and the downtrodden. How terribly naive. Big government has been responsible for keeping the poor where they are, giving generous welfare handouts to keep them satisfied and discouraging social mobility in the process. It leeches from ordinary hard-working citizens with high taxes, but hey, the government takes care of us, right?

I find it bizarre and sometimes disturbing that the left, which once championed individual freedom, is the side of the political spectrum that favours a society in which people are dependant on the state. I would have thought that a truly progressive society would see people less dependant on the state, but apparently not. More to the point, it’s disturbingly odd how leftists can maintain their faith in big government despite its repeated failures. Recent history offers many examples of the failures of big government, from the “War on Poverty” to the Great Recession, and yet whenever big government fails, the left blames capitalism and calls for more government controls. Instead of punishing the failures of big government, somehow the left wants to reward this failure.

The problem is that big government has become the left’s new god. Even when leftists disagree on minor details, one of the few doctrines they are united on is that it’s the government’s job to look after people. Leftists have adopted the same kind of blind faith in big government as fundamentalist Christians do in God, and both expect the same level of obeisance from others. For example, leftists seem to believe that government is responsible for deciding what it is morally right or wrong. That sounds a lot like the classic fundie Christian claim that God is responsible for morality. To believe such a thing requires you to have no faith in individuals to decide for themselves what is right and wrong.

In this regard, I think it comes from a generally negative view of human nature. Dennis Prager once said that leftists believe that human nature is fundamentally good, so they believe society is the problem. I think he was wrong on this one, because what I’ve seen from leftists hints that they have a generally poor view of human nature. They seem to have come to the conclusion that mankind is incapable of making “morally correct” choice, and need the state to force them into the right direction. The best opportunity to get a glimpse into their worldview happens during an election or referendum whenever the result doesn’t go their way. They quickly turn their rage towards the “ignorant masses” who voted the right into power, and often denouncing democracy altogether.

Leftists also have such great faith in government that they think it ought to be in charge of everything, from education to banks, from parenting to agriculture, from businesses to healthcare, from cradle to grave. They see the government as the great provider, master of the weather, the divine all-father and all such nonsense. The problem is that the government cannot be trusted to look after us, or to serve our interests, especially when it gets too big. Ever notice that whenever you have to deal with a state-owned service, such as the NHS or the DVLA, you’re usually forced to wait an ungodly amount of time before you’re dealt with, and you have to put up with generally shoddy service. This is because a state-owned corporation doesn’t have to satisfy its customers in order to turn a profit, because such entities get their revenue from your taxes. No matter how badly they perform, you always have to foot the bill for their mere existence. In contrast, private firms, who don’t rely on the taxpayer, have to satisfy their customers, or else they’ll go out of business.

Because leftists want the government to have control over your lives, they despise anything that helps you to be less reliant on the state. Take the traditional, two-parent family model for instance. With two competent and loving parents, children have a better chance at doing well during their education, and growing up into well-adjusted adults who are gainfully employed and go on to get married themselves, and are less likely to live on benefits. Leftists despise this notion of a stable family. They want more people on welfare so they can say that they are the champions of the poor, even though they are the ones whose policies trap them in a vicious circle.

It has been proven by countless academic reports and studies that children who grow up in broken families are more likely to do poorly in education, and less likely to be employed and more likely to live on welfare as a result. They also end up being more likely to become criminals, go to jail, and if they get married, more likely to repeat the cycle of bad parenting as a result. This is a widely known fact, and yet the left denies this, claiming that such facts are offensive to single mothers.

Leftists also despise school choice, because they believe that public schools are the best way to educate your children. This is a system in which children are forced by law to attend an institution in which attempts to program their education according to national curriculum, and in a manner which ignores the individual needs of children, and expects that all children who pass through it come out the same. Public schools aren’t so much schools as they are factories designed to produce human livestock with, ideally, enough qualifications to merit employment in low-level jobs. It is a system that is designed to crush your children’s hopes and dreams, and yet leftists always rush to its defence whenever anyone dares to suggest reform or alternatives. Take grammar schools for example. The only reason leftists are so dismissive of grammar schools is that they don’t like competition.

But why do they turn to the defence of state-owned institutions in spite of their record of failure? It’s because of their cult-like faith in government, which traps them in rose-tinted lens. For their policies to make any sense requires the view that humans are predisposed to altruism, and that the government is beyond corruption. Real life doesn’t pan out that way. Humans are inherently motivated by self-interest, and power is always a corrupting influence. This is why you cannot trust government to look after you, and the people who do trust in government come across as a new kind of priestly caste, with government as the one true God.

Because we cannot trust government to look after us, we must keep it small enough that it performs its basic functions, and not allow it to grow so big that it has control of our very lives. The smaller the government, the more freedom we have in society, and the less corrupt it can get, and the more money you save under it. The bigger the government, the more money you lose under it, the more freedom is stripped away, and the more corrupt it becomes. The believers in big government can ignore reality all they want, but it’s only a matter of time before their beloved state becomes so big and authoritarian that it eventually turns on them, and they will find that their faith has been misplaced.

My call for civility, and why we had the best possible result

civility

Cartoon by Dave Granlund

On the night of the election, I took to Facebook to express my desire for civility. At that time, I thought the Tories were destined for an increased majority, and worried that we would yet again see the British left acting like a cornered animal, and proclaim that the voters have ruined the country by re-electing the Tories. Believing my Facebook feed would be flooded with anti-Tory diatribes from people who militantly can’t accept the outcome of the election, I wrote a long post wherein I called for people to accept the outcome the election, and to not alienate their friends because of their political differences.

Predictably, I didn’t alienate anyone, because I didn’t reveal my voting intentions. However, I wound up drawing the ire of an acquaintance who turned out to be some kind of far-left, pessimistic Labour supporter who believes that we should be angry at people who vote the “wrong” way, but honestly believes that the Tories will take democracy away. Oh, but a Marxist Labour leader won’t? She doesn’t even cite any evidence for this to be the case, which quickly descended into the false equivalency between Trump and Hitler, which has been debunked countless times already. The whole case basically amounted to someone who has such little faith in humanity that her solution to the proposed problem is to take away that right to choose to vote left or right.

The fact that her position was untenable was not the problem. The problem is that she un-added me from Facebook immediately after posting, not even waiting for me to counter that argument, and there you have the crux of what I was talking about in that post – people dismissing others for not having the same political opinions as you. I wasn’t even endorsing anyone, and even though I ended up voting UKIP, I didn’t suggest that people should have voted for them. It seems to me that we live in such polarised times that even posting something neutral gets you some flack.

Even though I aimed my post at Labour voters (who I thought would be the ones crying all over Facebook), I calling for people of all sides to accept the outcome of the election no matter what, and be completely civil about their disagreements. Evidently that virtue is long dead in today’s world, where people can choose to sequester themselves into ideological ghettos. It’s this sort of problem that makes it hard for people to have any sort of political discussion. Nobody really had a problem with my statement. In fact, the only people who might have had a problem with the sentiment I expressed were the far-left. They can’t handle civility, because they can’t really push their agenda in a society where everyone gets along. They depend on people being fragmented into political tribes so they can put their agenda forward, and it saddens me to see how many people (particularly the young) eat it up every single time.

Moving on from that, people aren’t so much hostile about the Tories winning the election so much as the idea that the Tories will form a pact with the DUP. They’re convinced that the DUP are a bunch of far-right Christian fundamentalists who want to turn back the clock on gay rights and abortion, but when I ask what they plan to do in government that’s anti-gay, nobody can answer me, at least not by heart. In Northern Ireland they block gay marriage using something called “the petition of concern”, but I have no reason to believe they’ll attempt this in mainland Britain. The DUP are no threat to civil liberties. For one, they only have ten seats in Parliament, all of them in Northern Ireland. Second, they’ve made crystal clear that they’ll only bolster the Tories on key issues, such as the economy and security.

Third, this is the only workable option the Tories have. What coalition would you prefer? A Tory-SNP coalition? The only thing it’ll do is weaken the government’s stance on Brexit. Would you prefer another Con-Dem coalition? Well you can forget about that because Tim Farron himself ruled out. Or maybe you prefer a rainbow coalition with Labour and any willing left-wing parties. Mathematically that would be impossible. For it to work requires either Labour having won 20 more seats, or the SNP keeping at least 50. Neither outcome happened, and if they tried it now, they wouldn’t be able to make up a majority. It would still be a minority government, and an illegitimate one considering that Labour were the losers in the election. So when Theresa May says that her pact with DUP is the only workable option, she’s correct. I don’t like it, but I have to take it. It’s called having a stiff upper lip. I thought we Brits were good at that.

Besides, in retrospect this is the best result we could hope for. Having the lost the majority, Theresa May has lost the ability to carry out the worst policies in her manifesto, which, to me at least, means that her plans to censor the internet, which were already unworkable to begin with, may yet be blocked in Parliament, all because the young people voted for Labour in droves because the Tories were coming after their porn. As for Labour, we may now have a strong left-wing opposition to the Tories, and that means the dreaded age of austerity may finally come to an end as Labour will undoubtedly oppose any new austerity measures the Tories try to put through. It also means that fox hunting is as good as dead, and the old people won’t have to suffer Theresa’s unbelievably vampiric social care plans.

Beyond that, the result proves that, even though we’ve come back to two-party politics, people are getting tired of the old establishment politics. The Tories will have to do much better than they have in order to defeat Jeremy Corbyn the next time (even though I think at this point a Labour government in 2022 might be inevitable). It also proves that Brexit isn’t the only thing on people’s mind, that the electorate aren’t a bunch of single-issue voters who the left and the right can simply appease with worthless platitudinal slogans. In a way, it also proves that democracy is alive and well, with the Tories now in a position where they actually have to face opposition.

This will be the last election-related post I make, being as I’m getting exhausted from election politics, and I’d like to write about some topics that I’ve not been able to for a while.

Why Theresa May is done for

For better or worse, Theresa May managed to survive the calamitous failure of her 2017 election campaign, which led to her leading a minority government propped up by the DUP. I have to give her credit for at least managing to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power, but she should enjoy her marginal success while it lasts. After this failure of an election campaign, her career may as well be over. After this campaign, she has weakened her hand significantly, and in a minority government, she has lost all authority and credibility that she barely had before then.

How is she doomed? Well for starters, she basically killed her own campaign. She set out to commit blue murder on the opposition, but she ended up shooting herself in the foot instead. All the more damning was that she practically convinced her fellow Tories that she had it in the bag. They were hoping that she would lead them back into a large majority, giving them the mandate they need to do whatever they wanted. Now that she failed, I imagine that there are now a number of Tory MP’s looking for her head on a silver platter.

There’s already talk of a possible leadership contest in the near future. It’s mainly speculation, but it’s not entirely groundless. Now that Theresa May appears to have been weakened, it’s likely that other Tory MPs may try to undermine her, and if the time is right, they might launch a leadership coup against her, just like Labour’s MP’s tried to with Jeremy Corbyn just last year. It’s not an incredibly likely scenario, but it’s not impossible.

The way I see it, even if Theresa May survives the rest of the year in Downing Street, she’ll basically spend what I assume will be her final term lurching from one crisis to another until she is eventually either taken down, or loses the election to Labour, which I believe they will because from here on out the people will see the Tories as emperors with no clothes. The legitimacy of the Tories has been undermined so badly that the stench of failure will haunt the next government.

And then there’s the European question. In this election, the Tories have drawn blood, and like the sharks that they are, the EU leaders will likely smell that weakness, and attempt to exploit that. If Theresa May were somehow able to hardball the EU despite her weakened position, it could perhaps restore people’s faith in her, and that might translate into better electoral performance. However, there will be Tory MP’s who don’t like her approach to Brexit, some of them may have been re-elected.

Of course, even with her successes, she will be remembered for this year’s seismic election, and by extension, her failure to campaign, which has exposed her failure as a campaigner, but also her arrogance. She honestly believed that the election was her’s to win, and that the people would accept that either vote for her and give her a strong majority or we’d have a coalition of chaos. Well as the old saying goes, pride goes before destruction, and in the end, the arrogance of a politician or a party will inevitably be punished by the electorate. In fact, the Tories did so badly that it makes Diane Abbott look more competent by comparison (incidentally, she was re-elected by her constituents in a landslide).

For me, there is really no other way of looking at Theresa May’s career other than through such a pessimistic lens, because that’s the truth. She’s over. She’s overplayed her hand, she’s weakened her own party, and she may well have crippled Brexit, while handing power to her opposition. At this rate, she’s doomed. If she manages to stay in power for the rest of the 2010’s, that in itself will be an accomplishment, but she will perhaps be remembered as one of the worst Prime Ministers in history, single-handedly alienating everyone that she could. As for Brexit, this is perhaps the best result that the slimy pro-European Tories could hope for, and they will have the opportunity to do to her what they did to Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Here we go again

theresa may

When I saw the exit polls predicting a hung parliament, I was quite worried, but I still clung to some kind of hope that, maybe people were lying to the polls again. When I got up in the morning, I awoke to realise that the exit polls were right. The Tories failed to win an outright majority, and thus, with only 313 seats as I’m writing this, we have entered a hung parliament. The future of my country is uncertain, and the blame for all of this lies with Theresa May. She called this election with the sole intent of strengthening her majority, and in the end she ended up weakening her’s and potentially putting Brexit at risk. As I’m writing this, the Tories are now attempting to form a coalition government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (who have 10 seats), and if the Tories manage to win enough seats, this could be possible.

Of course we know why this has happened. Theresa May could have had the sweeping majority she wanted. All she had to do was not screw it up. She could have just focused on Brexit and controlling immigration, and she could have gone about making the public case for a hard Brexit scenario. Instead, she didn’t bother going on TV debates with the opposition, making her look weak. She used her overconfident position to put forward widely unpopular policies, such as fox hunting, and regulation of the Internet. She believed that the Brexit-voting public would simply default to her in order to secure Brexit, but the electorate saw right through it, and thus we have our current situation.

Labour, meanwhile, benefitted not just from a significant share of the UKIP vote, but also from a surge of young voters flocking to Labour. This election has been very good for the Marxists in the Labour Party, and I think this is primarily because the Tories wanted to police the Internet. They could have secured the young vote if they at least kept that part secret until they got elected. I also have to concede that Jeremy Corbyn ran a more positive campaign than Theresa May did. Corbyn, for all his faults, at least tried to appeal to voters, and was able to inspire a genuine following. All Theresa May had was a bunch of empty slogans. Her entire campaign was based on assuming that she had this in the bag, and the only way she could inspire people to vote was through the same old scare tactics. Whether or not she’s right about Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t change the fact that people are bored with the old politics of fear.

I can’t help but think that Theresa May deliberately screwed this up. If she wanted to, she could have carried this election. There’s no way she should have done this badly, so I think it’s possible that she deliberately set her campaign up to either fail to get the vote, or enter a wobbly hung parliament, so that she could abdicate her obligation to fulfil the will of the people. After all, she did campaign on the Remain side of the referendum. If there’s a chance that she might have a way out of actually delivering Brexit, I think she would take it. Then again, it could just be pure incompetence, which is unsurprising given her performance as Home Secretary.

Whatever the outcome after the election, two things are certain. First, Theresa May will not resign. She still has the most seats in Parliament, so she could try to either assemble a coalition, or continue on in a minority government, though I think that whatever she does, there will now be Tory MP’s who will turn against her, and try to undermine her in government, with the goal of possibly removing her from the Tory leadership.

Secondly, with UKIP obliterated, the SNP in decline, the Greens remaining stagnant and the Lib Dems only enjoying marginal growth, today’s election results signal a return to two-party politics. Every party has seen a decline in their share of votes except for Labour and the Conservatives. We haven’t seen a result like this since October 1974, when Labour’s Harold Wilson returned to power in a minority government. It doesn’t look likely that Jeremy Corbyn will resign, given that this is the best possible result Labour could hope for. Whenever the next election is held, the path is clear. We will be faced with the terrible decision of either electing a band of Marxist ideologues under Labour, or electing a clearly incompetent Conservative party that can’t even win a significant majority anymore. Either way, politics as usual will never be the same again.

Reasons not to vote Labour #3 – A toothless Brexit, if we even have one

jeremy corbyn eu

In this third part of my series on why you shouldn’t vote for the Labour Party this Thursday, I will talk about Labour’s position on the most important issue of the election – Brexit. The Labour manifesto states that the party “accepts the result of the referendum” and wants to maintain a close relationship with Europe. One thing that Corbyn has made crystal clear on numerous occasions is that he has ruled out a “no deal” option at the end of Article 50 negotiations. What that basically means is that, for him, even if the EU gave him the worst deal you can possibly imagine, he would rather take that than end the negotiations with no deal.

He also wants to “retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union”, blissfully unaware that to be in the single market means us complying with the EU’s laws, and still being under the jurisdiction of the EU courts. He also wants to scrap the Great Repeal Bill, which would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and hand lawmaking powers back to MP’s, and replace it with an EU Rights and Protections Bill. Of course he doesn’t seem to care that the fact that we couldn’t make our own laws one of the biggest reasons we voted to leave the EU in the first place.

I mentioned before that Corbyn was a moral coward because of his refusal to deal with the issue of nuclear weapons, but his stance on the EU confirms such cowardice. Think about it for a moment – you have a Labour leader who, in contrast to the bloody difficult woman we have as Prime Minister, is soft on the EU. He would mostly cave to the EU leaders’ demands if he thought it was convenient for him. If the EU demanded that we take in more immigrants to fit Merkel’s migrant quotas, I am throughly convinced that Corbyn would do exactly that. As for that £100 billion divorce bill, Mr. Corbyn would probably pay up, as if he hadn’t already gutted the taxpayer’s purse enough already.

He and his supporters have claimed that Theresa May’s approach to the Brexit negations is “reckless”, and they say this primarily because she is pursuing the hard Brexit route, which is what the people actually want. The truth is we don’t have to give the EU anything. In fact, it is the EU that has to appease us, or else they will face the consequences of alienating Britain. As long as Theresa May remains as Prime Minister, we have the upper hand, and she knows it. It also helps that Theresa May is confident in her role as Prime Minister, backed by undivided party loyalty. Corbyn, meanwhile, is not. He acts on his feelings rather than logic, most of his party hates him and would happily see him go, and he’s so gullible that the EU could easily take advantage of him. I would not be surprised if the EU leaders would celebrate a Labour victory.

And that’s just if we even have Brexit at all. I’ve been hearing talk of how a progressive coalition with Labour and other left-wing parties might actually happen. This would require a hung parliament to happen, in which case Labour may have to form a coalition with any left-wing party that’s willing. If in the unlikely event that such a progressive alliance would succeed, then they will try and stop the Brexit process however they can, and if they succeed, then that’s it. Our last hope for sovereignty would be all but dashed.

So, as I’ve said many times before, if you want Brexit to happen, then you cannot allow Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. He would bring utter ruination to the dream of taking back our national sovereignty, and our right to self-determination, but he’d also do far worse. He’d unwittingly kill off any faith the people have in trying to better their situation through democratic, peaceful means, and that’s when the more far-right nationalists would come in, and usher in something far worse. In the fourth and final part of this series, I aim to debunk the idea that Labour want to change things for the better, using what happened the last time we tried nationalisation as an example.

How could the Tories screw this up?

theresa may

When Theresa May first called the election, it seemed as if she was unbeatable. You have the Prime Minister willing to carry out a hard Brexit as the people demanded, leading the Conservative Party against an openly Marxist Labour Party that is increasingly out of touch with the working class. Early polls showed the Conservatives with a 20-point lead over the failing Labour Party. Experts estimated that the Labour party would be left with only 180 seats, and that’s just being generous. But ever since the Tory manifesto launched, the Tories have been sliding further down the polls, with Labour rising and the Tories’ lead being slashed. Now there’s talk of the possibility of another hung parliament, or worse, Jeremy Corbyn taking power.

My question to Theresa May is this – how could she fuck it up? She had a spotless election that the Tories were guaranteed to win as long as they stuck to Brexit as the main issue. She could do absolutely nothing and still win. Then she called to repeal the ban on fox hunting, which most people in the country still want banned. And then there’s the dementia tax fiasco, which saw her u-turn as soon as things looked ugly for her. And then she released her manifesto, which showcased just how vampiric the one-nation Tories could be, and capped it all off by confirming that Theresa May is coming after the internet. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t comment earlier.

Up until then I was with Tories. I was even willing to look past some of their left-lurching economic policies in the name of securing Brexit. Now I question whether or not I can even bring myself to vote Tory because it would mean endorsing her platform of internet censorship. She’s alienating young people like myself, and she doesn’t seem to care. It’s almost as if she wants to screw up the election so that she doesn’t have to deliver Brexit, and so this is an opportunity to walk away from her responsibilities as Prime Minister. As for my voting intentions, I’m mulling over either voting UKIP (because I think their policies actually make sense), or spoiling my ballot in protest, signing the Libertarian Party instead. Those are the only two honest options I can think of.

What really baffles me is the idea that Labour is actually rising in the polls. Are the Tories so bad that people are willing to vote for communists instead? Is the government so incapable of running an election campaign that it could lose to complete and total moron? Is this the state of British politics as we know it? I would have thought that Corbyn’s weakness on defence and foreign policy would have hindered his rise, but it seems that Theresa May’s ineptitude on social care, and the many other errors in her manifesto, have helped Labour. As the old saying goes – oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them.

Although I might not vote Tory anymore, I still hope that the Conservative Party manages to win the election, because as I have said before, Theresa May has demonstrated that she is the only candidate capable of delivering Brexit properly. I would trust Paul Nuttall to do the same if UKIP were actually electable. As frustrated as I am with the Tories, I still believe they can win this election.

For starters, the media abhors a vacuum, and election campaigns are famously dull, with this election being the dullest of them all. The media hungers for a big buzz, and what better shock for the readers than the idea of an open Marxist being elected to the position of Prime Minister. Second, I think the idea that Corbyn may actually win the election would spur most or all of the right-wingers into voting Conservative en masse just to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power. In fact, that may very well be the reason why it will be impossible for UKIP to gain a seat. I also believe that the elderly voters will hand the Tories a victory. After all, they lived through the time when Corbyn’s brand of socialism was actually in effect, and would vote Conservative to ensure that their grandchildren don’t have to go through what they did in the 1970’s.

Lastly, I think the polls are being skewed again. What we’re seeing with Labour’s rise in the polls is exactly the same as what was happening with the EU referendum. Thanks to the social stigma surrounding the Leave vote, many people, when asked by pollsters about their voting intentions, lied to them about voting Remain in order to not look like the “undesirables” of British society. When Britain went to the ballot box, however, nobody could judge them for how they would vote, and 52% of people who turned out voted to Leave. I think the same thing will happen here. After the Tory manifesto was released, more people started telling the polls they wanted to vote Labour in order to look good, and when it’s time to vote, most people will inevitably vote Tory. Given the alternative, I can only hope that is to be the case.

A lot of people, including myself, were panicking when the press started reporting of the Tories’ fall in the polls, and we had every right to. However, I am confident that, despite how frustrating the Tory campaign has been, the Tories will still win. Perhaps they’ll do better than we thought they would, and return a three-figure majority not seen since the days of Tony Blair. Of course I’m being an idealist, but I don’t have to be one to assume that the Tories can still defeat Labour, and stop the return of 70’s-style socialism.

Blue Labour is not a new phenomenon

postwarcons

The modern Tories are often criticised by some in the right because they aren’t truly right-wing. In fact, it can be said that the modern Tory party has become more socialist than conservative. Nowhere is this criticism more pronounced than when applied to Theresa May, the sitting Tory Prime Minister who opened her premiership with an emphasis on social justice. On economic policy, she’s pretty much a left-leaning Tory cut from the same cloth as most of the party, and many have noted that she has pilfered her platform from what used to be Ed Miliband’s Labour manifesto.

Some have taken to calling this Blue Labour, and in this regard, I agree, though I think this is one of those times where it’s important to learn some history. While Theresa May’s leftward lurching manifesto is pretty much the right-wing version of a typical Labour manifesto, it’s important that the Blue Labour attitude that today’s Tory party embodies has been around for a very long time. In fact, the official name for this brand of right-wing socialism is “one-nation Toryism”. This has been the policy of every post-war Tory PM except Margaret Thatcher, and this is because it stems from the paternalistic worldview that many Tories hold in regards to society.

The Tories have always been the party of the owning class, but contrary to what most people may believe, the old Tories never believed in capitalism. This is evidenced by Harold Macmillian (who would later become PM in 1957), when he insisted that Toryism as an ideology “has always been a form of paternal socialism. Similarly, another future PM named Anthony Eden made the Tory’s opposition to capitalism clear at the 1947 Conservative Party Conference:

“We are not a party of unbridled, brutal capitalism and never have been. We are not the children of the laissez-faire school. We opposed them decade after decade.”

The reason they despised capitalism was because it went against their own view of how society should be ordered. In their worldview, your standing in life was something you were simply born into. You were rich because your parents were rich, you were poor because your parents were poor, and your children would more than likely go down the same route as you will. Capitalism challenged that idea. In capitalism it doesn’t matter how you were born, because you earn success through your own merits, and fall because of your own failings.

To the poor, capitalism presents a path out of poverty, and the old elites resented that. They resented the idea that anyone could become as rich as them, but they were most fearful of the idea that they could lose their wealth and status. Capitalism was a threat to the economic privilege of the wealthy Tories of the olden days, and thus they favoured socialism, a system that, in practice, protects that privilege under the guise of looking after the poor.

The old Tories thought that it was their job, nay, their duty to run the country, and because of their desire to limit the free markets, they ended up agreeing with Labour’s policy of nationalisation, high taxation, high regulation, and a generous welfare state. This was called the “post-war consensus”, which is basically a system of Keynesian socialism with no more than a glimmer of free markets. In the era of the consensus, everything was nationalised, and the welfare state grew until it eventually became unsustainable. Although this consensus began under a Labour government, it was the Tories that truly ushered in the era of consensus-style socialism then ran through to the 1970’s. That was one-nation Toryism in action.

Of course, while the post-war consensus was supposed to give us prosperity after the war, it ended up paralysing the economy by overburdening the state, which by the 1970’s was running out of money because it was paying to keep all the industries going, and the taxpayers were getting less and less able to foot the bill. The consensus was defeated when Margaret Thatcher took power and brought a swift end to nationalisation, putting her at odds with the traditional one-nation Tories. In the end, the EU-loving Tories ousted her from party leadership, and returned to their old ways, and now one-nation Toryism, perhaps the last remnant of consensus-era politics, is the policy of the modern Tory party, as exemplified in the current manifesto.

This Blue Labour philosophy is so entrenched in British conservatism that there really is no right wing in mainstream British politics, and no, UKIP is too weak to count. This part of how the left has come to dominate the narrative in British society, because there is no true right to oppose it, and there hasn’t been since Thatcher lost power. Now it seems like we’re headed for a long reign of protectionism, economic regulations, but at least nationalisation is not on their agenda anymore, all while our civil liberties continue the slow path of erosion. This is Blue Labour in action, but because the alternative is blatant Marxism, it seems this is the only way. Just when we thought they were gone, the days of “There is no alternative” are more alive than ever.