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.

Let’s face facts – the “Liberal Democrats” aren’t liberal

liberal democrats

Tell me if you’ve heard this argument before. The Liberal Democrats are supposedly the only liberal party in an election with a far-left Marxist Labour leader running against a nanny state Tory party. By that logic, any real liberal should vote for the Liberal Democrats, right? Wrong! The “Liberal” Democrats are liberals in name only. They haven’t been truly liberal in a long time, certainly not under its leftist leader Tim Farron.

Their latest manifesto essentially confirms this, with the Liberal Democrats reaffirming their opposition to Brexit (never mind the fact that only 22% of the country wants Britain to stay in the EU, and that could be shrinking). In case Tim Farron hasn’t heard, opposing the popular vote makes you illiberal. It is anathema to liberty and liberalism. If that’s not enough, they want to ban the sale of diesel cars by 2025 if elected. If Tim Farron wants his party to fail, then congratulations, because now his party can only appeal to bourgeois middle-class leftists in London or Cardiff.

More importantly, the manifesto tells me that todays Liberal Democrats are more like social democrats, reading like the kind of manifesto Labour would release if it weren’t so far to the left. On economic policy they want to raise the corporate tax to 20% (it’s already at 19%, which is bad enough), and add 1p on income tax, which they say is how they’ll raise £6 billion for the NHS. On the whole, they’ve pretty much adopted Labour’s love of spending money. They plan to spend £7 billion on education, reverse universal credit at a cost of £3.6 billion, and £2 billion on flood defences. I’ll admit that this isn’t as bad as Labour’s spending plans (the flood defence pledge sounds like a good idea), but again, in order to spend that much, they have to raise taxes, which they’re pretty much open about.

They also want a second referendum on a “final Brexit deal”, which is completely ludicrous as we already voted on whether or not to leave the EU, and parliament already gave Theresa May approval to trigger Article 50. I assume once the British public inevitably votes for hard Brexit, the Lib Dems would probably ask for a third referendum until they get what they want. They also want to remain in the single market, which nobody wants anymore, and seeing as they favour freedom of movement as the EU would define it, I have reason to suspect that they’ll probably force the country to take in more migrants sent over from places like Germany or France, not that we’ll get to vote on whether or not to take in more immigrants.

The idea that the Lib Dems are liberal is complete nonsense. Only about 10% of their manifesto is liberal policy, with the rest being a bunch of idealistic socialist claptrap that’s at least moderate compared to the far-left Labour manifesto. It’s ludicrous to assume that the Lib Dems are liberal just because they want to decriminalise weed and scrap the Snooper’s Charter, both of those policies I completely agree with by the way. The sad truth is that there is no liberal party in mainstream politics. There is the Libertarian Party, but they’re only running a few candidates, and there’s a slim chance that any of them will gain a seat.

Ever since the rise of socialism, liberalism hasn’t been popular in British politics in a long time, to the point that even the supposed “liberal” party has forgotten about what it truly means to be liberal. I would argue that liberalism itself has become ineffectual in the days when the political centre is collapsing in on itself, but that’s another topic for another time. It would help if Tim Farron wasn’t such a complete moron who can’t even defend his views on abortion, or homosexuality. Let’s face facts. Liberal or not, the Liberal Democrats are a train wreck of a party, and they’re the liberal party, then liberalism is fucked.

#KeeptheBan: I agree but please stop the virtue signalling

keep the ban

Now this is just naked guilt mongering. Loads of these memes can be found on your Facebook feed.

Last week, Theresa May sent the British left into a frenzy by promising a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban if the Tories win the election, which we all know they will. For those who don’t know, fox hunting in Britain is a sport in which a group of people, led by a hunt master, hunt down a fox using trained dogs that chase the fox and kill it. In 2004, the Labour government passed the Hunting Act, which effectively banned the practice of hunting mammals with dogs, but the Conservatives have been trying to repeal the ban for years.

Naturally, leftists all over the country went into a fit of rage, and reacted in the only way they know how, by spreading more annoying memes that serve no purpose other than to remind you that you’re supposed to be voting Labour, and if you vote Conservative you’re somehow some kind of monster. I see these memes all over my Facebook feed, and all they do is turn a legitimate cause (protecting foxes from a cruel and barbaric practice) into something that you just roll your eyes at because of how cringeworthy people get when they’re virtue signalling.

To make myself clear, I definitely oppose fox hunting. I see no reason why it should be legal (though I have yet to hear a convincing pro-hunting case), and I completely agree with the argument that fox hunting is unethical. This is perhaps one of the few things I could possibly agree with the left on, but even when they’re right, the left can’t help but fuck it up. Only the progressives can turn a noble animal rights cause into a noxious guilt trip, and in my view that’s exactly what’s happened with the #KeeptheBan campaign.

The reason I’m concerned with the way supporters of the fox hunting ban are going about this is because of the pattern that I’ve been seeing with left-wing campaigns. Over the past few years, leftists have conducted their campaigns not by winning people over with a strong argument, because they don’t have the winning argument, but by appealing to people’s emotions, and making it seem like you are immoral for not supporting their cause. I’ve seen this over and over again, and the end result is that eventually only a few people end up supporting, because it turns out that making yourselves look like the good guys and guilt-tripping people into supporting you isn’t a very effective tactic, and the fact that the anti-fox hunting people are using these same virtue signalling tactics (at least with the cringy leftist memes) is a sign of their idiocy.

Besides, whether or not you agree with the fox hunting ban, surely there’s nothing wrong with having a vote on whether or not it should be repealed. It could be that most of the MP’s vote in favour of the ban. If they vote to repeal, then by all means protest the decision. Start petitions if you want (not that it will do any good). Hell, you could go a step further and form your own advocacy groups against fox hunting. Why not? It’s perfectly legal after all. My main criticism of Theresa May’s proposal is that it seemed like she was blatantly taking advantage of her high electoral chances. That sounds cynical, but given how she’s pretty much guaranteed to win the election, what other conclusion could I come to?

Nonetheless, it seems to have distracted a lot of people from the Brexit issue, which is all the election is about when you really think about it. That’s ultimately the other reason I don’t care a great deal about the fox hunting ban right now. There are better times to fight on this issue, but right now there are more important things than fox hunting. The country needs a leader who can tangle with the adversarial leaders of the EU, so that we can get out of the EU, fulfilling the will of the people. As much as I agree with the anti-fox hunting crowd on the basic premise, I’m afraid this is a fight they aren’t going to win.

The death of UKIP

ukip

It could be said that the local elections were a harbinger of things to come in next month’s general election, and it’s fairly easy to see why. The Conservatives have made significant gains in local council seats, while Labour have suffered significantly. However, I doubt that the elections have been any worse for anyone than they have been for the UK Independence Party, having lost all but a single council seat.

Many were quick to declare the death of UKIP, and now even Nigel Farage, the former leader of the party, has little hope of the party lasting longer than two years. In all fairness, they’re right. The whole point of UKIP was to achieve Britain’s emancipation from the European Union, and thanks to last year’s historic referendum, that goal will be achieved, rendering UKIP obsolete as a party (though there are still a small amount of loyal supporters willing to vote for them).

I sort of expected this to happen, and I thought that they might steal Labour seats from the north in the next election. What I should have expected was that the UKIP would lose seats to the Tories, but now that that’s the case, it’s likely that UKIP has absolutely no chance in the upcoming election, and they probably won’t even have a single seat, and probably won’t even reclaim the seat Douglas Carswell gave up. In other words, UKIP’s fate is sealed.

So to the people who think UKIP are “fascists” or “Nazis”, don’t worry. UKIP aren’t a threat. In fact, if you’re a Remainer you should be happy that Brexit is even happening, because the success of Brexit will kill UKIP as a party, so if you want UKIP gone, you want Brexit to work. Besides, UKIP is probably decaying its own thanks to years of political infighting, and the ineptitude of its leader Paul Nuttall. At this rate, if they don’t disband within the next two years, then they’ll pretty much become the equivalent of America’s Constitution Party, a fringe right-wing party that never makes any electoral gains (at least no significant gains anyway), and has no influence on the political landscape in any significant way.

That is the future for UKIP, but I think the people in UKIP are already aware of that. I’d suggest rebranding the party but I think it’s too late. Paul Nuttall did consider rebranding the party for the next general election, but now that we have a snap election, he’s got no time to rebrand, and had shelved the idea. I very much doubt that there’s anything that will save UKIP’s fortunes, whether the party rebrands or not. I suppose it wouldn’t make much of a difference with Farage still leading the party.

They may yet be gone in a few years, but at the very least they will be remembered for exerting the amount of pressure on the government necessary for accomplishing the goal that they had set out to do – triggering an EU membership referendum which successfully results in a UK withdrawal. Of course, they will be forever reviled by what remains of the globalist, Marxist left in the future, but I believe that history will remember them in a positive light, if mainly because the Brexiteers will become the new establishment (with Theresa May embracing hard Brexit, that is already happening). However, I doubt that UKIP will get much credit. After all, history is written by the winners.

The return of the moral busybodies

stop funding hate

It appears that in today’s world, the home of persistent, self-appointed moral guardians is in the left, and this is evident in a divisive new campaign called “Stop Funding Hate”. What is it? It’s a campaign that aims to pressure major companies into withdrawing ads from right-wing tabloids such as The Sun, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Express. In other words, it’s a thinly disguised attempt at censoring newspapers they disagree with. They made news this month when they released a John Lewis style mock advert calling on them to stop funding right-wing papers. Sadly they’ve already gotten one company to cave in, as Lego announced that they will stop advertising in The Daily Mail. The Co-op Group (for those who don’t know, they’re a British supermarket chain) has also announced that they are “reviewing their policies”, and Waitrose and M&S are also being urged by the group.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but this campaign sounds exactly like the self-appointed moral crusaders of the 1980’s, and it’s sickening. It seems as if today’s progressives are obsessed with silencing opposing opinions, and to be fair, that’s all the left can do nowadays. They’re losing elections, their propaganda is being rejected, and their ideas are being proven wrong in the face of reality. Incidentally, the main targets of this campaign – The Sun, The Daily Express, and The Daily Mail – are all right-wing, populist and most importantly Eurosceptic publications, and all of them backed Brexit. Taking that into account, it’s no surprise that they’re targeting those publications in particular.

Even more baffling is the fact that somebody is actually giving these moral busy-bodies what they want. My question to Lego is this – are you insane? The first rule of handling social justice warriors is that you shouldn’t give them what they want. If you do, then they know that they will have power over you, and they can demand more from you, and they will because they are never happy. This is why you never apologise to a social justice warrior, it shows them that you are weak, and that’s exactly what Lego has done in this situation. At least John Lewis, the company being targeted by the group’s latest ad, has shown some sense, having stated that they “never make an editorial judgement on a particular newspaper”.

I had a quick look at their Facebook page, and according to their about page, they claim to stand for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice, impartiality, inclusiveness, consistency and universality, and at this point, I know they’re full of shit. They are not in favour of free speech or freedom of the press, or freedom of choice for that matter. They cannot be if the point of their campaign is to stop companies from advertising on newspapers they disapprove of. That is not the goal of a group that values freedom of speech. It is in fact censorship, and it’s wrong when anybody calls for it, no matter how noble you think your goal may be.

Their claim to stand for impartiality is also bullshit, mainly because they’re deliberately targeting newspapers that supported Brexit, and oppose mass immigration. As for inclusiveness, I’m definitely sure that’s what an SJW would stand for, but I’m pretty sure that they’re the kind of people who would ostracise you if you expressed any opinions that differed from theirs (for example, feminism). The only two principles I can say they do hold sincerely are consistency and universality, given that they are consistent in their petulant, self-righteous moralism.

Given that the focus of their campaign is coverage involving immigration, Stop Funding Hate exemplifies the reason why nationalism is coming back into vogue here in Europe, because the left refuses to allow an honest discussion on immigration to take place, preferring instead to talk down to the common man, labelling anyone who opposes immigration at all as a “racist”, “xenophobe” or an “Islamophobe” (more common than ever due to the Syrian migrant crisis). To me, this campaign is yet another symptom of just how terribly simplified political discussion has become. We live in a time where the left has turned any discussion on immigration or almost anything else political into a matter of “love versus hate”, which is complete nonsense. It reminds me of San Angeles in the movie Demolition Man (which is a classic I would recommend to everyone reading this), in which the rules of society are geared toward engineering a world where people aren’t assholes.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily like the sensationalist rhetoric of these right-wing newspapers, and I’ve always criticised them because of it, but that doesn’t make it right to pressure companies into withdrawing ads from those papers. To me, that fundamentally contradicts the right to a free press, goes against a company’s right to freedom of association, and could very much set a dangerous precedent. In the future, maybe a Christian pressure group could force a company to pull their ads from a paper that constantly criticises their religion. If that happened, we would basically have a scenario where the censorship that the left demands so much is used on them.

My beef with TV licensing (and the BBC)

tv licensing

So I heard that the BBC are rolling out new changes to the TV licensing laws, which effectively mean that, starting from September 1st, you will have to get a TV license in order to download or even watch BBC programs via iPlayer. What it means it that, if you want to watch TV shows on BBC iPlayer on any broadcasting device at all (including tablets by the way), you have to pay the extortionate TV licensing fee (which as of 2010 is frozen at £145.50 per year).

For starters, it means that I have to basically stop watching anything from the BBC (which I can totally do because I don’t even like the BBC, for reasons we’re about to get into) because that rule extends to university students like myself. However, the main thing about this new law is that it shows how desperate the BBC has gotten. When I first heard of this, I thought it was basically an obvious attempt to target university students (as if we don’t have enough expenses to pay as it is) just to keep the god-awful BBC Three alive.

To clear things up, BBC Three died a natural death. Viewership began declining as young people moved towards tablets and online on-demand content, and so the BBC couldn’t afford to keep the channel anymore, as would inevitably happen over a period of time. They kept it running as an online channel, but while its rating aren’t catastrophically bad, I don’t see a lot of people clamouring to watch it. I personally don’t feel that people living in halls should have to pay an arm and a leg every year just to keep a dreggy, ancillary channel alive in a era where it is no longer relevant, and clearly can’t survive in a free market.

In fact, I’ve always despised the TV licensing fees. For those of my readers who live outside Britain, the TV licensing fee is an annual fee that we in Britain are forced to pay if we have a TV, and because the BBC is owned, operated and controlled by the government, that fee is basically how the BBC is funded (this is why BBC channels and radio stations don’t need ad revenue, and therefore have no ads). To me, this sounds like a blatantly socialist concept, as it is counter to the idea that a TV station should survive or collapse on its own in the free market. I also find it very bizarre that the majority of Brits actually defend the institution that forces you to pay extortionate amounts of money just to stay alive, so here are a few reasons why I think we should abolish the TV licensing fee.

1. The concept of a public TV station is outdated

As I mentioned earlier, the BBC has slowly become an irrelevant institution. In the old days, people were basically stuck to the live channels as they were the only source of TV programs, sport and news updates, and whatever they had what was you got. Flash forward to 2016 – now people can get their news from an array of online sources, including social media websites, and thanks to the invention of tablets and streaming services like Netflix, you can stream any TV programme you want without the need of a TV.

In today’s world, the TV is becoming a relic of the 20th century, and by consequence, so is the BBC, and they know that. Why else would you have thousands of British households cancelling their TV licensees? In a world where you can catch up on BBC’s programmes through the iPlayer service, why even would you bother paying the license for something you don’t need? With that in mind, we come to the only reason the new law is being rolled out – the BBC is losing money.

The BBC has apparently lost £238 million because people have decided that, with tablets, there’s no need to pay an expensive TV license fee. Of course, the regressive government institution that it is, they want to close that loophole because they’re afraid of becoming irrelevant, and thus unprofitable. The new law is simply a way for the BBC to try and make money by forcing people to pay for iPlayer, a service that, by all rights, should be available for free. All the new law will end up doing is driving people over to the alternative streaming services, which are significantly cheaper if not available for free, further crippling the BBC.

2. Why should I pay for bad TV?

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but most of the shows on BBC’s channels are mediocre at best. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule (such as “The A Word”, which is due for a new season), but most of the BBC’s programming consists of much of the same kind of claptrap you find on its competitors (Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5), all of which can exist without the licensing fee.

The only good thing I can say is that BBC’s shows have better production values than their competitors (the nature documentaries look and sound fantastic), and I have no doubt that BBC programmes might have been much better in the past, but I don’t feel it to be the case now. I’m aware that there are quite a few popular and highly-regarded shows on the BBC, like Doctor Who and Sherlock, but I feel that if people really like them enough, then they will survive without the need of a licensing fee. I don’t really care what people watch. If they like it, it’s their prerogative, but I shouldn’t have to pay for them. I don’t see why people should be prosecuted just because they don’t want to have to pay to keep Flog It on the air.

I’m also aware of the fact that the licensing fee also funds BBC Radio. To me that means it sustains one of my most hated institutions – BBC Radio 1. If I were to pay the licensing fee, I’d be paying to sustain the vapid cesspool of decadence and garbage that I always thought of Radio 1 as back in high school. The other radio stations, however, I have a mixed opinion of.

3. Why should I pay for propaganda?

In the old days, most people got their news from the BBC, and when I was young, it was generally assumed that BBC News is completely unbiased, but that’s complete balderdash. Because the BBC is essentially owned by the government, BBC News is the state news network, meaning that it will invariably be promoting some sort of agenda.

Many right-wing newspapers accuse the BBC of having a blatant left-wing bias, and they’re absolutely right. I noticed this during the Brexit vote, and the BBC showed an obvious bias in favour of the Remain camp (but then, most of the establishment media was in the same boat). They’ve also been known to spin anything involving Donald Trump (I don’t support him, but I dislike the intellectual dishonesty displayed by the media right now). Recently, Donald Trump said that supporters of the Second Amendment could hinder Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He said this while making a point about how gun rights may be endangered if Hillary got to appoint her own judges of the Supreme Court (which, if she’s president, she will). However, the mainstream media, including the BBC, reported it as if Trump was calling for Hillary’s assassination.

The BBC is also very much entrenched in the ideology of political correctness, which makes sense coming from a pro-government channel. The BBC have made various documentaries that serve to promote an ideological agenda, and the best example I could think of is on BBC Three, who made a documentary entitled Porn: What’s the Harm. What was it? It was basically a piece that promotes the lie that porn causes sexual violence, child abuse, and rampant underage sexual activity, with no proof at all. This came in around the time when David Cameron’s government came under fire for attempting to implement a controversial porn filter (which was also going to block a number of non-pornographic sites), and since the BBC does the bidding of the government, the BBC, through it’s teen-oriented channel, was focused on trying to convince young people that porn is evil. They even brought in a former child actor to promote the lie. They also love to tout the merits of cultural diversity, while simultaneously chiding American Christians because they believe in angels (as they did in at least one BBC Three documentary).

4. If the BBC can’t survive on its own, what’s the point of keeping it alive?

Being a filthy capitalist libertarian pig dog, I believe in the virtues of the free market. Hence, I’m diametrically opposed to the idea of the citizenry being forced to pay for something against their will. That is why I oppose state-funded media and arts, because it comes at the expense of the taxpayer.

As I mentioned earlier, the BBC is clearly struggling to survive in an era where we can live without it. If it weren’t for the fact that we’re forced to pay the license fee, the BBC would probably be dead, or at least it wouldn’t have the money to keep producing so much content, or it might have shrunk to just a few TV channels and possibly one radio station.

Besides, I remember watching the BBC often because nothing else. Whenever I could choose something better, I would never watch the BBC. Of course, what bothers me even more is the concept of a TV license enforcement division, with officers that can search your home if they have a warrant. I haven’t heard of any other country in the world that has them around. And of course, the enemy of the BBC, which controls 70% of news output on TV and radio, is competition. If it was freed from government control, it would be forced to succeed or fail by its own merits, like all the other channels, but apparently the government doesn’t want that.

 

5. What are the arguments in favour of it?

Since the BBC is entrenched into the fabric of British society, it generally goes unquestioned despite the horrendous extortion Brits have to put up with. Naturally, a number of arguments in favour of the licensing fee (and the BBC) have come up, so I’d like to address the main arguments before I tune out.

  • The BBC does wonderful work and we must protect it – From what? The BBC is a corporation. It doesn’t or shouldn’t need government protection. And further more, what wonderful work? If you mean TV programming, then that’s completely subjective. For instance, I can’t stand Strictly Come Dancing. I find it a vapid exercise in brain-melting distraction. That’s why I’ve stayed away from it ever since I was 14. If you mean the news, then, as I’ve already said earlier, the BBC’s news service is essentially politically correct propaganda that omits any details that are inconvenient to their narrative.
  • The BBC does not have to sell advertising – I agree that ads are extremely annoying, with their universally crappy jingles and barely passable actors, but I don’t think that the licensing fee is the best solution. Besides, you can now streaming videos online with minimal ads, and on Netflix, you can stream TV programmes with no ads at all, which means the point about having no ads is a moot one.
  • The BBC delivers a variety of content – So does the Internet, which provides the greatest possible amount of variety known to man, catering to every niche you can imagine, and the best part is that you can pick and choose what you want to watch or listen to online, and it usually doesn’t you a dime (even the internet bill in my house isn’t as expensive as the TV licensing fee).
  • The BBC charter defines quality content – Again, that’s entirely subjective. Of course, the BBC can boast higher production values than their competitors, but remember, that money comes from leeching the public dry. Also, you can find great content that the BBC doesn’t have online, for free. You don’t have to go to the BBC at all for high quality content. Hell, if you were rich, you could afford access to content that is even better than the BBC if you knew where to look.
  • The BBC is an essential public service – Let me be clear on this final argument. Television is not an essential public service, and neither is the BBC. To those who say the BBC’s remit is to inform and educate as well as entertain, education should be the responsibility of either schools or your parents, not a state-owned propaganda outlet such as the BBC. As for entertainment, you can literally get entertainment anywhere other than the BBC, and for information in relation to news, you can get your news anywhere else online. Barely anyone watches broadcast news anymore since you can get it all online now. BBC News even has its own website, and with iPlayer around (which they’re going to charge you for through the license fee), you don’t even have to watch the channels proper.

Through all of this, I my principal argument is that the TV licensing fee should be abolished. All it does in the long run is preserve an outdated institution at the expensive of the taxpayer, which I find to be a frivolous excess. As for the BBC, I think it should be privatised, which of course would force it to compete in a free market, freeing the citizenry of an arbitrary expense. Yes, this will probably mean ads, but if I were watching TV, I would rather sit through terrible ads than be forced to pay for a channel I don’t want to use. Besides, I’m very certain that privatising the BBC will have no effect on the quality of the BBC’s programming. I’m sure the BBC can still capably produce programming to its viewers’ liking without forcing the rest of us to pay for it.

The fall of Labour

dying rose

“The Dying Rose” by Janina-Photography on deviantART

The political fallout from Brexit has so far been spectacular in its brutality, with the Tory split now being wider and more pronounced than ever before, Scotland whining about how it wants another independence referendum, and a bunch of whining youngsters from London crying over the last weekend. However, the biggest casualty of all was the Labour Party, which even as I write this is busy cannibalising itself to oblivion.

For those of you who live outside the UK, Labour is Britain’s major left-wing political party. As I see it, they’re basically the party that young people vote for whenever they want the Tories out of power, or because they believe that Labour will make a fairer Britain. Whenever the conservatives are in power, Labour is referred to as the opposition because they tend to gain more seats that the other competing parties aside from the Conservatives. In government, they are usually the well-meaning but incompetent political party, much like the Democrats in America. By contrast, the Conservatives are the major right-wing political party, and they’re known for running competent but sometimes overbearing governments, much like the U.S. Republicans. To my knowledge, most of the prime ministers that have ever been elected since the office was created have been Conservative Party members, so I’m guessing either they do a damn good job in government, or they’re very good at getting votes.

After Brexit, several Labour MP’s blamed Jeremy Corbyn’s performance for the failure of the Remain campaign, and as a result, twelve members of his shadow cabinet resigned in protest, along with five of his shadow ministers. Several members of the Labour Party are giving Jeremy a motion of no confidence, and openly challenging his leadership, possibly leading to another leadership contest. Jeremy obviously has no intention of resigning, and has recently stated that he will continue standing as the party leader, standing as a candidate in the leadership contest.

Of course, one might blame the downfall of the Labour Party on Brexit, but I contend that the Labour Party has had serious problems before Brexit. All the referendum did was expose the problems of Labour. The party always claims to stand for the working people, but as we saw in the referendum, they apparently don’t care about the problems facing the working class. Why else would some of Labour’s strongholds in the North vote Leave? The answer is because Labour has failed them, and I imagine that this has been a lingering sentiment for a long time.

In 1997, we elected Tony Blair, the first Labour PM since 1979, when the party was defeated by Margaret Thatcher. Until then, the Conservatives continued to remain in government for the next 18 years, first under Thatcher and then under John Major in 1992. When Tony Blair was elected, he was unlike any other Labour prime minister we’ve seen before. He was more of a right-leaning centrist like then-US president Bill Clinton, than a left-leaning socialist like any of his predecessors. The ideological differences between Blair’s wing of the party and the traditional leftists in the party were so stark that Blair’s party was called “New Labour”. Even today, those who support Blair’s policies and the centrist ideology of New Labour are called “Blairites”, while the more hard-left Labour backers would now be called “Corbynites”.

Given that Tony Blair is to date the only Labour leader to win three consecutive elections and lose none (having resigned in 2007), you’d think that he would be revered by the Labour Party, but he’s actually rather unpopular in his own party, and in the wider British public, and I can see why. He’s unpopular amongst Labour MP’s because he embraced capitalism rather than rejecting it, and also attempted to rid the party of its left-wing elements in his attempts to modernise the party (this is the New Labour I mentioned earlier), generating strong animosity between him and his chancellor Gordon Brown, who took office following Blair’s resignation.

Blair was also the man who led the UK into the Iraq War without popular consent, and refused to apologise for it. He might have been forgiven had the Iraq War been successful, but not only did it fail to bring peace to Iraq, the destabilisation of the country also created the ideal conditions for the rise of ISIS, and other Islamic extremists in the area. He also managed to offend both the left and the right because of his failure to control immigration. Indeed, the legacy of Blair’s Labour seemed to taint the reputation of the party, but I think Gordon Brown did worse. Brown’s government oversaw the worst financial crisis in global history, and he bailed out the banks. On top of that, his government was implementing some very bizarre policies, like the time the government considered making a quarter of the adult population face “anti-paedophile tests”, in what I could only describe as overbearing government paranoia.

Needless to say, Brown failed miserably in the three years he served as PM. He lost to a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition (which would later become one of the most maligned governments in history), and the Labour Party became virtually unelectable. They later elected a new leader, Ed Miliband, and I frankly don’t understand how he got elected. Miliband was basically an inept buffoon incapable of competing with the Conservatives. Somehow I’d rather have David Cameron than him. Basically Ed Miliband was a PR disaster for the party, and his ineptitude led to another Labour defeat in 2015. On policy, he only ever seemed to make his point in reaction to whatever the government did (for instance, whenever energy prices went up, he called for controls), and as far as personality goes, he often seemed awkward, and he never really connected with the people he wanted to vote for him.

With all that in mind, it’s no wonder the working class people have been rejecting Labour. If it’s not just that, then I would blame Labour’s policies. Labour’s entire strategy is convincing poor people that rich people are making them poorer, and that’s quite rich coming from a bunch of middle class leftists. Labour MPs have also been wasting their time on social justice issues (such as censoring “sexist” video games and “reclaiming” the internet), with the party itself becoming the party of the modern social justice warrior. None of this has anything to do with the interest of working class, with all the SJW’s filling shadow cabinet seats (Harriet Harman comes to mind), it seems that the Labour Party has lost touch with the very people they purport to represent. They have become the party of The Guardian, The Independent, the anti-democratic European Union, and of all the pretentious middle class liberals who tout themselves as progressives who believe in democracy, but then whine when the popular vote doesn’t go their way, as they did after the 2015 election, and again after Brexit.

So there you have it. The Labour of today is now hopelessly divided, and most jarringly, has lost touch with the average man. The consequences of this are obvious, with the Labour Party still reeling from their failed EU campaign, and Jeremy Corbyn facing a revolt from his own party. As I see it, the party that once championed the working class now has its head so far up where the sun doesn’t shine that it blames the leader they elected for failure of a Remain campaign that, to be frank, was destined to fail.

Now, I actually don’t mind Jeremy Corbyn, but I don’t think he’s that good a leader. He supported EU membership just to keep his own party together, and that didn’t work out so well. He’s only been the Labour leader for nine months and already he’s got a good chunk of the party wanting to oust him. If anything, this is so far a worse performance than Ed Miliband. I’m no Labour supporter, but I think there’s dark times ahead for Labour party, and at this rate, they’ll have very little chance of beating the Conservative government, especially if Boris Johnson becomes the new Tory leader.