I’m off to the Mediterranean sunshine of Provence for a couple of weeks, but I thought I would just briefly comment on the way some of our UK politicians seem dead set on bringing about the death of democracy and individual freedom. Sadly, I don’t think that statement is really much of an exaggeration. I’ve written before of my views on brexit, but despite that, I find it utterly incredible that what purports to be a democratic party - indeed, they even call themselves the Liberal Democrats - have announced that their policy, in the unlikely event that they were ever in a position to implement one, would be simply to ignore the result of the 2016 EU referendum and pretend it never happened. Call me old-fashioned, but I would have thought that if you have a vote in a democratic society, you do really have to enact its result, even if you don’t like it. It’s a concept known as losers’ consent, and without it, I’m afraid, what you have looks very much like a dictatorship.
And then on top of that, we have been treated to the spectacle of rowing and bitching and class warfare that is the Labour party conference. That’s the one that promises anything it thinks might snatch some votes, without ever acknowledging how the freebies will be financed. Thus, this year, ignoring the incontrovertible fact that productivity in UK industries lags behind our major competitors, shadow chancellor McDonnell merrily announced that under his government, the working week would be cut to 32 hours; pay would remain the same, of course, so that wouldn’t cause any problems, would it? Pay the same for less work in an economy already suffering from low relative productivity - what could go wrong?
That’s not all McDonnell proposes, either. “Abolish private education!”he cries. Why? Because it’s not fair. Well, there may be some truth in that, but being positive is normally far better than the opposite. Destroying the bit that works best is not the rational choice; trying to see what works better and applying it as widely as possible would surely be a more constructive course to follow. But no, when your intention is to create divisions and force identity politics further and further down people’s throats, then of course setting groups against each other is exactly what you aim to do. The target is for the state - represented of course by the party cadres - to own your entire life.
Sorry for such a ranting, gloomy piece. As I say, I’m off to France now, hopefully to forget all about this stuff. The next article will not be until mid-October.