Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Future Cameron Policy Statements

The bubble has burst. Oh, it has most definitely burst. When many UK classical liberals heard David Cameron say, "I am at heart a libertarian", they pricked up their ears. Could it be true? Could a leading politician, who looked like he had a chance of winning a General Election, actually be a believer in liberty? Could Cameron actually be a man who believed that less government is good for you? As hope springs eternal in the human condition, many prayed that it could be true and voted for him in the Tory party election. Naysayers such as myself said, "Come on, it's all just spin to get you to vote for him." I was rebuffed. "No, this time it could be true," they said, so I kept my powder dry. For I knew he would let them down, though I must admit even I was surprised at the speed with which he unmasked himself, once the final votes had been cast.

So now we all know the truth. For David Cameron really is, at heart, a Chocolate Orange Inspector. But there's a lot more where that came from. In fact, I have a secret spy at Tory HQ who has supplied me with future Cameronian pronouncements on his personal beliefs, due out over the next few weeks. I've highlighted the crucial phrases, which tell us all we need to know about Mr Cameron. Here we go:

I believe...

...that individual liberty, civil society and economic enterprise can only flourish in stable, orderly and strong communities

...there should be no cap on educational achievement and no limit to educational aspiration

...that good transport links, for both people and goods, are vital for our economy and the welfare of our community

...that sustainable development – striking a balance between economic growth and environmental protection – is of crucial importance

...that low taxes, a stable economy and intelligent regulation will make Britain one of the best business environments in the world

...that we have a global responsibility to help reduce international conflict, combat terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction

...that Britain’s security, prosperity and democratic values are strengthened by active international co-operation

Remarkably, all of the above pronouncements look identical to those found on New Labour's own web site.

But when you hear Cameron use the highlighted phrases above, embedded within his policy statements, remember where you read them first.

For good measure, let's just translate them too, into plain English:

  • Communities: Different snarling pressure groups, all of them aggressively at war with each other and after their own slice of the tax pie

  • Aspiration: More tax pie, but this time pie in the sky

  • Welfare: State theft from the haves to hand over to state supporting have nots, with a little slice left over to the state, for a job well done

  • Sustainable Development: Caving in to Malthusian idiocy, to assuage those nature worshipping voters who would have preferred it if we had stayed in the stone age

  • Intelligent Regulation: Oxymoronic ratchet steps on the roads to serfdom and full-blown Fascism

  • Global Responsibility: Doing what the US government tells us, so we can be favoured partners in their empire

  • International Co-operation: Caving in to the French government, so we can be favoured partners in their empire


Libertarian Jason said...

Welfare: State theft from the haves to hand over to state supporting have nots, with a little slice left over to the state, for a job well done

I always preferred to define welfare as State Theft from the "doers" to the "non-doers"....since welfare for the rich and middle class does exist.

Jack Maturin said...

Corporate welfare is a terrible problem, with tariffs, subsidies, and a whole cornucopia of taxpayer cash going to wealthy individuals, most often friends of the government in some way. And don't get me started on the farmers! :-)

To clarify, my use of 'haves' and 'have nots' is following Hoppe's definition of haves and have nots in a Theory of Capitalism and Socialism, where indeed Hoppe does admit that many of us are both paying into the welfare state and getting payback from the welfare state at the same time, because of the chaos it causes.

This is because most of us are not in one fixed 'have' or 'have not' group for everything. We are in many different groups, some 'have' and some 'have not'.

For instance, let's imagine I'm in five separate groups. I'm in a 'have not' group for sports cars, country houses, and golf club membership, and I'm in a 'have' group for 4x4 cars, and home ownership.

A 'have' group, in whatever it is, will always be outnumbered by the 'have not' group, in the same category, because if we all had something we wouldn't be concerned about it and politicians wouldn't then be able to use our envy and spite, about whatever it is, to lever themselves into positions of power. So in our various 'have not' groups, we use our democratic muscle to force the 'haves' to hand over their property for our short-term 'have not' benefit.

So, as a reactive non-thinking 'have not' hat on, I love it when the 'haves' are forced to part with their property so that I can afford a sports car, ramble over their country house land, and they are taxed to pay for my cheap municipal golf course. Though with my 'have' hat on, of course, I hate paying road and petrol tax, and the huge cost of my house mortgage, due to the same inflation which is used to prop up the welfare state (a house is, or really should be classified, as a depreciating consumer good, but government money supply inflation makes housing seem like a capital investment, when at best it is only an inflation hedge - real capital investment only takes place in higher order goods used for lower production or consumer goods. We can see the effect clearly in really high inflation economies, where even cars become valid investments, just like housing property, despite being depreciating consumer goods).

So you're right, it is a mish-mash of winners and losers in the welfare state system. But what I think everyone, outside of the government, is beginning to realise, is that nobody but the government is a winner in a welfare state. It impoverishes all of the rest of us.

I mean, would you actually like to live on a council estate, making a living from welfare fraud and the odd piece of black market cash? Would you actually like a job on 20,000 a year as an anti-smoking awareness counsellor? I'd rather die than be in either position. Welfare and/or government non-job status is not something good to give somebody; it's something which destroys the human soul.

Getting someone onto welfare, particularly, is about the worst possible thing you could do to them, with all sorts of depressed correlations in educational levels, health, life expectancy, and general quality of life.

And just look at the mess the welfare state has created in pensions. When that welfare state pension bubble finally bursts, we'll really get to see nature red in tooth and claw.