April 23, 2018

TINO (TORIES IN NAME ONLY): Allister Heath writes in The Daily Telegraph (free registration required) about Britain’s very unconservative Conservative government:

True, the pound is recovering, unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975, and real pay is growing again, but the government cannot take much credit. It pays lip-service to entrepreneurship but appears never to have seen a company, transaction or contract it doesn’t want to regulate, tax or subsidise. It confuses book-keeping with conservatism, which is all about upsizing individuals, families and communities and shrinking officialdom’s sphere of influence. It has no interest in supply-side economics, or in the idea that cutting taxes is good for self-reliance, or that we must reform public services by learning from Singapore or Switzerland.

Part of the reason for this hopeless managerialism? A very British Deep State:

It feels as if the machinery of government is in fact controlled by an alliance of social-democrats, corporatists and bureaucrats. For every problem, there must be a state solution; in the absence of any kind of principled conservatism, the default “philosophy” is that the official in Whitehall knows best. The elites are in disarray over Brexit, but continue to hold sway over almost all else: those in charge are paid up members of the Left-wing consensus, guaranteeing that whatever nostrum is fashionable is soon translated into policy. There is thus little difference between decisions taken under the previous or current Prime Ministers.

Andrew Allison of the (excellent) Freedom Association has more thoughts here. It is  darned odd that the British polity was dominated by Thatcherism and Blairism from 1979 to 2010, and yet neither philosophy has a political home at present.


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