Friday, 26 May 2017

Let's Calm It Down A Little

For a political blogger I have been strangely quiet of late, all through the local elections and in the face of a general election too. Well, I have been busy on other projects which I hope will do some good for society and maybe earn me a crust as well. I haven't stopped caring about politics, but I may give up being the voice in the wilderness.

Mrs May isn't right about much in my view, but she is right that this is an especially crucial time. It needn't have been so perilous if it weren't for that stupid referendum, but it is. Even the Tories have put back balancing the books by years, whilst the loony left wants to borrow more, ending austerity at a stroke and passing a Greek style economy on to the kids.

Extremism is a problem in so many areas and ways, political and religious, just look around at the world. From Trump, to Syria, to North Korea and Libya and that's without the extremism which causes people to blow up themselves and their fellow human beings.

The antidote is to move more towards the centre; to a liberal, common sense, middle of the road position. The current Tories are about as right wing as they've ever been, wedded to big business, despite the rhetoric and the Labour Party as currently led is about as far left as it's ever been. After all those years of Thatcher, followed by all the Blair, Brown years the pendulum is out of control and only a big vote for the centre parties can impede it.

The Tories once spoke of wealth cascading down the generations, but now they want to make old age a lottery and get all the growth people have seen from property price rises for themselves. They also want to raise tax and National Insurance and they're not doing anything to hide their intentions believing Corbyn cannot win.

And now we're getting to the crux. It works for the Tories and the Labour Party and the right wing press to pretend it's a straight choice between Corbyn and May, it isn't. It's looking like a choice between Thatcher and Foot if you're old enough to remember, but it isn't.

As then, so it is now, there's the party that dare not speak its name the Lib Dems, Liberals as was. Whether it's the media which keeps them in the fridge or whether they don't have the financial clout to heat things up I don't know, but this ought to be their time.

Only one major party is pro Europe and only one major party is truly united. The Lib Dems should own the 48 percenters and all those who voted leave but now regret the chaos, and all the protest voters who just wanted to kick Cameron and Osborne and who now wonder what they've unleashed. Not to mention those Brits abroad who have a vote and those Europeans living, working and paying tax here who have a vote.

As well as talking about wealth cascading down the generations, the Tories also used to talk about small business people, helping people who try to help themselves and so on, but no one talks about a meritocracy now. The Labour Party wants to take from the rich and give to the poor, which would have some merit if we were dealing with King John and not 21st Century Britain.

Doesn't matter how hard you work or whether you develop your talents, whether you spend or save, invest or fritter, no we're going to help you, keep everyone the same because we're all equal under our near communist control. You know, like in Russia where everyone is equally poor unless they're part of the system, which isn't so different from North Korea at the other end of the spectrum.

Equality of opportunity I'll go for every time, Governments deciding who gets what can go lose themselves. The Dutch didn't lose the plot in their recent elections, nor the French, why have we all gone mad?

John McDonnell wants to borrow to invest. The OBR, Office For Budget Responsibilty, has, he says, told him he'll get one pound back for every pound he invests, so it'll cost nothing. When something sounds too good to be true it usually is. However, just as Gordon Brown blamed international calamities outside his control so John McDonnell can blame the OBR, so that's alright.

The thing is that both the Tories and the Labour Party are making their plans on the basis of some kind of growth, at a time when we've just stuck two fingers up at our biggest trading partner. Mrs May and David Davis talk about 'what we want, what we want, what we want'. No one dares talk about what we might get. One region of one country held up the Canadian trade deal and all this jingoistic 'they need us more than we need them' is just pathetic.

Plenty of the twenty seven have little to lose by denying a trade deal to the UK, they all have a veto. As for Northern Ireland and the border it's beyond a joke, if you can see how to make a hard border between the UK and a foreign entity whilst ensuring there is no border at all to re invigorate the killing then please tell me how.

It is time for a centre party, the Lib Dems aren't perfect and they will be faced with a crisis in health, in education, in prisons and the likelihood not of growth but of recession, why does no one dare say it? Mrs May talks about bringing people together but people are more polarised than ever, a centre party can actually reach out in both directions, they'll never satisfy all the people but they'll take some of the heat out of things.

Mrs May was nominally for Remain, she's not strong and stable she's an opportunist, she's clawed her way to the top job and wants to go down in history, trouble is we'll all go down with her. Go on give the Lib Dems a go. If only to show you have liberal values, not extremist ideology.