Tuesday , May 28 2024

Liz Truss must find Conservative solutions to the present crisis

In 2010 the Labour Party was kicked out by the voters and replaced with the Conservative Lib Dem coalition under David Cameron. It was natural for voters to blame Labour for the economic crisis of 2008 and to seek an alternative. Labour had been in power since 1997. If Labour were not to blame who was? So too with the crisis that Britain faces this year. The Conservatives have been in power since 2010 and solely in power since 2015. If the Conservatives are not to blame who is?

If I thought Labour was going to make a better job of running the economy, I would vote Labour. I disagree with tribal politics and supporting a political party as if it were a football team. Politics is only partly about ideology, it is also about competence. There is no point having the correct policies and aims (ideology) if you lack the skill to implement them (competence).

I liked Boris Johnson and was willing to forgive him much for delivering Brexit, when only he could, but since the beginning of the pandemic his government has had both the wrong ideology and it has lacked competence.

Boris was unlucky. Covid destroyed many of his plans, getting ill plus marrying Carrie sent him leftwards. His only real success and the only advantage Britain has gained from Brexit was developing a Covid vaccine separately from the EU. But the competitive advantage of the fast roll out of the vaccine was in part squandered by the slowness of Britain returning to normal and returning to work.

I recently required the help of the council. I discovered that everyone still works from home. You get an answering machine. To collect a document, I was given a 10-minute window of opportunity. The service provided is poor, not because of a genuine risk from Covid, but because council workers won’t return to their offices.

Liz Truss ought to lose the next election. If Labour cannot win next time, it’s hard to see how it can ever. But I fear a Labour victory, not so much because I dislike Mr Starmer. He strikes me as decent and able. The problem with Labour is that it will struggle to govern without the support of the SNP and it will be difficult to avoid the price the SNP will require. Worse the solution that Labour the Lib Dems and the SNP will each argue for will make the situation in Britain worse especially in the long term rather than better.

We are in the mess that we are in because we chose to rely on renewable energy and to give up fossil fuels prior to us having the technology to keep the lights on. It is a good thing long term to give up fossil fuels, but however useful renewable energy is it is intermittent and we lack the means to store it. On a cold still day in December we will have to import energy at ruinous cost or do without.

The failure goes back decades. We ought still to be digging coal and burning it in power stations. We should have built multiple nuclear power stations. We should have continued to exploit North Sea oil and gas to the full. Britain’s contribution to Global Warming is trivial, but we had to show our green credentials in Glasgow, and for what, so that we all freeze because we can’t afford to turn on the radiators.

But every failure of the Conservative Government since 2010, would have been still worse if Labour had been in power. We spent too much during the Covid pandemic. Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems wanted us to spend more. We stayed locked down for too long, if it were up to Nicola Sturgeon, we would still be stuck in our homes watching her daily broadcast. It was the Left that argued most strongly that we should cut fossil fuel use faster. It is the SNP and the Greens that opposed nuclear power.

Labour’s solution to the present crisis is to borrow more and spend more. Labour will nationalise everything it can, introduce price controls whenever possible, defend workers who strike and, in the end, I strongly suspect give the SNP a legal referendum on independence as the price of being in power.

The present Conservative Government has been the most left-wing in history. Lockdown was the epitome of statism. The state paid your wages and took away your freedom. It might as well have been the Soviet Union. The people lockdown saved, the very old, would most likely be dead now anyway. The people lockdown is killing still are dying because they can’t see their GP or get treatment in a hospital. We had a wartime economy for a threat that was killing approximately 0.3% of the population. But lockdown will in the end kill much more than 0.3%. More lives would have been saved if we had done absolutely nothing and kept working and going to the pub.

But we couldn’t of course continue as normal, because idiots like Peston and Rigby would have accused Boris of murder, the BBC would have scared the public half to death with film from wards showing people dying in agony, as if you couldn’t find film exactly such scenes every day in every hospital before and after the pandemic.

The Left was wrong about everything. The solution will not be to continue with a form of Conservatism that continually strives to imitate the Left. It will naturally delight the voters if you nationalise everything and pay their heating bills. Britain is culturally left-wing. We loved being paid to sit at home doing nothing. But we won’t love the consequences of it, which will be shivering in the dark, long term decline and a lower standard of living.

If we believe in Conservatism we must believe in Conservative solutions to the present problem. The fault since 2019 was that we were not Conservative enough.

We must get rid of price controls. Let the market determine the price of heating. We must get rid of subsidies on renewable energy. If it is going to part of a long-term solution, it must be cost effective and able to compete. We must lower taxes, especially VAT to give people more of their own money to spend. We must make Britain more competitive by increasing free trade and by undercutting the EU.

We must make Britain less attractive to asylum seekers, so that they know we will keep them alive here, but no more. That way they might choose to stay in any of the safe countries on route. We must reform whatever law or act prevents us from sending those who do not have a well-founded claim elsewhere.

We must ditch any and all regulations that inhibit business and make clear to those able to work that they must do so if there are jobs available. Failure to do so must lead to financial loss. We will keep you alive too, but no more. We must accept that the NHS is not the best in the world and in fact is worse than any other in Western Europe. Only when you recognise that there is a problem can you find a solution.

It may not be enough. Liz Truss will probably lose the next election no matter what she does. But free market economics works. Subsidies, nationalisation and price controls have never worked in history. So at least be properly Conservative. If we are very, very fortunate, the British voters will begin to see that the economy is beginning to improve two years from now and vote for the solution to continue.

If we continue with left-wing Conservatism, spending ever more money to nanny the British voter, we might as well have Labour.

This article was originally published here.

About Effie Deans

Effie Deans is a pro UK blogger. She spent many years living in Russia and the Soviet Union, but came home to Scotland so as to enjoy living in a multi-party democracy! When not occupied with Scottish politics she writes fiction and thinks about theology, philosophy and Russian literature.

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