You know, unlike my proprietor, I’m beginning to warm to Transylvania’s very own Michael Howard. But he just keeps failing to take his own thoughts to a natural logical conclusion.
After an ideologically mixed start, particularly with his comments about drugs, and support for his mini-me, David Blunkett, he’s still just coming out with platitudes, rather than policies, particularly with his speech yesterday entitled, The British Dream:
Too many are cheated of the decent education that is essential for people to make the best of their lives. Too many are cheated of the first class health care that they deserve. Why? Because we have a State that does too much, that interferes too much, that is too unaccountable.
No Michael, it doesn’t interfere too much. It just interferes. If more government can’t improve a situation, then surely less government is even better. And where does this logically end up? With no government at all.
Extravagant promises about what government can achieve have not been honoured. Not through bad faith on the part of politicians. But simply because central government action cannot deliver the improvements, the growth in control over their own lives, that people rightly desire.
Yes, it’s good that a senior British politician can dare broach the principle that governments are incapable of delivering improvements to people’s lives, even if its advocates believe it can. But how can anybody, even a genius like your good self, draw the magic line where some government involvement is good, whereas more or less government involvement is bad? You can’t. It is all just bad.
People who start businesses are big people, every single one of them. Their enterprise and readiness to take risks are the engine of our progress. We need them to succeed.
Yes, Michael. But how exactly are you going to help self-employed tax-serfs, such as myself? Are you going to abolish IR35? Are you going to cut corporation tax? Which deadening business regulations are you going to cut? Come on Michael, heart-on-your-sleeve stuff is great. But one might suspect that you’re not actually going to cut any taxes at all, just make reasonable noises about it.
We want the total regulatory burden imposed by government to fall each year
Good. Tell you what; let’s scrap an entire government department every six months in the most boondoggling order. Here’s Andy’s guide to which department gets chopped, in what order. Your own mileage may vary:
- Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (immediate cut)
- Department of Trade and Industry (immediate cut)
- Department for International Development (immediate cut)
- Department for Culture, Media and Sport (immediate cut)
- Department for Transport
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Department of Health
- Department for Education & Skills
- Cabinet Office
- Department for Constitutional Affairs
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Home Office
- Ministry of Defence
- HM Treasury
Now that really would be a plan. Oh, and sell the BBC off, too.
In many schools a disruptive minority have been allowed to hold back the majority eager to progress. So our first priority will be to restore to teachers unambiguous control over the classroom. Heads must have the final say over expulsions.
I’ve suffered the misfortune of having to throw occasional students out of my classes, in the past, and it is never easy. How anyone can teach, at all, without having this nuclear option up their sleeve, really does amaze me. But how is allowing headmasters the right to expel troublesome pupils going to make everything suddenly all that much better? How about we privatise every school, instead, and shut down all those cosy rent-seeking rats’ nests in the Local Education Authorities? Oh, and perhaps if we must have an interim state system, we can allow the sacking of rubbish teachers, too? Has any teacher in the UK state education system ever been sacked for their inability to teach? There must be at least one to prove the rule. Oh yes, that’s right. She became Secretary of State for Education. I remember now.
Why should any of us put up with a [health] system in which our families, our friends, my constituents, die from illnesses which would not kill them if they came from countries not far away from us? So we will bring reform. We will be open-minded and learn from systems that work well on the continent. We will give control to patients.
What an extremist policy, giving health care control to the patients, no doubt via some kind of disgusting marketplace? It’s a shame that in 18 years of conservative government you never got round to this yourself, but maybe you’ll make it up to us next time, should there ever be a next time.
There are countless examples of people from humble beginnings who make it to the top: who live the British Dream. So we should talk about it. We should embrace it. We should celebrate it. I want everyone to live the British Dream.
Do you have anyone particular in mind, who you wish to make it to the top, from such humble beginnings? And why do such rhetorical statements always have to be framed in a pyramid of power, with natural leaders at the top, and peasants like me underneath propping it all up? I’d rather be at the top of my own personal pyramid, thanks.
But there is hope. You could hire me as a speechwriter! Here’s a little something to tempt you with, straight off the cuff:
I have a British dream. By the end of the first parliament under my government we will have abolished all forms of national insurance. We will have halved council taxes. We will have abolished the top rate of income tax. We will have abolished corporation tax. Every rent-seeking state-employed collectivist in Britain will either be in fear of losing their cushy number or will already be sacked and doing something productive for a change. However, subsidies will still remain available for certain speechwriters to take study tours to Hollywood, to carry out long intensive interviews with film actress Penelope Cruz.
Now these are policies I could really vote for. Particularly that last one.