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Samizdata quote of the day

To look at this from a UK perspective, I have given this a lot of thought as we have a general election next year (Civil Contingencies Act permitting). Abstention or a vote for a party other than Cameron’s “Conservatives” runs a real risk of preventing the eviction of the Labour party that has done so much damage in the past 13 years. Given another 5 years they could add incalculable damage to an already impressive list.

On the other hand, a vote for the “Conservatives” would vindicate Cameron’s position, kowtowing to the supposed BBC/Guardian left of centre (quite a long way left of centre actually) “consensus”. In the short term Cameron would do less harm than another Labour government, but his success would result in future “Conservative” governments following the same policies so we would be stuck with them for the long term.

The question I asked myself was: do I think Labour can do more damage in 5 years than Cameron’s “Conservatives” can in 10, 15 or more? My answer was no, another five years of Labour is less threatening than an indefinite period of Cameron “Conservatism”. Once defeated Cameron would be dropped like the proverbial hot brick and then it will time to start working for a new leader with Conservative beliefs.

- Commenter MarkE

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Classical liberal

    I realise that Peter Hitchens may not be to the taste of most readers of Samizdata, but he has frequently made a very similar point:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2007/10/the-tories-are-.html

    The “properly conservative” party he desires may not be all that libertarians want, but it would be a damn sight more congenial to freedom than any of the current shower.

  • Andrzej

    This reminds me of an article on LewRockwell.com recently about how voting for Obama could be (was) the only way to compel the Republican Party to re-establish its ‘old right’ classical liberal sensibilities.

    It amuses me how hamfisted the left wing are, responding to perfectly valid criticisms of their Emperor/President/Messiah/Chosen One (…). They were correct to call Bush a fascist; conversely the right are just as accurate when calling Obama a fascist, too.

    Back to point, nobody I know cares for Cameron one iota and would probably be more inclined to vote UKIP or for whatever minor party appealed to them instead.

  • Andrew Duffin

    This is all moot because once the Lisbon Constitution is ratified it really makes almost no difference who is nominally in power at Westminster; all significant decisions will be made in Brussels, by people over whom we in Britain have no influence whatever.

    Vote whichever way you like, people. Unless we elect a UKIP government, it’s all over anyway.

  • You are right Andrew. LPUK are nowhere and the BNP would be like exchanging twats for cunts. UKIP is the only hope.

  • LPUK are nowhere

    UKIP is a quite valid option

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Quite. Given that the UK is basically a fiefdom of the European Union, there is not much point.

    A party that has a berk like Zak Goldsmith on the candidate’s list is not worth trusting as a protector of liberty, or anything else, for that matter.

  • MarkE

    Dead chuffed to be QOTD!

    Nick & Perry

    In the original post I wanted to keep things generic, but I intend voting UKIP and, if I am at home when the election is called I may even get out in the rain and knock on doors for them. As I live in Witney (Cameron’s constituency) I expect an interesting campaign.

  • Frederick Davies

    I tend to agree with the quote except for one thing: if Cameron does not get a mayority, it is likely Labour will not either, so the most likely result will be a Lib-Lab coalition, which will introduce Proportional Representation, and that will be the end of any chance of getting a decent Conservative (or otherwise) government ever again. Ever!

  • Verity

    Re the Thought for The Day, my own thoughts exactly,although I’ve been shouted down over at The Speccie by people who can’t stand Cameron, but think he would be better than letting the Gramscis back in.

    I don’t agree. I think he would be worse. I also think he is every bit as malicious as Gordon Brown, Jack Staw et Cie.

    I, too, would rather a knackered Labour staggered in in disarray, with a much reduced majority. I’m certain they couldn’t last the course. As I’ve said at The Speccie, I would give them two years max before they collapse in a dead heap (preferably genuinely dead, but one can’t have everything). By then, the Conservatives would have sacked the egregious Cameron and put a Conservative in as Leader. Daniel Hannan would be good … not least because he is widely recognised in the US and could rebuild our relationship after Obarmy has finished his single term.

    Re the Lisbon “Treaty”, no government can bind its successor. It would be a bold stroke of the pen by a Conservative administration to bin it.

  • Gareth

    Verity said

    Re the Lisbon “Treaty”, no government can bind its successor. It would be a bold stroke of the pen by a Conservative administration to bin it.

    Our politicians would rather have us believe their hands are tied, and for the most part people are falling for it.

    Parliament is still sovereign, it’s just full of spineless bureauprats and clammy handed failed solicitors. Nothing substantive will change until we elect enough parliamentarians who know where their power comes from and refrain from shovelling that vested authority into the grasping hands of whatever and whomever wants it.

  • RAB

    I always vote my conscience, so it’s UKIP for me.
    First things first, let’s get out of the EU.

    Wasted vote here in Bristol West of course, the Lib/Dems will be back in sure as eggs.

    I would be tempted to vote Tory if Hague was still leader, but the poor sod got the job too soon, while the whole country was still dewey eyed and in love with the NuLab experiment.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I’m not qualified to comment directly on British politics, but I will point out that so far, the Democrats ‘success’ last November has been a disaster for them and may yet be the salvation of the Republican party. So letting Labour run with the ball a while longer may be a very good tactic. I do think that voting third party, since it’s an option for you, would be the least harmful way to do that, lest either Labour or Tories be needlessly encouraged.

  • Brad

    I abstained from the last Presidential election under the assumption that the Dems were going to win regardless of what I did and that the Dems were going to speed us along more quickly toward collapse than the “conservative” Republicans. I’ve said many times I’d much rather have the collapse now or the near future when I have a modicum of youth and energy to rebuild than have the collapse 10-20 years from now when I am less so.

    Gratefully Obama et al are doing their best to prove me right.

    Of course the preferred option is to have our Leaders wakeup one day and look themselves in the mirror and comprehend that their policies are noxious and destructive. If that happens I’ll be sure to set up my snow cone stand in Hades……

  • Verity

    I get bashed at The Speccie every time I suggest that it would be better for a knackered Labour to lurch back in with the staggers and be kindly despatched by a vote of No Confidence in 18 months or so.

    However, I continue to maintain that a Labour government in its death throes will not be as hazardous to the health of our nation as a new lefty Conservative government full of the vim and the confidence of having been elected. There is no enthusiasm in Britain for David Cameron and he has driven tens of thousands to consider voting UKIP. Far, far better that the Conservatives lose and he be despatched and we then move forward with a new, truly Conservative leader.

    My absolute ideal scenario: The Tories in power within one to two years of a Labour victory. Takes us to around 2012. I don’t think Obama has a chance in hell of getting a second term. So a Republican – and a real Republican – Sarah Palin for POTUS and Daniel Hannan for Prime Minister of Britain. Maggie and Reagan all over again!

  • Kevyn Bodman

    Sarah Palin won’t win because the video of her being skewered by Katie Couric will destroy her hopes.
    Daniel Hannan shows the other side of the same coin, the excessive weight we give to television presence rather than quality of judgement and appropriate political leanings. (Leanings in my case, biases in the case of anyone on the other side, of course.)
    I like Hannan but surely there are other credible candidates.

    Cameron is a media friendly social democrat. A Cameron government would offer very little for lovers of freedom in the UK.
    But the real issue, as others have said, is the EU.It’s evil.
    It’s evil partly because it is based on unaccountable control supported by bullying and deceit.

  • RAB

    I can see where you are coming from on this Verity, but I really dont think that much will change in the Tory party just by getting rid of Cameron, unless they get a proper EUsceptic like Hague back as leader.

    And we all seem to be forgetting the “All things to all people party”, the Lib/Dems. They no longer have to hold their Annual conference in a phone box, there are 63 of them.

    If the election is a close run thing, they will be sorely tempted to form a coalition with Labour.

    I forecast that Labour will lose big time at the next election. Nothing to do with actual policies, but because the British people are sick to the back teeth of them. Just like they were with the Tories in 1997.

  • Verity

    Kevyn Bodman – Oh, that Katy Couric video, in which Couric came across as a spiteful and ignorant and Palin came across as putting up a rather valiant battle against someone who wasn’t doing an interview but was trying to act as a one-woman wrecking ball?

    What Rep voter would give the slightest heed to that video? The Dems can jeer all they like, but they were never going to vote for Palin in the first place.

    Daniel Hannan is liked and respected by the American right. In whose hands do you think the special relationship, such as it is, is safest? Gordon Brown’s or Daniel Hannan’s?

    As you know, I agree with you 100% about the EU. It is as sinister and evil as the old Evil Empire that Reagan and Maggie destroyed. All the nomenklatura are lining up for jobs once Britain is forced in, most notably David Cameron who cannot wait to get his place at the top table in Brussels.

  • In my darker moments I feel the war for liberty is lost on this planet, and the best thing we can do are keep the ideas alive and hold a rear guard action. By this I mean vote for the leass bad options and give the newspace companies time to grow to the point us liberty lovers can flee to orbit/luna/belt/wherever.

  • Don’t vote. It only encourages them.

  • thefrollickingmole

    Theres a fairly large assumption that the Tories would draw the right lessons from another loss. Given they have wobbled towards the state/big government/EU/BBC positions allready, whats to say a further loss wouldnt make them wobble more in that direction not less?

    Politicans have a natrual tendency to believe they can “fix” everything if they just get enough power and pass enough new laws.

  • Alice

    Back in the Dark Ages, wasn’t there a gentleman called “Screaming Lord Sutch” who regularly ran for Parliament?

    Maybe he has passed away by now. If so … Great! All it would take would be a bunch of Brits with that well known British sense of humo(u)r to get the now deceased Screaming Lord Sutch registered as a candidate in every constituency in the land, and then campaign tirelessly for his election. Wouldn’t it send the right message to the Political Class if lots of elections were won by the same dead joker?

    It might be the closest thing to a revolution that once-proud Blighty will ever see.

  • Verity

    Well, Frollicking Mole, I don’t see William Hague, Daniel Hannan or John Redwood as ‘wobbly’.

    The Tories panicked when highly self-regarding failed rock “star” (lead singer for The Ugly Rumours – how prescient was that?) and failed barrister (did he ever get any cases that weren’t on Legal Aid?) Tony Blair wowed the gullible with his “pretty regular guy” but with a posh accent and “pretty regular guy” on the TV couch with his Estuary accent.

    He vacuumed in Tory votes and the Tories lost their nerve and thought William Hague, who is brilliant and has made a lot of money outside Parliament, as indeed, should be a requirement for an MP, was persuaded to be “young” and “trendy”. Hence his appearance at the dire lefty Nottinghill Carnival and, worse, wearing a baseball cap. We all know that that is not William Hague’s style. He was forced into it by panicky Tory advisors. And, of course, it backfired and gave the capering Labouroids ammunition they should never have had.

    You are right, Frollicking Mole, to point to the deterioration of Tory confidence and a sickening servility to “NuLabour’s” Weltanschuuang, which is the same as the hardline socialists’ old Weltanschuuang. Iron-fisted control. In other words, they bought into beliefs that were opposed to free markets, freedom of thought, liberty of the individual and national borders. They unpicked all their own beliefs in pursuit of an chimeric ambulatory bag of rubbish.

    The result is David Cameron.

    As selfish, greedy and ambitious (in Cameron’s case, way over-ambitious, because Blair, toxic as he is, is miles cleverer than pr director Cameron) as Blair, but, with no discernible personality or beliefs and unable to woo the crowds.

    Tories are deserting the party in droves, flocks, swarms. Cameron gets poor ratings. The Tories will go to UKIP or they’ll stay at home in dismay.

    Labour has the public sector and the welfare sector votes to depend on.

    True Labour voters will go to the BNP.

    For the next election, fasten your seat belts. It should be a bumpy flight.

  • michael

    In 1945 we had a sea change. We then carried on sinking till Mrs Thatcher arrived. It took her a couple of years but we got another sea change. In 1997 there was an appetite for a sea change, but the politicians just carried on as before. Didn’t the Telegraph call Blair’s policies “Blajorism”?

    I don’t think there is any appetite at the moment for significant changes – just a desire for things to work properly. The often praised John Redwood appears to think that the Tories can “manage” our way out of the current mess. Personally I think we shall just carry on sinking for another 4 years.

  • thefrollickingmole

    I hope you are right on both counts Verity, I just fear politics has become irresponsible enough to think they can just will money (and value) out of thin air.

    If I were the paranoid kind Id be inclined to be thinking the following.

    /adjusts tin foil hat: Every major western democracy currently has a massive deficit of some variety, which under the current circumstances they have no hope of paying. They all know this.
    They also know that the only real measure of value people have (their currency) is generally floating against a group of other currencies (usually the euro or US dollar). If people suddenly saw the value of their currency drop rapidly against one of these “pegs”, they might wonder why their currency seems worthless against everyone elses.
    What we have now in my opinion is an unspoken agreement by the (roughly speaking) G20 nations to inflate their way out of the debits they have been running up with shoddy policies.
    Whether left or right the parties in power know if they can wipe out their debts this way (by effectively taxing savings/investments of the plebs), they will have a larger pile of fiat currency to bribe the gullible at the next election. Watch the gold price against your own currency might be the only way to get an idea of the devaluation involved ( Though that will be harder because of decisions like this one http://www.imf.org/External/NP/EXR/faq/goldfaqs.htm )
    On September 18, 2009, the IMF’s Executive Board approved gold sales strictly limited to 403.3 metric tons, representing one eighth of the Fund’s total holdings.

    And why would the IMF sell a rapidly appreciating asset now???

    Thats if I was paranoid….

  • Chris H

    In the current round of arguments about which potential government can reign in spending the most painlessly, surely UKIP is onto a winner. I can’t quite recall the exact figure but isn’t the amount of money it costs to be in the EU astronomical?

  • Kim du Toit

    As various British governments have promised, and then broken the promise to hold a national referendum on the issue of EU membership, I think it is the duty of any Brit to vote UKIP, because they can then show that a.) many British citizens want to get out of the EU and b.) all three incumbent parties are being put on notice in the above matter.

    In the U.S., we have to change party policy by trying to influence the existing lot — whether by demonstration, direct communication or, in the last option, the vote (there is still one more method, but I won’t go there).

    Happily, you Brits can vote for another party (we can’t) to register your disapproval, and it can make a difference. Sixty-odd UKIP seats in Parliament (especially at the expense of both Labour and the Conservatives) would force the Tories to change their policy.

  • Verity

    Kim du Toit – always a pleasure to agree with you!

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Cameron insists he wants to cut government spending (not cut the increase, but actually cut) and fight against a European Union super state.

    If one believes him on the above he would be a good Prime Minister.

    But there is this little matter of EVIDENCE.

    As for voting UKIP – not an option in Kettering, their will be no UKIP candidate as the local Conservative M.P. has long openly argued for Britain getting out of the E.U. (and so on). And even his worse enemies have never argued that Philip H. is a liar.

    So I will have no problem whatever “voting Conservative” in Kettering.

  • you know, I’ve only being hanging around the blogs for around a year, but already in that time I’ve seen ideas like thefroliccingmole’s above only mentioned (in this part of the blogosphere at least) with derision, slowly giving way to an almost unspoken acceptance of said ideas.

    Just a thought.