We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Vote for Madam Cameron

The Tory conference was designed to bring home to the public the notion of truth and responsibility. Some would say that the release of such headlines as raising the retirement age, freezing public sector pay and “telling it as it as” are a democratic version of spanking. The toffs transposing their public school predilections on the masses.

Yet, the very basis of this approach is paternalist. The public must be schooled and directed towards the appropriate outcome. For the Tories, the outcome is fiscal sustainability, the only time that word appears truthfully in their canon.

However, the majority in democracy have an incentive to socialise their irresponsibility, allying with government to inflate their debt away or maintain redistribution. Such a system is inherently unstable in the long term. After all, under Labour, welfarism has moved onto secondaries. An interesting experiment is under way. Do turkeys vote for Christmas? Short-term slaughter and, possibly, long-term satisfaction.

9 comments to Vote for Madam Cameron

  • grumpy old man

    Hang on a mo. The Pay Freeze is all Labour. Last time we had a top peoples’ pay freeze was just before the IMF started looking closer at the books of UK Plc. Does Alistair know something he’s not sharing? The “toff” remark is quite frankly unworthy of you. Leave that sort of playground jibe to Toilets Maguire, nobody does it better.

    Financial restraint is a bit like dieting. Everybody knows that they should be doing it, but can never quite find the courage to start. When you need a bigger car and you’ve burst out of your trousers, cutting down ceases to be an option and becomes an imperative, You try all sorts of plans to make restraint painless, but finally realise that the only answer is consuming less. After 12 years of Nanny telling us to “Eat, Eat” while taking a kickback on what we comsume (taxes) The Dietician is getting a hearing. It’s going to be painful, but we’ll feel all the better for it in the end.

  • Andrzej

    Why would it surprise you that the Conservatives have a paternalistic streak? That’s been the core of party philosophy for a good long time, excepting the 1980s when libertarianism almost gained a real foothold in British politics.

    Modern Conservatives (or at least the ‘Dave’ variety) are nothing more than New Labour with a blue rosette, so why vote for them?

    I think we’re probably going to have to get used to being like Japan for the next twenty/thirty years; just add more zeros to the pound!

  • Current

    “After all, under Labour, welfarism has moved onto secondaries.”

    What does that mean?

  • San Holo

    “After all, under Labour, welfarism has moved onto secondaries.”

    What does that mean?

    I was wondering the same.

  • Al Williams

    those on the dole are now the second generation of those who were originally on the dole.

    those currently on welfare were born into families who were on welfare.
    it’s working out great in the sates (sarcasm)

  • Pa Annoyed

    I’ve always found that “turkeys voting for Christmas” saying funny. Without Christmas, there would be a lot fewer turkeys, as there would be nobody interested in feeding them.

    I think the metaphor might actually be being used accurately here.

  • pete

    Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Fortunately for Cameron even after 12 years of non-stop public sector recruitment there are still many fewer fattening turkeys on the public payroll than people who are waiting to give them the chop.

  • Paul Marks

    For the history of the Conservative party (and much else) see Greenleaf’s “The British Political Tradition” (two volumes).

    In his “The Libertarian Strand” section of the work Greenleaf shows that there has always been a strong liberterian element in the Conservative party – but that it has rarely been the main element in the leadership.

    As for this Conference – well the words of George Osbourne were better than I expected (although I had very low expectations) instead of running away from Mr Brown’s charge about “Tory Cuts” the party has embraced the charge and said “yes, Tory cuts are vital – otherwise their will be economic collapse”.

    There are two questions:

    Firstly are the “Cameroons” really serious?

    I have no idea – although I have spent my life in the Conservative party I know nothing about these people or their supporters (everyone I know in the Conservative party voted for David Davis). To ask me my opinion about the Cameroons is much the same as asking me my opinion of the inhabitants of the Planet Zog.

    Secondly – will people vote for them?

    No general election can be won today without the votes of at least some people who are dependent on government for some of most of their income.

    This is because the majority of people either work for the “public sector” or depend on pensions or other benefits.

    Do these people (or some of them) understand that such a position is “unsustainable” that things CAN NOT go on as they are. That the choice is really between cuts now or total collapse (and chaos) later?

    I do not know – but on that question the result of the next election depends.

  • Nigel Farage berates the Eurocrats over the Irish referendum