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]

Not “Maggie” May

Theresa May:

Government can and should be a force for good; the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot; we should employ the power of government for the good of the people. Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up – and not back – to act on behalf of the people.


Claiming to reject ideology is nonsense – May is advocating an ideology of “centrism”, statist, intervening in the economy, acceptance of perpetual borrowing and over-spending, coupled with greater intrusion by the state into the lives of individuals. Remember her Snoopers’ Charter, giving the state powers to intercept personal online data of every individual. Her conference speech last year, lest we forget, was panned by the Institute of Directors and described as “chilling and bitter”. May, whilst claiming the state is a “force for good”, is proposing to force companies to list foreign workers, an ominous and pointless intervention in the private contracts of business. She will also hint this afternoon at imposing price controls on energy companies, another interventionist policy for which the Tories rightly monstered Ed Miliband. Thatcher wanted to “roll back the frontiers of the state”. May wants “government to step up, not back”. So who do you vote for now if you want a balanced budget, free markets and to get the state out of your life?


16 comments to Not “Maggie” May

  • Cal

    Looks like Perry and Ecks were right about May all along.

  • I was hoping but not expecting to be proved wrong, Cal.

  • Mary Contrary

    Me too Perry. I was also hoping they’d draw 06 20 34 42 45 * 04 07 tonight.

    More seriously, I was there (not quite on the spot, but pretty close) when one Oxford student saw Major back the Maastricht Treaty and decided to dedicate his life not only to drawing a line, but to rolling back the Great Mistake of EU membership. Today that student is considering new career options as a professional historian, as his tenure as an MEP for South East England is running out. We can but hope that a student of equal talents was watching Mrs May today, and decided to dedicate his or her life to reversing this error too.

  • RRS

    Now there’s Almost the whole nut response to Hayek’s Why I am not a Conservative.

    The PM says:

    the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot

    A state is an embodiment of power which is established by physical or ideological force or some combination of the two; or by consent or passive acceptance of those seeking benefits or immunities from the exercises of those powers.

    Government is a facility created to fill the needs for mechanisms to implement and administer the power and authority (force) of the state.

    PM says:

    Government can and should be a force for good;

    Government can only have force as an instrumentality of the force of the state.

    PM says:

    the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot;

    There – in those words- is the fabulous lie, deceit and conceit of those who would control the mechanisms of government to have the force from the power embodied in the state – to ends and by means of their determination; whatever their guise in speaking.

    A state, whether it be Regnum or Constitutional, provides NOTHING for the people of a society. “Individual people” do all that gets done to provide the needs of society.
    They do so with and through many facilities and instrumentalities (which the PM would replace with “government”); by cooperation and in competition, which include “communities and markets.”

    Your PM needs a glandular modification.

    (preview is inoperative??)

  • Laird

    “a force for good”

    The operative word there is “force”. As to whether it is “good” or not depends upon (1) who is making the decision, and (2) the individual applying the force. #1 will always be contentious; we all have different opinions about what is “good”, either for ourselves personally or for the larger society (however you choose to define it). And #2 will always, and inevitably, wind up in hands which shouldn’t have it. Scum rises to the top, and the people who shouldn’t have power over others are the very ones who find success in politics.

    In the long run the state can never be “a force for good”. It may occasionally do things which some consider “good”, but overall the best that can be hoped for is neutrality. Which is why governmental power should always be kept to a minimum, and why fools like May (delusional or Machiavellian, take your pick) should be kept out of office as much as possible.

    [Preview remains inoperative for me, too.]

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    In one way, it’s a relief. Things did seem too good to be true! Obviously, I’ll need to go back to sniffing shoe-polish. On the other hand, I now have useless stockpiles of the drug called Hope, which no longer seems to work for me. Any takers? The price of shoe-polish has gone up.

  • Bruce

    In the words of P. J. O’Rourke:

    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

    “Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit.”

    “Earnestness is stupidity sent to college.”

    “The only thing you need to know about Communism and Socialism, was that you couldn’t get a good Chinese takeaway in China and a good Cuban cigar in Cuba”.

  • James Hargrave

    A force for good, after it has ground through the policy formation process will, at best, be a force for bad, and probably a force fore for evil. It is objected that bureaucracies are merely amoral; experience suggests otherwise (a default position of ‘do no good’ obtains, though dressed up in all the latest modish, vacuous phrases).

    I was of the ‘anybody but May’ opinion. Alas we were right.

  • The Fyrdman

    Mary – I hope Dan takes a seat in Parliament and begins a new quest, either as a Tory or leading a new liberal party. May is correct in identifying that many people want to belong to something greater, but her solution will leave us all the poorer. Dan however has a way of marrying libertarian ideas with a quiet patriotism that would solve that issue whilst making us all freer and richer.

  • John B

    National Socialism.

    Nah,nah, not dead – just restin’… beautiful rhetoric.

  • Runcie Balspune

    May is breaking the golden rule of considering entities made up of individuals to be separate from those individuals, usually the premise of leftists.

    However, this is the first time I can recall the “libertarian right” being cited as an enemy, which is actually progress, and most of the time no-one knows they exist.

    Corbyn has moved the Overton window so much it allows crypto-statists like May to actually still appear non-authoritarian.

  • John B

    “…the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot…”

    And if ‘the individual people, communities and markets’ that would be the combined interactions of all 6.5 billion of us on the Planet cannot provide, what enormous conceit to image that a bunch of politicians with no marketable skills deployable in productive, wealth creating employment can?

    Price controls: even Loony Labour in the 1970s understood that if you control prices for a business you have to control its costs otherwise they cease to operate as shareholders rush to withdraw their investments receiving diminishing returns. Thus the road to nationalisation is paved.

    The bedfellows of price controls on energy companies are, wage controls on its employees, and of course price and wage controls on all the suppliers to the energy companies. So national price and wages control. I wonder how they will control the price of oil and gas?

    The ignorance and imbecility of those who rule in Western Countries is truly staggering, but really not surprising when we look round the World at the wreckage of the last few decades at their hands.

  • Derek Buxtont

    What does she mean in “controlling prices”? The now defunct, thankfully, DECC as it was misnamed did precisely that. They offered any renewables idiot to overcharge us by giving strike prices some 2 or 3 times the going rate for energy, and then insisting we have to have it at the extortionate prices. Just how stupid can you get?

  • Laird

    Just how stupid can you get?

    Is that a trick question?

  • Paul Marks

    Sir Edward Heath did not die – he just put on high heals.