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Samizdata quote of the day

The main political insight of Thatcher and Reagan was that parties of the center-right must be parties of economic growth. Having wavered since, those parties now risk losing their way entirely. Some centrists will argue, quirks of this campaign notwithstanding, that Mrs. May shows how to win an election. The important question for conservatives to ask is: To what end?

Joseph C. Sternberg, Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall)

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17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ecks

    “Mrs May shows how to win an election” WTF???

    She shows how to be given everything on a plate and all the conditions needed for an absolute Tory landslide and still be so stupid and possessed of such piss-poor judgement that she nearly drops the plate on several occasions.

    Were her opponents not such obvious scum matters would probably be in much worse condition for the Tories.

    Likely she will still win by enough of a margin for Brexit–I pray so–but with far less support than she might have had.

    Given who she is that might be a good thing.

  • Actually I think Theresa May is showing Conservatives how to lose an election, for the reason Sternberg cites. Almost certainly not this election, or I hope to God not. But the next few after that, against a Labour Party that could well be a lot stronger, without having become any less Venezuelan in its basic agenda.

    It depends on how big the Conservative majority turns out to be, I suppose. My only strong preference is: not Corbyn, or any future Corbynista. Not now, not ever. If May is weakened by a rather small majority, fine by me.

    However, I think the Conservative majority will be solid. I think this because both sides probably want the polls now to be closer than reality, and for attention to be focused on those polls that say this. Labour people want this to give their voters hope, Conservatives want this to make their voters scared.

    *

    I wrote the above before Mr Ecks said a lot of the same things, more vehemently.

  • Theresa May is the Neville Chamberlain of today’s politics. One may hope – alas, on slender grounds – that she’s beginning to channel Neville of Spring 1939 rather than Neville of Autumn 1938 and earlier, but her instincts remain wrong and she could make quite a mess of things.

    I am hoping that a Tory majority adequate for Brexit but obviously not what it could have been will cause her party to ditch her sooner rather than later.

    We should count our blessings: thanks to Gove, we do not have the happier alternative of Boris, Gove and Leadsom moving the Tories a bit nearer sense, freedom and larger majorities, but we do have Brexit, and Nurse Ratchet is not positioned to foul it up for us from across the pond. If things could be much better, they could also be much worse.

  • Paul Marks

    The manifesto was very unfortunate – with its textual attacks on freedom being a kick in the teeth for Conservative voters. However, the “bottom line” remains – although “austerity” is a myth (and has always been a myth – government Welfare State spending has gone UP under the Conservatives) the Conservatives will still spend and regulate less (far less) than Labour and the Lib Dems will.

    The “Orange Book” Lib Dems have been exposed as a handful of people in an overwhelmingly far left political party that wants to massively increase government spending and allow the European Union to impose endless NEW regulations via the so called “Single Market”. Mrs Thatcher found out quickly after 1986 that she had been lied to – that the “Single Market” was NOT about free trade, it was about the European Union having the power to impose endless regulations on our internal affairs NOT just on our trade with the European Union.

    “Single Market” supporters, i.e. supporters of the power of the European Union to impose endless NEW regulations on our internal economy (not just on our trade with the European Union), are EVIL – the harsh word is needed. And must be seen as such. This is not 1986 – we have 30 years experience of what the “Single Market” really means (the power of the E.U. to impose endless new regulations on our internal affairs) so there is no excuse, none, for someone to pretend they think the “Single Market” is about free trade. The Economist magazine, and their depraved Lib Dem supporters, are just lying.

    As for the of Marxists who control the Labour Party – their alliance with international terrorism against this country (indeed against the West in general) is long standing and obvious, anyone who votes Labour tomorrow is contemptible, utterly contemptible. No one can honestly pretend that they do not know what Comrade Jeremy Corbyn and Comrade John McDonnell (and their gang) are about.

  • Alisa

    It’s the Evil Party vs the Stupid Party, everywhere in the West I know of.

  • Cal Ford

    May should have learned from Malcom Turnbull in Australia, he took the Liberals leftwards and he’s been sinking in the polls ever since. His sucking up to the leftist media hasn’t worked.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    I actually hope for a strong but not massive majority so as not to give May the idea that her centrist authortarianism is okay by the public. She has her virtues, but she also has that tiresome quality of being keen on “security theatre” sorts of ideas which are also profoundly fucking useless in dealing with specific problems. And I get the feeling she hasn’t met a regulation she does not like. May just doesn’t have the Burkean/Hayekian insight that civil society is a complex, from-the-ground-up entity, rather than something to be moulded and bossed around by those in government.

    She seems uncomfortable around business and entrepreneurship, although her husband is a man of business. Maybe it is the whole “vicar’s daughter/head girl” sort of vibe but she seems curiously uninterested in how wealth gets created.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Corbyn has been a massive blow for the agenda of free economics, he represents a threat so large that voting Conservative is a no-brainer, further solidifying the two-party state of affairs, and unfortunately, in order to get that majority May has adopted centre-left politics to stop leakage to UKIP et al.

    There is no political power for individual ownership or small businesses, both parties hate the “gig economy”, May loves highly-regulated big business and Corbyn is ready to re-nationalise, both will suck small business dry through increased taxes and/or red tape.

    However, May will not be PM forever and there is still hope the nannying trend can be reversed, you wont get that with an ideology driven Corbyn, his road to economic hell is one-way.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . Malcom Turnbull in Australia, he took the Liberals . . . “

    Certainly did. Like a thief in the night.

  • Mary Contrary

    Jonathan nails it.

    We must remember that May called this election to destroy her enemies -behind her: Messrs Cash, Rees-Mogg, Duncan-Smith and Redwood.

    A Tory majority of 30-40 is good for Brexit. A Tory majority of 100 is disastrous.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Mrs. May shows how to win an election.

    From where i am looking, it’s more like:
    Mr. Corbyn shows how to lose an election.

    (Some of the comments above, beginning with Mr Ecks, express the same concept, but i thought it would be fun to put it into a punchline.)

  • PeterT

    her husband is a man of business

    Sort of. He was a sales guy for a fund manager. This entails going round the country and telling clients about their fund performance for the last quarter. I met him once 15 years ago or so at a client dinner although I sat at the other end of the table.

  • PeterT

    point being that he is in business, but not a “business man” per se

  • Jamesg

    The right has to make the moral case. It can’t rely on this stable and strong bs. Use words like enterprise, individualism, personal responsibility. Look at Thatcher’s numbers.

  • CaptDMO

    Hey! If I devalue the currency by half, and pay everyone time and a quarter, THAT’S “growth”….RIGHT?

  • Mr Ed

    One country: Mrs May’s vision is Moldova, Mr Corbyn’s vision, Transnistria.

  • staghounds

    Captain DMO is exactly right. Reagan and Thatcher won because they promised- falsely, but believeably- liberty and less currency destruction, regulation, and entitlements.