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]

Samizdata quote of the day

“The Tory vision of the country is, or should be, one where people are busy – working, thinking, travelling, prospering, bettering their lives. It involves building things and going places. It involves houses and factories, roads and cars, ports and airports, as well as parks, countryside and gardens.”

David Frost, a former member of the Boris Johnson administration, who resigned in part over things like tax hikes. I get the impression that his views are falling on deaf ears among many Conservative MPs, for whom building things, travelling, entrepreneurship, or of how life should be about a sense of adventure, are all terrible things to be banned or viewed with suspicion. Maybe we will get a political realignment at some point, where the Tories revert to their 19th Century default of being the party that largely resisted, or was snooty about, industry and an upwardly mobile class, with a different party championing such things. It may not happen, but I get the sense that there is a lot of change in the political culture at the moment. If you are a young, ambitious person, what on earth does much of the UK political order have to offer if you detest politics and want to just get on with life? The answer, for many, will be to leave.

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • decnine

    Too many Conservative MPs are not Conservative. It seems to be from them that the PM is getting so much grief. I propose to divide the Parliamentary Conservatives into ‘MPs Who Are Not Conservative’ (WANCs for short); and the Good Guys.

  • The Tory vision of the country is… damned if I know.

  • Tory WANCs is pure genius & I will be stealing that 😀

  • rhoda klapp

    It doesn’t matter where you go or whom you vote for, the political/media/administration class are Eloi. The rest of us are sheep or Morlocks. While we strive for betterment, they have been gifted it and strive only for the approval of their peers.

    I do not debate the future of that party, which is dead to me.

  • Roué le Jour

    Actually the Eloi Were the sheep. The Morlocks were the workers who kept everything running. And ate the Eloi. The sad thing is, when Wells wrote that, he could have expected that some of his readers to know that Eloi implied children of God, and Moloch was a demon that consumed children.

    The upper class functions on a “who you know” basis, the middle on “what you know”. Communists consistently fail to understand this, which is why replacing the factory manager with a party loyalist screws up the factory.

  • Paul Marks

    i do not believe that Sir Robert Peel was snooty about industry – and even the Aristocratic Prime Minister Lord Salisbury – was actually very interested in industry, and was active in the railway business himself (someone tell Peter Hitchens that the British railway network was not created by the state – but then there were no drug laws in those days either, there was such a thing as SELF RESTRAINT which worked rather better than endless modern regulations). Disraeli may have been – but then Disraeli said many things, and then the opposite of those things, all with the aim of advancing his own political interests (climbing to the top of “the greasy pole” and staying there).

    However, today we are not really talking about industry – we are talking about endless housing estates and distribution “sheds” (on a vast scale).

    This is not really a free market – there was free migration in the 19th century, but not a vast number of immigrants. Because in the 19th century there were not government benefits and “public services” – and no anti-discrimination laws either. Someone who came to Britain in the past had to look after themselves and their family – and they also had to adopt British culture as their own, or things would not go well for them. Only relatively small numbers of people were willing to do all that – even though there was no legal bar to them coming to Britain in the 19th century.

    Over the last couple of decades or so, the population of Britain has gone up from about 50 million to about 70 million – and if anyone thinks that is a natural free market development, I have a nice bridge to sell you (Mr Blair and others made it happen). That and family breakdown (and family breakdown is also a result of government policy – since the 1960s) have eaten up a lot of this country – and continue to do so.

    As for the endless “developments” (housing estates and endless warehouses for imported goods) that are eating up what is left of England – they are funded by the Credit “Money” of the bubble banks – backed by the Bank of England. Something further away from free market capitalism would be hard to imagine.

  • Paul Marks

    As for leaving the United Kingdom.

    Well, the rich may leave – why pay 45% income tax and live in an unsafe country (real crime being much higher than recorded crime) if you can go somewhere low tax and safe?

    The young and hard working? Well things may well get very bad here – but where will they not get very bad?

    The rich can go to tax havens. Where can ordinary young people go?

    It is no good saying “Britain is bad” unless there is somewhere that is not bad – somewhere where ordinary young people can make a life.

    I certainly would not advice them to go to the United States.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Sir Robert Peel was, as he was proud to state in his great budget speech rescinding the Corn Laws, a grandson of a cotton spinner. He understood business and enterprise; he relished it, and after a period of testy exchanges, formed a warm friendship with Richard Cobden, and the advocates of free trade. He once described subsidies for industry as “quackery”.

    In terms of the statecraft, honesty, willingness to admit mistakes, and the grasp of detail he commanded, there isn’t a figure in public life fit to tie Sir Robert’s cravat. I thought it was monstrous when people talked about moving his statue. If I could afford it, I’d have one in my house.