Thursday, 28 October 2010

Britain is Losing its Nerve

I told you this wouldn't last long.....

I predicted last week that the announced spending cuts would very quickly be challenged, and soon the government would fall to pieces over it.  In fairness to David Cameron, a week later he is still staying strong, but there are members of his party who are trickling off.  One of the more "controversial" announcements is that housing benefit is to be capped at £400 a week for a family of four.

Despite the fact that this amounts to over £20,000 a year of untaxed housing benefits, the left are still bitching.  Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee said last week that this amounts to nothing less than "a final solution" for the poor, stating that poor people will be "driven out" of nice areas, into squalor and poverty where there are no jobs.  The association with the Holocaust is obvious, and disgusting.

It is also complete nonsense.  £20+K in housing benefits (approx $30K) is a high figure.  It is more than a great deal of people who aren't on housing benefits can afford.  Why should taxpayers pay poor people to live in houses that they themselves cannot afford?  It is nonsense, and the facts get in the way of the leftists fear-mongering, and that is why they scream all the louder to drown out the facts.  All that was necessary was for the government to stand behind their decision, wait for the screaming to die out, and explain just why this was an unfair system, and why it was necessary for it to be reformed.  That was, unless a particular mayor is up for re-election and is a complete coward.

Enter London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is up for re-election very soon.  If you are not familiar with Mr Johnson, he is an extremely popular Conservative MP, who is popular mainly because he occasionally says outrageous things, or appears on a comedy show and makes jokes.  His policies and beliefs however change with whatever the new of the day is.  Occasionally he will look like a hard-right Tory, other days like a socialist nut job.

Today it is the latter, and he has thrown the government under the bus, claiming that he would make sure that "Kosovo style social cleansing" would not happen in London.  Since then he has backtracked and claimed he had been quoted out of context, claiming that he actually does accept the cuts.  I don't believe him, and even if I do, his statement is still insensitive as well as idiotic.  I have listened to what he has said, and he is going along 100% with the line that these cuts are brutal and therefore needs extra interference from him so it doesn't result in social cleansing.

The problem with Boris is that, whether he does believe in the cuts or not, he has gone along with the left-wing narrative.  That narrative is that these cuts will be brutal and unfair, and if we don't do something, the result will be horrific.  Johnson may argue that they are necessary, but he is trying to be a moderate, and accepts that these cuts are unjust and harsh.  What he should have done was hold the line and say that spending a stunning £400 a week on a family on housing benefits is outrageous and needs altering immediately, whether there is a deficit or not.  The debt only makes them more urgent.

He has not done this, and has instead put the government on the defensive, he has given momentum to the opposition.  We should be arguing not that "well, we have to do it", but "this is the just thing to do as it is unfair to the taxpayer, and not good for society to be handing out enormous benefits."  By wussing out of this, Johnson has put conservatives into great difficulty.  He should focus less on his own career, and more on the good of the country.

Conservatives need to stay strong, but at the moment we are crumbling.

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