Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Obama has a Tantrum - Part XII

For all the chatter about how angry and hateful the Tea Party are supposed to be, we are seeing the anger amongst Democrat politicians rise and rise as November elections approach, and popularity plummets.  Today we have seen a fresh outburst by none other than the President.

I have always said that the President is an angry man.  Read Dreams of My Father, and you will see a great deal of anger about America come through, and this has been seen various times throughout his Presidency.  His political ideology comes not from love, or a passion for something good - instead coming from a hatred towards certain people, groups and countries (including the UK.)  It is mostly concealed, but comes out occasionally, especially when he goes off-message.

According to reports, he gave an interview for Rolling Stone magazine, where he by and large stayed on message.  He finished the interview, left and then burst into the interview room again, sat back down, and proceeded to rant about Democrat supporters who were unenthusiastic about November and who might not vote in the upcoming November elections.

He proceeded to blast his own supporters as "inexcusable" and "irresponsible", telling them to "buck up" and vote for him - failing to account for the fact that they might not want to vote for him.  Such a rant shows not only that the pressure has got to Obama, but also that he fails to understand just why he is so unpopular.

The reason people who voted him in 2008 are now unenthusiastic isn't because they are lazy, or stupid, or bored.  It is because they didn't get what they voted for!  He claims that they should stop bitching as he got 70% of his agenda through so far.  But that is precisely the point - people didn't vote for his agenda, they don't want it!  The reason they don't want to vote for him is because he got 70% of his hidden agenda through.

In the 2008 election, voters were fed a great deal of fluff about "hope" and "change", and how with Obama there would be no more red state and blue state, how he would reach across the aisle, and basically how he was the perfect moderate.  Stir in with that a widespread dislike of Bush, a fawning media, and the race card being played as often as it could be laid upon the table, and that is really the short story of how Obama was elected without ever really revealing  his hard-left tendencies.

However, in his arrogance, Obama seems to have thought that he persuaded America to turn into a socialist nation, and that because he has managed to proceed with 70% of a socialist agenda, Americans should somehow be grateful and turn out to vote for him again in their droves.  In his arrogance, I don't think that it has crossed his mind that people don't want it all.  They don't want Obamacare, they don't want a weak foreign policy, they don't want higher taxes, they don't want outrageous spending and they don't want mass nationalisation of industry.

The fact that he doesn't get that, and chooses instead to blame his own supporters for his problems shows just how "incredibly intelligent" the prodigy really is.  However, the fact that he doesn't get it and lives in his own little make believe world is a very positive sign for the Republicans in the November elections.  Because if Obama starts turning on his own supporters, and failing to take responsibility for anything that he has done, then the Democrats are really screwed - both in November, and in 2012.

So in the meantime...more tantrums please Mr President!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Destructive Fair Trade Movement

My latest article for the American Thinker has come out.  I have been really busy over the last few months so my contributions to the Thinker have been few and far between.  Hopefully now my contributions will be a little more frequent.  I am already working on an article about Ed Miliband and Labour's lurch to the left.

Until then here is my latest article on the Fairtrade movement, and how it simply ends up making problems for those in developing countries worse, not better, despite the movements good intentions.

It can be found at American Thinker here.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

"Red" Ed Miliband becomes Labour Leader - The Shortest Suicide Note in History

Well, well, well!  There was me worrying that centrist Blairite David Miliband was on course to become Labour leader and make a real fight of it against fellow "centrists" David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

But no, Labour decided to commit hari-kari and vote for his hard-left, Union loving brother  - Ed Miliband.  And there was me thinking that Labour wanted to actually win an election.  While it is difficult, and nigh impossible, in politics to predict what will happen in four years, I am feeling very confident for conservatism in Britain right now, and let me explain why.

People don't like the left-wing, and generally will not vote that way if a candidate is explicitly left-wing, especially in the modern era when socialism has by and large been proved to be a load of old cobblers.  The most successful left-wing leaders hide their socialism, and instead present themselves as "charismatic centrists" with "visions" of the future etc.  Then, once they get into office, they drift to the left.  They start claiming that while they would love to have a free market with low taxation etc,  "current circumstances simply do not allow it" and go on from there, slowly but surely drifting to the left.  Obama is the latest example of this

However, Milly-E (as he is known) is out and out a hard left guy right from the start, with enormous backing from communist trade unions and classic socialist figures of the British past - none of whom were ever able to get elected into government.  He will not even be able to pretend that he stands for liberty, democracy and the pursuit of happiness.  He believes in Unions, tyranny, big government, high tax and outdated Keynesian economics - and everyone knows it.

It is also likely that Conservatives will move slightly to the right in order to fight the upcoming battle on principles.  The next election will be Socialist Principles vs Conservative Principles.  When the battle is shaped like that, Conservatism almost always wins.

While we must not get complacent, today is a day to celebrate for conservatives - The Labour Party has wandered back into electoral wilderness.  Let us hope it does not return for some time!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Obama's drippy response to Ahmadinejad's nonsense

So, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walks in front of the UN, and spouts nonsensical drivel about the US being response for 9/11, and it all being a great big plot to advance American interests abroad.  American UN representatives walk out, everyone condemns Ahmadinejad.  Pretty much what everyone expected then!

However, President Obama's response to this was bizarre.  When asked about the incident, Obama responded that Ahmadinjad's remarks were "hateful" and "offensive."  Talk about missing the point on two fronts!

First of all, the Iranian President's remarks were wrong, dead wrong.  We all know who was responsible for 9/11 (that is, except for a bunch of Chomskyite leftists) - Islamic extremism.  As a result, the remarks were also idiotic.  They are based on falsehoods, whacko conspiracy theories and pure, braindead stupidity.  Obama could have shown Ahmadinejad up for what he really is - a loon.  He could have gestured and said "Yeh, this is what we have to deal with now" or simply branded him irrelevant - after all, what Mahmoud wants is power and authority.  If his remarks had been met with indifference, it would have shown him up, and helped to pop the power bubble in which the Iranian dictatorship is currently sat.

Instead Obama decided not to brand him as wrong, but as "offensive."  Well yes, that is what Ahmadinejad was trying to be.  And by calling him offensive and hateful, it implies that America and its people have been hurt in some way by Ahmadinejad's words - which is exactly what the Iranian regime wants.  Obama's response says to Iran that their President is important and powerful enough to be able to offend and hurt the American people, and its President.

The correct response would have been both to dismiss him as incorrect, and make it quite clear that such a silly, petty little man has no effect over the American people whatsoever, as they are much stronger than Ahmadinejad will be if he lives to be 100.  Unfortunately, by trying to "extend a hand" to Iran, Obama has only handed over a great deal of power on the international stage to Ahmadinejad, and to do such a thing is extremely dangerous.

November is Coming

With less than 40 days and 40 nights left until the November Elections, we are beginning to see more incredible movie-type trailers for that election.  Here is the latest one from Ben Howe.  It is really good!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Should the Government ban unpaid internships?

It is very rare that I disagree strongly with India Lenon - the Telegraph Student blogger who makes incisive comments about education - but today is certainly one of those days.

In her latest post, Lenon jumps on the bandwagon of a movement that is popular in both Britain and in America - the movement to force companies to pay their interns.  It has been discussed often in Britain, and it looks like something that Obama would try and force through into law in America if he has the chance (although it is now looking like no such chance will arise.)

The argument is that interns, especially in the current job market where gainful employment is sparse, often work ridiculous hours, doing the worst possible work, for little or no money.  This is true.  Therefore, the argument goes, employers should be forced to pay interns a decent (or "living" as the common drivel goes) wage in order to be compassionate and fair to the interns.  This is false.  Let me explain why.

Having recently been in a situation myself where I left University with few employment prospects, I can say with certainty that no-one, and I mean no-one, wants to be an intern if there is a full-time job available doing something in their field.  Whether that be business or politics or fashion, we would all much rather be in full-time employment doing the thing we love.  However, with the recession dragging on and on and on, there is no work available in the fields in which we studied.  The student is therefore faced with two options:

a) Get full time work in low-level jobs at McDonalds etc
b) Apply for an internship paid or unpaid.

Many students reason for the second - the idea is that by working for less/no money, one can make contacts and gain experience that might open a door into the profession.  So, if you are working as an intern for an MP for instance, you work for six months for an MP as an intern, another one notices you, likes the work you are doing and says "There is a job here in my department.  Fancy it?"

Now, there are many paid internships as well, however these are few and far between, and as I found out, can have somewhere in the region of 350 applicants per position.  Nice work if you can get it, but you probably can't.  So, people subject themselves to unpaid internships hoping that that will do the trick, however difficult it may be.

People taking India's position will say "Yes, yes, but if they were ALL paid, then it would be better for everyone."  Well, yes that is true in theory.  But in reality, a basic knowledge of economics and the price system tells you that once you make something more expensive, people buy less of them.  So a company that can afford to employ two paid interns and then give 10 unpaid interns travel expenses now might employ three paid interns, but will not employ any more AND will make those three work even harder.  Now, that isn't dreadful for that third paid intern, but its terrible for the other nine who are now denied the opportunity to work for that company.

People such as India are no doubt well-intentioned - the stories of unpaid interns being slogged to death are by no means pleasant stories, but instead of being compassionate, India's desired government interference would actually deny opportunities to students trying to make it in the jobs market, as it would mean less positions were available.  It is not telling companies what to do - more it is telling students "You are not allowed to work for free."  The government should not have the right to do that.

Unpaid internships aren't great, but when they are often the only prospect of an unemployed student being able to work in their desired field, we musn't deny them opportunities on the basis of some distorted notion of "compassion."

Monday, 20 September 2010

Liberal Democrats - "The Prisoners Must Be Able to Vote!"

I always say that one of the reasons I never made it as a left-wing sort of person (as I flirted with being in my teens) is because my brain isn't wired in the way it needs to be wired for one to be left-wing.  This is especially the case with the British Liberal Democrats (who are neither liberal in the traditional sense, nor particularly democratic.)

It is a peculiar person who watches a criminal being carted off to prison and immediately thinks "Oh no!  I hope his rights are being protected!"  Don't get me wrong, I am not arguing for no rights for criminals, but the unusual fervour with which the left desperately seek out more and more advanced rights than criminals are being "denied" is very difficult to work out at times.

So today, when I saw that the Lib Dems are back on their old hobby horse of trying to give prisoners voting rights again, I had to really sit back in wonder at them all over again.  However, when one thinks about it, it is not particularly strange that the Lib Dems are very keen on this measure, and it is in fact very clever, and a particular characteristic of many left-wing parties internationally.  Nile Gardiner has a great analysis of Clegg and co's decision to go ahead with this surge, and he points to Clegg's ideological dedication to unification with the EU, who needless to say are so keen that prisoners get voting rights, that they want them to sue the taxpayer for compensation!  Yeh, amazing isn't it?

However, the segment I feel that Gardiner misses out on is that political parties always canvass for votes, and left-wing campaigners have a habit of trying to create new segments that they can "protect" and therefore gain votes for life from.  It has been very successful.  For instance, it is no coincidence that a great many of those who vote for massive tax-rises by voting for left-wing parties don't happen to pay any income tax themselves.  In America, Obama is trying to grant amnesty to tonnes of illegal immigrants - he knows that the second they become citizens, they will probably vote Democrat.

So, back to the Lib Dems and prisoners.  We know that prisoners will be interested in a number of things. 

1) Prison conditions
2) Shorter prison sentences
3) General soft attitude to crime
4) Voting (maybe)
5) Welfare (a high proportion of criminals will be on welfare at some point.)

Now, look back over that list and who do you think covers most of those points?  Thats right, the Lib Dems!  They know that they will get tens of thousands more votes, some in tight constituencies, should the prison population be able to vote.  It is an extraordinarily cynical move, and it will do a lot of damage in the long term.  For instance, it will encourage politicians, specifically left-wing politicians, to scramble over one another in a race to be more "compassionate" and "understanding" towards criminals, who after all are only "victims of society themselves."

One may argue that nationally, the prison population is relatively insignificant.  Maybe, but in constituencies with a large prison, it could be enormous.  MP's in those constituencies will pander more to the voices of prisoners than they will to the voices of teachers, doctors, nurses, business owners, members of emergency services etc.  The prison population will become a powerful advocacy group in certain areas, and will therefore have significant influence on policy.

This should not be allowed to happen.  Conservatives forced into this current alliance with the Lib Dems should break off and condemn the scheme as insulting to law-abiding citizens, insulting to the victims of crime, and ultimately as a cynical ploy for more votes that will only contribute to the break down of law and order that left-wing parties always encourage without fail.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Dream 2010

CatholicVote.org is a group that encourages Catholics to vote in line with their principles, and not in line with whatever media fad is being peddled at the time.  They also produce absolutely fantastic videos!  The latest one is setting the scene for the November elections, and really sent a shiver up my spine when I watched it, so I thought I would do my part in getting it out there.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Terrorism and the Left

I always find it interesting how, whenever a conservative or libertarian group - like the Tea Party- gets angry and passionate about something, all of a sudden the left get "concerned" and "troubled."  They don't get troubled by the issues raised by that group, and don't deal with any of the complaints that those people may have.  Instead, their "concern" (at least, so they claim) is about the potential for "violence" or "disturbances" that they claim may be encouraged by such movements.  The claim is that if tea partiers or conservatives or whoever are allowed to get too passionate, or become too popular, then it will mean that some nutjob will shoot at the President, or blow up a building or go on a rampage with a gun, or whatever.

And yet time and time again, we never see any violence coming from these groups, and instead see political violence coming time and time again from the left not the right.  Time and time again there are outbreaks of violence, or bomb threats or whatever, instantly assumed to me "some right wing nut", and then they turn out to be a communist or green warrior.

Just a few weeks ago we had the Discovery channel eco-loon who (like the Unabomber) had been inspired by the fringe left-wing environmentalist movement.  Business Insider has some amazing statistics on this  And now in England, the Real IRA are threatening to kill bankers in financial institutions in London, all because such bankers dare to "serve in financing Britain's colonial and capitalist system."

This is the same IRA who, in one form of another, has committed countless acts of terrorism through Great Britain and Ireland.  It is rarely mentioned that their politics are radically left-wing, and they have a great many sympathisers from the international left-wing.  Yet sure enough, here they are, slagging off capitalism and those "evil bankers" who those on the left just love to hate.

Now, I am not trying to say that the anti-banker rhetoric that is constantly spewed from the pages of The Guardian et al has caused this.  Those who commit, or threaten to commit these acts have an agenda and political opinions of their own, and it is folly to believe that if there were a few less editorials on evil bankers then we wouldn't have these problems.

However, it is interesting to imagine if such a group had threatened public sector workers.  Surely this would be blamed immediately on "conservative" rhetoric about spending cuts and how the public sector is strangling Britain?  Just like President Clinton tried to blame Timothy McVeigh's actions on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, an attack on a trade union or an NHS administrative building would instantly be blamed on "the right", the attackers would be labelled as "right-wing activists" and the narrative would go that they had woken up, read The Daily Mail or listened to a David Cameron speech, and then decided to go out and kill innocent people.

However, in a moment like this, it is worth reflecting on where the real hate speech and violence comes from. In a political climate where the left are trying to blame attacks on Muslims on those who dare to oppose the Ground Zero Mosque and grassroots conservative movements are being labelled "radical", "extreme" and "dangerous", it serves well to highlight stories like this, to show where the real dangerous extremists come from - and it isn't from the right-wing.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The UK Trade Union Congress is very upset - good!

I have always said that the best way to judge the soundness of a policy is if the hard-left like it or not.  If I'm unsure on an issue, or do not have the fullest knowledge and am unsure of where to stand, I simply look to the hard left, see what they think, and do the opposite!  When I find out more about the policy in question, I usually find that my instict has served me well.

So, despite my uncertainty about the Con-Lib Coalition and the softly softly approach it is taking to so many issues such as tackling the National Debt, when I see the hard-left Trade Union Congress (TUC) come out and condemn the proposed spending cuts as "reckless", warning that it will cause "irreparable damage", then I breathe a sigh of relief that Cameron's coalition are at least doing something right!

It is amazing, but not surprising, that the Unions are insisting on absolutely no spending cuts, arguing instead for tax hikes, and probably even more spending.  Not only are taxes already too high, and spending deficits dangerously close to those of Greece, we know from experience that tax and spend doesn't work for a whole range of reasons too numerous to go into here.  We know this specifically from the 1970's, where trade unions were given free reign, and Keynesian tax and spend economics were put into play. The public sector grew and grew, tax rates went into the 90% region and Britain fell to its knees. Communist unions throttled the life out of the nation and nearly destroyed us in the process.  It took massive intervention by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980's to a) put the economy back on track and b) to crush what was essentially an attempt at a socialist takeover by Arthur Scargill and the National Union of Mineworkers (now a member of the TUC unsurprisingly).

Over the last 13 years, the Labour government has slowly moved back to those same policies that destroyed the country in the late 70's, and now it is time once again for the (primarily) Conservative government to fix it.  Yet hard left groups like the TUC, who are so tied up with vested interests in the public sector and blinded by their ideological commitment to socialism, are going to fight tooth and nail against economic recovery just as they did throughout the 1980's.

It comes down to a basic case of "Turkeys don't vote for Christmas."  The cause of this crisis that Britain is facing comes from excessive growth of the public sector over the last 10-15 years, and the soaring spending that naturally comes with such a growth.  Such spending has been accompanied by high taxes across the board, which has strangled the private sector and sent business investment abroad.  The answer to the crisis is therefore to cut spending, cut the public sector down to size, and to cut taxes - something that the Coalition has slowly started to do.  This will deal with the deficit and stimulate the private sector, which would in turn increase tax revenue as there would be more wealth to be taxed, albeit at a lower rate.

Yet the TUC is simply arguing for more of what got us into this mess in the first place.  It is important to cut through all the talk about how these cuts will hurt the "poor" - this is false. The unions are choosing to ignore the good that spending cuts will do to the private sector and private sector employment (which will benefit the poorer more than anyone else, as it is they who are more likely to be unemployed), instead focusing on the damage it will do to their vested interests.  Yes, this will hurt the public sector, and it will trim it down.  But that is because it needed trimming down in order for us to have significant private sector growth and to make the economy sustainable. The public sector, on the other hand, was choking the country, and was/is entirely unsustainable.

Emotionally charged language from vested interests in the public sector about the "poor and dispossessed" must be ignored.  A bloated public sector and excessive tax and spend policies do not work, and a failing economy helps no-one - not the rich and certainly not the poor.  The only way to end poverty is to have job creation and social mobility.  Welfare and high spending only damage these goals, and make poverty even worse by creating poverty and welfare traps that keep the poor poor.

The coalition must remain strong and cut spending as is necessary, and must tackle the toxic political language spewing from hard left groups like the TUC that want to drag us back into the misery of the 1970's - the future of the country depends on the coalition remaining strong.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

President Barack Obama's Endgame: A Look at the National Debt

The Dissertation is IN!!!  I am delighted to announce that I have finished my course, and am now a week away from travelling to New York for a couple of months!  Therefore blogging will resume as normal once I have caught up on a little bit of sleep, and I hope to have a new article out this week.

In the meantime, I would really recommend watching this video by Eric Cantor - the Republican Whip.  It is quite a long one  but it really is worth it.  So if you are taking a break from work, fix yourself up a cup of coffee and put it on.  It shows exactly why there needs to be a Republican Revolution this November.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Effects of Intergenerational Debt

With the orgy of spending that President Obama has instigated in America, and a similar monstrosity of spending and debt that has plagued Britain over the last 13 years of Labour government, the focus in the modern political climate of 2010 is that of debts and deficits, and the consequences it will have in the future.

One of the frequent phrases used to describe the magnitude of the spending that has taken place in America and Great Britain is to describe our leaders as loading us with "intergenerational debt" and committing "intergenerational theft".  The concept basically indicates that by spending so much, we are not so much loading ourselves with debt, but instead are loading our children and our grandchildren with debt and misery that they will have to bear.

There is a significant difference between America's debt and Great Britain's debt however, and this difference is one of timescale.  Many commentators and economists speak of the Obama spending binge as one that is currently committing "intergenerational theft" against future generations -  John Couretas has a brief but excellent piece for the Acton Institute in which he describes the many effects of racking up such a debt, as Obama is doing.

However, in Britain the theft has already taken place.  Tomorrow a new book called The Jilted Generation, written by Ed Howker and Shiv Malik, is released.  It analyses how the spending of the baby boomer generation has made life significantly tougher for the new generation of twenty somethings trying to make it in the world.  Robert Colville gives his thoughts in the Daily Telegraph and it is well worth a read.  He points out that it was the baby boomers who had free education, cheap housing and great pensions, but it is the modern generation that will have to pay for it.  Colville points out some interesting statistics on what the spending has caused,
"We were the first generation to pay tuition fees; we left university just as the property market started to soar out of reach; we will spend our working lives paying off the debts and liabilities that our elders have loaded on to the state (which mount up to five times GDP); and at the end of it all, the odds that there will be a decent pension system left to pay for our old age are perishingly small.
You may have seen the recent reports that eight out of 10 young people have to turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad to buy a house. That's largely because, if today's first-time buyers were getting the same deal as their parents had, the average starter home would cost under £100,000, rather than £165,500. If food costs had gone up as fast as house prices over the past 40 years, a battery chicken would cost £47.50. Effectively, say Howker and Malik, the young are transferring an extra £1.3 trillion to their parents via these inflated property prices – so a starter loan is the least they should get in return."
The argument is certainly not clear cut - many have responded to this new trend to "Blame the Boomers" as unfair.  Giles Hattersly argues instead that it is the modern generation at fault, who are spoilt brats with cheap holidays, glitzy phones and a sense of entitlement - Hattersly refers to many in the new generation as "Ipods" - Infantile Posse of Over-indulged Drunks.  Ouch!

Both sides to the argument have merit, but it does not escape the fact that Great Britain is paying a heavy price now for the privilege of living with an exaggerated debt since the early 1970's, and an Obama-esque debt for almost 10 years now.  As a result, an analysis of the problems, both financial and social, that a sky-high debt causes should be of interest to Americans who are wondering what the Obama Administration is doing to the future of the nation.