Monday, 31 January 2011

The State of the Union and Obama's Game of Risk

Obama’s State of the Union address revealed a failure to understand the role that risk plays in the free market, meaning that his administration will only create unsustainable bubbles, and not successful businesses.

We are being told by the mainstream media that Obama’s State of the Union address was one in which he flexed his free market credentials.  The HuffPo’s Rachel Maddow even went so far as to describe the address as a “prayer to the free market”.  There can be no doubt that we were supposed to draw this conclusion - Obama spoke favorably of corporate profits, thriving small businesses, competition, innovation and even Google and Facebook (see how “hip” he is!)  Specifically, Obama spoke of how his administration was investing in small businesses trying to get off the ground.

However, pumping struggling small businesses with taxpayer’s dollars is not the same as being an advocate of the free market.  Despite what our left-wing friends will tell us, the free market is not so much pro-business as it is pro-consumer.  The reason we on the right advocate the free market is because it ultimately benefits the worker, the consumer and society as a whole, by creating wealth, jobs and delivering goods and services efficiently at low cost.

One of the ways the free market encourages the private sector to deliver such efficiencies is through the concept of risk.  The left sees risk as one of those bad and nasty things that they should “protect” vulnerable small businesses from.  Yet as Milton Friedman was so fond of reminding people - the free market is not just a profit system; it is a profit and loss system.  It is through the risk of loss, and the incentives and disincentives that it brings, which encourages efficiency and wise decision making.

In the free market, risk acts as a cleansing fire that burns away poor business ideas, as well as burning away inefficiencies and problems in good ideas.  This is because when the owner of a business bears the risks attached to failure, it encourages him or her to be as efficient as possible and to take care with decision making in order to minimize those risks.    To quote Thomas Sowell, “In a capitalist enterprise, the owner is an unmonitored monitor; self interest takes over from external monitors.”[i] 

Additionally, those wishing to start a business will be all the more careful about their business plan if it is their money that they are investing, as it will be they who will bear the consequences if the plan is not sustainable.  External investors in new businesses will also be careful how they invest their own money, and will either not invest in a bad venture at all, or will spend time examining the plan and pushing the owners to make changes before they take a risk and invest.  This means that the only businesses that start up are those in which people are prepared to risk their money.

The above is fairly simple economics, but for the left, risk brings to mind only negative images of scared small business owners and shattered dreams.  It is for this reason that Obama and similarly minded leftists have been quite happy to “minimize” the risk of starting up a business by providing loans and grants to small businesses that they deem to be politically expedient. 

The State of the Union address was therefore filled with examples of how government had funded the startup of various “green” businesses, such as the business owned by Robert and Gary Allen, who used their government loan to expand and to manufacture solar shingles.  Here in England we already have a whole rainbow of government grants and loans, such as the “Community Development Finance Initiative”, “The Carbon Trust” (if your business is “green”) and the “Mayor’s Economic Recovery Loan Fund” in London.
While these may sound lovely and compassionate, as well as being great ways of encouraging businesses to start up, they are not free market solutions, and are therefore misguided.  For what such loans and grants do is not to minimize risk, but simply to transfer that risk from the business owners and investors to the taxpayer.

This is unfair not only because the taxpayer is forced to bear the risk of loss without the prospect of profit, but also because they have become investors in businesses in which neither the owners nor private sector investors were prepared to put their money.

Also, although it may be wonderful for Robert and Gary Allen that they are selling their solar shingles in the short term, it may not be so lovely for them in the long term.  For if they had failed to attain investment through the usual private sector paths, they may have taken their ideas back to the drawing board and either jettisoned the ideas for better ones, or they may have ironed out the kinks in the current ideas to attract investors.  This would be better for their long-term prospects.

Such a grant is not good for the business (Robert and Gary may be working with a dud) nor is it good for the investing taxpayer – who gains nothing from the risky investment even if that business turns profitable.  The only group it benefits are Obama’s Democrats, who get to pat themselves on the back for encouraging green businesses and jobs, and who will then pat themselves on the back again when they “save jobs” by bailing out the industry after the green bubble they are creating by funding bad businesses eventually bursts.
Ultimately risk is seen by the left as bad as it discourages businesses from starting up.  This is inaccurate – risk only discourages bad or imperfect businesses from starting up.  Obama’s plan for more government funding for businesses is not a free market solution, and it is not pro-business.  All it will do is create unsustainable bubbles that will hurt efficiency, hurt workers, hurt consumers and hurt American society as a whole – and that is a risky plan.

[i] T Sowell, Basic Economic: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy (New York: Basic Books 2000) p.75

Friday, 28 January 2011

Another Attempt by Obama to Force Britain into the EU.

Thanks to my fellow Anglo American commentator Nile Gardiner for picking this story up, that has gone almost entirely unnoticed by the mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic.  Apparently the Obama administration has started another push to get America's once strongest ally further into the quicksand of the European Union.  This time it is diplomat Louis Susman (American ambassador to the UK) who has been running his mouth off.  In a private meeting with British MEPs this week in the European Parliament, Susman called for a stronger commitment to the failing EU by Great Britain.

"Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Susman signalled that Washington wants a clearer British commitment to remain in the EU, saying “I want to stress that the UK needs to remain in the EU.
“The US does not want to see Britain’s role in the EU diminished in any way.
“The message I want to convey today is that we want to see a stronger EU, but also a stronger British participation within the EU.
Susman, who took up his current post a year ago, added, “This is crucial if, together, we are going to meet all the global challenges facing us, including climate change and security."

Although it is most certainly not unheard of for allies to express opinions on various international issues that effect the other nation, to push for something that every single opinion poll shows that the British public are against is distasteful at best, and at worst it is downright insulting.  America should be supporting its allies, not challenging them at every possible opportunity.

The statement is also quite wrong.  I will ignore the vagueness of "dealing with climate change", as we already know that for the Obama administration the science is unquestionable and "dealing" with the problem involves as much big government as is humanly possible.  However, the idea that if Britain hands over its sovereignty to the hard-left, anti-American, pacifist EU then this will be excellent for "security", then Mr Susman is either delusional or a fool.

When will the Obama administration understand that the EU is not America's friend.  It is filled with American hating lefties, and it doesn't change just because they have a Democrat in office.  If America wants an ally in Europe, then Britain (as always) is its best hope.  Trying to push Britain into the EU will only make Britain weaker, and damage Anglo-American relations, which will ultimately harm America.

While creating an European megastate may fit in with Obama's left-wing view of the world, it will do nothing for America's interests.  It is for this reason that America should oppose this pushy new attitude towards their best ally, and stop Obama from doing even more harm to the national interest of America, and the interests of her allies.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Obama is America's New Sputnik Moment

Apologies for the scarce blogging over the last week  - I have been hit by whatever bug it is that is currently circling around Manchester, and it has pretty much taken me out.  So no podcast and obviously there has been very little blogging over this week.

In my cough syrup haze I ventured to watch the State of the Union/State of Obama address in the middle of night a few days ago.  Perhaps it was the fact that it was nearly 4 in the morning British time by the time he finished, maybe it was the fact that I had mixed Scotch with my Beechams Flu Plus in order to soothe the pain of all the buzzwords and cliches, but all I could think throughout the entire thing was, "What the hell are you talking about you strange little man?"

There are so many things wrong with that speech it would take countless posts to go through them all, but I don't think I would be doing my duty if I didn't refer to the "Sputnik moment".  If you were lucky enough to ignore the SOTU address (as we kool kidz call it on Twitter...yo!) then you may be surprised to learn that Obama's plan to "Win the Future" (the blood curdling slogan for the speech) is for America to have a "Sputnik moment", which should encourage America to fire up and work to something amazing - government sponsored and controlled naturally!

Apart from the obvious fact that he chosen a Communist success story with which to encourage America, he doesn't quite seem to understand what Sputnik represented for America.  Sputnik was a moment that helped America to see how threatened it was, it showed how in danger it was of being destroyed, and how delicate the American dream ultimately was.  Sputnik itself was almost completely useless, it just circled around the globe, making noise until the novelty wore off.  Yet it awoke America out of its post-war slumber and encouraged it to rediscover itself and begin the drive into prosperity - not only with the Apollo program, but in general as well.

It is for this reason that I am going to take Obama's little metaphor and turn it on its head.  America has had its Sputnik moment already - that moment was Obama!  Obama is the useless little machine that buzzes around the globe making lots of useless noise.  Obama is the novelty that everyone is beginning to get bored of.  Sputnik was supposed to be a epoch defining moment, and really it just made noise - just like Obama.  Sputnik was also a product of socialist initiative, as is Obama!

Yet, the more serious lesson of Sputnik is also the lesson of Obama's election and presidency.  Obama's presidency, like the launch of Sputnik, has awoken America to the malaise that it finds itself in.  Obama's failed presidency shows just how far away from the American dream that nation has drifted, how threatened the American dream is once again, and it is through movements like the Tea Party where the response to the Sputnik program - one might call it a  modern Apollo program - is being conducted.

Obama is wrong to suggest that "winning the future" will come from more government "investment" and initiatives.  Instead it will come from Americans reasserting their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and expressing America's greatness through efficiency and private sector prosperity.

The Apollo success was a response to the defeat of America that was represented by the Sputnik moment.  It is for this reason that the modern Apollo movement is well under way in the conservative movement, and it is responding to the defeat represented by the election of Obama - America's modern Sputnik moment.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Left-Wing Policies Have Destroyed Britain's Youth

Take a glance through the British media in a given week, and you will see the usual anti-business, pro-tax rhetoric permeating throughout most of it.  Want some money for a "scheme" or "initiative"?  Tax "the rich" - after all, they have heaps of money that they don't need, right?  Want to blame someone for an economic crisis?  How about those bankers we just love to hate?  Want to campaign against something?  How about those evil corporations who are only out to crush the little guy?

Well, such actions have consequences, and this has been shown in Britain's enormous, devastating youth unemployment.  The figures can be seen in the attached link here. (H/T The Sun)

What surprised me about the figures is just how unsurprised I was.  My nearest city of Salford has a 30.8% youth unemployment, and it is very easy to believe.  The concept of a welfare culture is very much alive in these places, leading to entire welfare towns where initiative, independence etc. are all very much dead.  The welfare culture has been fostered in families for a few generations now, and many of these young people who are unemployed have been born into families where none of the other members have ever worked - having a job is simply foreign to these people.

The tragic thing about all this is that in most cases it is not their fault.  Policies designed to "help" the poor and the unemployed have been the policies that have destroyed their lives the most.  Before these young unemployed people were even born there was already a welfare system in place that does not encourage marriage, that encourages families to live apart and that rewards parents who are on benefits, and punishes parents who do not receive benefits.  Then, we give the child lousy schooling at state run, union controlled, ideologically driven schools that focus on making kids "feel good" as opposed to giving them a proper education.

When they finally do enter the jobs market they find that there are no jobs available, as Britain's high tax, anti-business policies have either scared business abroad, or has discouraged it from even growing in the first place.  Then, if there are any jobs available, the young person will find themselves priced out of a job by high minimum wage laws that by their nature discriminate against the less qualified, meaning they cannot get a job, meaning that they eventually stagnate on welfare.

Yet no major political figure in Britain is challenging this.  Labour wants to push this hard left agenda further, and the present Coalition that is in power seems to be rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic - and even that causes ideologue leftists to scream that the deckchair rearranging will leave the "poor and vulnerable" without a place to sit.

Brits reading this should be depressed - this is our reality.  Americans reading this should be terrified - this is your future under Obama if he is not stopped.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Now Calling Muslims "Moderate" is Offensive!

The onslaught of censorship dressed up as civility and tolerance goes on - but this time from a so-called "conservative"!

That's right, Baroness Warsi has been off spouting nonsense once again!  Having called Britain a police state in the past, and only last week slating the right-wing of the Tory party for daring to question the electoral policy of throwing the election so the Lib Dems can win, Baroness Warsi has now come out and has basically said that it is bigoted to refer to "moderate and "extremist" Muslims!  Here are the various extracts from her speech to Leicester University,

"Indeed, it seems to me that Islamophobia has now crossed the threshold of middle class respectability.
For far too many people, Islamophobia is seen as a legitimate – even commendable – thing. You could even say that Islamophobia has now passed the dinner-table-test.
The drip feeding of fear fuels a rising tide of prejudice. So when people get on the tube and see a bearded Muslim, they think “terrorist” …when they hear “Halal” they think “that sounds like contaminated food”…and when they walk past a woman wearing a veil, they think automatically “that woman’s oppressed”. And what’s particularly worrying is that this can lead down the slippery slope to violence.
We need to think harder about the language we use. And we should be careful about language around religious “moderates”. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. It’s not a big leap of imagination to predict where the talk of “moderate” Muslims leads: In the factory, where they’ve just hired a Muslim worker, the boss says to his employees: “not to worry, he’s only fairly Muslim”. In the school, the kids say “the family next door are Muslim but they’re not too bad”. And in the road, as a woman walks past wearing a Burkha, the passers-by think: “that woman’s either oppressed or making a political statement”."

Remind me again - Why is this woman a high ranking member of the Conservative Party?  This is not the speech of a sound minded right-winger, this is the sort of nonsense we would hear from the uber socialist diversity officers encouraging us to spend billions of pounds of taxpayers money on "diversity initiatives" and whatnot!

It is difficult to know what is most galling about Baroness Warsi's comments.  Is it the blatant putting down of her own country as bigoted, when it is in fact one of the most tolerant countries in the world?  Is it the condescending assumptions of what the masses "really think" about Islam (When they hear "Halal", they think "contaminated food")?  Or is it the cynical attempt to shut down free speech on the implied threat of "racism" and "Islamophobia"?  Yes, I think it is that last one!

Under this vague banner of "Islamophobia", people in America and especially Britain have been hushed into not discussing one of the most important issues of our time - the spread of Islam and its violent tendencies.  As a consequence of this tip-toeing around, we now often speak of "moderate" Muslims - those who are peaceful and do not advocate violence, and "extreme" Muslims who do.  This is a fair distinction as it forms the middle ground between tarring all Muslims as evil, and ignoring the problem altogether by burying one's head in the politically correct sand.

However, Baroness Waris would say that we are not even allowed to do this anymore - for even this too is offensive.  She is concerned that this sort of speaking has "passed the dinner-table-test."  Well, yes it has Baroness, it has passed the dinner-table-test because it is true.  There are indeed a majority of Muslims who are peaceful and on Britain's side, and then there are a significant minority of nutters who are violent and pose one of the biggest threats to British and American safety since the war!  So whether we make a distinction between "moderates" and "extremists" "soft" and "hard" Islam, or whatever we call it, there is a distinction to be made.

The problem is with people like Baroness Warsi is that that reality of a situation does not fit in with their blinkered view of the world, where all that matters is "diversity" and "tolerance" and not the fact that there may be some legitimate questions and concerns that need answering.  Ultimately it is this false "diversity" and "tolerance" that leads to the most ardent campaigns for censorship and blatant intolerance of those who disagree with the views of the politically correct classes.

It is not racist or bigoted to have concerns about Islam, nor is it bigoted or racist to distinguish between those who are violent and those who are not.  If Baroness Warsi does not like the conversations people are having, perhaps she should ask why they are having them, as opposed to just smearing everyone she doesn't like as a bigot.

The Conservative Party needs to sack this woman as soon as is physically possible - she is not a conservative, but a power hungry authoritarian leftist, and she will do great harm to the party if her inane ramblings are allowed to continue.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Americans Should Take Note of Cameron's Attempts to Reform the NHS

It may seem that in the last week or so I have been rather harsh to Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.  Certainly I am frustrated by the fact that we seem to have a Conservative Prime Minister who appears to be scared of conservative principles, but at the same time he is significantly better than the previous few incumbents.  Indeed, there may be an argument to say that he is the best Prime Minister that we have had since Margaret Thatcher.

So I was cheered somewhat by the announcement today of the new offensive against the NHS, designed to reform the monolith of our National Health Service somewhat so that it offers either better service, or costs less - preferably both.

The problem that Cameron and the Tories have is that reforming the NHS by introducing market principles is like trying to make an elephant do ballet - it is simply not in its nature.  You can have a privatised system or a nationalised system, trying to get a nationalised system with privatised efficiency is just dreamland, not reality.   In addition, the NHS is a government controlled, unionised monopoly, with enormous amounts of public sector special interests who have vested interests in the status quo.  That means that whenever there is even the slightest mention of reform, those vested interests cause hell.  It is for this reason that Thatcher was able to defeat the Soviet Union, she was able to defeat the Argentinians, she was even able to defeat the Scargillian uprising - but she was not able to defeat the vested interests in the NHS.  They are simply too powerful, and have been since the 1940's, when the NHS was started.

We have seen a similar result today.  Cameron's major speech today on the issue has already been hijacked by those claiming to be "outraged" after Cameron (rightly) described the NHS as "second rate", which has been declared to be an insult to "millions of NHS staff" by Labour and the rest of the union cronies that follow them around.  This is the common tactic used to smear anyone who fails to follow the dogma that the NHS is the greatest, besterest everest system of healthcare in the entire world!!! (except for Cuba of course!)

Unfortunately Cameron has already backed down and has apologised for describing it as "second rate", instead modifying it to say that patients should not be given treatment that is "second best".  Cameron has fallen into the left's trap.  The problem Cameron has is that he is trying to work within a government-run, nationalised monopoly, which ultimately will never be efficient, and he is trying to do it with the co-operation of vested interests.  He has chosen not to tackle the fundamental problem of the nationalised system, and is instead trying to make the existing system less inefficient.  But the vested interests have no interest in making the system more efficient, and therefore attempts at diplomacy will fail.  If Cameron wants to reform the NHS, he must fight.  If he is not prepared to fight, then he will fail.

Already we have seen that reform of the NHS may prove to be an almost impossible task, and this is something for Americans to take note of when it comes to the effects of Obamacare. Once you have nationalised health care, it is impossible to revoke.  Attempts to make it smoother will mostly fail, and any attempt to modify the system in any way will be met by a tide of anger from vested interests keen to preserve the status quo.  Every smear from "you are insulting nurses" to "you want poor people to die on the streets" will be aimed at you.  From a political perspective, this makes it impossible to touch, and this is why the British Conservative Party has been unable to propose any significant NHS reforms time and time again.  So, if Obamacare is allowed to be established, America will never get rid of it.

It is for this reason that repealing Obamacare as soon as possible is the highest priority for Republicans and conservatives in America.  Boehner and co are right to make that their main target, and it should also be the focus of the 2012 Republican Presidential Campaign.  Because if this thing gets settled, you will never get rid of it.  Look at Britain, we have had the NHS since 1945, and we still have the same problems now that we had back in the 40's!  If America does not want to still be struggling with nationalised health care in the 2070's, then it needs to repeal Obamacare - fast!

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Conservative Party's Current Strategy is a Disgrace

Cameron dropping the Manifesto in the skip - maybe.
If you are going to sacrifice your political principles and form an alliance that makes a lot of your own party turn against you and label you a traitor, then you had better make damn sure that the party you are forming an alliance with is worth it.  If it is worth it, then you can declare yourself to be a political genius, and your opponents to be backward numptys who do not know the meaning of the word 'compromise'.

However, if the party you form an alliance with turns out to be a waste of space, then all you have done is destroy both the opportunity of getting your agenda through Parliament, and your chances of getting re-elected in the future.  This is exactly what has happened with the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition that we currently have in power in Great Britain - and I use the term "power" very loosely, because surely there has never been a Prime Minister in recent history with less power than David Cameron?

Last night was the first by-election since the formation of the dreaded Coalition, and it was hoped by both Lib Dems and sell out Tories that the Lib Dems could pinch the election and gain another seat, of which they already have precious few.  This required the Conservative Party to refuse to fight, and essentially throw the election by putting out only a symbolic campaign for the Tory candidate, allowing the Lib Dem to pick up the Tory votes and beat the Labour candidate.

But it failed.  In fact, looking at that sentence doesn't do it justice so let me try again - IT FAILED!!!  That's better.  Labour won by an enormous margin, and the Tory strategy is in tatters.  For this strategy to work, the Conservative Party had to leave its dignity and its principles behind in order to throw this election to the Lib Dems, and yet the useless Lib Dems still lost.  As much as Tory cronies such as Baroness Warsi are laughably scolding us that they fought a great campaign and that the "Tory Right" should stop complaining, I am yet to meet one independent voice who actually believes her.

I wouldn't be a fan a Coalition with the Liberal Democrats even if the Dems had 20% support, because I believe that politics should be fought on principles and ideas, not slogans and opportunism.  But, the fact that the support of the Lib Dems is as low as 7% in some polls, and their leader Nick Clegg - once the Obama of Britain - is now hated by many of his own party, turns this whole Coalition into a complete and utter farce.

So, we have thrown our principles and dignity into the trash, and do the voters respect us for it?  Do they admire our sense of "compromise" and our ability to "work together for the common good"?  Of course not.  The polls put Labour - who less than a year ago were suffering from catastrophic levels of unpopularity - ahead by 8%, we lost the by-election last night, and there seems no sign of this turning around any time soon. The effects of this strategy in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election last night will have far reaching consequences with the electorate nationally as well.  The message was clear, "Don't vote for us", and this means that next time the Tories do want people do vote for them, many will just see a party that doesn't value their vote, and will choose to vote for someone else.

Unless we abandon the Coalition
 this man may be your next Prime Minister
The standard call from Tory HQ is that cuts are always unpopular, and this explains the dip in popularity.  This is nonsense.  Yes, cuts are unpopular, but you can prevent it being as bad if you come out and passionately argue for why we need them, and what the conservative vision is for the future - a vision that most people actually agree with when you flesh it out.  However, our big spending Lib Dem partners don't like any of this,  and don't believe in the conservative vision, which puts a muzzle on the Coalition.  Cuts are made without explanation, which allows Labour to come in and say anything they want, and create their own narrative about "evil, rich Tories vs poor, voiceless people" with no Conservative voice coming out and fighting for the cause in fear of offending our wishy washy Liberal Democrat friends.

This whole Coalition is a disaster, and the only way out is not a new strategy, but to abandon this pathetic Coalition at once, drop the dead weights that are the Liberal Democrats, and fight the next election on principle.  Yes, an election next May might be one we lose, but it might also be one we win off our own backs, and the longer we carry out this charade, the harder it will be to lose the image of a party that is happy to sacrifice its own beliefs for power.  If we don't shake that image soon, we might find ourselves under another 13 year Labour government, led by Prime Minister Ed Miliband - a Prime Minister who would make Blair look like Thatcher.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The First Anglo-American Debate Podcast is Now Available!

Finally, after much preparation and screwing around with what seems like a million different accounts and technical thingys, I am pleased to announce the first ever Anglo-American Debate Podcast! (Yehh!!)

The hope is that this podcast will be twice a week, and for about half an hour a podcast.  Please have a listen, and let us know your thoughts and comments.

You can subscribe to it on iTunes by following this link -

Or you can listen to it here on the website., in which I talk about the left's political opportunism in relation to the Arizona shootings, and also Barack Obama's new found ally - the French.

The link to the podcast can be found below

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The UK's Pitiful Economic Freedom

Shocking but not surprising news from the Wall Street Journal and Economic Affairs this morning.

Their study of Economic Freedom places Britain 16th and America 9th.  Hong Kong is at the top, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.  In addition to this, Britain ranked 169th out of 179 for "fiscal freedom" behind nations such as Zimbabwe and the Congo!  Finally, for government spending we are ranked 156th

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  The last government spent and spent and spent and spent......and spent!  That this has enormous ramifications both for our businesses (who are always the first to get hit when the left start eyeing up potential tax targets) and our economic stability as a whole, and the left's pathetic claim that even the slightest public spending cut will destroy "the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society" (seriously, do these guys have that as a macro?) is a mere tactic to completely dodge the fact that Britain is economically screwed, and that they are the ones who caused it.

How can we possibly expect businesses to choose to come here and create jobs and provide investment when we are less economically welcoming than Robert Mugabe?  And when our "vicious" spending cuts are as pitiful as they are, and barely scratch the surface, we do not offer inviting prospects going forward either.  As much as the left like to stamp on business and talk about how evil the corporations are, the fact is that without them, we are going to have a higher unemployment rate, higher spending on welfare and an even higher debt.  We had such a situation in the 1970's and Britain was nearly destroyed.  It took years for Thatcher to rescue us from that, and yet we somehow have managed to get ourself back into the very same hole, caused by following the exact same route as before - socialism.

Britain has traditionally been a fairly solid place to set up a business.  It has never been quite as attractive as America, but it has always been solid, and this is one of the reasons we have remained prosperous.  If we intend to regain that prosperity, this government needs to be get some balls, cut spending, cut taxes and stop scaring away investment and businesses.  It is only by doing this that we can get Britain's economy back onto track, which will ultimately increase, not decrease, the tax revenue coming in, which will allow us to turn the deficit into surplus, and start paying off our crippling generational debt.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Will 2011 be America's Year of Union Discontent?

My latest article has been published today in the American Thinker, and focuses on the fight for freedom from the socialist trade unions.  This is a fight we in Britain have been engaged in for a long time, and I believe that it is set to become the new fight that Americans have to face.

This has proved true looking at the recent chaos in New York caused by the deliberate slow down by union workers in order to force the New York legislature to agree to whatever demands they have come up with this time.  Unfortunately with Obama in the White House, it seems that the unions are only going to becomes more and more powerful, and this gives them only more of a chance to screw the country up.  Americans, trust us, they will screw your country up given half the chance - it is exactly what they did to our country, and are currently trying to do once again!

The article can be found here.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Conservatives Must Not be Drawn Into the Left's Opportunism over the Arizona Tragedy

I always claim to know the left very well.  Having been a socialist in my teenage years, having lots of left-wing friends, having gone to one of the most left-wing universities in England, and having read countless left-wing articles and books - I like to think I have the left down pretty well and that I can accurately predict how they will react to a situation or what their next move will be.

Yet what happened yesterday after the awful tragedy in Arizona stunned even this political commentator.  Now, was it predictable that they would make the assumption that because the guy was carrying a gun and he shot a Democrat that he might be a right-winger?  Sure, that was predictable - we all remember Mayor Bloomberg predicting that the Times Square bomber (who turned out to be a run of the mill Muslim terrorist) would be a right-winger upset about healthcare.

What I was not expecting was that a large portion of the left would not only make the assumption, but actively try to blame key right-wing figures for the tragedy even after they had found out that he wasn't a tea-partier or a right-winger or whatever.  In addition, the almost gleeful excitement that such commentators displayed when they felt that they had discovered a link between Palin and the shooting of Rep. Giffords should make any normal person feel physically sick.

Let's be clear, assumptions are natural.  If a plane flies into a building, we would naturally assume that it is Islamic terrorism, and yesterday when we learned that Giffords had been shot, it is natural to think that there is a possibility that this was politically motivated, and the fact that Giffords is a Democrat may suggest that there was a reasonable chance that this was a lunatic right-winger.

Yet to blame Sarah Palin before we had even discovered who the shooter was low enough.  On the evidence of one measly image that talked about political "targets" and mentioned Giffords, they instantly rushed to the judgement that Palin had deliberately provoked some right-winger who had taken this as a hint, and ran off and shot a bunch of people.  The fact that Palin's rhetoric and imagery wasn't anywhere near as strong or as hateful as some of the stuff directed at her, Bush and Limbaugh etc didn't even come into it.  Palin had made some vague reference to "targets" and therefore there was blood on her hands and she was to blame.  That was their line and they were screaming it from the roof tops.

But then, once we had discovered that Loughner was an anti-God, anti-flag, weed smoking, "Communist Manifesto" reading nut job, one would think that the left would backtrack a little bit, but no!  The left have just ignored who the killer was altogether, and have continued, in deliberate contradiction of the facts, to blame Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Fox (generally anyone who they hate) for the tragedy.  The new argument is that "hateful rhetoric" stoked up by figures on the right is responsible in some vague way for upsetting Loughner and sending him on the killing spree.

Now, it is tempting to run through the arguments.  It is tempting to reiterate that there is no evidence that Loughner listened to Limbaugh, liked Palin, expressed right-wing views or whatever.  It is tempting to reiterate that he expressed views to the contrary, and that were more in line with left-wing views than right-wing views.  It is also tempting to remind people that when it comes to political rhetoric, the left are just as vicious if not more.  The hate-filled rants of O'Donnell, Maher, Garofolo, Grayson etc aren't exactly milkshakes!  And if we are going to point fingers at Sarah Palin's gun language, what about Obama's "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun"?  Could that be "interpreted" as an instruction to bring a gun to a political meeting and start shooting people?  Should we start saying that Obama has blood on his hands?

But all these arguments miss the point to an extent.  It assumes that the left actually believe that Sarah Palin and the right-wing are responsible for these deaths.  I only wish this were the case.  I'm sure they did believe that the right were responsible at first when reports were coming in.  They genuinely believe that everything evil comes from the right and therefore their ideology tells them to assume that any attack must be the right's fault.  The initial assumption was at least genuine, and therefore excusable, if not unfair.

Yet, once the facts were established that this had nothing to do with the right-wing, the way they carried on blaming Palin and the right anyway just shows that they were not interested in the facts.  They were not interested in making sure that this terrible tragedy didn't happen again.  All they were interested in was using the tragedy for their own political ends, and to make it serve themselves.  It takes Rahm Emmanuel's old quip about not letting a crisis go to waste to a new low, and is sickeningly opportunistic as well as a sack full of lies.

Politics can be a scummy business, but this is right in the basement.  It is important that we on the right deflect their criticisms, but do not resort to dropping to their level.  It is tempting to point to Loughner's leftist views and to start inferring that maybe he is one of them, but we mustn't.  We mustn't do this because it would be just as false as what the left are doing - Loughner was not a right winger or a tea partier, but he wasn't a Democrat or a socialist either.  He was a loon, a complete nut who rambled on about political topics in a way that doesn't even put him remotely near reality.

While it is tempting to fight fire with fire, we on the right must show ourselves dignified and above the gross political opportunism that the left are currently bathing in.  When a complete lunatic shoots innocent people, and shows no reason for doing so, it is the lowest form of opportunism to try and use a tragedy to blame one's political opponents when there is no legitimate reason for doing so.

It is in the face of tragedy and suffering where we show who we really are, and many on the left are showing themselves to be grossly immoral cynical opportunists who will use anything in order to smear those that they do not like.  We conservative need to stand back, defend those in our ranks who are under attack, and let the left do what they do.  Our job is not to win an argument by any means, but to do what is right.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Rosie O' Donnell Stunned By The Reality of Obamacare

It's always interesting to see an Obamacare supporter forced to see the reality of life under nationalised health care.  As a resident of Great Britain, and having had experience of the British National Health Service (NHS), it has amazed me to see Democrats and the left in America claim that nationalising healthcare will make it quicker, cheaper and more efficient.  One does not need to be a scholar to know that that claim is completely and utterly in the land of fantasy!  Yet they still argue it!

A beautiful example of this took place this month on the Rosie O'Donnell show.  A Canadian caller was speaking about her inability to get a gastric bypass, and mentioned that it had taken several years for her to see a surgeon for it under the Canadian universal health care system that hardcore leftists like O'Donnell think is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  O' Donnell's inability to even comprehend the fact that this woman had waiten years to see a specialist for a non urgent op is hysterical.  Take a listen to the call.

The best moment in this for me is when Rosie asks the caller if she couldn't have just "asked" to be moved up the waiting list!  Yeh, because it is that simple Rosie!  Even here in Britain, waiting times have been reduced but they are still extremely long.  Admittedly seven years is a long time, even for a government run health system, but I was listening to Labour leader Ed Miliband on the radio this morning saying that Labour's biggest achievement was to make sure that "most" people do not have to wait longer than 5 months to see a specialist!  5 months! And that is an achievement that has required unprecedented amounts of money pumped into the NHS for decades!  He doesn't even mention what happens to people who don't manage to get in under 5 months, or how long it takes to actually get the operation itself!

In fairness to Ed Miliband, waiting times used to be a lot longer than that, but the fact that a 5 month waiting list for "most" people is seen as an achievement for a heavily funded nationalised healthcare system should be a massive klaxon for American readers who might be being swayed by the leftist arguments that health services will get better not worse under Obamacare, and that it will get cheaper in the process.

What is scary is that there are so many loud mouthed activists for Obamacare like O'Donnell, who will talk about how wonderful we Brits have healthcare, and how amazing the Canadian system is, and (laughably) how good the Cuban system in, and yet they don't have even the slightest clue as to how these systems work in reality.  Yet they are still quite happy to enforce this system on the American public.

Make sure it doesn't happen - repeal the damn bill!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Congratulations Speaker Boehner! Now The Hard Work Begins...

There are a lot of times when, being a political writer, I wonder if it is all worth it!  Having to deal with the left's mindless policies and witterings on a day to day basis is a very quick road to high blood pressure, anger issues and an early death.  But today was one of those moments that make it all worth while.

That's right - (now former) Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to hand over the gavel, and the reins of the House of Representatives, to the new Republican Speaker John Boehner.  Anyone who has read this blog knows how much I loathe that woman, and therefore being able to watch her have to keep that forced smile up through the whole thing, and then go through one of the longest farewell speeches in the world (in which she nearly broke her arm patting her own back!) just in order to keep herself in power for just a few more minutes...well, that was pretty amazing!

Having said that, it is important that we conservatives don't get too cocky.  While controlling the House is enormous due to the fact that it is the House who propose the spending bills, the left still control the Senate and the White House, and are not afraid to use whatever power they have to force through their agenda at all costs.  Republicans will need to be just as brutal as the left are in order to survive.  Whatever today's momentous event means, it still does not change the fact that conservatism is a minority in Washington DC.  That needs to change.

Boehner indicated in his speech that bills intended to repeal some of the nonsense we have had to put up with over the last few years will be put forward almost immediately.  He noted that he intended to make it easier to cut spending than to increase it.  Yet he will be fought tooth and nail on this, and he will have to avoid the pitfalls of "compromise" and "unity" that his opponents will set for him and his fellow Republicans in the House.  The message of the Republicans - cut spending, cut taxes, repeal Obamacare etc - needs to be unchanging, and they need to be unswerving in their dedication to it.

If Boehner and his fellow Republicans show themselves faithful to the mission that has been entrusted to them by the American people, then the Senate and the White House will turn Republican in no time, and this period will be seen as the time where America came back from the brink of destruction.  However, if they allow themselves to be drawn into the political games of the left, and turn back on their principles in order to be politically expedient, then Speaker Boehner may find himself giving that gavel back to Nancy Pelosi in a few years -and that is a prospect that none of us want to see.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Guardian blames "soaring" welfare payments on...wait for it....Tories!!

There are some articles that make you think, there are others that you disagree with but that stick with you, and then there are articles than make you bang your head against your keyboard in the hope that the words fall out of your brain and you can forget having ever read it.  Enter The Guardian.

Take a look at this article published in yesterday's Guardian about how apparently the government's welfare bill looks set to rise because of the "austerity cuts."  The title is

Welfare Bill soars as coalition counts cost of austerity drive.

Right.  Perfect example of a misleading title.  When you ask most people what is meant by the Coalition's "austerity drive", I can guarantee that most people will refer to the cuts in public spending - those mild cuts that rags like the Guardian are telling us are evil and horrible and....gasp....Thatcherite!  Therefore, this story sounds like a scoop - could it be possible that spending cuts are leading to higher public spending??  This would be quite a story if it were true.

But of course it isn't true - this isn't what The Guardian is reporting at all.  What is it reporting quite correctly is that the rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20% that has just taken place, has cooled (or de-stimulated if you will) the economy.  From that, they correctly list the VAT rise as one of a number of factors that may act as a disincentive for growth.  The VAT rise means that the costs for businesses and private individuals goes up, which means less money being spent and circulated and less jobs being created.

For the record, I agree with The Guardian in that I disagree with the government's proposal to jump VAT at this time, without a significant drop in other rates of tax.  Thatcher hiked VAT, but she did so by also slashing income taxes at the same time, meaning the de-stimulative effect that the hike in VAT caused was counteracted by the drop in income taxes.  However this Coalition has not significantly dropped other rates of tax, meaning that this is only going to hinder economic growth.

My problem comes with the fact that The Guardian has all of a sudden remembered basic economic principles, now that it is the Tories who are raising certain forms of tax!  They (rightly) point out that an increase in tax will lead to businesses having less money to spend on jobs and investment, they are right to point out that putting extra taxes (an average of an extra £389 a year) on families will have a de-stimulative effect on spending in the private sector, and they are right to point out that now is the wrong time to do it.

So why, when it comes to normal tax raises they magically forget all these principles?  Why do they treat income taxes as taxes on "excess wealth", why do they start talking about redistribution and fairness?  How come they condemn conservatives as "dogmatic" for opposing tax hikes for the same reasons their newspaper is now condemning the VAT hike?  Why do they laugh at conservatives who say that tax hikes do not increase revenue but decrease it?

If anything good comes out of this VAT rise, I hope it is that people remember these arguments the next time lefty rags like The Guardian start blathering on about how we can't possibly reduce taxes on "the rich" and how we should be hiking taxes through the sky instead.  The hypocrisy is immense, but will only be exposed if we call them out on it.  Guardian!  Consider yourself called out!