Friday, 24 June 2011

Britain Needs It's Own Sarah Palin

If you ever wish to hear the dulcet tones of a snort of derision, the best way to do so is to wander into a middle class left-wing dinner party, or a trendy university halls of residence (preferably one where there are pictures of Che Guevara on the wall, and all the boys look like girls, while the girls look like boys) and say two words – “Sarah Palin.”

The resultant snorts of haughty condescension will be loud enough to shatter windows and will result in severe sinus trauma for many of the occupants. For what “we all know” about Sarah Palin is very clear, especially to the left. Sarah Palin is a moron, a stupid imbecile who represents everything that is wrong with America; she is a hard-right nut job who makes gaffe after gaffe, and the only people who support her are gun toting red necks who hate gays and evolution. It is widely accepted that she cost the Republicans the 2008 election, and if she receives the nomination for 2012, she will certainly hand the election to Obama instead. Right?

Wrong! In fact, everything in the above paragraph is wrong. I could go through everything that is wrong with the paragraph, but it would take more space than this article allows. I could point out that most “gaffes” that Palin is known for are usually either not gaffes (but instead opinions with which the Guardian and the New York Times disagrees) or were not said by her at all – such as the famous “I can see Russia from my house” gaffe, which was actually spoken by Tina Fey. I could say that she is only hard-right if you class someone who believes in free market economics as “hard-right” or point to her consistently high poll numbers as governor of Alaska (where her approval rates reached the 90%+ mark), and the wide success of both her TV show and two books.

Yet instead of going through these arguments, I instead want to point to her biggest strength – the venom with which the left hate her. For as a Palin fan myself (although I think there are better candidates for 2012) it is obvious that I am going to claim that she isn’t a stupid, illiterate moron who has hit a good patch. But the left also unwittingly agree with this assessment by their hatred and obsession for her.

For when I hear Sarah Palin mentioned by various left-wing friends, they spit out her name with the same revulsion and disgust that most people say “aggressive yeast infection.” Furthermore, it seems that it is the left-wing media that want to report on her the most. Streams of journalists and camera crews have been following Palin’s tour bus, while at the same time tutting at how she is getting above her station. However, what is really interesting is the way in which the media has reacted to the release of her emails, with the New York Times and the Guardian both asking their readers to help them scour through the emails for dirt or possibility of scandal.
Why anyone would want to spend their free weekend going through a political opponent’s dull emails unpaid is beyond me. The fact that there have been thousands of unpaid lefties spending a June weekend going through these emails, as well as an organised campaign by the Guardian, the NYT and other media outlets, shows an unhealthy obsession for the ex-Alaskan governor.

It seems a strange hatred to have if we are expected to believe that Palin is a no-hoper. I think of left-wing no-hopers here in England such as Ed Miliband and Diane Abbott, and I have no hatred for either; in fact I enjoy their presence on the television as I know that the longer they speak, the more harm it does to their cause. I don’t react to the very mention of their names by foaming at the mouth, nor would I spend a sunny weekend scouring through Diane Abbott’s thousands of emails telling her friends just how racist everyone is.

The obvious explanation for this hatred is simply that Palin is not as stupid or as useless as the left try to make us believe – and they know it. They know that despite her folksy Alaskan accent and occasionally peculiar ways of expressing herself, that Palin has an incredible appeal. A strong independent woman (without needing to be reliant of left-wing radical feminism) who stands for common sense conservatism and core American values as found in the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, Palin is admired by many Americans and has the skills to be able to change the media narrative and set the debate with a mere tweet or Facebook update.

Whether she becomes President or not, Palin is going to have a powerful influence on both American conservatism, and American politics as a whole in the upcoming future. British conservatives should not buy into the left-wing smears of Palin and should learn from her. Conservatism is at its best when it isn’t hidden away in buzzwords or sound bites; but when it is expressed clearly and simply as an expression of liberty, common sense and personal responsibility. Britain needs its own Sarah Palin; and when the left begins foaming at the mouth at the mention of their name and spending days going through their emails, we will know that we have found them!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Public Sector Unions Just Don't Get It

Although I always enjoy watching Vince Cable get booed, I was curious to see the GMB Union giving him such a hostile reception, and even resorting to booing and heckling him, during his speech at their annual conference this week.

That a non-Labour Cabinet Minister gets booed at a public sector union conference should not be a surprise in and of itself.  Past experience tells us that union cronies rarely have any manners whatsoever, and love to enjoy acting like thugs in ties whenever the opportunity arises.  Additionally, given that unions almost exclusively fund Labour, it is not surprising that anyone who does not belong to Labour is seen as the enemy.

Yet Vince Cable is probably as left-wing as they come, and is probably more left-wing, anti-business and pro-union than many Labour MP’s.  One may therefore be forgiven for thinking that he would receive a positive reception in a union that, like many other public sector unions, appear to have stopped fighting for workers and are instead acting as arms of the Socialist Worker Party.

Cable’s speech was a clever and shrewd warning from a socialist to a fellow socialist organisation.  He noted that while the right to strike was an important right, there was a strong movement in the government to update and tighten up strike law.  He went on to state that as long as strikes remained limited and low (as they have been for the last year) then “the case for changing strike law is not compelling.”  Yet Cable was clear that if there was an attempt at widespread, organised mass industrial action designed to provide another “winter of discontent”, then the case to update strike law would be stronger, and that there would be little that he could do about it.

The message Cable was sending was clear and correct; the Conservatives wish to update strike law to make sure that the public sector unions can’t throttle the nation like they did in the 1970’s and tried to in the 1980’s.  Yet while strike rates are low, such a move is politically impossible.  Only if the unions try to bring the country to its knees and damage the national economy would the Tories have the support needed to clamp down on union action.

Cable finished this part of his speech (after pausing while he was booed and abused) by saying “that is something that you and I will both collectively want to avoid.”  In other words, “I’m on your side, but if you engage in mass industrial action, I can’t keep the Tories at bay.”

Yet he was booed and jeered anyway.  What the GMB members do not appear to understand is that Vince Cable is being a friend not a foe.  He is warning them that there are plenty of Tories (this writer included) who want to see the hand of the public sector unions loosened from around the throat of the British taxpayer, and are looking for the opportunity to do so.  Cable is not stating opinions or views, but is simply observing reality; if strikes are limited, the Lib Dems can keep the Tories at bay, but if there is a 1980’s insurrection, the hands of the Lib Dems are tied, and we Tories get to crush the unions like we did under Thatcher.

This is not what the unions, nor Vince Cable wants to happen; and this is what Cable’s speech to the GMB was trying to prevent.  Yet if public sector unions like the GMB are unable to distinguish friend from foe, then their narrow minded pseudo-communist mindset will surely lead them to destruction, just like it led the NUM to destruction in the 1980’s.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Parade of Bleeding Stumps in Britain

There was an interesting billboard doing the rounds here in Manchester around the local elections, and I’m sure it was being plastered up all over Britain, so you have probably seen it as well.  It was paid for by UNISON and has writing at the bottom that is supposed to depict David Cameron’s Big Society.  It read, “Fewer 999 operators, fewer bin men, fewer ambulance drivers, fewer lifeguards” etc etc.  The message was clear, “Minor spending cuts mean that nothing will every work for anyone ever.”

We’ve seen this tactic time and time again, so much so that it even has a name – the parade of bleeding stumps.  It is a well known civil service tactic, by which the head of a department faced with spending cuts would overlook cutting executive salaries or trimming the fat from the department, and would instead threaten to slash front line services as brutally as possible.  The Minister in charge would panic at the idea of slashing services, and back down on the spending cuts, leaving the public sector gravy train as it was.

We have seen similar tactics ever since the Coalition took power in May 2010. Left-wing groups like UNISON have been promising us an apocalypse unless we stay committed to our unsustainable increases in public spending.  Apparently, unless spending keeps going up and up, there is no way that bins can be emptied or that ambulances can be driven.  The fact that these cuts (which aren’t actually cuts, spending is set to rise for the next few years) could be met by cutting spending on executive pay and by cutting waste has been completely ignored; according to the narrative, any cut must directly affect front line services and the left’s favourite go to word – “the poor.”

This nonsensical stance by Labour and their left-wing cronies has been exposed this week, first by the Telegraph’s access to various council and civil service credit cards.  Civil servants at the Department for Communities and Local Government spent thousands of pounds at top restaurants, on theatre and exhibition tickets, and went on shopping sprees at the public’s expense, totally £865,000.  They also disclosed that despite many town halls moaning about how brutal the cuts will be, it has not stopped them from spending millions of pounds on everything from iPads to video games, to Tiffany jewellery and Gucci products.  It seems that cuts to front line services are preferred to cuts in spending on Michelin-starred restaurants, five star hotels and first-class plane tickets!

This week has also brought the news that bonuses of senior executives at the Department of Health have doubled in the past five years, with around 1,600 NHS managers earning over £150,000 a year – more than the Prime Minister.  Some NHS executives will retire with annual payouts of up to £110,000.

It is tempting to throw scorn at such civil servants and executives, but really they are only accepting what is offered to them.  There are not many people in the world that would turn down an enormous honey pot pension on principle, and we should not expect it of others.  Instead we should be looking at who it is that has made the decision not to reform such lavish lifestyles funded by the tax payer, and has instead chosen to play the “bleeding stumps” card and to cut frontline services, when little if any cutting was required.

The idea that there is minimal waste that can be cut in the public sector, and that any cuts must therefore come from frontline services and hurt the poor and vulnerable is ridiculous; and yet it is a myth that is successfully being spread around our country by various left-wing groups committed to a big government agenda.

The public are being lied to, and it is time for those of us who believe in fiscal responsibility and accountability in the public sector to stand up against the parade of bleeding stumps.  We do not need to bankrupt our country in order to pay for hospitals and schools, and curbing spending to responsible levels does not require a Dickensian nightmare on our streets, despite what UNISON and Ed Balls might say to the contrary.