The Politics of Loveliness

With less than a month to go before the British public decide who they want to lead the country. New election promises have become a staple of our daily news intake.

In past elections issues of ‘competence’ and ‘reliability’ dominated the headlines. Yet this time round there seems to be a competition to decide who is the ‘loveliest’ candidate.

Much has been made of Theresa May’s ideological differences with her predecessor. The prime minister’s brand of compassionate church going conservatism is certainly taking centre stage.  She has promised to give more rights for workers to help sick relatives, an increase in the living wage and a boost in funding for mental health. Oh yes, and who can forget that delightful interview on The One show last week.

Even lovelier still is Labour’s contender Mr Corbyn.

Labour’s manifesto pledges £6 billion more for the NHS, a cap on energy bills and a ban on those dastardly zero hours contracts. In fact unless you’re a business type there isn’t a section of British society Mr Corbyn doesn’t want to give a big cuddle to.

Even if you are still hung up about the EU referendum result last year. You can dry those tears. Because the Lib Dems are on hand to rescue Britain from those nasty Brexit people. Democracy should never get in the way of you feeling good anyway.

Casual sarcasm aside there is a serious issue here. Parties are falling over themselves to offer things to people rather than being seen as responsible.

The idea that serious policy should be a cathartic process and that we are ‘entitled’ to public services is a pernicious idea. The state is already enormous. The semi-religious ideal that people are placing in the government to solve all our social ills is truly worrying. This is particularly true of Mr Corbyn and his disciples.

  3 comments for “The Politics of Loveliness

  1. Paul Marks
    May 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    The leading politicians are not very interested in liberty – not just libertarianism, but even the basic ideas of limited government are alien to modern 21st century Britain.

    Freedom of Speech, deregulation, cutting taxes, balancing the budget…..

    All this is “Texan” – it is utterly alien to our land.

    Which makes me very upset indeed.

    • Jordan Lee
      May 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

      One thing that has really surprised me this election is the extent to which people feel that government can and should lavish them with free money and handouts.

      Leftist intellectuals (which s by no means all of them) describe our times as ‘the victory of neo-liberalism’. Well, if the recent election campaigns are anything to go by neo-liberalism has been a complete failure.

      Any measures to reduce spending or decrease the role of the state in people’s lives is seen as an vicious assault on people’s livelihood. Politicians that dare suggest that the government is not there for their own personal well being are shouted down.

      Whatever the future for liberalism of any sort. The language of fiscal responsibility must only be part of how we engage with the public.

      • Paul Marks
        May 23, 2017 at 7:35 pm

        Agreed – we are in a very dark place intellectually.

        Today I went into a mainstream book shop – every book on economics, politics or history was written from a leftist perspective (all of them – every single one), when such thinker as Milton Friedman or Ludwig Von Mises were mentioned at all (very rarely – especially for Mises) their opinions were absurdly twisted and distorted.

        Things have actually got much worse over my life time – indeed dramatically worse in recent decades.

        By modern standards Mrs May is a free market type (do not laugh – she is), indeed even half suggesting that there might be some limit on government welfare for rich people (not poor people – rich people) causes many people to insist that Mrs May eats babies.

        As my own opinions are light years “to the right” (if that means anything) of Mrs May – most people can not even see where I am, it is beyond the borders of the intellectual universe they were taught at school and university.

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