Saturday 20 August 2022

Are Tories scum?


There is in Scotland an unreasoning, visceral hatred of Tories. It reached its present level of vehemence in the 1980s when Scots from the Left and Centre united to prevent the Conservative Party winning even a single seat at the General Election of 1997 and only one until 2015. Tories in Scotland are portrayed not merely as being mistaken, but as morally wrong and even wicked. I generally vote Conservative. Do I do so because I am selfish and immoral?

The debate between the Left and Right is primarily about economics. On the furthest Left of the political spectrum, we would have pure socialism state spending as percentage of GDP would approach 100%. On the furthest Right of the political spectrum, we would have laissez faire capitalism with state spending as a percentage of GDP approaching zero.

At present state spending in the UK is around 50% partly because of Covid, but under both Conservative and Labour Governments public spending has generally varied between 35% and 45% for the past 70 years. The wicked Tories since 1999 have spent more public money than any previous Labour Government and we have in fact come closest to socialism during lockdown when huge chunks of the population were paid 80% of their wages to do nothing.

The hatred of Tories is unreasoning because historically there is very little difference between Conservative and Labour Government in terms of public spending. Both parties tend to increase public spending when in office and therefore both parties help us gradually approach socialism.

The wrongheadedness of this can easily be demonstrated. Imagine if your local Tesco was run on socialist principles so that goods were free at the point of use. What would happen on the first day of free shopping? Everyone would come into the shop and take what they wanted and at the end of the day there would be a few solitary jars of pickled cockles that no one fancied.

The goods would not be free even if the Government said that they were free at the point of use. Someone would have to be paid to produce the goods, transport them or import them. Government would have to cover the cost of this through public spending which it then passed on to the taxpayer. But so long as everyone could buy what he wanted when he wanted, there would be no limit to how much the Government would have to spend and no way to stop Tesco being empty every evening except for the cockles.

The answer would be to tell each shopper that he could only have one packet of bacon, two loaves of bread etc each week. The answer would be rationing. Do you now begin to see the problem with socialism. It is not an accident that you have to wait to see your doctor, or wait to get into hospital even if you are very sick. It is a feature of a socialist model of funding which makes healthcare, which has a cost, free at the point of use.

At present companies Amazon are run ultra-competitively and deliver goods and services remarkably quickly and cheaply. Would this competitiveness and efficiency continue if we each could buy what we wanted from Amazon whenever we wanted to and get it delivered free the next day with everything paid for by the Government? Again, this system would only work if there were rationing, but worse than this Amazon would begin to treat us like the lady in the doctor’s waiting room who rations access to the doctor. Quite soon Amazon or a British version of it would be like the NHS, the Government would have to continually pump more money into it otherwise there would be a winter crisis and no one would get their parcels.

Socialism doesn’t work. Human beings are motivated by profit and to improve their own lives and the lives of their families. This is why we work and study. If you increase Government spending as successive Governments have done you end up with national debt which for the UK is now over 100% of GDP and for all that debt and spending, we still have poor healthcare, poor schools, decaying infrastructure and energy bills that will be so expensive that many of us will prefer to sit in the dark with heating off.

But although the Conservative Party is largely to blame for this situation, it is not conservatism that has got us here it is socialism. There is nothing remotely laissez faire or capitalistic about what has happened since the last General Election. We even rig and put caps on the energy market and think price controls might work. Labour could hardly have spent more or borrowed more even if it had become the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The epitome of this absurdity has been reached in Scotland where we now have sanitary products free at the point of use. Even free marketeers might see the logic of giving free products that are too expensive for the poor to purchase, but sanitary products cost as little as soap and toothpaste. Will the Scottish Government make those free too? From that point we really are moving towards free shopping at Tesco.

There is not a great difference economically between Tories, Labour and the SNP. An independent Scotland would certainly have to cut public spending and there is no way that it could maintain public spending at 50% of GDP. I strongly suspect that after initially attempting to create a Scottish Socialist Republic, the SNP would have to go towards the free market laissez faire side of the spectrum. But oddly they would not be called Tories if they did so and the same people who hate Tories now, would not protest, because Tories are merely the villain that was created by those in the Scottish Constitutional Convention who thought they could control nationalism by giving it a parliament, only to see it take over. There is a long history of the establishment trying to control nationalism.

I will keep voting Conservative, because the alternative will be worse. No matter how much the Tories spend, Labour and the SNP want to spend even more.

We are where we are. The task is gradually to get public spending down to around 30% of GDP. This can only be done by changing the model of healthcare funding and cutting taxes when we can afford to do so. It can only be done through free trade, cutting business costs, eradicating whatever rules and regulation hinder business and making people accept that when something has a cost whether it is sanitary products, prescriptions or healthcare it is not free because the Government pays. Until we change the mindset that the solution to every problem is to spend more public money, we will continue our drift towards poverty and socialism.

I am not immoral because I oppose this. Socialism gives you poverty, no choice, loss of freedom and very frequently mass murder. Socialism is contrary to human nature and therefore people have to be coerced first by shouting mobs trying to intimidate, then by laws, and then by Gulags.