Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Politics and personal responsibility

I've long considered myself more of a conservative than a socialist, a small 'c' conservative believing in a small government that delivers essentials services and regulating a free market, personal freedom and responsibility - but freedom that does not step on the rights of others.

My favourite British politicians were many of those in government between 1991 and 1997 - the John Major years; Ken Clark, Michael Heseltine, Chris Patten, Geoffrey Howe, Malcolm Rifkind - decent, pragmatic men who have left the Conservative Party that it was then, the one I used to vote for.

I do not like any of the current British conservative government; I consider they have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the road and would not (were I still living in the UK) vote for them. Lightweights, lacking moral fibre or any great intellect. The most ideological, the least pragmatic Conservative government of my adult lifetime.

This from David Gauke MP, a former Tory now standing as an independent in South West Hertfordshire:

The fact that John Major, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Chris Patten, George Osborne, Amber Rudd and Rory Stewart have all endorsed me suggests that the Party we’ve all supported in the past no longer exists.

The alternative in Thursday's General Election* is the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn - who has taken it down another wrong turn. It is not the party of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown, but something akin to the Socialist Workers' Students' Organisation, a bunch of leftie students out of touch with economic reality. Corbyn's ideological proximity to Soviet Marxism repels me utterly. His fence-sitting uselessness when faced with Brexit appals me. He would make a disastrous prime minister.

From the Financial Times:

Rarely have British voters been presented with such stark choices, ranging from Jeremy Corbyn’s hard left economic policies to Boris Johnson’s pledge to drive through a hard Brexit. But the election’s outcome is still in doubt

My personal manifesto is based upon my own dislike of asking others for help. By not expecting help from government, there's more help for those who need it more than I do. Self-reliance rather than entitlement. My freedom ends where others' freedoms begin. Your freedom to roar through Jeziorki regardless of speed limits ends where my freedom to walk safely along streets lacking a pavement begins. Your freedom to burn crap to heat your home ends where your neighbours' freedom to enjoy unpolluted air begins. Your freedom to worship (or not) whatever deity you choose has no end - as long as you don't impose upon my freedom to do likewise.

Brexit is a mistake; I have not had any answers from any Leavers as to how the UK will make up lost economic ground by quitting the EU, the world's richest trading bloc on the EU's doorstep. Nor have any explained in what way being in the EU these past few decades has hurt them in their lives personally, nor what EU law has held them back from achieving their personal potential. Brexit will be bad for the UK, which may well splinter as a result; it is bad for Poland, bad for Europe, bad for civilisation.

Tomorrow's election is pitifully painful. People who wish to stop Brexit (over 220 opinion polls taken since July 2017 show a definite preference for remaining in the EU) are torn between wasting their vote on a party that has no chance of power (the LibDems) or voting Labour with the risk of inviting the Marxist Corbyn into Number Ten to unleash his dangerous ideology on a nation. Tactical voting makes sense in many constituencies - but is there enough discipline among Remainers to see it through?

It is a tragic choice. I'm glad it's not a choice I'm having to make. I'm sad my father won't make it to the polling station this time.

* This is the first UK General Election to be held in December for 96 years.

This time last year:
Consciousness, memory and spirit of place

This time two years ago:
Polish Perivale

This time three years ago:
Power in the vertical

This time seven years ago:
And still they come [anomalous flashbacks that is]

This time eight years ago:
Classic glass

This time nine years ago:
What's the Polish for 'pattern'?

This time 11 years ago:
"Rorate caeli de super nubes pluant justum..."

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