No Tea Party could ever get off the ground in Britain.
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My guess is that the cuts won’t happen. Already we are told they’ll be spread over five years. Everything will be watered down. If you look at a chart of government spending in the U.S., the only time the budget was really cut was at the end of World War II. The problem is that those who benefit from government spending can always make more noise than taxpayers. If real cuts are announced, my brother predicts:
Strikes and a massive civil disobedience campaign are almost guaranteed, on a par with the demonstrations that routinely occur in France. There have been a few deliberate leaks, e.g. that many quangos are going to be abolished, plus a suggestion that university fees will be tripled. [Quangos are government-funded think tanks whose function is to provide cushy jobs for university graduates.] Hardly any serious axing of jobs will take place; instead they will say that staff economies will be achieved by natural wastage [retirement].
My impression is that it would be well not to have any part of this particular government. If the cuts occur, Clegg and the Lib Dems will be unpopular with their disillusioned leftist allies. If they don’t occur, Cameron and the Tories will be unpopular on the golf courses.
Cameron, meanwhile, doesn’t really believe in anything except holding office (or perhaps, as Hitchens says, he really is the “willing prisoner” of the Sixties Left). Either way, he’s quite a come-down from Margaret Thatcher. The Labour Party may well end up better placed than the pundits now think.
WE MAY WONDER THIS: how come the left still enjoys so much support, not just in Britain but here too? Taken to an extreme, leftist ideas gave us Communism, the Gulag, Fidel Castro, and North Korean starvation. It’s a path to power for murderers. On the other hand, a relatively untrammeled free market looks like Hong Kong.
As Obama and his supporters have shown, the intelligentsia crave power, and power in our day is only to be found on the left. Free markets take decision-making out of their hands. Equality in particular provides a never-ending rationale for the accumulation of state power. The goal of equalizing people will never be reached, so more redistributors and statisticians always need to be hired. On the BBC, as in New York Times editorials, equality is the basis for just about all the sermons.
Conservatives seem unable to weaken the influence of the idea. Why? One explanation is the general godlessness of the West. Once upon a time, the reigning idea was not simply how well you do in this life. That was not the real test, “for what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
But now, for so many of us, this life really is the whole show and equality has become the only valid measure of fairness. Those who do not believe in divine justice in the next life think that they must substitute social justice in this. “Social justice” is just equality by another name and those who play god aim to achieve it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?