Monday, 29 May 2017
A Labour supporter and NHS flag-waver appearing on BBC’s The Big Questions on Sunday morning spoke enthusiastically about fiscal multipliers; the notion that government spending can stimulate the economy. Yay, spend! But this ignores the simple fact that basic economics is about how we individually and collectively allocate scarce resources with alternative uses. In this respect, money is not a resource but an exchange mechanism allowing us to avoid barter and directly trade labour and materials we possess or control for other labour and materials we desire.
His argument is that if we plough more money into the NHS this would pay more people who would then spend locally, thus stimulating other businesses, all miraculously making profits from that original injection of capital. But where do those businesses source their raw materials? And how many in the local economy are saving for their own, nobly selfish needs and how many are sending money abroad? Come to that, how much of NHS funding goes to buy goods and services from overseas? All of this is a drain on that funding, making the miracle of fiscal multiplication less likely.
Providing government assistance for an area overcome by natural disaster, or local industrial collapse, buying time for the local economy to get back on its feet is one thing, but sooner or later the assistance has to stop, or risk that society becoming dependent on the charity of others. Unfortunately, once that welfare tap has been turned on you need to keep opening it ever wider. (See whole swathes of formerly industrial regions whose old fester and whose talented young leave) Yes, but, the argument goes, the NHS is different; better health in society IS a form of profit, providing healthier workers, who live longer, with fewer end-of-life costs. This is a noble and moral belief, but is it true?
When we decide how to spend our money we effectively ration our consumption to keep within our means, foregoing one good for another where necessary. Those who use the least amount of NHS services are generally the wealthiest, opting to go private, only when they actually need to, on their own timetable. Yet they pay the most into the pot. At the other end of the scale the vast majority of those who use state-supplied medicine contribute nothing to it. Dressed up as ‘need’, those who contribute little gorge themselves on the free stuff. More free stuff, less incentive to ration its consumption.
The NHS. Doing as well as expected...
The NHS is an almost perfect model of what happens when the state tries to organise anything. There is no real price mechanism to allocate resources, just an ever-expanding need, a capacious maw that always needs feeding. For as long as there is an NHS, the Labour Party (for which it is a deity) will ceaselessly declare that we have six-hours/three-weeks/two-days, etc to ‘save’ it. But no matter how much this emotive pleading appeals to the hard-of-thinking we must never forget Mr Micawber’s sage advice.
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
Physician, heal thyself.
Saturday, 27 May 2017
Katie Hopkins and LBC have parted ways. The malicious left are, in their loving, caring, kinder politics manner, gleefully infesting social media with group hugs, tears of joy and hopes that she dies in agony, from bottom cancer or suchlike. Of course, the vile Hopkins is guilty of the most nauseating, most violent, most despicable of modern offences and she has brought censure on herself. Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot... such despots always meet a sticky end, love triumphing over hate when they are strung up by a baying mob.
What did Katie do to attract such opprobrium? She dared to articulate what millions feel they cannot. She voiced the genuine feelings of a majority who are not cowed by political correctness and a fear of denouncement. She stood up for reason in a world which seems devoid of it at times. And she faced down the howls of knee-jerk demands to silence her from the very quarters engaged in suppression of freedoms in the west. And she will be back, because she’s right.
After many years of proposed solutions to the problems caused by an effective submission to islam in the west. After years of ‘nothing to do with islam’ uttered by political clones after every atrocity claimed in the name of the prophet (pieces be upon him). After the inanity of vigils and silences and voices raised against the aggrieved instead of the aggressors, she simply said what many, many people want. An end to it all. Finally. A final solution to the islamic problem. There, I said it too.
The very thing that the islamists want to deny us, up to and including life itself, is our freedom. Time after time after time, they have declared that they see us as less than them. They will have us as slaves, or not at all. They say they hate us they say they want us dead and I say they have the right to say these things. I welcome their openness; it makes everything so much simpler. They want us dead, we want them gone, finally.
Jeremy Corbyn can use terror all he likes, he can blame all of terrorism on the actions of former western governments and he can openly consort with whoever he wishes. Isn’t that the mark of a free society? But what is sauce for the goose, must also be at least a blob of relish for the gander. All calls for suppression of speech must be resisted; one man’s rallying cry is another’s hate speech. I say we should be able to call a spade a spade and not get arrested for racism because of it.
Yes, I accept that this means some people, especially young, radical peace warriors, might have to hear language of which they disapprove. Yes, it means that some people may be so mortally offended they may have to take to their beds. And of course the Penny Reds and Owen Gays and Jon Snowflakes and Jobby O’Briens might have to suffer being pointed at and mocked some more but it’s a small price to pay. It’s either free speech or officially approved speech; which would you prefer?
Friday, 26 May 2017
The war on terror has once more been visited on our shores and feelings have been running high as the touchy-feely, rainbow coalition of appeaseratchiks hug each other and form protective rings around mosques while the stinking, racist, lower-class lynch mobs eschew candlelit vigils for their own, more direct kind of vigilantism. The police are so busy controlling rampant islamophobia there isn’t a cell free within a hundred miles radius of Manchester.
But other security forces have been busy on our behalf, rounding up random jihadis in dawn raids and swooping on those well-known hotbeds of seething hatred for the hand that feeds them; university campuses, madrassas, back bedrooms in seedy suburbs and kebab shops. By all accounts the tally of arrests and detentions is growing and secret enhanced interrogation suites are being quietly commissioned to deal with the business of ‘intelligence gathering’. Fortunately, those charged with defence of the realm have never bought into the simple lie that torture never yields truth, so widely promulgated by our social justice peaceniks.
I always fancied one of those waterboarding holidays, but it seems that even there the early ISIS bird gets the preferential booking treatment worm, with each potential suicide bomber getting peaceful, solitary, individual accommodation free, at the expense of the UK taxpayer. Some have given up the goodies at the first sight of a dental pick but other soldiers of allah have been harder nuts to crack, so the story goes.
“You filthy infidel pig!” spits Abdul at his interlocutor, as the current is once again applied. “I will never betray my brothers in jihad!” Out comes the wet towel and Abdul splutters as a cascade of cold water persuades his brain that he is drowning. Still no spilling of the beans. As they work on through the night, he taunts them; he seems to even be enjoying the pain. “I long to die for my faith! You will never break me. You will have to kill me, then I will take my reward in heaven. 72 virgins await me.” He pauses to spit blood then grins up at his captors, “Blonde virgins,” he says, “blonde and white and all of them fifteen... like your daughters!”
Eventually Abdul is released after questioning. He wasn’t really tortured at all – this is just the story he intends to tell all his friends once he gets back to his study bedroom in college. But deep inside he believes himself to be a fierce lion of islam, scourge of the west, which has given him everything he has ever known. But Abdul’s reverie is cut short as his life is ended, appropriately enough, by the speeding truck, in front of which he has just stepped. He seems to close his eyes for a second...
Going vestal on yo' ass...
When he opens them again his first sensation is of a bright light and a feeling of peace and contentment. He looks around and sees that he is indeed in heaven and before him stand, as promised, the 72 fifteen-year old virgins, all of them white, all of them naked and all of them with hair the colour of bleached straw. They smile as they walk towards him and surround him. Abdul stares, open mouthed as one of them takes his hand. “Welcome Abdul. We are here for your eternal pleasure... you can call me Larry.”
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
There is nothing quite like a national tragedy to highlight the paucity of vocabulary that afflicts post-traumatic-state-disorder. It’s as if there is some laid down glossary of acceptable terms to which all public figures must adhere: Together we stand. We are united. They will not prevail. The litany goes on... and on... and on. We must not let hate win, they say, hate having won, decisively, on the day. We are not afraid, they say. But wait, it’s not the hatred that delivered the Manchester murders that is on trial here, but the natural fearful reaction of the bereaved.
You can do vigils, you can do candles, you can even do angry poetry but until the hysteria calms down and we strike back, in cold blood, nothing will ever change. The message being sent to the world? Bomb us, murder us, rape us and rob us for welfare and we will simply lie down and let you do it all again. Yes, we’ll look at you pleadingly and utter the mealy-mouthed borrowed phrases of political simpletons, but we will not lift a finger against you. Come, we are easy meat; our country is yours for the taking. No wonder Christians get persecuted in some countries – they practically beg for it.
Rather than actually fight we will cynically use that word to mean something different. We will fight to understand your pain, empathise with your plight, open up a ‘dialogue’ with your emotions and find a way to your heart. And it doesn’t matter how any of us you kill and how many times you actually tell us that our death is what your ideology demands, we will ignore the simple truth and continue to fight to discover a reassuring way of blaming your actions on ourselves. It must be my fault that daddy keeps hitting me; it must be. He does it because he loves me...
Of course, the authorities are fighting back. Oh yes. They are fighting against the backlash of islamophobia; they are policing imaginary hate crime; they are poised and ready to punish you for your horrified response to horrific events. Bomb a venue, kill 22 people and you need to be understood, but express revulsion at the act and post a social media message of antipathy and you must be sanctioned. Pre-meditated murder is bad, this says, but knee-jerk condemnation of it is worse.
How many more empty words?
‘Don’t let hate win. Embrace. Come together. Stand strong. My heart goes out. My thoughts are with. We pray for. Solidarity. The lost vocabulary of official responses finds its apotheosis in the hollow phrase ‘there are no words’. If that’s the case then tell me, why are we still just talking?
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
I was going to write today about the issue of competence in government and the utter lack of it shown by the various parties contesting the election. I was going to explore how it is that with access to all the expertise of all the country’s thinkers and strategists and all the experience of reaction to former policy announcements, Theresa May managed to set her own trap and then u-turn straight into it. Didn’t she know that any move, whatsoever, to reduce the amount of free stuff, will be seized upon and dubbed a tax.
Over the years we’ve had Poll Tax, Pasty Tax, Bedroom Tax and now with the gift of the ‘Dementia Tax’, the mechanism for going into reverse once more grinds into gear. Andrew Neil also managed neatly to expose exactly why she would not participate in a televised debate. Fortunately for her, the Labour Party are in such disarray that she will recover from that mauling and the other parties are wedded to ideologies so barmy only a complete fruitcake could vote for them. Sadly, we do seem to have a few million of the permanently bewildered that they would even vote for the Greens; it’s little wonder they are so fixated with dementia
But why is it that our leaders and would-be leaders are always so unprepared? Could it be because in trying to appeal to everybody they appeal to nobody? In setting a course they imagine to be straight down the middle they end up veering wildly from bank to bank, churning up the river bed and frightening the wildlife? So frequent and so appalling are some of the gaffes that in the wilder regions of the press they mistake simple incompetence for grand conspiracy: there has to be a reason surely? They can’t be just... you know... stupid?
But suddenly, all this is irrelevant. Following the nothing-to-do-with-you-know-who attack in Manchester last night, all hands are on deck and the virtue signallers are out in force. “We must not make political capital out of tragedy!” goes the cry, as they all concoct soundbites to suggest greater compassion than the next. “My heart goes out”, “My thoughts are with”, “My prayers go out”... notice how they all start with ‘my’. Little, mini-pledges to show how much more they care than *insert main rival party name here*.
But after the platitudes we need something more. We need action. Not vigils, or silences; not pleas to ‘come together’, nor understand. We understand it fine; the west is under attack and whether or not we ‘learn lessons’ we want to see something being done. We want a highly visible armed response, resulting in arrests, detentions and deportations. We want recognition that our supposed leaders have the first idea how to combat this war on our on soil and most of all we want the source of the violence – islam itself – called to account, or called on to leave the west.
As it happens, this latest atrocity has the potential to become Theresa May’s finest hour. What leader, besieged by blunders over bungled policy announcements and embarrassing climb-downs on national television, wouldn’t welcome this very real test of true character? What a vote winner a Churchillian call to arms could be right now. How welcome might a public rejection of ‘islam is the religion of peace’ be to a population drowning in the ordure of electoral claptrap? This could be May’s Falklands War. I can already hear Guardian contributors queuing up to call it a conspiracy.