Wednesday, 15 May 2019
While the great Brexit betrayal continues, with Theresa May apparently willing to collude with anybody who will help to avert Brexit while the toothless and very likely incontinent 1922 Committee look on impotent silence, I turn my thoughts to a parallel possible consequence of this whole sorry saga; a future Labour government. Never mind that they have yet to announce any coherent policy regarding the enacting of something called for by 17.4 million people, they still imagine they possess an ounce of credibility on economic matters.
Last week, for instance, they announced a policy to raise the minimum wage for the under 18s from £4.35 to £10. At a stroke, presumably, which is what employers will likely have. Given that the current minimum wage is £8.21 for over-25s, everybody will get the sugar. Oh, except for all those young people who will have become instantly unemployable. And all those slightly older but still less experienced workers who will be laid off.
How will Labour counteract this? I expect they will resort to their knee-jerk response of compulsion. After all, if their minimum wage plan is such a good idea, why not force employers to take on trainees regardless of the value they bring to the business and make it illegal to make people redundant. Then if the business starts to falter, will the red government also make it against the law to go bust? This is about as economically competent as Jeremy Corbyn’s assertion that getting money from a bank, then paying it back with interest isn’t borrowing.
And then just the week before, Labour were floating the Citizens Basic Income bollocks without any real clue as to what they were proposing. Of course we could have universal welfare; it still has to be paid for. But the CBI is fundamentally flawed on so many levels. Where is the socialist logic of paying rich people a basic income, out of the taxes they pay in order to give exactly the same basic income to poorer people? This is like those on the left who believe that taxes collected from those paid from the public purse is some form of income instead of a mere rebate on wages paid.
Welfare, workfare, charity, price-capping, job-guaranteeing, minimum standard of living, citizen’s basic income; these are all, on the surface, laudable societal corrections for those of low opportunity, aspiration or ability, but the principle objection remains - who pays for it? Oh, the rich? I see. And in Labour Land ‘the rich’ is anybody who pays more in tax already than they take out in a share of public services. I’m in that group; is there no end to our largesse? Is there no bottom to our pockets?
I want to like socialism – it should be likeable – but the opportunistic mammal that is man does not respond well to conformity. Yes, we are a herd animal and like leadership – man, we LOVE leadership – but we also have aspirations and ambitions of our own and are fiercely protective of our brood. So don’t pit my brood against yours; the natural winners will always win and the natural losers will rely on our charity. This may sound harsh but life isn’t fair and humans are not equal, no matter how much burden you place on the backs of the more able.
Forget Brexit and our frustrating battle against the pro-EU establishment. Forget the Remainer-Leaver antagonism. If you really want to pit half the population against the rest, all you will need to do is vote for Labour in the next general election; it will make Theresa May’s duplicitous, cack-handed premiership look like the good old days.