Rampant inflation, class and cultural warfare, spiraling debt – 2022 feels like the 70s, minus the good music, the big hair, the funky fashions and the unprotected sex. And unlike the 1970s, we have no more bells, just union leaders seeking to bankrupt Britain, as they did five decades ago.
Everyone and their mums want to go on strike, including today the Royal Mail, which announced plans to stop delivering letters.
Do we notice the difference? Crumbs, if only there was an electronic alternative, for the mail.
Frantic calls across multiple industries to shut down the tools, which is why the RMT battle is such a test case for economic sanity. If we fail to see the rail industry, which has been subsidized to the tune of £16billion during the pandemic, and which has to adapt, to the drop in demand for rail services, with so much work to home, there will be a domino effect, strikes in every sector you can think of.
Lawyers, teachers, civil servants and local communities are all professionals who we know are considering industrial action, and they are just the tip of the iceberg. As Dominic Sandbrook points out in the Mail newspaper this week, wage demands in the 1970s were sometimes over 20 or 30 per cent. And then Prime Minister Harold Wilson paid too often.
What was the consequence? Nagging inflation, which peaked at 26%.
Wage increases, to fight inflation, do the exact opposite, further inflating prices. It’s economic quicksand, a race to the bottom. Things got so bad in the 1970s that the dead were left unburied and Britain turned to the International Monetary Fund to borrow billions.
What bothers me most is how little we have learned from our mistakes of the past, particularly from the 1970s, when Britain was widely known as the sick man of Europe. How many times has history shown us that socialism does not work and that it is an economic model doomed to failure. I embrace leftist ideas and am a former Labor voter. I may have good reason to support them, again in the future. Here is the hope. I support the principle of free education and health care, and of a welfare state, which supports the weakest in our society.
I don’t want to live, in an ultra-capitalist dystopia, where government policy is exclusively geared towards the super-rich, with tax cuts for millionaires, while ordinary citizens, on incomes from slave labor, live in poor housing, and have poor education and health. I want everyone to thrive.
But with extreme political correctness, it woke up the takeover of our culture, and with the unions seemingly dictating government policy, including pushing for school closures during the pandemic, it seems socialism is back.
What is socialism? It is a collectivist ideology, in which the individual counts for nothing. In which there is no aspiration, no entrepreneurship, no urge to do something with your life. The only ambition is to pull everyone down, to the lowest common denominator.
To decimate people’s economic opportunities, they are therefore dependent on the state. The Welsh Government is at it, as we speak, with Mark Drakeford planning to literally hand out cash to young people leaving care homes – £1,600 a month for two years. To do nothing. Who will pay for it, what will it accomplish and what message will it send?
The furlough scheme was communism in action – literally the state was paying people money to stay home and twiddle their thumbs. It was Jeremy Corbyn’s wet dream brought to us by a supposedly Tory Prime Minister in Boris Johnson.
The pandemic has ushered in a new era of British socialism, and we will pay the price. Our institutions and businesses have been infiltrated by socialism’s evil brother, wokeism – defining our history as shameful, labeling artistic geniuses like Shakespeare as problematic, demonizing the man who stopped Hitler, Winston Churchill, seeking ban books, sitcoms, comedians and pop songs, and of course their greatest success: denying the basic facts of human biology – the fact that a man is a biological man and a woman is a biological woman.
Welcome to bonkers 2022, where this needs to be reiterated. After two years of Chinese Communist Party-style measures, like lockdowns and masking, we run the risk that our society and our economy will be based on far-left collectivist principles for the foreseeable future.
So many pandemic measures, including stay-at-home orders and the wearing of masks, equipped with the collectivist control and compliance mechanism. You will stay at home, you will wear a mask, you will read the books that we allow you to read, you will watch the news that we prepare for you. We will decide what vehicle you drive, how you heat your home, how often and where you travel, and you will take the medications we prescribe, all for the greater good.
I make no apologies for unreservedly condemning socialism. A failed ideology and economic model, which has constantly brought countries to their knees wherever they have been practiced. I will give you a free market between West Germany and state-controlled East Germany, from which you would be shot if you tried to escape. North Korea versus South Korea, Eastern Europe versus West. In the 1950s, resource-rich Venezuela was the fourth richest country in the world.
Today, after a long experience of socialism, Venezuela is poorer than it was before the 1920s, its infrastructure is deteriorating and its economy is collapsing. Hyperinflation left the currency worthless and made it nearly impossible for Venezuelans to afford basic necessities. Millions of people have fled, nearly 90% of the population living in poverty.
I am politically center stage and have voted for every major party in my life, but my allergy to socialism stemmed from my youth in the 1970s and early 1980s when central and local government extreme left presided over an economic disaster for Brittany. And in the 1980s, I saw wacky left-wing Labor authorities in London enforce mandatory buy orders on people’s homes and bankrupt our major cities. God knows he made mistakes and more, but Tony Blair, a former Labor Prime Minister, actually banned the use of the word socialism from his party, so discredited was the word. And it was by eliminating failed and crazy socialist ideas that he won three landslide victories.
New Labor was a left-wing social democratic party, but it kept taxes as low as possible, was ambitious and built on the positive aspects of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy.
It is no coincidence that in the 1980s under Thatcher and the late 1990s under Blair, Britain experienced sustained economic growth. And yet, these disastrous tax-and-spend policies seem to be making an unwanted comeback.
Even the man who nearly broke Britain, miners’ union leader Arthur Scargill is back – as a particularly stubborn case of chlamydia.
Let’s learn from history, don’t repeat it. Don’t make the mistakes of the past.
I have three words for the unions, who seek to set this country back decades, and for those who preach failed socialist ideas and try to undermine capitalism and western liberal ideas like free speech, free markets and democracy. No no no. The ghost of socialism is coming back to haunt us, and there is nowhere to hide. To fear. Be very afraid.