Tuesday 24 June 2008

Don't You Know There's A Crusade On?

When Blair was PM, he liked to announce from time to time a ‘national conversation’, about some subject of other that no one but the usual axe-grinders wished to have a conversation about, least of all a one-way one with Blair’s aparatchiks. Brown, being a man of vision and destiny, aims higher: yesterday (and you might have missed this) he launched nothing less than a ‘national crusade’. Apparently, it’s against child poverty and for social mobility - both of which he has often proclaimed to be core elements of his vision and no doubt crucial to his ‘moral compass’. So, having failed to dent child poverty after a decade of flinging money at it and erecting welfare structures of labyrinthine complexity, he proposes to really crack it this time - by, er, flinging more money at it, in this case a £200 incentive for ‘disadvantaged’ parents who toe the line. Why not stop taxing the poor, instead of actually increasing their tax burden? And, when it comes to social mobility - which decades of social engineering have managed to reduce to 1950s levels - why not reintroduce the one proven effective engine of increased social mobility? The grammar school system, that is.
Well, of course, none of that is going to happen. Brown can think only in terms of the state wielding various combinations of carrot and stick, and even now seems convinced that spending taxpayers’ money can solve anything. Some crusade.


  1. Damn it, Nige. The man has an election to win! He's not going to do that with huge tax hikes, general incompetence, and the personality of a licking toad. Get with the programme and open yourself up to large state-funded bribes. It's the politics of the future. It's the politics of today.

  2. You're right, Dick.
    It gets worse too - I now see that GB described this nonsense as 'the great test of our time'. That'll be the one you've failed then, Gordon. See me.

  3. I was reading yesterday about a town in Germany that has suspended most of its traffic regulations - signs, lights, white lines on the road, etc. The local accident rate has fallen sharply, apparently, because drivers are now obliged to be much, much more careful when out and about.

    And then I thought, could I ever see this happen in the UK? Er, no. The notion that less regulation produces a greater public good than more regulation would be a slap to the Great Wen of state control and state spending on which Brown, his cronies and a big slice of businesses and consultants now depend. They are crusaders all right, Jim, but only when on expenses or on television. And I'll bet that most of them envisage a comfortable retirement in another country. Au fond, they are hypocrites.

  4. Mark, I read that too. I think it's being going on for a while.

    It's quite frightening what free, independently-minded people can do when the government leaves them alone. Somebody should put a stop to it immediately before somebody realises that we don't actually need a huge bloated government spending all our money.

  5. They did something similar on Kensington High Street by reducing the signage, road markings and street furniture to the bare minimum - making the street at once safer and more aesthetically pleasing. It will, of course, never catch on.

  6. Oh well, at least he's dropped all that secular nonsense: Crusade does of course mean 'marked by the Cross'. Still I haven't yet seen him wearing one of those natty Templar tabbards. Nor yet a cross of the Knights of St John. Can't the man do anything properly?