What does the UK’s governing Conservative party stand for ? What should it stand for ?That issue was raised by Conservative Member of Parliament, Steve Baker, during the debate on a vote to raise the level of the National Insurance tax by 1.25% – the increase to be dedicated to funding increased Health and Social Care spending.
The government won the vote by 319 votes to 248. In doing so it broke one of the 6 personal Guarantees stated by Boris Johnson to electors in the 2019 general election campaign, namely “We will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance”.
But the adoption of this precipitate proposal to raise a major tax represents far more than one broken election promise. It represents far more than growing disillusion with the government of Boris Johnson.
It betrays the abject betrayal of Conservatism.
Johnson excuses his betrayal of the manifesto Guarantee by saying that the Covid crisis was not in the manifesto either. Indeed not. But Covid itself did not cause the problems resulting from lockdowns and excessive public spending. Governments did that. But even if we accept the government was right and the costly consequences inevitable, increasing tax rates is still not the answer to increasing revenue to pay for public measures.
Magaret Thatcher demonstrated conclusively that reducing tax rates will yield more revenue to the public exchequer. It does so because economic activity is not penalised and so impeded as happens with tax increases. In terms of logical expectations, the opposite in fact happens. Increased tax rates may increase yield initially, but they create the conditions by which the yield is not sustained because economic activity is damaged. Greater yield in order to finance spending is, after all, the entire point of the exercise. Not the raising or reduction of tax rates.
Being a tax on employees and on their employers means that it will hit economic activity directly. While the immediate yield may be high, it will not be sustained as the impact of the measure works through creating adverse conditions with all the downward spiral issues which arise. This can only tend to damage the much sought after and heralded economic recovery. The inevitable economic bonus from Brexit is being squandered. Why ? Because ministers are still held captive by the Socialist thinking endemic in the EU enamoured bureaucracy of the UK Treasury Department.
Or is it that Boris Johnson himself has never forsaken his absorption of the Socialist perspective and paradigm endemic in the Left leaning and EU Remain minded faction of Conservative Party Grandees like Michael Heseltine. Such people erroneously believe that “One Nation” Conservatism must mean Socialist Theory and Practice with the name “Conservative” pinned on it.
Whatever, Johnson is failing Conservatism across the board.
By listening to Dominic Cummings apocalyptic view of Covid 19, and Cummings view that harsh measures were needed, Johnson trashed our libertarian traditions and Constitution. Instead of starting to reap the constitutional benefits of Brexit, HMG chose to copy and paste the policy and practice of the Chinese Communist Party into Britain – our heritage, our constitution, our culture, our democracy were all shoved aside to make way for unprecedented authoritarian measures in reaction to a health crisis.
Well, we all know that crisis brings out the truth about us all. How we react under pressure tells the world about who we really are. We often find that cowards are actually heroes and that the people we took for heroes are in fact cowards. Johnson was famously ambivalent about Brexit till the last moment- and that change of heart had much to do with the wife whom he subsequently abandoned for a much younger model.
Now we witness the betrayal of the fundamentals of Conservatism for the superficial attractions and allure of Socialist measures – measures which promise so much, but which always fail to live up to our reasonable expectations. Expectations of well meaning and righteous people who insist that 1 + 1 = 10. Incredible ! Well, in the unreal binary world they like to inhabit, yes it does. But in the real world where we all use the more practical base 10, then 1 plus 1 can only ever add up to just 2. Expectations are therefore over blown and the subsequent let down all the more severe, both in reality and psychologically.
Which is how I, for one, feel about Boris Johnson. The thumping 80 seat majority gained in December 2019 was beyond every one’s expectations. I call it miraculous. Brexit could be done, and we could reap the benefits of all that must surely mean. But even now we are still living with the EU abusing its position and trashing our Constitution in Northern Ireland.
No matter where we look, there is betrayal. Take back control of our borders, laws and money rings hollow indeed as we witness record levels of illegal immigration across the Channel from France to England this year and last week. Just a few weeks ago, I saw a report on the French BBC equivalent’s main news bulletin reporting French coast guard vessels escorting boats full of illegals across the Channel right up to the English shore line …. Why, when they have a £ multi million paid agreement with the UK government to stop just this very activity ?
The French placed the Human Rights of the illegal immigrants above all else – not just their agreement with HMG, but above all common sense understanding of law and order. They were actually aiding and abetting the criminal traffickers who charge outrageous sums of money and who dangerously overload the boats with immigrants – people who manifestly have the means to pay such sums of money; people who know full well that they are employing criminals to break the law to which the rest of us willingly adhere.
Rights over-rule reality; they over-rule law and order; they over-rule all the commonsense norms of how we actually behave and how we must be constrained. They are being used to justify the totally unjustifiable and they even breach international legal requirements on refugees.
Both British and French governments are undermining the rule of law on the basis of Human Rights. Rights for whom, and on what basis ?
People who choose to take the risk of a channel crossing, paying a criminal gang, leave a safe country where retired Brits choose to live – people demanding their Rights without any regard to their own responsibilities for themselves or towards the French or British people.
A woke world of rights turns everything on its head. Black is white and white is black.
Mr Johnson needs to wake up to his responsibilities to
- all those who voted to give him that 80 seat majority;
- his obligations to the British taxpayer
- to the traditions and constitution of the UK
- to the fundamental meaning of the rule of law and what law&order means
The response now urgently needed from Boris Johnson is the political resolve to put things Right.
Repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act, and every subsequent Act of Parliament expressing this quasi religious nonsense of Rights, e.g. the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 which created the UK Supreme Court, and the Equality Act 2010.
Only full restoration of the constitutional status quo ante could possibly restore any of my faith in the UK Conservative party.
for another comment onJohnson’s direction and a back-up copy of his personal 2019 Manifesto Guarantee, see