Today our James Smith tackles Corbyn, May, and the discovery of quite the scam on campuses in our weekly UK news round up
May, Big Spender
In the daily circus that is Brexit, the position of Theresa May in a broader context has been somewhat lost. On her first day as Prime Minister, she iterated an anti-ideology: we (May Tories) are not free-market fundamentalists; we understand the need for strong government involvement. Why then, in certain sections of this speech, does she sound like Ludwig von Mises?
“We should defend free markets because it is ordinary working people who benefit. Closed markets and command economies were not overthrown by powerful elites, but by ordinary people … “
Right on! This is a nuanced and counterintuitive point not often delivered by political leaders, so it’s nice to hear. That is, whilst it lasts. Soon after, and this is where the headlines are, of course, she announces “the end of austerity,” promising a post-Brexit budget of high government spending and investment programs, including abolishing the cap on council housing funding.
It’s obvious what’s going on here: the free-market rhetoric is a cheap jab at Boris Johnson who earlier in the year was quoted as saying “F*** Business,” in the context of “business” concerns over Brexit. Clearly, what he means by that, a knee-jerk response, is you can’t draw general conclusions about the benefits or no of Brexit by invoking “business” as if it’s a gelatinous blob.
Moreover, one of the reasons we want to leave the European Union is because there are some aspects of business that gain unfair advantages by EU regulatory favoritism, subsidies and other interventions. Of course, some businesses are going to oppose leaving the EU, including corrupt ones. That doesn’t mean Johnson and other Brexiteers oppose business per se.
May’s real ideology is fully rounded up in her “End of austerity” bit. May is another third-way establishment figure that believes governments can spend freely provided there is an effective free market. It can be summed up by the old idiom: don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
May’s speech was meant to demarcate herself from the more “fundamentalist” (read: economically literate) members of her own party, and the socialist luvvies in Labour (read: Corbynites).
Meanwhile, UK national debt is increasing beyond £2 Trillion. In case people have forgotten: in order for this to be paid off, the entire British fiscal system would have to be overhauled. Nobody has the balls to talk about this.
Labour Are Cool (Except Corbyn)
May’s speech was quite good from the perspective of politicking. It was at its foundation a move to make peace between the key figures in both parties. First of all, she attacked the protestors that ambushed MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s and his family, hurling abuse at his children. Then she came to the defense of Labour MP Diane Abbott concerning the racist abuse she receives on social media.
Then she went on to her general appreciation for the idea of the Labour Party, when they had “Some basic qualities that everyone could respect … They were proud of our armed forces. They were proud of Britain.” But that’s not the case anymore with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm.
The more the deep state lackeys attack Corbyn, the more I like him. May’s government are so brazenly establishment, I’m almost starting to think it’s worth risking Corbyn turn the UK into Venezuela to get rid of them
It’s not that I like much of Corbyn’s ideology or policy proposals: I think most of it would be a disaster. But he is for one thing, not an EU true believer. There is also a streak of anti-establishment in him that I can’t help but admire – that outside of the three-by-five card of allowable opinion.
Headteachers Catch On To University Scam
We all know that the modern university system is a racket, with over saturation, inflated prices with little to nothing in return. Previously, secondary school and sixth form teachers were happy to have more of their pupils go on to uni. Yet it’s becoming more and more obvious that this isn’t necessarily translating into better outcomes.
Representing a cohort of teachers at the independent Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference, Chris Ramsey argued the low standard for university entrance is blurring lines. Students no longer know what they’re aiming for. In some situations, universities are accepting grades five times lower than the original offer.
You can read more from James Smith on Think Liberty here.