If you want to justify any policy whether it’s higher military spending, deregulation of gambling, lower corporation tax or higher levels of immigration to a sceptical public, just claim it’s good for the economy. How could any rational human being be against greater prosperity? In today’s cultural climate could any political party openly advocate greater poverty, the presumed opposite of a growing economy?
Europe faces an unprecedented stream of human traffic from Africa, the Middle East, Southern and Central Asia. As wars rage from Afghanistan to Yemen and Darfur while deserts expand and arable land available for each inhabitant shrinks, this crisis shows few signs of abating. The heart-wrenching scenes of refugees huddling together on makeshift rafts in the middle of Mediterranean should concern any conscientious human being, but why would anyone go to such extreme lengths to seek economic betterment? Why did this not happen on such a large scale 20 years ago when people in the developing world were arguably even poorer?
I predicted a hung parliament that would ditch any manifesto promises at the behest of corporate lobbyists. A weak government is arguably more malleable than a strong one, unless the strong government does exactly what its true masters want. I suspect the new Conservative administration will disappoint many traditional small-c conservatives as it pursues a rigorously corporatist agenda while undermining the very United Kingdom it claims to champion.
I wish ballot papers had an extra box titled None of the above for I might very well be tempted to use it. None of the parties have a coherent set of policies that can deal with the fundamental stresses and strains of our overheated economy and overburdened environment, but some have policies I can at least sympathise with.
As an environmentally friendly, safety-aware, anti-racist, disability-positive, anti- homophobia, feminist, pro-growth, pro-children, pro-happiness party, we oppose all nasty policies that may harm other human beings. #satire
Rethinking the Migration Debate: Were we to debate the ethics of racial prejudice, the relative merits of other societies or the wonders of humanity’s rich cultural diversity, I would not hesitate for a moment both to stand against all forms of xenophobia and to celebrate true cultural diversity. However, as soon as someone suggests the massive recent rise in migratory flows may cause social destabilisation and alienation, some left-branded rhetoricians play the race card.
- Economic growth: Once people have clean water, a healthy diet, adequate housing with plumbing and electricity, meaningful employment, access to modern healthcare and a few other essential personal possessions, all additional consumption does very little to improve life expectancy or happiness. Yet our GDP growth drains many finite resources that could be better used by others suffering real poverty or be saved for future generations. Overconsumption, generating vast oceans of rubbish, is currently the biggest threat to our eco-system.
The Guardian newspaper has just revealed to its credulous readers that EU-wide no fewer than 11 million dwellings stand empty. This apparent news has been endlessly recycled by various well-funded lobbies and think-tanks to suggest there is no housing crisis in the regions that have recently attracted most inward migration. Meanwhile to accommodate 4 million new UK residents, the government has relaxed planning laws to allow the building of 3 million new homes, many on prime agricultural land.
Imagine you had a choice of three political parties. The welfare party promised better public services, but admitted it may need to increase taxes. The small business party promised lower taxes, but admitted it will need to cut public services. However the magic bullet party promised to slash taxes and boost investment in healthcare, education and transport infrastructure as well as increasing pensions and disability benefits, a sure vote-winner for the economically illiterate. The extra funds would be raised by taxing billionaire bankers and printing money.