What the British people want from their politicians… and what they get (Robert Henderson)

by Robert Henderson

What the British people want from their politicians…
and what they get

Robert Henderson

What do our politicians think of the British electorate? Precious little. All the major mainstream parties either ignore or cynically misrepresent the issues which are most important to the British – immigration, our relationship with the EU, the English democratic deficit, foreign adventures , the suppression of free speech and the precarious state of the economy. These issues are not addressed honestly because they either clash with the prevailing internationalist agenda or because to address them honestly would mean admitting how much sovereignty had been given away to the EU and through other treaties.

This antidemocratic failure to engage in honest politics is an established trait. The wilful removal from mainstream politics of vitally important issues has been developing for more than half a century. The upshot is that the British want their politics to be about something which is not currently on offer from any party with a chance of forming a government. The British public broadly seek what these days counts as rightist action when it comes to matters such as preserving nationhood, immigration, race and political correctness, but traditional leftist policies on items such as social welfare, the NHS and the economy (has anyone ever met someone in favour of free markets and free trade who has actually lost his job because of them?).

The electorate’s difficulty is not simply their inability to find a single party to fulfil all or even most of their political desires. Even on a single issue basis, the electorate frequently cannot find a party offering what they want because all the mainstream parties now carol from the same internationalist, globalist, supranational, pro-EU, pc songsheet. The electorate finds they may have any economic programme provided it is laissez faire globalism, any relationship with the EU provided it is membership, any foreign policy provided it is internationalist and continuing public services only if they increasingly include private capital and provision. The only difference between the major parties is one of nuance.

Nowhere is this political uniformity seen more obviously than in the Labour and Tory approaches to immigration. Labour has adopted a literally mad policy of “no obvious limit to immigration”. The Tories claim to be “tough” on immigration, but then agree to accept as legal immigrants more than 100,000 incomers a year from outside the EU plus any number of migrants from within the EU (350 million have the right to settle here). There is a difference, but it is simply less or more of the same. Worse, in practice there would probably be no meaningful difference to the numbers coming whoever is in power. The truth is that while we remain part of the EU and tied by international treaties on asylum and human rights, nothing meaningful can be done for purely practical reasons. But even if something could be done, for which serious party could the person who wants no further mass immigration vote? None.

A manifesto to satisfy the public

All of this set me thinking: what manifesto would appeal to most electors? I suggest this political agenda for the What the People Want Party:

We promise:

1. To always put Britain’s interests first. This will entail the adoption of an unaggressive nationalist ethic in place of the currently dominant internationalist ideology.

2. The reinstatement of British sovereignty by withdrawal from the EU and the repudiation of all treaties which circumscribe the primacy of Parliament.

3. That future treaties will only come into force when voted for by a majority in both Houses of Parliament and that any treaty should be subject to repudiation by Parliament at any time.

4. A reduction in the power of the government in general and the Prime Minister in particular and an increase in the power of Parliament. This will be achieved by abolishing the Royal Prerogative, outlawing the party whip and removing the vast powers of patronage available to a government.

5. That the country will only go to war on a vote in both Houses of Parliament.

6. An end to mass immigration by any means, including asylum, work permits and family reunion.

7. An end to all officially-sponsored political correctness.

8. The promotion of British history and culture in our schools and by all publicly-funded bodies.

9. The repeal of all laws which give by intent or practice a privileged position to any group which is less than the entire population of the country, for example the Race Relations Act..

10. The repeal of all laws which attempt to interfere with the personal life and responsibility of the individual. Citizens will not be instructed what to eat, how to exercise, not to smoke or drink or be banned from pursuits such as fox-hunting which harm no one else.

11. A formal recognition that a British citizen has rights and obligations not available to the foreigner, for example, the benefits of the welfare state will be made available only to born and bred Britons.

12. Policing which is directed towards three ends: maintaining order, catching criminals and providing support and aid to the public in moments of threat or distress. The police will leave their cars and helicopters and return to the beat and there will be an assumption that the interests and safety of the public come before the interests and safety of police officers.

13. A justice system which guards the interests of the accused by protecting essential rights of the defendant such as jury trial and the right to silence, whilst preventing cases collapsing through technical procedural errors.

14. Prison sentences that are served in full, that is, the end of remission and other forms of early release. Misbehaviour in prison will be punished by extending the sentence.

15. An absolute right to self-defence when attacked. The public will be encouraged to defend themselves and their property.

16. A general economic policy which steers a middle way between protectionism and free trade, with protection given to vital and strategically important industries such as agriculture, energy, and steel and free trade only in those things which are not necessities.

17. A repudiation of further privatisation for its own sake and a commitment to the direct public provision of all essential services such as medical treatment. We recognise that the electorate overwhelmingly want the NHS, decent state pensions, good state funded education for their children and state intervention where necessary to ensure the necessities of life. This promise is made to both reassure the public of continued future provision and to ensure that the extent of any public spending is unambiguous, something which is not the case where indirect funding channels such as PFI are used.

18. The re-nationalisation of the railways, the energy companies, the water companies and any exercise of the state’s authority such as privately run prisons which have been placed in private hands.

19. An education system which ensures that every child leaves school with at least a firm grasp of the three Rs and a school exam system which is based solely on a final exam. This will remove the opportunity to cheat by pupils and teachers. The standards of the exams will be based on those of the 1960s which is the last time British school exams were uncontaminated by continuous assessment, multiple choice questions and science exams included practicals as a matter of course. .

20. To restore credibility to our university system. The taxpayer will fund scholarships for 20 per cent of school-leavers. These will pay for all fees and provide a grant sufficient to live on during term time. Any one not in receipt of a scholarship will have to pay the full fees and support themselves or take a degree in their spare time. The scholarships will be concentrated on the best universities. The other universities will be closed. This will ensure that the cost is no more than the current funding and the remaining universities can be adequately funded.

21. A clear distinction in our policies between the functions of the state and the functions of private business, charities and other non-governmental bodies. The state will provide necessary public services, business will be allowed to concentrate on their trade and not be asked to be an arm of government and charities will be entirely independent bodies which will no longer receive public money.

22. A commitment to putting the family first. This will include policies which recognise that the best childcare is that given by the parents and that parents must be allowed to exercise discipline over their children. These will be given force by a law making clear that parents have an absolute right to the custody of and authority over their children, unless the parents can be shown to be engaging in serious criminal acts against their children.

23. Marriage to be encouraged by generous tax breaks and enhanced child allowances for children born in wedlock.

24. Defence forces designed solely to defend Britain and not the New World Order.

25. A Parliament for England to square the Devolution circle. The English comprise around 80 per cent of the population of the UK, yet they alone of all the historic peoples are Britain are denied the right to govern themselves. This is both unreasonable and politically unsustainable in the long-run.

26. A reduction to the English level of Treasury funding to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will save approximately £17 billion pa because the Celts receive overall approximately £1,600 per head per annum more than the English.

27. An end to Foreign Aid. This will save approximately £11 billion.

28. A written constitution to ensure that future governments cannot abuse their power. This will be predicated on (1) the fact that we are a free people, (2) the belief that in a free and democratic society the individual can be trusted to take responsibility for his or her actions and to behave responsibly and (3) that politicians are the servants not the masters of those who elect them. It will guarantee those things necessary to a free society, including an absolute right to free expression, jury trial for any offence carrying a sentence of more than one year, place citizens in a privileged position over foreigners and set the interests and safety of the country and its citizens above the interests and safety of any other country or people.

Those are the things which I think most of the electorate could embrace, at least in large part. There are also other issues which the public might well be brought to support if there was proper public debate and a serious political party supporting them such as the ownership and bearing of weapons and the legalisation of drugs.

The positive thing about such an agenda is that either Labour or the Tories could comfortable support it within the context of their history.

Until Blair perverted its purpose, the Labour Party had been in practice (and often in theory – think Ernie Bevin), staunchly nationalist, not least because the unions were staunchly protective of their members’ interests and resistant to both mass immigration (because it reduced wages) and free trade (because it exported jobs and reduced wages).

For the Tories, the Thatcherite philosophy is as much an aberration as the Blairite de-socialisation of Labour. The true Tory creed in a representative democracy is that of the one nation nationalist. It cannot be repeated too often that the free market internationalist creed is the antithesis of conservatism.

The manifesto described above would not appeal in every respect to ever member of the “disenfranchised majority”. But its general political slant would be palatable to that majority and there would be sufficient within the detail to allow any individual who is currently disenchanted with politics to feel that there were a decent number of important policies for which he or she could happily vote. That is the best any voter can expect in a representative democracy. People could again believe that voting might actually change things.

69 thoughts on “What the British people want from their politicians… and what they get (Robert Henderson)

  1. Yes – the passionate patriotism of Hugh G. was replaced by shallow “internationalism” when Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party.

    As for democracy – even in the 19th century some (not all) of the supporters of democracy in this country had (in private) contempt for the opinions and judgement of ordinary people.

    There is no paradox – people such as Jeremy Bentham and James Mill and his son J.S. Mill (the Bowood Circle that became the Westminster Review crowd) hoped to manipulate a mass electorate to create (in disguise) their own rule – the rule of an intellectual elite.

    Rousseau of old (with his idea that the Lawgiver would decide the true “General Will” rather than follow the “will of all”) was similar.

    The Radical Liberal intellectual elite (which evolved into the Fabian socialist intellectual elite) favoured democracy – as long as the people did what they told them to do.

  2. Robert, if you fed your list into a dating agency, they would find a match for you with UKIP.
    No doubt you will say that UKIP has no serious chance of forming a government. This is only true in as much as voters believe it to be true.
    Alan Sked was saying many years ago that if people voted according to their beliefs rather than according to tribal Party allegiance, we would have been out of the EU in 1997, while that was still a realistic prospect.
    I once watched some stupid Glaswegian woman being interviewed on tv and asked whether there was anything the Labour Party could do that would induce her not to vote for it, and she said No.
    Democracy has become fossilised – “Our family always voted Labour” type of thing.
    If sufficient people who agree with its policies dared to vote for UKIP (and this is not intended as a Party political plug) then we would indeed have a patriotic government and at least be actively trying to leave the EU.
    But they won’t.

    • Hugo – I’m afraid that UKIP would fail to agree with me on the grounds of free trade, laissez faire within the domestic market, immigration, privatisation, the renationalisation of the utilities etc to name but some of the differences.

  3. I believe UKIP is the only way to go. Our freedom and democracy are at stake. I hope that the people of this country who’s heads are in the sand, will feel the rumblings of dissatisfaction of the other three parties and help get us out of the evil European Union. I have spoken with people who are leaning towards UKIP but they feel it would be a wasted vote. To those people I say. “A vote is only wasted if it isn’t used. have the courage of your convictions and vote for the party which you honestly feel will serve this country best, then you have more chance of getting what you want” For me it is UKIP .

  4. I could nitpick the shopping list- particularly point 13, since my feeling is that what “the people” want is automatic torture and execution of anyone accused of being a “paedo”, regardless of evidence, and probably the replacement of jury trial with some kind of television phone-in system in which the defendant must learn to ballroom dance on roller skates- but in general I think there is no real “will of the people” and that tends to doom any attempt to compile such a shopping list.

    The basic reason that the current value system is hegemonic is that it is the shared/tolerable shopping list of the ruling class. Virtually everybody else wants something different, but are not agreed on what that something different ought to be. Reaction at the moment primarily consists of people who are mixtures of conservative and libertarian (in a classical liberal sense rather than extreme anarchist sense); there are also marginalised “old labour” types and a handful of ideological libertines like myself playing the role of a ham sandwich at a bar mitzvah.

    I’m not at all sure that with that much diversity, a sufficiently universally agreeable counter-hegemonic alternative can be negotiated. Which is frustrating, because any sensible person who was free of false consciousness would realise that I am right and everybody else is wrong.

    I thus recommend a revolution which places me on the throne as Lord Protector. I will implement a Utopian state of England. Promise.

    PS I will be appointing David Davis as Minister Of The Interior And The South Sandwich Islands.

  5. Glasgow – the shortest life expectancy in Europe (“and that is the good thing about it”). It is astonishing to think that, only a century ago, it was the second city of the Empire – famous for science, all manner of skills and inventions, and business skill.

    People who sneer at the idea of cultural decline (and insist that external invasion must be the cause of all collapse) should visit Glasgow.

    As for the Church of England – it torments itself.

    The latest perversity is the order by the “Church Commissioners” (that Victorian absurdity) that the Bishop of Bath and Wells must not live in the Bishop’s Palace in Wells (Wells, and the surrounding country, is one my favourite places in the world).

    It will not save any money at all (as the building will still have to be kept up – and now a new home for the Bishop will have to be maintained on top) it is just radical “liberalism” at work. “Hollowing out” everything that is traditional and beautiful, and replacing it with vile posturing.

  6. Robert – a couple of things – you put forward your ‘shopping list’ as one which would appeal to ‘most electors’, rather than yourself. You claim to disagree with UKIP’s policies on free trade, domestic laissez-faire, and immigration, but to me your suggestions seem pretty much identical to UKIP policy on these matters, and on most others too for that matter. Am I missing something?
    In any case, is it realistic to wait for a political party to come along which agrees with the minutiae of your every whim?

    • Hugo- I haven’t said don’t vote for UKIP, merely pointed out where we diverge.

      The schedule of policies are designed to appeal to most electors (and they also appeal to me) but obviously it is improbable that any party would embrace them all. Electors have to choose the parties which come closest to their ideal.

  7. This also has to be addressed-

    It cannot be repeated too often that the free market internationalist creed is the antithesis of conservatism.

    This may be true. Thatcherism may well have been an aberration. The major political parties are not ideological constants, any of them. They represent coalitions of interests. The Tories have certianly not spent their entire history being radical libertarians.

    But this is the problem; what the parties are is beside the point. What matters is what the correct policy is. And we have a vast amount of economic reasoning and theory, and econometrics too, that tell us that it is better to trade than not to trade, and that national borders for goods to cross must be as permeable as possible.

    So Mr Henderson says,

    “A general economic policy which steers a middle way between protectionism and free trade, with protection given to vital and strategically important industries such as agriculture, energy, and steel and free trade only in those things which are not necessities.”

    In other words, inefficiency and a damaged market for “necessities”, only allowing consumers to benefit in industries that are fripperies. This is ridiculous. Expensive food, cheap jewellery. Expensive steel, cheap iPhone apps. Don’t worry about the bread shortage, there’s plenty of porn. And so on.

    Whether or not the people might vote for such a thing, we must be clear that it would be a very bad idea indeed. Autarky is one of those appealing fallacies that is thoroughly past its sell by date, but nevertheless lingers on the ideological shelves.

    • Ian B – I hate to break it to you but the Tory Party was protectionist from its origins in the the restoration period until Robert Peel reneged on his promise to his party never to dismantle the corn laws (his second betrayal of his party, the first being Catholic emancipation) . The Tories stood for the landed interest and the Whigs for commerce.

      After Peel Disraeli was strongly against .free trade and Joe Chamberlain took the Tory protectionist banner from him. The Tory party was protectionist from the 1930s onwards until Thatcher.

      • It is not a matter of “breaking it to me” since as I said above, what the Tory Party historically was does not much bother me. You can argue that one with Paul, if you like. What matters is what we know to be the correct policy, and that is free trade and free markets, not protectionism and nationalisation.

  8. Ian – it is best to ignore Mr Henderson when he talks about economics, not just because he is ignorant of the subject (anyone can be honestly ignorant of a subject – there are many subjects that I am ignorant about). but because he is not interested in correcting economics by studying economic law (the writers upon it) indeed he denies the laws of political economy even exist.

    As for the idea that free trade and universalism generally are “anti conservative”.

    First the general moral point. As Edmund Burke (the conservative Old Whig)pointed out – the moral law (whether God exists or not) is universal (at least this is what Christians argue) – it is not one thing in India and another thing in Buckinghamshire (hence the feud with Warren Hastings, perhaps more for what Hastings SAID, that morality was relative to geographical position, than for what he DID – after all what such people as Paul Benfield did in India was far worse than what Warren Hastings did).

    Ditto with “historical stages” – this is also to be rejected, as a moral guide, by a conservative “historical morality” being as bad as “geographical morality”. One could say that it would be very difficult to end slavery in (for example) the Roman Empire (due to all sorts of practical difficulties) – but one could not, correctly, say that slavery was “right” (“good”) in this “historical stage” (people such as Burke would not have got on well with people such as Hegel).

    Still turning to the specific point of FREE TRADE.

    The first major free trade writer in England is Sir Dudley North (late 1600s) who was a Tory in his politics.

    In the 1700s we have such writers as Dean Tucker of Gloucester (a man known for his conservative political opinions) and, of course, the Conservative Old Whig Edmund Burke.

    Burke’s political opponent on free trade is actually Charles James Fox (indeed the Rockingham Whigs are tearing themselves apart over free trade with Ireland even before the French Revolution – translation the split between Burke and Fox would have happened anyway, even if the French Revolution has not happened)/

    A theory that holds that Edmund Burke is not a “conservative” but that Fox (of all people) is a “conservative” need not detain us.

    More importantly – and this did indeed does need to be said……

    “Protectionism” (taxes and quotas on imported goods) is just bunk – total bunk. The economic “arguments” for it are just the self interested ravings of corrupt businessmen (and landlords) and luddite trade unionists.

    The period in which the Tory party was associated with Protectionism were terrible for the Tory party – such as the period of the “Corn Laws” which split the Tory party in two (with the more decent part of it siding with Sir Robert Peel – and those who wanted high food prices for their own enrichment siding against him) and the 1930s (although all nations were dominated by Protectionists in the 1930s – which is why the 1930s wer the mess they were) where the Tory party became associated with the narrow interests of the “class” of industrialists (intellectually “dead from the neck up”).

    And to write of “steering a middle way between free trade and protectionism” is absurd waffle talk.

    Especially in the case of the United Kingdom.

    For a nation in our position to engage in a trade war (which is what a “little bit” of Protectionism would inevitably lead to) would lead to economic collapse.

    Actually far worse than the 1930s – as our (relative) position is far more vulnerable that it was.

    For a British person to play the protectionist game (and “seeking a middle way” is playing the protectionist game) is like a man covered in petrol playing with lighted matches.

  9. Ian – by the way Mrs Thatcher was not unusual in being leader of the Conservative Party and a free trader.

    The last leader of the Conservative Party who was a Protectionist was Neville Chamberlain (not a good guide to policy – in anything).

    Even in the 19th century Lord Salisbury (the ultimate conservative minded leader) produced article after article (unsigned) in the old “Saturday Review” exposing the fallacies of Protectionism. And the fallacies of the idea that Empire (in the economic sense) was economically beneficial.

    His target was (of course) Prussia-Germany – the ideas that were coming out of Prussia-Germany and its friends in Britain (such as “Radical Joe” Chamberlain – and anyone who thinks that Radical Joe was a conservative needs his head examined).

    The friends of this sort of policy ended up dominating the old “Federation of British Industry” in the 1930s (which evolved into the equally vile Corporatist “Confederation of British Industry” ).

    The people of the Federation of British Industry posed as patriots – but investigation showed it contained people who were in collusion with the German National Socialists (Nazis) in the 1930s.

    The Protectionist and anti-Semitic “Right Club” was even worse – it contained people who used their senior positions in the British establishment to leak military secrets to Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan – including information on naval warfare and the defences of British possessions in the Far East. The results included such things as the fall of Singapore in early 1942.

    Just as the Soviet NKVD had many socialist friends in the United Kingdom (most notably Kim Philby) – so (alas) did the Fascists have many “patriot” friends in the United Kingdom.

    The idea that these degenerates (these admirers of dictatorships) were “Conservative” in the sense that late Lord Salisbury (or Sir Robert Peel – or men he admired, in economic policy, such as Canning and Robinson) would have understood the term is absurd.

    As Edmund Burke said in reply to a lady who questioned his support for the rights of Indians (questioned it on the grounds that they were brown).

    “My dear lady – they indeed do not have lilies and roses in their cheeks as you do, but they are made in the image of God just as much as you are”.

  10. Robert, you miss my point – I wasn’t asking whom you vote for, I was querying your statement that you disagree with UKIP’s policies on free trade, domestic laissez faire and immigration. As far as I can tell your views are in fact pretty much the same as UKIP’s. Am I missing something?

    And Paul, I’m not surprised that the Fascists had many ‘patriot’ friends in the Right Club & elsewhere. After all, Adolph Hitler at that time was nothing short of a miracle worker – ‘Time’ magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ in 1935 in fact. Who wouldn’t have supported such a man? Our hindsight of the things that were yet to come clouds our understanding of that period in my view.

  11. Hugo – common sense indicates that one does not give military secrets to rival Empires (especially dictatorships with expansionist aims).

    As for admiration for Adolf Hitler – sometimes accidents could cure it.

    Austin Chamberlain (the half brother of Neville) went on a trip to Germany in the 1930s – and, by accident went off the official tour and witnessed things he was not-supposed-to-see.

    Austin Chamberlain went to Germany vaguely pro Nazi – and came back passionately anti Nazi. But, tragically, Austin Chamberlain did not live long enough to really influence British policy.

    As for the United States…..

    It is often forgotten that Colonel McCormack’s “Chicago Tribune” (then the biggest selling newspaper in the United States – and strongly opposed to the New Deal) told the truth about all the totalitarians.

    The Soviet Union., Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the vicious regime that was the Empire of Japan – all were regularly exposed in the pages of the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s.

    On your question concerning Mr Henderson and UKIP.

    UKIP does not support free migration – free migration is an insane policy for a Welfare State (if one provides “Public Services” one can not have a open door to new people – it is as simple as that).

    UKIP does not support domestic laissez faire (I wish it did).

    However UKIP does support free trade – and Mr Henderson does not.

    Hence the disagreement between them.

  12. Paul – Where does Mr Henderson call for ‘free migration’? His suggestion is; “6. An end to mass immigration by any means, including asylum, work permits and family reunion.”
    That is not exactly UKIP’s policy, but it doesn’t conflict with it either. (UKIP I believe calls for a moratorium on immigration, followed by the introduction of a ‘points’ system.) Of course ANY immigration policy is meaningless until we regain control of our borders by leaving the EU.

    And in what sense does UKIP not support domestic laissez fair? It’s a rather vague term anyway, so could you elaborate on that one for me?

    Switching gears to the Nazis, you talk of ‘rival empires’, but at that period I’m sure it was possible to view them as allies rather than rivals. That’s how Hitler viewed Britain, and I think it’s perfectly understandable to have viewed Nazism as the way of the future during the thirties. Their sometimes brutal methods would have been justified by the truly astonishing results they achieved.
    I find it amusing that the Nazis, in the end, were brought down by their own ideology; women belonged in the home not in the factories; Slavs were inferior people; anything Jewish (people, science, music) must be got rid of (Einstein MUST have been wrong purely because he was Jewish, so they came up with this bizarre ‘world ice theory’ to replace relativity.) Himmler believed himself to be the re-incarnation of the medieval Prince Heinrich (imagine if Ike had claimed to be the re-incarnation of George Washington); the Aryans came originally from Atlantis, and so on. Germany had been the world centre for the arts, mathematics and sciences before they took collective leave of their senses in the 30’s – (to the great benefit of America).

  13. Interestingly, the Nazis were right about “Jewish Physics”. It seems to me unlikely that gentiles would have produced Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, at least on the same time scale. Both theories are masterpieces of abstraction, at which Jews seem to excel, and I think that is down to the whole traditional Jewish weltanschauung and education, which is predicated on the understanding and manipulation of abstractions. Gentile scientists probably would have been futilely rooting about in the luminiferous aether for decades.

    It’s almost funny, how hopelessly the Nazis failed to realise how they were shooting themselves so thoroughly in the jackboots by kicking out the creators of the “Jewish Physics”.

  14. I think anybody could be forgiven for doubting Relativity because it’s such a crazy idea. But to reject it because of the race of its discoverer is equally crazy. As was the rejection of Mendelssohn’s inspired music for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and its replacement by mediocre Aryan music on the grounds that music must be free of racial impurities. Mengele, curiously, believed there were two ‘Master Races’; the Jews and the Aryans. Unfortunately he felt there was only room in the world for one. The family firm of Mengele still sells agricultural equipment I believe, not that that has anything to do with anything.

  15. Hugo – I never said that Mr Henderson was in favour of free migration.

    My point was this (OPPOSITION to free migration) was a point he had in common with UKIP.

    As I said the point of disagreement between Mr Henderson and UKIP is on free trade.

    Ian – as you know. by “Jewish physics” the National Socialists meant the same as the Marxists meant by “capitalist logic”, it is an exercise in “polylogism” the teaching that there is no UNIVERSAL truth (that things are determined by “class”. “race” or “historical period”.).

    This Nazi (and Marxist) tap dance is drivel.

    In the words of the late great Kenneth Williams.

    “Oh – stop mucking about”.

  16. On relativity.

    One of my favourite philosophers, Harold Prichard, disputed it.

    But physics is not philosophy.

    Sadly the principles that govern the human mind do not seem to be the same principles that govern the physical universe.

    It baffled me when I was 15 years of age – and it still does baffle me.

  17. I think Relativity is a beautiful theory. It really is a work of genius. I even slightly understand a bit of it, almost. 🙂

    I agree with your analysis od why the Nazis called it “Jewish Physics”, but I still think it’s something that would make me proud to be a Jew, if I was one. There are few finer creations of the human mind to be associated with than the great physical theories of the 20th century.

    And of course, it is terrifying to contemplate what may have happened had the Nazis got themselves atom bombs.

  18. Heisenberg could have got them atom bombs – one does not need Jews to have them (as Pakistan has shown). Once the idea is out there – it is out there. It was a matter of time and resources. Back in the 1940s the Americans out organised everyone (hard to believe when one sees what an utter dysfunctional mess the American government has become since the early 1960s), and the same General was in charge of the atomic bomb project who was in charge of building the Pentagon.

    It is the same method that Nimitz used in the Pacific – tell private companies “we want X” (one does not need to tell the supply companies exactly what X is for) pay them well, and leave them to work out how to do it. The Nazis used fear (does not work as well – people get nervous, make mistakes because they are so scared, one should not treat detailed work as if it was manual labour) and the British used detailed planning (which does not work – although Harris and some other short circuited it, by going straight to supply companies).

    The Germans actually did get functioning jet fighters – (Britain only managed that after the war).

    But Hitler demanded that the project be used to construct ground attack aircraft.

    He never understood war in the air – how one must first establish air superiority.

    And one could not argue with the man – as he tended to scream and have people executed.

  19. “…[C]ommon sense indicates that one does not give military secrets to rival Empires (especially dictatorships with expansionist aims).”

    I must point out that Mr. W.J. Clinton seems to have thought otherwise. But perhaps I am hasty in my judgment. It may be that he thought he was Chinese.

  20. Paul – this is getting very confusing; Robert Henderson called for; “6. An end to mass immigration by any means, including asylum, work permits and family reunion.”

    I suggested to him that his ‘wish list’ pretty well chimed with UKIP policies.

    He then said “Hugo – I’m afraid that UKIP would fail to agree with me on the grounds of free trade, laissez faire within the domestic market, immigration,….. ”

    I queried this on the grounds that Mr Henderson’s advocated policies on the above were pretty much identical with UKIP’s, hoping he would clarify.

    You then helpfully chimed in with; “On your question concerning Mr Henderson and UKIP. UKIP does not support free migration”

    So Mr Henderson says he is opposed to mass immigration; UKIP is also opposed to mass immigration, yet Mr Henderson disagrees with UKIP. Your sentence above seems to imply that Mr Henderson is in FAVOUR of mass immigration (at least that is what I inferred from it).

    As I understand it, both Mr Henderson and UKIP are opposed to mass immigration (and are each in favour of free trade and domestic laissez-faire policies).
    Yet Mr Henderson claims to disagree with UKIP on these very subjects.
    What am I missing?

  21. Hugo – I agree that Mr Henderson’s only major disagreement (in terms of policy) with UKIP is on the matter of free trade.

    Unless (and, I admit, I am unclear on this point) Mr Henderson wants a Corporatist domestic economic policy (in the fashion of Italy under Mussolini or the United States under the “National Industrial Recovery Act” and “National Recovery Agency”, General Johnson’s jackbooted “Blue Eagle” thugs going around telling shop keepers what prices they might charge and so on – Fascism struck down by the United States Supreme Court in 1935)..

    It is a very serious charge to accuse someone of being a Fascist – so I do NOT make this charge in relation to Mr Henderson. It is quite possible that Mr Henderson is simply a Protectionist (i.e. anti free trade) NOT a Fascist at all – I repeat being anti free trade would be enough to make him anti UKIP

    Being against free trade not only makes Mr Henderson a foe of every leader of the Conservative party since N. Chamberlain (the last Protectionist leader of the Conservative party) and of such great conservative minded people as Lord Salisbury, Sir Robert Peel and the conservative “Old Whig” Edmund Burke (as well as such Tory economists as Dean Tucker of Gloucester and Sir Dudley North) it also (as Ian points out) makes Mr Henderson a basic foe of the first principles of Political Economy.

    When I first encountered Mr Henderson’s Protectionism I assumed it was innocent error (I am ignorant of many subjects myself).

    However, it has become plain that Mr Henderson has no desire to learn about economics – but insists on writing about the subject.

    Therefore it is a waste of time talking to Mr Henderson about this subject (although not about other subjects) – one might as well try and have a discussion with Pope Francis the first (a man who refuses to study economics, but insists on writing about it).

  22. Julie – yes the absurd attitude of many in the American establishment (including President Clinton) towards the Chinese regime (handing them military secrets on the plate) does indeed mirror the attitude of some of the British establishment towards the Empire of Japan, Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany.

    However, the “Right Club” did not “just” seek to aid rival powers (even after the expansionist designs of these dictatorships became obvious) – they also shared some of the filthy attitudes of the enemy, including the anti-Semitism of National Socialist Germany.

    Also beware the British practice of “jokes”. They are often used to reveal (in a deniable way) the real attitudes of the person who is making the “joke”.

    For example, Kim Philby (and other agents of the NKVD) often let the anti socialist mask slip (especially when drunk) and revealed their true (pro socialist) position – especially when they were drunk. However, they did so with a little smile and in “joking” form. So they were not taken seriously. Actually such slips should have been taken very seriously indeed.

    I remember as a boy reading “Tinker, Taylor…..” (the spy novel) – and it was obvious from the thoughts of the lead “hero” character (“George Smiley” – specially his mental AGREEMENT with the propaganda that the exposed traitor comes out with) that the author of the book was a socialist himself.

    I was mocked for confusing author and characters.

    However, then came works as “The Constant Gardener”.

  23. For the record most (although not all) of the big landed aristocracy were Whig not Tory.

    This was not just true in 1688 – it was true till the late 19th century.

    Also the main supporter of Protectionism and war-for-protected-markets in the 18th century was Pitt the Elder (Lord Chatham) a leading Whig (not a Tory). Although from a different faction of the Whigs than the Marquis of Rockingham (to whom Edmund Burke was loyal).

    Actually Tory people tended to favour of policy of peace in the early to mid 1700s – which meant lower taxes (taxes often being on imported goods) and disputed the Protectionist case that trade was form of competition between states – a mistaken position that led Pitt the Elder to his errors.

    Edmund Burke also came eventually to see that the Whig Sir Robert Walpole (who he, Burke, had despised as a boy) had been correct – and that those Whigs who opposed him (led by Pitt the Elder) had been wrong.

    Like the Tory Sir Dudley North the Whig Sir Robert Walpole came to see that both wars for trade, and taxes on imports were blunders.

    • Paul Marks- there were Whigs who were great landowners but that misses the point which is that the Tories stood for the landed interest in their policies and the Whigs did not.

      Whigs did not always support free trade or freer trade nor Tories always eschew it (Pitt the Younger made attempts to liberalise tariffs) but the general; direction of travel for both parties was as I have described it.

  24. “Radical Joe” Chamberlain was (of course) not a Conservative – although he was a Unionist (i.e. opposed to Irish independence).

    To claim that this friend of the Fabians (Joe Chamberlain) was a Tory would be an error.

    And, I repeat, the last Protectionist leader of the Conservative Party was Neville Chamberlain (the son of Radical Joe) – who fell from power in 1940 (although he kept his party position).

    Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979.

    As for Disraeli – his position on economic policy repeatedly changed.

    To base ones’ understanding of any economic question on Disraeli would be an error.

    Many of the industrial problems of Britain can be traced back to Disraeli putting unions above the Common Law in 1875 (one of his many errors) – a position made even worse by the Liberals in 1906;

    Local government being forced to spend money on about 40 functions (against the will of local ratepayers), the paramilitary tactic of “picketing” being declared “legal”, the start of the increase of income tax from 1875 onwards……

    All Disraeli’s doing – although radical “liberals” such as Harcourt and David Lloyd George were to make everything worse.

    • Paul Marks – Joe Chamberlain was a de facto Tory once the liberal [party split, To deny that would be akin to denying that the social democrats in the Libdems are not Libdems.

      As for your claim that Neville Chamberlain was the last protectionist I suggest you explain what Tory leaders were doing between 1940 and 1979,

  25. My mistake – I thought Mr H had said he was in favour of free trade when he said no such thing.
    But where do you diverge from UKIP over immigration Robert? – do tell.

  26. As far as I know UKIP are calling for a moratorium on immigration, followed by a ‘points’ system as is the case in Australia. I don’t think there is a cigarette paper between you & UKIP on this one.

    As a matter of interest, I am a legal US resident, and the procedure for obtaining a Green Card is very stringent, and rightly so. In a nutshell, I have to demonstrate that my presence will be an asset to the country, and not a burden on US taxpayers. In my case this was achieved by my pouring vast sums of money into a commercial venture which had to establish that it would create ten new jobs for US citizens. I had to demonstrate to a high standard of proof that I had obtained the money I invested by legal means – they wanted ten years’ worth of tax returns and business accounts and an extensive paper trail to show where the money had come from. My wife and I had to travel to London for a thorough medical exam including a chest x-ray. We had to produce Police Certificates showing that neither of us had ever been in trouble with the law. My wife, who is half Swiss and lived in Switzerland from the age of fourteen to seventeen, had to obtain a certificate from the Swiss police to show she had never been in trouble as a teenager. The petition submitted by my immigration attorney ran to 487 pages, much of it quite dense legal argument putting forward a case why we should be admitted. And if I break the law while I am here (in the US) they can and will kick me out.
    That, in my view, is a proper immigration policy. Britain, of course, just invites the world’s riff raff to come and sponge off the British taxpayer.

    • An excellent immigration policy. Important though to maintain it be actually implementing it. It seems from your post this is being achieved. In the UK there is a amateur attitude to immigration with piece meal ideas instigated that are not intelligently thought through. The UK blames everything on the EU but in the case of immigration it is its own worse enemy.

  27. Mr Henderson. Radical Joe was not a conservative minded person – not in 1865 (when he produced the Radical programme) and not in 1905 (when he was actively working with the Fabians) or at any other time.

    As for post war leaders of the Conservative Party – they all supported GATT and the other free trade moves.

  28. Mr Henderson your claim that the Tory folk represented the landed interest and the Whigs represented the commercial interest is an effort to impose an ECONOMIC divide on what was actually a POLITICAL division. Politics is not always determined by material interests.

    And “if you were right you would be wrong” – as in the period from the 1680s onwards the farmers and so on were mostly NOT the people interested in Protectionism.

    As for the general intellectual background….

    I doubt you know anything about Sir Dudley North or Dean Tucker of Gloucester and so on.

    However, I am glad that you understand that Pitt the Younger (whether he should be a called a Whig or a Tory is a different debate) was more in favour of free trade that Fox (the Protectionist and friend of the French Revolution).

    • Paul Marks – to imagine the farmers were not protectionist sends you off into pure fantasy. It is simply untrue. For example, there was great anger engendered by the Act of Union of 1707 giving Scotland free access to England,

      As for Dudley North or Dean Tucker , I fail to see what relevance they have to the argument,. They were proto-free traders but so what?

  29. I think there’s plenty of ‘waffle’ tailing this article! No system is perfect, no one philosophy or political “ism” has the silver bullet of perfection.

    Not everything we want is possible or achievable, but without some kind of positions being put forward – that the author thinks will make Britain a better place in the future and which may be popular with much of the general public – there is nothing to aim for.

    Getting back to the actual points listed therefore, they certainly chime with me and I think they would become very popular amongst all those people out there who are, shall we say, nationalistic yet not wishing to throw all aspects of socialism out the window….such as the NHS and vital self sufficiency sectors like power, water and transport (which in my view the public are now routinely shafted by – and have little redress for changing things).

    The current way things are in this country, well, it does not chime well with me at all and I see nothing whatsoever positive about what the future holds.

    I am now 36 and already I am planning how to “ride it out” till the day I die.

    How much can I flee my area that is ever alienating? How long will such a move last to steer away from the oncoming onslaught of demographic change?

    How much can I tuck away and ‘diversify’ in my “portfolio” so I am not left completely high and dry in a fiat currency banking collapse?

    Can I eek out my decent technical job for long enough before I find myself competing with immigrants in manual labour roles at pay rates and conditions that should not be tolerated?

    How will society be behaving in 10, 20, 30 years time now the rot has set in with every institution, and not only the institutions, but the wider minds of the populace that have allowed things to progress this badly and even support its continuance?

    Is this the future I would want to pass on to any children I may have in the future? Does it reflect what I want society to be, what kind of nation I want to bring them up in and pass on to yet further generations? No.

    The “mainstream” values, views, media, politics and pantomimes are increasingly like something from another planet and I am starting to think of myself as rejecting it, seeking to live apart from it and thus want to be taking no part in supporting or upholding it.

    It is decrepit, corrupt, stale, failing. It is time for some sort of new broom to blow the whole lot away like the character of ‘Pip’ brushing the cobwebs away and opening the curtains in the old black and white film adaptation of “Great Expectations”.

    Many countries are the same, all tied to the same things and same concepts. Moving is no use, for it is not as though Sweden, France, Denmark, Germany, or America etc are any better where it matters.

    (The latter has at least a chance of regrouping and cutting itself off from the rest, and I wish them luck with that if they try it).

    The points listed in the article could, eventually, turn some of these features around, make it a bit more comfortable to live in, remove some of the ‘fears’ about the way things are heading with courts, police, intrusions of liberty and being held hostage to globalism and foreign moguls.

    I am biased, but I think many of the points are just common sense and are perhaps even concepts which people of an older generation may have once took for granted, but which in the advent of the societal cluster-bomb of madness, now may seem outlandish to the younger generation.

    They may not all chime with Libertarianism ideals, there may be some difficulties with some of them in practice, but reading the list compared to what I think we have today and will see in the future, they would pretty much all get my vote.

    I think there may be some more, shall we say, “taboo” parties out there who do offer these kinds of policies and positions, but unfortunately they often tend to not do themselves any favours, are marginalised, misunderstood, misrepresented, underfunded and not quite up to the task of beating off the whole machinery of apparatus that seeks to squash them flat.

    For this end, I think the whole idea of “winning by the ballot box” in their system is a recipe for defeat, particularly when those of us in favour of such policy points appear to be scattered around the country and surrounded by the kinds of people who would still vote for the proverbial red rosette pinned on a donkey.

  30. I sometimes think that it would be best (or least terrible) if economic bankruptcy came sooner (not later). Economic bankruptcy might end both the social and the demographical transformation.

  31. ‘Economic bankruptcy’ is a very long way off, because we are starting from a position of such prosperity and have a long road ahead of us before life becomes literally un-liveable. I am thinking of people in Zimbabwe foraging for scraps of food, and closer to home, Romania and Bulgaria not much better.
    This is of course ‘part of the plot’ of the European Union, which in its fanatical quest for ‘equality’ seeks to make the richer northern Member States subsidise the poorer southern and eastern ones till we are all equally broke. They call it ‘Cohesion’.

    I cannot see why Mr C Briton, or anybody else for that matter, would want to keep the NHS, unless you actually like a morbidly politicised system of providing universal health care to third world standards.

    Unlike Mr Briton, I am old enough to remember ‘Sunny Jim’ Callaghan’s exchange controls, when you weren’t allowed to take more than fifty quid out of the country. I saw which way the wind was blowing about fifteen years ago (ok, I haven’t been proved right YET!) when I anticipated similar measures to stop money haemorrhaging out of the EU, and I got all of my money out of the UK into the USA. It can only be a matter of time before the EU closes its borders to stop people fleeing, now that they have control of our borders via Frontex and Rabiit (I think that’s the acronym), which is why I am anxious to obtain a US passport before that happens. Ok, you won’t be the first to say I’m crazy, and that such things could never happen here, but well within Mr B’s short lifetime we have witnessed one of our fellow EU Member States machine-gunning its own citizens for the crime of trying to escape. Totalitarian regimes always have to keep their citizens in by force in the end. Always.

    • The EU wants more open borders not closed ones; thus allowing escape. It is individual nations that want closed or very tightly managed borders; as they should. The EU is often talked about as if it is a country. It consists of member States that up until the inclusion of the less open culture minded countries had much in common culturally and socioeconomically. The bigger it gets the more inhospitable the nation States will become towards both migrants and immigrants. Such talk on this topic has confounded immigration and migration. The two are not the same. It is not escape we want but a right to impose our own migrant and immigration rules so that though the EU is based on a collective the major laws of free movement of peoples must be left to each individual State. Free trade as in export and import does not need free immigration and migration laws to be effective.

    • “I cannot see why Mr C Briton, or anybody else for that matter, would want to keep the NHS, unless you actually like a morbidly politicised system of providing universal health care to third world standards.”…

      Well, I do not think it has to be that way.

      I see much of the problem being a vast over stretching of the role of the NHS (operations and procedures that should have no place on the system), an over stretching to be (in effect) the WHS (World Health Service) and that in my opinion both under Labour and the Conservatives it was being purposefully wrecked and ruined in order to sell it off piecemeal to private corporations with the people’s permission as they will be desperate to get something changed.

      I have my complaints about the NHS, just like everybody else.

      My elderly neighbour, for instance, recently had a fall on the top of the stairs, upon which they cut open their head, fractured the humerus and the wrist on the opposite side. An ambulance was called, but it took four and a half hours to actually arrive and take them off to hospital.

      Why did it take so long? One reason is that “cut backs” meant that ambulances are now shared with what used to be another area – and that there are fewer of them in commission. This is, in my view, financial incompetence of the general economy and not entirely a reflection on the NHS itself as an idea or entity.

      Another reason for the lateness was that it was Friday night – and they are busy dealing with the effects of drink and drugs in the surrounding towns. People falling unconscious, people being “glassed”, drunk men on estates beating up their wives or girlfriends and all the rest of it.

      The ambulance people said as much, and when my poor neighbour arrived at the hospital, there were people stumbling around drunk and trying to smash up the place being abusive to the staff. “This is what we have to put up with and spend some of our time having to deal with” they said.

      I think that the NHS was, largely, working very well before such chaos and insanity prevailed – and before they were performing operations such as those to make Muslim girls ‘virgins’ again, spending over £100 Million per year on translating documents, spending billions on imported AIDS and HIV cases, on diversity training courses and giving out prescription pills on a repeat basis to some communities like those in my area, who duly send the tablets out to Pakistan and Bangladesh where they are not so readily available or affordable. Understandable, but not good for the NHS and this country. It was not designed for all this kind of thing.

      That is not to say there are no problems with our own lot, such as the aforementioned drink and drugs. (Just like other groups do not help with a propensity for stabbings and shootings taking up so much time of the NHS).

      All in all, I think the NHS could be better when in a better structure of society as a whole. It is something I still value, especially when I see the costs of the alternatives.

      I have a chronic illness and I was looked after brilliantly with specialist doctors trained in that illness.

      I am lucky to still have an NHS dentist who is excellent at his job and extremely friendly. The last time I had work done I had to pay something like, I don’t know, £20 for the treatment and a check up.

      A friend of mine who is not on the NHS, had a tooth infection, some over-crowding of the teeth at the front and was recommended a tooth extraction, some injections and a set of braces on top and bottom. The cost for the treatment and care in the meantime, had he taken it, was going to be about £2,500, paid up front.

      In the end, he could not afford it and did not take it up. He just had something to sort out the infection.

      My mother has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is of course an awful degenerative brain disease. She is on all sorts of tablets to try and control it as best they can do. I would hate to think what kinds of costs would have been incurred on private doctors throughout the prior tests and the ongoing costs of tablets in the future.

      She, as well as my father, have paid small contributions into that system all their lives through their times of good health, which has in theory looked after other people in that time. Now they are getting some care and attention for doing so, when they are in need. I see nothing wrong with this and would prefer it to private systems whose main priority is payment and profit.

      People may mock the NHS and call it ‘third world’ – especially Americans – but aside from those things which I think could be fixed quite easily (if the will was there to do it) – I think we are lucky to have it and it is something I still happen value, as do many other people in Britain.

      If the kind of policies and societies being put forward by Mr Henderson were in full effect, I suspect that the NHS could improve and continue to improve.

      I also think that a sense of homogeneity is vital for such concepts to work, and that the NHS would never have got off the ground if it had been conceived in the kind of country we see today.

      I can appreciate the attitude that may prevail in America, for example, where one section of society, the traditional America, may reject the idea of helping to pay for the “new” Americans that are not as responsible and who, in many cases, resent, blame and loathe the traditional American populace.

      This may be the case here too in the future, even amongst our own sort, when they are going in for surgeries of their own making and own stupidity. I resent paying for the “international health service”, for example – but that is not what the NHS ought to be.

      It is not perfect, but I would not really want to see the NHS destroyed and made completely private. I would rather we aimed for the kind of country in which it could flourish.

      I am not saying I am right and that you are wrong, I am just offering my viewpoint.

  32. I fear you are mistaken. The European Union WAS a collective of Member States bound by inter-governmental treaties – until the introduction the the Constitution for Europe a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty. This abolished the EU and created in its stead an entirely new unitary state, also named the European Union. So everything looks the same but in fact it has changed fundamentally. We are now living in a new ‘country called Europe’ which derives its authority not from inter-governmental treaties, but from the Constitution itself, by which we are all bound.

    Yes it wants open borders within the EU, as it is now a single country, but it obviously wants to control all external borders, and that will ultimately give it the right to control movements in and out of the UK.

    You are correct to point out the confusion between migration and immigration, but the elephant in the room, which even our politicians are unaware of, is that all these pesky Romanians, Bulgarians etc who come to the UK are not immigrants. They are EU citizens, with the same rights and privileges as you or I. There is no such thing as ‘EU immigration’. We’re all Europeans now.

    • From 1 January 2014 Romanian and Bulgarian nationals have the same access to the labour market as any other European Economic Area (EEA) national (apart from those from Croatia who require worker authorisation).

      Like any other EEA national, those from Romania and Bulgaria can only stay in the UK for more than 3 months if they are exercising treaty rights as a worker, student, self employed or self sufficient person. Those not working or seeking work must be able to support themselves and their families and must have comprehensive medical insurance.

      EEA nationals who benefit from the right to free movement must adhere to the responsibilities this brings with it, and abide by UK laws. Anyone who does not meet the requirements for residence set out in the Free movement of persons directive will not have a right to reside in the UK and may be liable for removal, while those who engage in criminal activity could be deported.


  33. Mr Briton, you may be surprised to learn that I agree with everything you say about the NHS. But the problem is not incompetence, it is the fact that everything the NHS does is controlled by the government, so it ends up, like everything else in Britain, being utterly politicised.

    Let me give you a couple of examples from my own experience; I needed a wisdom tooth out. After waiting a few weeks I called the hospital, to find that they had sent the letter to my old address. Ok, that IS just incompetence. But the ensuing telephone conversations were illuminating. The receptionist said I would have to wait thirteen weeks for an appointment. I said why thirteen weeks? Why can’t you just give me the next available appointment? “It’s NHS protocol” came the bizarre reply. I told her what I though of that, paid a couple of hundred quid to a private clinic & the tooth was out in 48 hours. In the meantime, I got a call back from the hospital from some female manager who accused me of being rude to the receptionist. There ensued a most interesting conversation, during which she claimed that the hospital offered a very good service. I told her if she called that good service she and I were living on different planets.
    Then it hit me. She was absolutely right in what she said; the hospital WAS providing a very good service – to their paymasters the government. The government decrees that everyone must wait thirteen weeks, and the hospital religiously meets its targets and collects brownie points. Sod the patient.

    In a similar incident I took my 90 year old father to A&E one Sunday afternoon, complaining of abdominal pains. Luckily the A&E was empty, but we were told that nonetheless it would be two and a half hours before he could be seen. In my entire life I had never heard my father complain about feeling unwell (unlike me – if I’m ill the whole world knows about it), so I knew he needed attention. I ended up in the bizarre situation of arguing the toss with a phalanx of medics who were lined up against me behind the bullet-proof glass trying to convince me that in the interests of ‘fairness’ everyone had to wait two and a half hours. In the end I made such a fuss that they took him in right away. So they had to break the rules in order to treat a sick patient.

    It’s madness.

  34. Mises always used to say – that if goods were not allowed to cross borders, then people (and armies) would.

    And Enoch Powell used to say he supported free trade because he OPPOSED free migration. I remember him saying this at an event at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

    As for economic collapse – it takes a long time and then it takes a short time.

    Roman Civilisation was in decline perhaps from the fall of the Republic (what inventions happened under the Empire?), at least from the time of the Emperor Septimius Severus (the increase in spending could not be sensibly financed) – certainly from the reign from Diocletian (when government spending and regulations became insane) – a period of centuries.

    Yet when the barbarians finally overwhelmed the Rhine it took them only five years to take Rome.

    Civilisation had been “hollowed out” from within – the basic strength that Emperors such as Marcus Aurelius had called upon (to defeat previous invasions, simply was not there any more (although even in the time of Marcus Aurelius the strength that had faced down Hannibal under the Republic was no more – Hannibal had not even dared attack Rome directly, a city full of armed people well used to military life, it would have been madness to attack Rome in the days of Hannibal).

    On economic collapse I put as followers (when asked the other day).

    If a lilypad doubles in size every day and it takes it a hundred years to cover half a pond – how long does it take the lilypad to strangle the whole pond?

    One day.

    With government of this size (in most Western nations) it does not take long to strangle the rest of civil society.

  35. As a tangental point, I once learned something that has proved very useful; the ‘doubling rate’. Basically, if something increases by x per cent per annum, you divide x into 70 to get the time period it will take to double. So if inflation is running at five per cent p.a., it will take 14 years for the value of your money to halve. Or if house prices increase by 2 % p.a., in 35 years they will double. Don’t ask me why it’s 70. Something to do with the square root of two I think. If the Muslim population increases by 10% p.a., there will be twice as many Muslims in 7 years. If you apply this to immigration you get some pretty scary figures. 5% increase per year and there will be 120 million people on these islands in 14 years’ time. (I have no idea what the current rate is).

  36. Mr Henderson – some farmers have been protectionists at some times (yes indeed).

    However, Protectionism (or Mercantilism) was a theory of international trade – a theory mostly pushed by the Whig faction associated with the Pitt the Elder.

    Tory people were not much interested in wars to capture protected markets.

    Indeed such free trade thinkers as Sir Dudley North were Tory – that is why I mentioned them.

    Of course the biggest commercial farmer in the mid to late 18th century was most likely the Marquis of Rockingham – a Whig, but no great Protectionist (being of an opposing faction to Pitt the Elder).

    By the way – the theory that it is good for a Realm to engage in this sort of thing (interventionism in trade) goes back a long way.

    One can even find it in Fortescue (in the 1400s) – the idea that the Crown should try and maximise exports and minimise imports (the mercantilist fallacy).

    Fortescue feared that the nobility were not interested in this and other theories (if that is true – then the nobility were more sensible that Judge Fortescue) so he wanted the nobility out of the King’s council and experts (like himself?) put in their place.

    • Paul Marks – I can’t see how this strengthens your case in any way. All you are doing is giving me names of proto-free traders. For those operating after 1660, whether they might have been Tories nominally is irrelevant for the reason I gave in my first response to you: it is a fact that the Tories as a group were protectionist and the Whigs as a group favoured less protectionism. Incidentally, supposedly pro-free trade entrepreneurs of the early Industrial Revolution such as Josiah Wedgewood and Matthew Boulton prated on about free trade but lost their enthusiasm for it pretty damn quick when there appeared to be a chance of tariffs being reduced on merchandise they produced.

  37. Mr Henderson there is no case for Protectionism – none.

    If you choose to persist in your errors that it is your right. But it utterly incompatible with both libertarian principles and economic law.

  38. I still don’t see why it much matters whether the Tories were more or less in favour of free trade. What matters is that it is the correct policy, and protectionism, let alone autarky, is not the correct policy.

  39. Luckily I have a vast amount of economic theory and econometrics behind the assertion, Robert.

    But it’s also pretty simple to illustrate. If there are some range of products on the market, and the government enacts a policy of deliberately removing the ones which are the best value, it is obvious that this will be economically harmful, since consumers must now pay more for less (by being forced to purchase worse value items). That’s really all you need to know.

  40. Ian B – That is to reduce the world to nothing more than a series of vulgar material exchanges. There is far more to be human than that. Nor is it true that human beings are comfortable with such a sterile world. For example, there are extraordinary demand curves where people do not go for the cheapest either because they wish to spend a certain amount of a present or more importantly because they do not trust the quality of something because its price is so low. Best value is not an absolute measure but merely an opinion.

    There is also the broader societal question. A low wage economy caused by free trade is of no benefit to those whose wages are low, nor ultimately to people in general if the society becomes fractured by wealth and poverty to a dangerous degree. .

  41. A free trade economy is not a “low wage” economy. It is a high productivity economy, in which more is produced for the same income.

    There is nothing “sterile” about economic exchanges. They are how we get many of the good things in life; food, shelter, entertainment, clothing, etc.

    If people are seeking luxury goods, that’s a different motivation to maximal value, well understood by economists, but still a part of a free trade free market. What you shouldn’t do is force people to pay more for less, which is what protectionism does. Best value is a complex value judgement which is unique to the individual; only by allowing individuals to reach their own judgement as to what constitutes the best product can the economy function to serve consumers and provide them with the good things in life. It’s protectionism that produces low wages, because the currency unit can purchase fewer goods that the consumer desires.

    • Ian B – As a matter of contingent fact a free trade policy in a world where there are vast differences in wages will result in higher unemployment in wealthier states with a consequent lowering of wages. If mass immigration is included in the package, the wages will be lowered further and unemployment increase further.

      Economic exchange is sterile when it becomes the predominant ideological feature of a society.

      You ignore the greater societal goods of being self sufficient and of providing work for the native population.

  42. What “surrender” Mr Henderson?

    I was already aware that you knew nothing about economics and did not wish to learn (which is why it is a waste of time to talk to you about economics – as Ian is doing).

    But I did not know that your historical knowledge was also rather limited.

    Now I do know.

  43. Mr Henderson – you forget that I have discussed economics with you on other threads.

    It is not just that you nothing about the subject – honest lack of knowledge is not a reason not to discuss a subject with someone.

    However, it became obvious to me on other threads that you do-not-wish-to-learn. And I will not waste my time with someone who has no honest desire to learn – it would be like playing rugby with someone who insists on passing the ball forwards (even after he has been told that it is not what is done). After all the principle of free trade is not some obscure or minor matter – it is central to Political Economy. A Protectionist is no different than someone who claims that the Earth is flat, or that the Rothschilds rule the world (and should not be treated with more respect than such a person).

    This is why I believe Ian is wasting his time discussing economics with you.

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