Boris Johnson: A Brief Evaluation
28th July 2019
I have been asked to comment on Boris Johnson’s appointment as Leader of the Conservative Party and therefore as Prime Minister. Since I recently called him “a bag of living offal,” my view is unlikely to be positive. However, I will try to be fair. More to the point, I will try to relate this latest turn of events to my general analysis of British politics.
Last month, I wrote that membership of the European Union was a peripheral issue for our ruling class. The main agenda for this class is to carry through a neo-Puritan remodelling of our institutions, and indeed our minds. The details of a customs and regulatory union are less important than control of education, the media and the criminal law. This being said, membership is useful so far as it blurs the lines of accountability. It is also an article of belief among some elements of the Ruling Class. For this reason, the verdict of the 2016 Referendum was unwelcome. It meant a diversion of effort from the main purpose. It upset various important people. The obvious solution was to give us a minimal departure that would satisfy us, but would keep in place those elements of the European Project that really are important to the Ruling Class. Read more
Sean Gabb on Scottish Liberty Podcast, 18th June 2019
Sean Gabb, former director of the Libertarian Alliance, Honorary Vice-President of the Ludwig von Mises Centre UK, and Director of the Centre for Ancient Studies joins us on episode 131 of the Scottish Liberty Podcast brought to you by Antony Sammeroff and Tom Laird.
The Conservatives: Useful Idiots or Unfit for Purpose?
15th June 2019
When the 2016 Referendum went unexpectedly to the Leavers, the Conservative Party was handed a golden opportunity. It had only to manage a reasonable withdrawal, and it could look forward to a generation of electoral hegemony. Three years later, we have still not left, and it is possible we shall not, and the Party is hovering on the edge of electoral oblivion. The question I find most interesting about these events is whether they can be explained as intended or as an effect of political incompetence.
I will begin with what I believe has been a loose Project unfolding through my entire life. Since about the 1960s, we have seen the rise of a new ruling class, committed to the transformation of Britain into a new sort of country. Because I have discussed the Puritan Hypothesis at some length here and here, I will now give only a summary. In short, the new ruling class wants to reshape our thoughts into its own conception of The Good. This means a long-term project of securing cultural hegemony through control of education and the media, and a shorter-term project of compelling us to act as if we already believed in the new order of things. Though I will emphasise that it is in no meaningful sense either Marxist or socialist, the overall Project has been carried through by a careful use of what Louis Althusser called the ideological state apparatus and the repressive state apparatus. Read more
Britain: A World Power Again, if by Accident?
(22nd December 2018)
In London, and it seems elsewhere, the political and media consensus is that Britain is in its weakest international position since the late summer of 1940. Because we have a government of fools, we are at the mercy of the French, the Germans, the Spanish, and even the Irish. If we accept Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, we become a colony of the European Union. If we withdraw our notice to quit, we suffer a different though probably equal humiliation. If we leave without any deal, we face some degree of economic disruption. Which of these options is worst may have some bearing on the lack of agreement within our political class – though which brings more or less advantage to any of the individual groups in Parliament also has much bearing.
I disagree with this consensus. I still regard Theresa May as our most incompetent and possibly treasonous Prime Minister in at least living memory. At the same time, we find ourselves with the greatest power to shape our destiny since 1938. It needs only minimal work from our diplomatic establishment, and minimal cooperation among our leading politicians. Let me explain. Read more
“Which if not Victory is Yet Revenge”
Thoughts on the Tory Apocalypse
by Sean Gabb
1st December 2018
As I write, those who demand a second referendum on the European Union seem ever more likely to have their way. Their argument is: that it is now two years since we were asked to vote on leaving; that no one expected the process of leaving to end in the present shambles; that we should be asked what we now think of leaving. These calls are an obvious fraud on the electorate. Since the Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the custom in Europe has been for any unfavourable referendum result to be followed by another vote, in which the preferred result is given. This was done to the French, the Dutch and the Irish. It is now being done to us. Read more
Theresa May: A Qualified Defence
15th September 2018
I am presently sat in a Turkish hotel, brooding over the e-mails I keep receiving from my Conservative friends. If some of them want Boris Johnson to replace her, and others Jacob Rees-Mogg, they all agree that Theresa May must go, and that this will somehow improve our departure from the European Union. I have no doubt she would make a better pole dancer than Prime Minister. But I am astonished that anyone with half a brain could want change from our existing state of affairs. It is not, I grant, the best possible state of affairs. It is, even so, the best available. Read more
A View from the Right
by Sean Gabb
27th August 2018
Seen from my point of view, on the libertarian right, there are at least three ways of looking at the alleged or real anti-semitism of Jeremy Corbyn. The first is that it is very, very funny. Since the 1970s, he and his friends have been whining about the horrors of racial prejudice. Now, every time he opens his mouth, he says something that upsets Jews – and that may legitimately be of concern to them. You tell me it is uncharitable if I fail to keep a straight face. The second is that the scandal is a distraction from the real issue in British politics. Next March, we are supposed to leave the European Union. Whether we shall or ought to leave with some kind of agreement is arguably more important than with whom Mr Corbyn shared a platform at the Conway Hall in 1987. These first two being noted, I will focus on the third, which is what impact he will have on the so far arrested realignment of English politics. Read more