As you may be aware, at the 2018 Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to end the supposed austerity programme that her party have been pushing for the last 8 years that they have been in power for.
In her conference speech, she vowed that in light of a good Brexit deal, she feels that a decade after the financial crash, the austerity supposedly done to combat it is over, and now all of the public’s hard work in that sense had ‘paid off’.
While such platitudes are nice, there is one problem: austerity never actually began in the first place.
Yes you read that correctly. Despite the endless propaganda by leftie talking heads and celebrities on countless panel shows and newsreels parroting such a point, austerity has never begun and never will, hence why announcing that you have ended it is self-fulfilment of the worst kind.
This is simply because actual public spending has not been cut of any kind. And yes, while some services have undeniably been cut back and staff have been lost (from the likes of the police and the army to our shame), public spending has never actually been cut. In fact, in some areas (most notably the NHS and foreign aid), public spending has actually increased, while other crucial areas (like the welfare state) have largely remained stagnant, continuing to push up our public debt to nearly unrepayable rates.
In fact, some economic estimates suggest that at this rate, it shall take until the 2060s to reduce the national debt levels to pre-2008 levels, partially due to the slow economic growth of Britain at this point, not to mention our out of control spending.
So why have we been endlessly lied to by the left and the media about this? It’s obvious: an obvious lie they can push to demonise their supposedly right wing opponents to rally the public against them despite the potential benefits that it can bring. This has been done numerous times with President Donald Trump in the United States, and it’s no different here.
It’s this ridiculous idea that it is taking away more from ordinary people but in reality it is giving them more independence economically and making sure our country is not either going to go insolvent or become heavily indebted, leaving future generations paying off the burden.
Then again, leftism is by design based on selfish policies of keeping people dependent on the state disguised as unending altruism for the masses, all the while further limiting their independence and freedom. Some parts of the economy have to be under the public purse to be sure (I feel for example there is a good argument for renationalising the water industries of England, given the rest of the UK’s water services are publicly owned) but this idea that the state can solve everything is both laughable and by its nature selfish: it leaves people dependent, and keeps them from pulling themselves up to build a better life, all the while leaving everyone else to pay it off for generations to come.
But the truth remains as clear as day: despite endless promises to reduce the debt and cut public spending, the Conservative Party have done the exact opposite, leading to Great Britain being in a dire strait economically. Instead of actually behaving like a fiscally conservative, they have taken the Reaganomic approach: slow the growth of public spending (via getting the deficit down partially), albeit not actually cutting the debt in any meaningful way, leading to a higher public debt than before.
Hell, former Chancellor George Osborne became even Keynesian with his economics through the approval of continued quantitative easing from the prior Labour government to ease economic woes, something not seen by the Conservative Party since the days of former Prime Minister Edward Heath.
Meanwhile, endless privatisation of public services has been in order, regardless of whether it has suited or not (like the NHS), all the while priorities have been out of whack. When Remploy factories (of which employ disabled people, one former employee I met recently) are seemingly needlessly closed under the guise of so-called ‘austerity’, all the while foreign aid increases to leading civil servants not knowing what to do with it, or better yet giving it to the likes of Ethiopian pop groups or Chinese anti-smoking initiatives, it leaves one sick to their stomach.
This is especially weird given that our European neighbours in Ireland actually were stringent in cutting back public spending than we were, cutting theirs by 10% and having better economic growth than us. Historian David Starkey explains such disparity here.
And this isn’t just some tin foil wearing conspiracy theorist going nuts, far from it. Lord Nicholas Macpherson (who served as the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury between 2005 to 2016) bluntly laid plainly that we haven’t had austerity, all the while increasing public spending in areas such as the triple lock on pensions for example.
Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne went as far to call austerity a ‘myth’, and perhaps more embarrassingly, journalist Melanie Phillips laid out on Question Time how the government had only cut the ‘projected rate of increase of spending’ not actual spending, all the while laying out a better financial plan and budget than George Osborne himself.
As a person who has recently joined the Conservative Party (and no, not as someone to weed out Theresa May and then leave once membership expires, but as a more serious member planning on staying on long term) it initially confused me as to why we haven’t been more fiscally conservative than we could be.
After all, previous Conservative chancellors who implemented such policies, most notably the likes of Neville Chamberlain, Rab Bulter and Nigel Lawson, have led to great economic success and recovery for Great Britain in the past. There is no legitimate reason we as a party can not do fiscally better in a conservative fashion.
But there is a more cynical, electoral reason as to why the Conservative Party doesn’t behave in a more fiscally conservative manner. Given the increased reliance of the public sector over the past few decades, any attempt to rein them back at this point would be massively unpopular and would lose votes at an alarming rate. As journalist Peter Hitchens put it:
As a country, we will not look in the face, no political party and Michael Heseltine is quite right, no political party could stand and say we will cut the National Health Service. They’d lose the election. No political party will stand and say we will cut the welfare state to an affordable level. They’d lose the election. Alright, don’t let the government do it. Let it happen through inflation and national decline.
It is sadly true. The seeds set by former Labour Prime Minister Clement Atlee with such service after the war in 1945 have become rotten, and until any major political party can acknowledge that, we are doomed to further economic failure for years to come. We have truly dark days ahead indeed.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)