I appreciate that this is a bit of a straw-clutching exercise, and that the idea of Corbyn being Prime Minister is still somewhat in the realms of fantasy – I remain hopeful and expectant that the public at large are wise enough not to fall for what is a Chavez-esque strategy of bribing the voters.
Maybe it is also a bit of psychological preparation just in case Corbyn follows Trump with a victory for populism. Believe it or not, there is quite a lot in common between Trump and Corbyn, politically. But this is not the blog post for that.
This is a nice simple list of reasons of why, in the event of a Corbyn victory, Conservatives can take at least a few crumbs of comfort. It is a more medium/long-term outlook. Also it does assume that Corbyn, McDonnell and co don’t go down the path of dictatorship – which some of their team have at the least alluded to.
We need an example of failure
Whenever you have an argument, it very much helps to have an example or two to back it up. So to have the argument against socialism, the two most natural examples to use would either be the United Kingdom in the 1970’s, or Venezuela now.
Except most people under 50 have neither memory of the disaster the union-controlled United Kingdom was in the 1970’s (known as the sick dog of Europe and needing to borrow money from the IMF), nor any education of it – for why would unionised Labour-voting teachers educate young people on the dangers of socialism?
And if I say ‘Venezuela’ to most people, they will just think about pleasant hot South American countries like Brazil, and not have any idea how the populist socialist giveaways of what was once South America’s most prosperous country have turned it into a basket-case of an economy, with shortages of food (Venezuelans are losing weight as there is not enough food), one of the highest murder rates in the world, and now the socialist government is refusing elections. All whilst having one of the highest oil reserves in the world. It is now a socialist dictatorship.
Now that took 20 years of ‘more socialism is the answer’. Even if Corbyn gets in, the chance of him making it that bad is small. So let’s take something more realistic. Rent caps were tried in the 1970’s. I can see why young people, especially in London, would see Corbyn’s proposals and think “oooh a few more glasses of prosecco”. Yet this was tried in the 1970’s and led to landlords not repairing properties and less rental properties on the market. Rent caps do not work. But nobody under 50 has any experience, and very few have ever looked into economic studies of the outcome of rent caps.
Even lefties like Vice understand rent caps don’t work.
So (finally) onto the point of this point. If Britain goes ahead and elects what I expect would be a Corbyn-led socialist disaster, we, and the rest of the western world would have this necessary example of what a disaster socialism is, which could be used for at least one, perhaps two generations.
It’s about time Labour made some difficult decisions
I’ll try to make this shorter. Here – have an infographic.
There is a pattern. Labour bust the economy, the Conservatives fix it. But fixing it means unpopular measures such as reducing benefits, increasing pension age, reducing police numbers. Labour can simply sit there, as they do every time, and disagree with every measure aimed at living within our means (aka austerity – the BBC-branded phrase to manipulate the voters in favour of Labour).
In case you haven’t noticed (both Corbyn and, worryingly, May are ignoring economics in this campaign) the job of repairing the economy is not even half fixed, such was the shambles handed over. The deficit still exists (though a third of what it was), debt is still rising and debt to GDP ratio is far too high for this junction of the economic cycle.
If Corbyn is elected, there will soon be economic difficulties – perhaps in the short-term only something such as higher interest rates for government borrowing. Whatever form it takes, Corbyn and yes – finally, Labour, would be forced to make some difficult and unpopular decisions.
Whilst I and hopefully a decent proportion of people reading understand that current unpopular decisions are due to Labour’s total mismanagement of the economy prior to the crash, many don’t understand – or simply refute it – blaming ‘evil Tories’ for any decision they don’t like that has been made to help balance the budget.
It really is about time the Labour Party had to take some responsibility for the mess they cause.
Brexit disaster can be blamed on Labour
For those of us who believe Brexit will be a disaster, it will be helpful to be able to blame Labour for the mess. Both parties are equally responsible for Brexit happening (perhaps Labour more given Corbyn’s total reluctance to campaign for the outcome he professed to desire – where exactly where your remain campaign rallies, Mr ‘I want us to remain in the EU, look I am so honest I even make my own jam’ Corbyn?), but if we are going to have a Brexit recession, better for the Conservatives that it happen under Labour.
I appreciate that for anyone capable of voting Conservative (ie not looking for an immediate handout of some description), a Corbyn government is a pretty bleak outlook.
But in the medium/long-term, there are at least a few crumbs of comfort.