Beginning to respond to DK

Left Outside may think that I write “utter bilge” but then that is because he is insane.

A brilliant start to a blog post I’m sure you’ll agree. But unfortunately DK is taking aim at the wrong guy.

I just don’t think what he thinks I think, and I think there’s little too no evidence on this blog to suggest I think what he thinks I think, so I don’t know where he thinks he got the evidence to make his accusation about what I think (phew).

DK think’s I’m insane…

…because [Left Outside] is one of those who think that the ridiculous socialist democratic experiment that continues to be wrought upon this country can, in any way, carry on.

Which just isn’t true.

Firstly, you’ll find precious little evidence on this blog for me supporting Brown. Likewise no matter who is elected very little will change when compared to the great changes the country saw in, say, 1919, 1945-51 or the early 1980s. Labour will be the least shit in my view, but only because I have a very low opinion of the Tories. [1]

Accusing me of being someone who wants this “ridiculous socialist democratic experiment” to continue makes little sense in this context.

There’s also a series of errors before DK comes to New Zealand which I will now address.

This is what gets me about those on the “decent” left [I am not of the decent left – LO]: they somehow seem to think—in a way that is almost comically deluded—that our government can keep on spending nearly £200 billion more than it takes in tax…

Deficit spending in times of recession is nothing controversial but it seems DK is suggesting that I think deficit spending should be constant and always.

Not so, I’ve written that I think that the budget deficit was too large entering the recession. A lesser man would call Carter-Fuck.

…they continue to think that, somehow, yet more money can be squeezed out of the very tiny number of very rich people to prop up the left’s ailing socialist state…

I agree that squeezing someone until the pip’s squeak isn’t a great way to raise money. But there are entirely mainstream reasons to think that higher taxes on the wealthy increase revenue.

…to these morons, the state can just happily carry on spending vast amounts of money and employing huge numbers of pointless bureaucrats without there being any bad consequences.

You’ll have notice that “I” have long since become plural and that “I” think some odd things when subsumed into DK’s caricature of the left.

There is a problem with the size of the state, or rather some parts of the state are too big.

A large deal of this is an obsession with managerialism over workplace democracy and outsourcing which New Labour have taken to with gay abandon. LEA and PFI are not particularly welcome, but the NHS most definitely is (I think I need to join Acronym’s Anonymous).

Worse still are those on the left who think that all of this can continue and for us to see an increase in civil liberties. They are, to a man and woman, absolutely barking.

Sigh.

From 1950 to 1980 State spending (but not state consumption, which is something different all together) rose from around 35% of GDP to 45%.

In this period homosexuality was legalised, the pill became widely available as did abortion, women and men gained more control over their bodies than they had ever before.

A series of at times unpopular but precious freedoms were instituted. Not only did many things about our society get more liberal as the state grew, but society became more liberal while the state grew when we were faced with a true existential threat in the shape of the Soviet Union.

The size of Labour’s state has not led to authoritarianism, it is not that simple (Likewise the link between state action and the growth of racism is not straight forward as some on the right pretend).

So what made DK pour forth such tired clichés which in no way describe my politics?

Being a charitable Devil, I like to imagine—in my more sanguine moments—that all of the above occurs simply because they cannot see another way through. Which is why I like to link to articles like this one by ex-New Zealand minister Maurice P. McTigue. The whole thing is so good that I would love to quote it in full—instead, I shall simply highlight some particularly striking passages, starting with McTigue’s illustration of the plight that led to New Zealand’s wholesale rehabilitation.

Oh… He’s trying to educate me!

He goes on to discuss a very interesting article on New Zealand. This is a country I was planning on writing on anyway so I’ll give it more time at a later date.

The second half of DK’s post (admittedly mostly written by ex-New Zealand minister Maurice P. McTigue) is far better and quite interesting, so do read his original post, just skip the beginning.

[1] Ideally I’d like to see Brown ousted as part of a Labour/LibDem Coalition government who repeal a whole raft of laws and usher in a glorious new Jerusalem, while balancing spending decreases with tax code simplification and kittens for all. Oh, and the Tories further implode. I am not holding my breath.

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Hmm…

26th February 2009 – Tim Worstall on paying the pension Fred Goodwin’s contract entitled him to:

It may not have been a very good contract, it might be that we or you or even they wish it had not been signed in the form it was, but it is indeed a contract.

And tearing up contracts, abandoning the rule of law, is really not an action or activity that is going to help us in the future.

8th March 2010 – Tim Wortall on paying the redundancy pay Civil Servants’ contract entitle them to:

People that it’s almost impossible to fire insisting that they get vastly better redundo than people that you can fire.

I think this is one of those strikes worth breaking, don’t you?

The right can be quite keen on contracts, except when workers bargain decent conditions for themselves, then they’re dreadful things.