Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Coalition Should Look West And Jump Before Being Pushed

I have mentioned before that to see our authoritarian future one has only to cast a glance across the Atlantic.

It can be very depressing at times seeing Yanks lurch from one daft piece of oppressive legislation to the next, sure in the knowledge that some horrendous quangoista over here will notice, and be inspired to replicate it to our cost.

But if we really must endure a delayed transference of the illiberal stuff, let's hope to God (or whomever you put your trust in, could be Lady Gaga or Kevin Pietersen for all I care) that we also experience a fightback as is being effected by the Tea Party movement over there. If you've not come across them before, how about this for a libertarian ethos?

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.
And, in defiance of increasing government control, their influence is growing rapidly, as reported last month.

The number of people who say they’re part of the Tea Party Movement nationally has grown to 24%. That’s up from 16% a month ago
A recent poll notionally pitting Barack Obama against Tea Party icon Ron Paul concluded that Paul would lose by just a single percentage point, and in America's mid-term elections Tea Party candidates are enjoying significant success.

Rand Paul from the conservative Tea Party movement in the US has won the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky.

Mr Paul - whose movement is demanding lower taxes and a reduced government - comfortably beat Republican establishment favourite Trey Grayson with some 60% of the vote.
The Telegraph also reports on the upsurge in Tea Party fortunes.

The race was seen as a test of the new movement's political muscle. It already has helped prevent a senator from Utah, Bob Bennett, from becoming the Republican candidate because he was seen as insufficiently conservative. It has also forced Charlie Crist, the Republican governor of Florida, to leave the party and run as an independent after tea party favourite Marco Rubio took a large lead in polls for the Republican nomination.

Mr Paul told supporters his victory was "a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back".
Oh joy.

So how does this affect us, Dick, I hear you cry? Well, perhaps there's a message there for our own politicians that they are fast approaching the limits of their cosy, collective authoritarianism.

While the Great Repeal Bill is promising, ridiculous policies such as minimum alcohol pricing seem to suggest that nothing has really changed, as the Devil highlights.

What is the point of the Coalition introducing a Great Repeal Bill—designed to abolish thousands (ha! I bet it will be about ten) of "unnecessary" laws introduced by NuLabour—if they are simply going to replace those laws with other, even worse laws?

Dan Hannan proved that there is an appetite for a similar movement in the UK when forced to turn people away from a sympathetic meeting in Brighton, and such gatherings can only be bolstered if the coalition deliver nothing but hollow promises and empty rhetoric.

Clegg and Cameron may be enjoying a honeymoon period at the moment, but they should be keeping a close eye on events over the pond as what happens there has a historical habit of being reflected soon after in the UK.

As cuts bite, and the unavoidable (unless you're a lefty fantasist) difficult decisions start to make life uncomfortable for very many people, the coalition are going to need a sweetener if they are to survive their full term.

Might I suggest that a solid, and evidential, respect for personal freedoms - which would cost nothing to implement - may go a long way to calming an irritated public?

How about it, lads?


Curmudgeon said...

The LibDems have in the past been the usual repository for protest votes under a Conservative government, and over the years have won some spectacular by-election victories. But if voters in safe Tory seats are dissatisfied now, where do they turn to? Labour?? Or UKIP maybe...

rsw37 said...

I wish I could have as much faith in the tea party movement. Unfortunately from the comments I have heard from the supporters it seems that alot of the 24% only agree with the ethos if they add 'but only if it conveniences me'. They seem to be all for lower taxes but not for the necessary cuts to the government spending they enjoy to finance it. The day I hear them argue against farm subsidies, then I will believe.

Curmudgeon said...

"opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose."

Even defence, in extremis?

Dick Puddlecote said...

PC: As I understand it, yes. The Tea Party advocate swift withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan so I presume they subscribe to the premise of armed neutrality, that being to purely defend their own borders and natural interests.

JJ said...

A sea change on its way DP?...afterall what happens over there eventually happens over here.

Anonymous said...

"Might I suggest that a solid, and evidential, respect for personal freedoms - which would cost nothing to implement - may go a long way to calming an irritated public?"

They'll need us on side for us to swallow the cuts/taxes that are coming.