The Father of Conservatism

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Herein lies the Ghost in the political machine of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke. Much like Max Weber arguing with the Ghost of Marx, this blog seeks to make relevant and where appropriate support or reject Burke's 'Reflections' against the backdrop of the disastrous New Labour experiment.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Brown's speaks to save not just his skin, but his Party

A nifty blow struck with a duel-edged sword from Gordon when he mentioned he's all for apprenticeships, but not up for a novice ruling the country, said in relation firstly to George Osborne supposed lack of experience in the economy, then secondly attacking David Miliband for any presumptive challenge to his tenure as PM.

I liked his speech centring around Fairness, which is a sharp distinction from each of the Obama and McCain platforms of the whimsical word of Change. People can more easily identify quickly with fairness than they can with change.

However, the problems may start coming thick and fast when the actual figures of funding such bold pledges such as free cancer drugs; free subscriptions for long term illnesses; free child care extended to two-year olds; and a free health assessment for everyone over 40. With borrowing set to double this year from £38billion to some speculating an almost £100 Billion sum, our country's debt deficit will plunge us onto bankruptcy.

The old-age solutions are either you raise more taxes, which are already too high and won't kick start the economy, or you cut public spending in a big way. Coupled with this is the problem of Britain's aging population overtaking births. With the demographic in the dependency ratio of workers-to non workers becoming a heavy burden it will most likely lead to a huge hike in taxes to pay for all the above.

Another problem is ideological on the ground of institutional care given to two-year olds, when from a conservative stand-point the family, private or religious groups should be provided better play, educational and social provisions.

One aspect I did find worrying but extremely valid, is the mention that laissez-faire and unregulated markets have been severely challenged after last week's global turbulence. Brown's position was certainly that of the centre ground, as he stated on a few occasions that he and his Labour party to be pro-market, although the poignant exclamation is that we may be witnessing a shift in how economy ideological foundations are run.

This will cause the Tory party, Mr. Cameron in particular, to look at what legacy Maggie Thatcher left on the party and re-think the arguments on all-out neo-liberal policies, but all the while clinging to the pillar that a free market makes a freer society, much like Gordon has tried to do today. All in all a rather impressive speech in rhetoric, but future policy may be diluted due to financial predicaments and our precarious state of borrowing – 8/10.

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