As has become my practice in the past year or so, I want to share with you an article by someone other than myself.
Many of you are probably aware that in the recent British general elections, the conservative Tory Party won a stunning victory over the liberal/socialist Labour Party. The British mainstream media blamed the Labour Party loss on the Tory promise to go thru with “Brexit”—the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.
That was admittedly a factor, but not the main one.
The British mainstream media is as left-leaning as the U. S. media. (You might not think that possible, but it’s true.) The British media—print, radio, and TV—is totally supportive of socialism and the politicians who advocate it. It demonizes politicians, government officials, and public figures who oppose it.
The British media has portrayed the conservative victory much as the U.S. media portrayed the election of Donald Trump in 2016. They presented it (and continue to present it, even today) as the action of a bunch of ignorant people who didn’t understand what they were doing.
This article was written by Spencer Wright, who works for an Austin, Texas, company called Halbert Wealth Management. It was published in the Dec. 24, 2019, issue of Halbert’s weekly newsletter called Forecasts & Trends.
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Socialist Party Crushed in Latest British General Elections
By Spencer Wright
As you likely know, the United Kingdom recently held a general election where Boris Johnson and his conservative Tory Party delivered, as the Brits would say, a thumping to the liberal/socialist Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. What you may not know is why.
The mainstream media would have us believe that the only reason Johnson won was because of his position on Brexit. And yes, by handing the Conservatives an impressive majority, the British people very clearly voted to leave the European Union… again.
It’s true that Brexit was a big issue. Johnson and the conservatives ran a narrowly focused campaign with “Getting Brexit Done!” as the centerpiece – along with themes of national security, safety and funding for the National Health Service. It was a simple and straightforward message.
Which, by itself, might have delivered Johnson a majority in Parliament—but certainly not the massive 66 seat majority he ended up with. Like the US election which everyone had already conceded to Hillary, no one saw this coming. The 2019 election was the worst defeat for the Labour Party since 1935. It leaves Johnson and the Conservative Party with their biggest majority in nearly 40 years.
So, what was it beyond Brexit that drove British voters? The answer is straightforward: The refutation of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s socialist agenda.
Over the years, the Labour Party has swung back and forth from being a center-left party to outright socialism. One of the most successful Labour Party Prime Ministers was Tony Blair (a name that is familiar even to many Americans), who moved Labour away from socialism and toward the center. He even re-named the party “New Labour” to distance it from the past. In so doing, and espousing modern but not socialist policies, Blair won a staggering majority of 167 seats in 2001 – the biggest in the post-war period.
Today, however, Tony Blair’s centrist New Labour Party is long gone. It was replaced by Jeremy Corbyn and his cabal of extreme leftists. But Corbyn and his socialist gang were met only with humiliation at the ballot box in this year’s elections.
And it wasn’t because Boris Johnson and the Conservatives ran the perfect campaign. In fact, quite the contrary. Johnson is actually something of a “gaffe machine” on the order of our own Joe Biden.
No, Corbyn and the Labour Party were resoundingly defeated largely because of the party’s extreme socialist agenda.
The Labour Party’s Extreme Socialist Agenda
Corbyn and the Labour Party put forward the most leftward reaching manifesto in a generation, calling it a “Radical Change”. And it was radical all right—a seemingly endless list of profligate spending programs and initiatives.
While Johnson focused on Brexit and free-market policies, Corbyn tried to make it a climate-change election. Labour promised a million new climate jobs in every region of the UK. This would, they said, kick-start a “Green Industrial Revolution” that would aid in the global climate “emergency.”
Does this sound at all familiar to you? It should, because it closely mirrors Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s own “Green New Deal.” In fact, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter. No surprise there.
Labour also promised the building of 150,000 low cost homes within a five-year time frame (at enormous cost), an immediate 5% pay raise for government employees, and automatic raises thereafter—plus a massive increase in the national minimum wage.
There were more socialist programs and promises, of course, because when you’re spending someone else’s money there is simply no limit to it. For example, free Internet for all. Really?
And how would all this (and more) be paid for? First, by nationalizing a sizeable piece of British Telecom. Mr. Corbyn and his socialist henchmen would like nothing better than to roll back the privatization of Britain’s public utilities. They believe that those assets are better off in government hands than in the private sector.
Can you imagine Bernie Sanders saying that we should nationalize a big chunk of AT&T in order to give free Internet to everyone in the U.S.?
Fortunately, the British people weren’t having any of it. Johnson smashed right through the Labour Party’s previously-impenetrable “Red Wall” (an area of Northern England that is like the US “Rust Belt”). The Conservatives won seats they have not held for decades. Not only did the Labour message not resonate with voters in these Red Wall areas, British voters in general felt disconnected from the current Labour Party.
In addition to the British people rejecting his policies, Jeremy Corbyn is resoundingly disliked. He is rabidly anti-American, anti-Capitalist, an alleged anti-Semite and a class warrior. He also supports Hamas and even invited its leaders to the UK as a friend of the Parliament.
Do any of these characteristics sound familiar? I think it’s safe to say that most Americans don’t harbor these feelings and beliefs and do not endorse socialism. However, these feelings and beliefs do exist within the AOC crowd in Congress known as “The Squad.”
Lessons for Americans from Across the Pond
So, this wasn’t just an election about Brexit. Although Brexit played a significant part, this was the British electorate standing up against the elitist radical-left policies of the liberal/socialist Labour Party. This election was a refutation of those policies and sentiments. And predictably, the left and their allies in mainstream and social media were stunned at the outcome.
Let’s hope that if the American people are ever faced with such a choice, they will respond with the fortitude shown by our cousins across the Atlantic. For now, I believe they will.
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LAF Comment: Although I think this article is an excellent analysis of what I believe will be a historically significant event, I am disappointed with Mr. Wright’s final paragraph. He implies that if, at some vague and unspecified date in the future, the American electorate faces a choice between capitalism and socialism, we will react with the resolve our British cousins did.
In my opinion (standard disclaimer), we face that choice today. The current group of hopefuls for the Democrat Presidential nomination are trying to “out-socialist” each other. Each one is trying to offer more free “stuff” to the electorate than the others—free health care, free education all the way thru college or trade school, a guaranteed job, a guaranteed income, a house or apartment to live in, a secure retirement.
None of them have offered a free new car every year, but that may well be coming. After all, we still have more than ten months before the election. What then? A free yacht? An all-expense-paid vacation in Hawaii every year?
Meanwhile, without getting caught up in abstract concepts like racism, white privilege, and gender identity, let’s look at what Donald Trump has really, provably done for the U.S. electorate.
- He’s given us what is arguably the best economy in the history of the U.S. It’s certainly the best economy since the post-WW2 boom of the Nineteen Fifties. Unemployment (especially for minorities) is at historic lows. More than five million jobs have been brought back to the U.S., jobs that Barak Obama said were never coming back. Wages are increasing and companies are paying bonuses for the first time in a decade.
- He withdrew the U.S. from the disastrous Iranian Nuclear Agreement that guaranteed Iran would get nuclear weapons within fifteen years and prohibited the U.S. from taking any action to prevent it.
- He withdrew us from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trade agreement that sent tens of thousands of U.S. jobs to Mexico and Canada. In its place, he negotiated the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which brought many of those jobs back to the U.S.
- He cancelled our participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a NAFTA-type trade agreement that would have sent tens of thousands of U.S. jobs to Japan, Korea, and China.
- In addition to the USMCA, the first phase of a trade deal with China will go into effect on January 1, just three days from now.
- He instituted a foreign policy that informed the rest of the world that the U.S. would no longer be either the rich uncle or the policeman to the world. He told the member nations of NATO that they had to start paying for their own defense. He told nations like Saudi Arabia, nations with billions of dollars a year in income (much of it from the U.S.) that we would no longer pay for their defense. He has started withdrawing us from wars in which we have no national security interest.
- Despite Democrat efforts to stop him, he has reduced the invasion of the southern states by illegal aliens, terrorists, drug cartels, and criminals to barely twenty percent of what it was during the Obama Administration. He’s building a wall that will further reduce illegal entry by foreign aliens.
- For the first time since the Nineteen Thirties, the U.S. is a net exporter of oil and natural gas. The domestic price of gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oil is barely sixty percent of what it was during the Obama years.
So in my opinion, we’re not going to face the choice between capitalism and socialism at some vague, unspecified date in the future. We’re going to face it on November 3, 2020. That’s the day we decide whether the greatest, freest, most prosperous nation in the history of the world will continue moving forward, or we roll the calendar back to Nineteen Eighty-four.