A Thatcherite adrift in the 21st Century: @RColvile in the London Times of 10/03/21.

Old Socialist offers some selected paragraphs.

Note the collection of Topic Sentences, carefully brought to vivid life by our Adrift Thatcherite …

On Inter-connectedness :

The past two years have taught us a brutal lesson in how interconnected the modern world is: when a pangolin in Wuhan sneezes, we all catch something rather more serious than a cold. But the aftershocks are making the case clearer still. What is being referred to in Downing Street as the “Effing crisis” — the shortage of energy, food and fuel — is the inevitable outcome of switching off much of the world economy for almost a year.

The Yellow Peril in its most soft-peddled iteration, allied to a scolding about the World Economy, that had no choice but to recognize the Pandemic Reality as ineluctable!

On Supply Chains:

As the engine judders back into life, demand is surging — hence rising inflation — but supply channels are still choked or diverted. For example, when the Covid crisis hit, everyone cancelled orders for semiconductors. When the economy recovered, they all reordered at once. But you can’t pump out a year’s worth of chips in a few months. So now you can’t buy a new car for love or money.

The Supply Cain malfunction makes the argument for a revitalized indigenous manufacturing sector, as a question of survival.

On beyond the government’s control:

One of the dirty secrets of Westminster is quite how many things are entirely beyond the government’s control. For example, if the inflation we are seeing turns out to be permanent rather than transitory, it is alarmingly difficult to see what we could do. The traditional response would be to raise interest rates. But since the financial crisis, the West has signed a devil’s bargain to keep interest rates at or near zero — another huge economic factor that is largely out of ministers’ hands.

Inflation is the enemy of any possible attempt to ameliorate the Pandemic’s economic consequences, on the welfare of its citizens? The Neo-Liberal Swindle sees the Free Market, as the only valuable form of ‘knowledge’– its sine qua non.

On ‘Evergrande’

Which brings us back to Evergrande. After Xi Jinping’s decision to tighten lending rules, the company found itself attempting to pay down more than £200 billion in debt. As it slowly goes bankrupt, it is sending tremors through the financial system. Yet at the same time the end of the Chinese property boom may help break the fever in the commodity markets, with prices for iron ore in particular slumping. So Evergrande may end up hitting British growth— or saving us from the spectre of inflation.

Chinese Capital doesn’t just stumble …

On Surfing these global waves

Surfing these global waves is a tricky task for any government, especially post pandemic. But it is a particular challenge in the wake of the Brexit vote and the totemic promise to take back control.

Again, the lesson of The Pandemic demonstrates the necessity of the Nation State as the guardian of the welfare of its citizens! No matter how retrograde it appears to that Globalist Cadre.

On Immigration

Consider the issue of migration. With the end of free movement, we have moved to a points-based system for new arrivals. But what to do about those crossing the Channel in defiance of the rules?

Well, we can toughen enforcement or bribe the French to build camps on their side of the water. We can reduce the appeal of coming here by quashing any talk of amnesties or giving illegal arrivals the right to work. We could quietly relax checks on lorries to nudge migrants into taking a less dangerous route across. But ultimately there is no plan a home secretary can announce in the House of Commons that will halt the global flow of migrants or stop Britain, by virtue of its very success, being an attractive destination.

The ‘mass migration’ is due to:

Headline: At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror

Sub-headline: A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

The findings were published on Tuesday, weeks before the United States enters its 20th year of fighting the war on terror, which began with the invasion of Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001; yet, the report says it is the first time the number of people displaced by U.S. military involvement during this period has been calculated. The findings come at a time when the United States and other Western countries have become increasingly opposed to welcoming refugees, as anti-migrant fears bolster favor for closed-border policies.

The report accounts for the number of people, mostly civilians, displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria, where fighting has been the most significant, and says the figure is a conservative estimate — the real number may range from 48 million to 59 million. The calculation does not include the millions of other people who have been displaced in countries with smaller U.S. counterterrorism operations, according to the report, including those in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger.

Let me end my collection of quotations from Our Thatcherite with his version of political comedy:

Faced with empty petrol tanks, or a Christmas shortage of pigs in blankets, ministers may end up offering emergency visas to lorry drivers and butchers. But when the bakers and candlestick-makers come knocking, the government’s message is that they should do more to attract UK staff. As one insider puts it, “businesses have been drunk on cheap labour for decades”, and it’s time to sober up.


Old Socialist

P.S. Be sure to read Mr. Colvile’s essay at Politico Europe:


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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