THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Truth, morals and democracy
Two disappointing conversations

Their ideology is envy and their policy is theft

In comfortable, middle-class West London I am surrounded by the smug. The local websites recently erupted in prissy anger, for example, at the notion that the site of a local scrap yard (I am surprised we still have one) is to be redeveloped as apartments. "It's not green" or "it should be social housing", mewl the ninnies, when the truth is that it's their precious house values they fear for. To hell, then, they think (but don't say) with the young people of London, few of whom can aspire to buy a home when the average price is 12 times the average earnings. Let them live like students (or in council housing) for the foreseeable future.

This preachy hypocrisy; this show of being concerned about the greater good when actually being more selfish that would be tenable for anyone driven by the market, is perhaps the most irritating thing about my neighbours. Would that it were the only thing.

All of them are left-wing of course. Even the Conservatives. I briefly rejoined the party I left when Mrs Thatcher was betrayed, only to leave again when I found myself in company with people to the left of any Labour government we have so far endured. Their babbling about identity politics (playing into the hands of the Left in its quest to divide and rule) was bad enough, but the final straw was to hear them talk about rent controls and caps on the sale price of land for development. What is the point of a Conservative Party that neither respects equality before the law (the basis of justice), nor private property (the basis of economic civilisation) nor presses for a freer market (the basis of prosperity) at every opportunity? If you think the state knows better then join the Labour Party, which at least is honest about it. Its members are economically-illiterate and ethically deficient, but they are not hypocrites.

I would rather drink with a man or woman who tells me openly that they would seize ownership of private schools (socialism) than with someone who would leave them in private hands but direct their use to state ends (fascism, and now – apparently – Toryism). Both are Socialists. Both are wicked and wrong but at least the Labourites are not hypocrites (except of course when they send their own children to private schools). Once they know you are their ideological enemy, they are actually refreshingly open in their hatreds and very clear about wanting to use state violence on you.

I am engaged to be married and the next Mrs P elect finds it embarrassing when I kick off at parties about politics. She may have a point. My smug, bourgeois, lefty pals like to use me as entertainment by bringing over naive Corbynites and introducing me as being "to the right of Ghengis Khan". Though Ghengis was far to the left of me economically and far to the right of me socially, I play along. I do so mainly for the delight of telling them to their faces – at least once – the truths our polite society conceals.

They think themselves morally superior when in truth their ideology is nothing but envy and their policy is nothing but theft. They preen, strut and talk of their "values" when they have no solution to any problem other than to seize by main force the product of others work. In their quasi-religious zeal they love to hate heretics too. You can see in their eyes just how much they want to punish you for your refusal to see their puffed-up banditry as kindness and their emotional venom as love.

I particularly enjoy being introduced, as I was at a friend's birthday party recently, to a lifelong denizen of the public sector. Oh how she disdained my life of wealth-creation; earning only from contracts freely entered into by clients with many other choices. How ethically-superior she considered her own life of "public service", unsullied by the vile word "profit". How horrified she was when I explained that my conscience would never allow me to sleep easily if I were in her shoes. If every penny I had ever received had been taken by state violence from productive fellow-citizens, I would be ashamed. Why wasn't she? The look in her eyes was a delight. Burning hatred replaced the initial shock and after calling me a fascist (though I could scarcely be further from that and though she is far closer to it) off she went to rebuke our hostess for inviting so vile a guest. 

In fairness, she was brought over by a fell0w-Labourite specifically for this treatment. He found it entertaining. I shall die proud knowing that she, and a bunch of other such ethical degenerates, heard the truth at least once in their parasitical lives. But for the comfort of my fiancee I shall have to eschew such pleasures in future – except here of course, where sadly few of them are likely to venture.

Gentle readers, please take up the torch.


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Thanks for your concern. My fiancée and I have not rushed into this. Respect for each other’s sensibilities, if mutual, is a good thing but rest assured neither of us will have to try to be anyone different!

David Bishop

I share your quiet fury at the inanity of bein-pensant socialists (of all shades from deep-red Labour to pale-pink ‘Conservative’). I can add nothing to your trenchant analysis or to William’s fine comment.

I have effectively left Britain. Having worked and lived as an expatriate in the Gulf for most of my working life, I have now retired to SE Asia, where my wife is from, where the cultural mores are much more traditional and with which I am much more comfortable. Have I in effect abandoned England, even though my daughter and her husband and their children are there (though my son is now based in Hong Kong)? Perhaps, though today I wear a poppy and hold silence.

I appreciate that my choice to leave may not suit those who, like you, have elected to return/stay, but I fear that the inexorable slide of the West into a trough of decadence and socialism will only worsen, as such cycles in the rise and fall of cultures tend to do over centuries. What is painful to witness is the blinkered attitude of the supposedly well-educated at those dinner parties whom you describe so vividly, but it is an indicator of the incremental and insidious shift in the Overton Window towards ever more collectivism and state violence.

My I also congratulate you on your engagement? And in that context, I hope you will forgive a word out of turn. You mention your fiancee’s embarrassment when you “kick off on politics” and that you propose to self-censor in future. While I understand your motives for wishing to please her, and wish you every success in your new relationship, I do hope that your fiancee’s embarrassment does not into turn into your wife’s displeasure and thus adversely affect your relationship. I have witnessed such at first hand, and it was the beginning of the end for the relationship. While I wished Prince Harry all joy in his marriage, I have a concern that he has papered over the significant cultural differences with his wife, and that cracks will in time appear, cracks which might come to fracture the marriage. I sincerely hope that my concern is utterly wrong – about his situation and yours.


I empathize. As an American, when I lived in Canada on two occasions (for seven years) I encountered the same when explaining the classical liberal world view to the socialists among whom I lived, to the point at which my wife despaired of attending dinner parties. I found no one in the neighborhoods in which we lived, or circles in which we associated, remotely understanding of my perspective. I'm sure I made not a dent in their hermetically-sealed insularity. Even my wife didn't truly understand my explanations of America as offering much greater liberty and economic opportunity until we moved here.

I read this piece and your essay on antisemitism this morning. I worked in London in the early '90s for three years, departing just as the boom was commencing in '95. I lived as an expat in Kensington and thought of making London my permanent home at the time, such was my affection for it. Instead, I returned to the U.S. for graduate study and never looked back.

Returning nearly 20 years later, and having spent a great deal of time there since 2015 on business and at leisure (nearly five months over three years), I'm appalled at the statism that seems to saturate every aspect of life, the media, entertainment, and even swathes of business, and the depressing inability of the Conservatives to make a case for the humanity of the market economy. When employment in the public sector constitutes a majority of jobs, you've reached a point of no return, I suppose.

Britain has a special place in my heart. It pains me to see the fecklessness of the political class there, particularly galling in the party of Mrs. Thatcher, and the horrifying prospect of a Labour government as totalitarian in its impulses as the party of Soviet agent Michael Foot or anyone who preceded him.

Please continue to use the phrase "state violence" outside of your fiance's earshot with those who advocate for Leviathan. You're doing holy, if frustrating, work. And congratulations on your impending marriage. I discovered your blog via Samizdata last year and enjoy your writing. It's a pleasure to encounter kindred spirits in this manner.

James Higham

The Uniparty is alive and sick in the Metrop.

Ian Grey

What CherryPie said!


Congratulations on your engagement :-)

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