THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Why I have nothing to say about the new PM
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Nurse Ratchet

Yes, I know the movie character was Ratched. Bear with me. According to Wikipedia, she is also;

a popular metaphor for the corrupting influence of institutional power and authority in bureaucracies

She's a symbol of what I want to write about today and her name echoes the essential problem. 

Sir Keith Joseph was a key influence on what became known as Thatcherism. He coined the phrase ratchet effect to describe the way in which each new Socialist government moved policy leftwards, whereas a Conservative government never moved it back. If the UK State was a car, then the Labour Party was the accelerator (gas pedal), the Conservative Party was the brake and there was no steering wheel.

The direction of political travel was never in doubt and only the speed could be adjusted by the electorate. Sir Keith's point, well-taken by Margaret and constantly railed at by Tory wets was that the ratchet had to be broken if the Conservatives were actually to move towards their goals. For all that Leftists call themselves "progressives" (perverting the language as they love to do in order to thwart honest discussion) real human progress should be in quite another direction.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the end result of the ratchet effect must be that everything either belongs to the state or is under state control. Democratic Socialists and Communists have always had the same ultimate goal. The former are just more patient. They will cheerfully discuss each step of the journey with the electorate, as long as the planned route never changes. All it takes to see the destination is to zoom out a little and observe the completely consistent direction they and all their predecessors have taken. 

Margaret's achievement in breaking the ratchet was significant. For a while, though she had no such intention, the Left even feared that it had been reset so that the wheel would turn the other way. Tony Blair certainly felt the need to reassure voters that Thatcher's reforms would not be endangered by electing the Labour Party under his leadership. He even claimed to be her ideological heir; a bold lie even by political standards. 

It has been clear for some time however that Sir Keith's ratchet has been refurbished, well-oiled and set back as it was before Thatcher. This is why, as I made clear in my last post, I had no interest in the Conservative Party's choice of new leader. It turns out I was wrong that it didn't matter at all, however. The choice of the political naïf Truss has at least shone a searchlight on the situation. She tried to be a sort of Thatcher mini-me and failed dramatically. At the first hint of any movement rightwards, all hell broke loose. Even though another self-absorbed leadership contest will surely scupper the Tories for the foreseeable future, her position is already in doubt. 

I am not sure if it needs a conspiracy theory to explain why a nation that keeps voting Conservative keeps moving leftwards. I don't believe there are dark cabals planning it. I don't think they're even needed. Someone like me, who believes – along with my namesake – that 

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

is simply never going to apply for employment by a state as huge and pervasive as the UK's.

I have horrified state employees in conversation by saying, in perfect truth, that my conscience would not allow me to sleep at night if I had their job. Not because what they do each day is necessarily always bad, but because every penny they are paid to do it has been taken from others by force. My proudest boast is that every penny I ever earned came from contracts freely entered into by clients with choices. If I had ever worked for the state, that would not be true. 

So it's not surprising that, when the state apparatus has grown to be – as it is in the UK – a gorilla in a flea circus, that the people working for it are broadly in favour of a state on such a scale. No conservative or classical liberal could possibly wish for that, but it's the highest aspiration of a Leftist. So the Prime Minister may be "Conservative", her cabinet may have some "Conservatives", and the electorate may be mostly conservative by instinct, but the state apparatus rolls leftwards regardless. It's going to take leadership by someone with more of a personality than Truss to take on that mighty foe and win.


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Yes, I do understand.


Thank you. I only wish I could see the point of posting more often.

I post to advocate for a better, freer, Britain. I have to believe there’s *some* prospect of that to summon up the will to do it.


One day, we may look back and say that allowing our children to be “suitably indoctrinated” was the great failure of our lives. Thatcher went for the mining unions. She should have gone for the teaching unions — both in secondary and higher education. The educational “blob” is our civilisation’s greatest foe.


"I don't believe there are dark cabals planning it." Hmm. Sunak was supposed to win the first contest but the ordinary folk weren't having it and Truss won. Cue concerted campaign to get rid of her: BoE, IMF, POTUS or those working him from behind, and her own CINO MPs and she goes.

BJ sees an opportunity for a comeback and rushes back to the UK declaring himself a candidate. Suddenly he withdraws ( the people who Dubceked him in 2020 anything to do with it?). And now the way is clear for the Appointed (anointed) One, a man with no obvious loyalties to the country of which he is to be prime minister.

Sorry; just a conspiracy theory.

OT, Wish you'd post more often Tom, like the old days.

John Miller

Did I blink at the wrong moment? Did we really have a Prime Minister for a few seconds before the wheels of the Lefty Mincer ground into action and crushed her out of existence? I despair. On the other hand, I’m old enough to give up and crawl into a shell. My children will flourish as they have been suitably indoctrinated and will put up with circumstances which would have had me out on the streets…
I see no solution that doesn’t involve bloodshed and anarchy, even supposing anyone cares about what is going on, until their TV sets stop working or their mobile phones won’t recharge. God help us all.

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