Britain’s Election: Theresa May’s political incompetence carries a high price

Britain’s Election: Theresa May’s political incompetence carries a high price, by Theodore Dalrymple.

It did not help that [Theresa May] had the charisma of a carrot and the sparkle of a spade. As she presented herself to the public, no one would have wanted her as a dinner guest, except under the deepest social obligation. Technically, she won the election, in the sense that she received more votes than anyone else, but few voted for her with enthusiasm rather than from fear of the alternative.

Her disastrous campaign included repeated genuflections in the direction of social democracy. Even after her defeat, moral if not quite literal, she burbled about a society in which no one was left behind — never mind that it would entail a society in which no one would be out in front, that is to say, a society resting in the stagnant pool of its own mediocrity.

Unfortunately, egalitarianism is a little like Islam in that, just as a moderate Muslim can always be outflanked by someone more Islamic than he, so an egalitarian can usually be outflanked by someone more egalitarian than he: and in the contest between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, no one will ever believe that the Conservatives are more devoted to equality of outcome than the Labour Party. May therefore chose her battleground with a perfect eye for defeat.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the election was the recrudescence of the politics of envy and resentment. … But the only solution ever heard to these problems … is more government expenditure. …

The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn radiated dislike of the prosperous, even the modestly prosperous. …

None of this worried the young, who had as yet no stake in property, only what are sometimes called ideals. The Labour Party offered them and others the beguiling vision of living perpetually at the expense of others — Frédéric Bastiat’s definition of the state. The Laffer curve meant nothing to them; punishing the prosperous was more important and gratifying than understanding how to maximize tax receipts.

Theresa May was Malcolm Turnbull in skirts, by Andrew Bolt. Both called an early election, campaigned lazily and with much waffle, and nearly lost. Turns out they were “getting the same dud advice from the same campaign advisors” — the Liberal Party’s chief pollster Mark Textor.