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Short Attention Span Politics

We live in a world requiring constant affirmation that we are actually in it by way of pandering to our impulsive behaviour patterns and the need for change. Digital devices have become the primary source of the provision of change, of course, with very little reading or scholarship entering our daily lives. For some reason the phone or iPad have become the primary method of communicating with one another using what is euphemistically described as ‘social media’. The term is of itself an oxymoron in that it is anything but social and is indeed, antisocial.

I was on a train the other day and having finished catching up on some work related emails, the lady opposite me had the grace to apologise for being antisocial. She needn’t have worried about it because 90+% of the carriage passengers were engaged in the same. We had a good laugh when she told me of a brief conversation with two girls in a cafe sitting opposite one another using their phones with not a word passing between them. She asked them about it and was dumbfounded to find that they were actually Tweeting one another!

This leads me to my point of this relatively short piece.

The constant search for change has never been more manifest than today in the world of politics. The time was when, by and large, you were born into a family with a particular political bent and for good or ill, stayed with that throughout your life. I am one. Brought up in a Conservative household I have been a Tory all my life. That is not to say that I haven’t studied or read about alternative systems, particularly socialism with various works or autobiographies of hitherto famous or heavyweight politicians. I might be described as stubborn for concluding after over 70 years in this world that of the various political persuasions on offer, I have still to find one that surpasses Conservatism in either its understanding of the economic values of capitalism being the bedrock of monetary supply or its deliverability.

I have long since wondered why it is that hugely intelligent and gifted friends, acquaintances and some family members would think that socialism is a viable political option. My somewhat basic conclusion to that thinking is that they can afford to be socialists. If you have a good job, a nice home and a family to nurture and develop, you can afford to be a socialist as you don’t have to think too much about the money supply of the equation. If you are poor that is all you worry about and if in that impoverished state you have been convinced that you have no right to be anything other than poor and your ambitions squashed by state intervention through what we call nowadays the ‘nanny state’ then you become a socialist by necessity rather than conviction. You hear all the platitudes in various political parliaments about the gulf between rich and poor and how much the well off, socially affordable, committed socialists care about you. You become not only dependent on this well meaning largesse but develop a sense of entitlement to it. Your mindset becomes inured in acceptance of anything that you have not earned from those that have earned it but still retain a sense of injustice that they have it when you don’t.

This in and of itself underlines the basic flaw in the socialist ideal, namely, that it is the capitalist economic model that pays for it. But capitalism is a dirty word in the lexicon of the socialist. Socialism is, as Maggie Thatcher once famously said, fine until it runs out of other people’s money to spend.

In very recent times, particularly in the UK, we have seen the rise of extreme left wing, socialist thinking with its ideology enforced by the bully, the political grandstander, the hectoring mob and the luvvie elite, who, as I said before, can afford to be so called ‘committed’ socialists. What we in the UK need to pay a lot more attention to, though, is the means of delivery of this socialist nirvana. Our lack of understanding that the recent Labour manifesto in GE 2017 was entirely undeliverable (and the Tories appalling lack of attention to what is always the cornerstone of Conservatism- the economy and challenging Labour head on to account for the £50 billion black hole in their arithmetic). 40% of voters voted Labour whose appeal was based almost entirely on a profligate series of handouts and freebies that were laughably unaffordable but far too many fell for the spin whilst failing to understand that it would be the evil, capitalist rich who would be paying for it all. Where do people think £500 billion of borrowing comes from? Those wicked capitalists of course.

And so back to my original point. Our susceptibility towards low attention span. Against the backdrop of what I have described above, there are those, far too many to be honest, that have the misguided view that Labour should be ‘given a chance’ as if we are playing some game in the playground where everybody has to have a go, no matter that they don’t understand the rules of the game or have the skills to play it.

As I said before, I have lived over 70 years in this world and seen and experienced a great deal. I would regard myself as well travelled, well read and reasonably wise as I come to the latter end of my life. I feel a deep seated love for my family now spanning various generations and wish them well with their futures. Having experienced it many times though, I do not want to be part of yet another social experiment by what is rapidly becoming a crypto- Marxist ministry coming to power with all the concomitant economic failings that will inevitably ensue. The ‘inevitability’ is not some pessimistic view but one born out of the sheer experience that socialism doesn’t work by the simple fact that it requires capitalism to even function as a thought process, so why not embrace capitalism and cut out the ‘middleman’ of an unworkable ideology?

About Ian Pye

Profile photo of Ian Pye
Ian is grammar school educated although he briefly flirted with the idea of becoming Britain's answer to Breaking Bad's Walter White with a short sojourn at university. The constant smell of hydrogen sulphide caused the break up of that partnership and thereafter he pursued a career in sales culminating in partnering with his second wife for many years in their own recruitment business. When the second marriage came to an amicable end, so did Ian's allotted time in the world of commerce and he became a retired person of no means but a still active brain. He lives on the outskirts of the great metropolis of Manchester and has close affinity with the red side of the football city being a United fan of over 50 years. He has deep interest in British politics, is conservative by nature and persuasion as well as reading much on aspects of religious theology particularly the works out of Albuquerque, New Mexico of Richard Rohr and hitherto Richard's mentor, Thomas Merton. Ian has three children, two of whom live in London and the third in Toronto as well as four adorable grandchildren

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