2013 was a very good year. Politically, the Tory party took steps in the right direction, ditching the “green crap”, getting tougher on immigration and welfare culture, offering people a choice on EU membership, and giving Thatcher the proper send off of admiration she deserved (I particularly liked the Prime Minister’s quote “we are all Thatcherites now”). The Spectator has an excellent piece on the positive direction of the Conservatives in 2013. However, the most positive move Great Britain made was on the economy.
The economy is growing. It has added record amounts of jobs and this has all been done while cutting spending. They have done this without raising taxes and in many instances cutting taxes, such as in the top rate of income, corporate rates and the tax threshold. Yes, there is more to do. Many people are still suffering and the current economic situation has been hard on savers due to the low interest rates. But with the British economy growing the fastest among the G7 economies, people will soon feel and share in the benefits of a robust and growing economy. Capitalism is the most moral of economic systems too, in that its benefits are spread among the populace while, in contrast, socialism spreads misery. Grant Shapps spreads this message very articulately in the “belly of the beast” of the left, in the Observer/Guardian last Sunday. It’s worth a read, and the Conservatives lucky to have a party chairman like Shapps rather than some weak Tory moderniser like Cameron’s former pollster Andrew Cooper.
Now, I know many of you on this site have not forgiven the Tories because of the modernisation project (which I would argue was partly needed because of the “nasty party” brand the party received after its infighting during the Major years) and are currently supportive of UKIP. You think the Conservatives are traitors and liars or are the same as Labour and the Liberal Democrats. However, nothing could be further from the truth. All of the welfare reform, all the spending cuts, all the tax cuts were and are opposed by Labour. The curbing of Eastern European immigration and the EU referendum are opposed by the Lib Dems and Labour. However, if you want to see what socialism looks like, if you want to see what an Ed Miliband government would look like, look no further than across the channel to France.
Currently, France has spiraling unemployment of over three million and has a shrinking economy. They put in a top tax rate of over 70% for the wealthiest and now London has one of the largest French populations in the world. Berenberg Bank’s chief economist Holger Schmieding said “France is now the weakest link in Europe, the only major economy with serious problems that is not doing anything about them.”
Great Britain is on track to becoming the eurozone’s largest economy (I hope by that time Britain is not in the EU). It is making great progress to becoming a very business friendly investment hub the world envys and emulates. It can’t revert to being a socialist basket case like it was in the 1970s (or France is now) out of class envy or impatience.
Everybody have a wonderful New Year. Hopefully 2014 is just as good or even better than 2013! Best to you all.