This is not the realignment you are looking for

Via Guido, a report from the Resolution Foundation (“an independent think-tank focused on improving the living standards for those on low to middle incomes”):

The report finds that a new consensus has developed relating to the size of the state: namely that it should be bigger. Ahead of the publication of the election manifestos, we speculate as what that expansion might look like by using what the two major parties have said about their ambitions to date to model some illustrative scenarios. Those scenarios suggest that the UK public finances are heading back to 1970s levels over the coming years – whoever wins the election.

The report is a little light on hard evidence. It cites the Chancellor’s already announced £15.5bn Whitehall spending round boost until 2021; his £100bn infrastructure promises; and it makes claims based on “the main parties’ pre-election stances”. There is also a reference to the Chancellor’s speech of which the “clear implication was that he hoped to increase spending further still in the coming years” — a speech in which he also mentioned the need for low taxes and fiscal responsibility, so much was it trying to be all things to all people.

Meanwhile the Tories talk of cuts to national insurance, but nothing yet about income tax, VAT or corporation tax.

Nevertheless I am increasingly worried that the choices on Brexit might be between variations on Brexit In Name Only, and the choices on the rest of politics between left and far left; between a bigger state and Marxism.

Updated: 4th November 2019 — 2:43 pm


  1. I am starting to see the only option is damage mitigation in the form of a hung parliament.

    Boris is just Theresa May the 2nd with better stage management.

  2. As the Sage of Kettering once remarked to me, iirc during the Major years, the Conservatives can be as statist as they like as there is no one else to vote for. They have no ‘right opposition’ to use a term that Mr Corbyn would understand.

    ityn: Boris to a tee. A bit like Terminator 2, it can hide its faults more easily than the first model, but it is still a force for vileness.

  3. The direction is still spend. A financial storm is coming that will break ALL the political scum. But that is no reason to hand remainiacs victory by not getting the fuck out of the EU. Once out we expand our freedom from there. If we cant do that from outside the EU we sure as fuck will never do it from inside the EU with remain vote fixers on the job. Yes Johnson is BlueLabour. Still better than remain as Franco was better than Hitler. Not good but better.

  4. And while we are on the topic a large number of Brexit Party supporters and candidates are BlueLabour types as well –having expressed support for Marxist “anti-wayism” crap on numerous occasions . The idea that the Brexit Party are sound on anything apart from their desire for No Deal (and not sound on how to get it) is incorrect.So even a total BP victory would not be a triumph for anti-proggie values.

  5. This is a knock down drag out situation.

    The establishment are tiring and are having a general election because they think it will provide an acceptable result.

    Best to keep up pressure and deliver an ungovernable monstrous house where no sEUrender deal can be signed by anyone and they are miserable.

    The economy has never been better with the whole machinery of state nullified.

  6. One lesson worth remembering from that long-ago Referendum is that elections rarely end anything. Merry Brexiteers thought that winning a narrow plurality in the Referendum meant the matter was settled. No it was not!

    That should not have been a surprise. After all, historically when Labour won an election, no-one expected the Tories to dissolve their Party and go away; likewise for Labour when the Tories won. Why would the issue of separation from the EU be any different?

    The situation is similar with the approaching election. If Boris the Unreliable gets a parliamentary majority (directly or through some kind of coalition), he may be able to get his BRINO through Parliament. But the question of rejoining the EU will probably recur repeatedly in coming years — especially if there are bumps in the post-separation road.

    The one safe prediction is that the next UK Government will represent only a minority of the UK population, even if it has a majority in Parliament. FPTP just about guarantees that. There is much to be said for Itellyounothing’s approach of trying to create a hung parliament. Perhaps then the Political Class will finally get realistic about the need for serious governance reforms.

  7. “serious governance reforms” sounds like a bit of a double-edged sword, mind.

  8. “The one safe prediction is that the next UK Government will represent only a minority of the UK population, even if it has a majority in Parliament.”

    When has it not? 🙂 Short of direct democracy, not system actually achieves majority support. Proportional representation means whatever you voted for at the election, the resulting coalition will horse trade into something else entirely.

    In fact the better a country is running the less reason there is to pay any attention to politics. In the unlikely event we ever manager perfect government, nobody will pay it the slightest attention….

    Make Awful Government Avoidable. MAGA

  9. Hung parliaments are good for the remoaner establishment, since they are in position and can do much when, officially, “nothing can be done”. A parliament strongly in the control of those who have reason to resent that establishment’s hostility is a better bet. Let us not cut off our nose to spite our face. It is never wise to do what your enemies want. The remoaners would love a parliament in which the LibDems controlled the balance of power. It would be great folly to do anything that lets them have it.

  10. “A parliament strongly in the control of those who have reason to resent that establishment’s hostility is a better bet.”

    Certainly! A hung parliament would be only second best to a truly reforming parliament. But who would one vote for if one wanted a truly reforming parliament?

    Not the Conservatives, for sure. They are the Establishment! Nor Labour, lost in their Post-WWII time warp. The Brexit Party has at least proposed replacing the House of Lords after Brexit, which would be a small belated step for mankind but a giant leap for the UK.

    The original premise for the Great Realignment was that views on membership in the EU cut across traditional party lines. Now we are being told that Tories are the Out party and Labour is the In party — although we know that many Tories are In people and many Labour guys are Out people, even if candidates on both sides will lie through their teeth about their true views to get elected. Will tribal Party loyalty trump views on separation from the EU? It will be interesting to see.

  11. The Tories and Labour have lost their existential angst.
    Bojo made all the right noises when his party was nearing death.
    All that has gone now.
    There is just the standard 21st Century Blue Labour vs Red Labour manifesto back for the 2019 election. Independence is already being watered down again. Thanks Bojo.
    They will only learn if they get beaten round the nose with a rolled up newspaper every time they wander off path.
    Just letting the Establishment do what they want is a played out strategy.

    Better to vote in hundreds of independents than give anyone a majority.
    Brits probably need to break a major party “pour encourager les outres”.

    If Boris’ deal goes forward, we may as well not have left given how binding that treaty is.

    They’ve had three years and far to many extentsons.

  12. As I’ve been saying for months, the Conservatives have installed a leader who is just Conservative enough to prevent too many votes being lost to the Brexit Party, but who won’t change much.

  13. Brexit victory and the force of popular growth are putting matters beyond the piggies control. Unless we fuck it up by giving remainiacs and their EU masters and owners back the power.

  14. It would be interesting if Mr. de Haviland could be persuaded to share his view on Boris’s agreement with the EU, because I guess he has actually read the document.

    Some people are calling Boris’s agreement BRINO, saying that it is basically similar to Mrs. May’s version except for the somewhat negative step of carving out Northern Ireland from the UK. It would be good to get an informed perspective on what a Conservative parliamentary majority would likely deliver.

    Some are arguing that it would be worth accepting BRINO today, with the intent of renegotiating that half-loaf in the future. Thinking about human nature, and about the priority the UK public gives to purely internal matters like NHS, the likelihood is that there would be very little future political appetite for negotiating further changes after Brexit, at least for the foreseeable future.

    Short version — Now or Never!

  15. Martin Howe says it isn’t a BRINO. He is the lawyer who lead the charge against May’s crap. Again you are entirely unaffected by any of it being a Yank.

    But thanks for helping to serve the remainiac cause by trying to spread remain mythology and dissension. I will repay the favour by trying to propagandise for Trump’s impeachment. If are doing you best to leave my nation in the shite I will try my best to return the favour.

  16. Ecks, I can’t help but feel this is the hill to die on it is unique in my lifetime.

    If the Tories fluff this, if we get dragged back into the EU, they are electorally over.

    I think I’d rather end them, cause I am confident we will leave anyhow.

    Even if remain get in power now, they will be forced to operate in the open.

    Half measures won’t cut it anymore.

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