The Conservative party have yet to understand that the key to post Brexit success is not to replace Brussels with Westminster but set the economy free from the bondage of crippling over regulation & profligate spending by the State.
Let us for a moment forget constitutional matters & look back to the most successful conservative administration in history, that of Lord Salisbury. I went into some depth on these pages last year on this matter. In short his lordship believed, quite rightly, the role of parliament was to release unheeded the country’s natural entrepreneurial talents. For a more modern success story look no further than the Hong Kong administration under colonial rule.
I focus on just one issue here because it is an issue which defines the attitude of the current administration which is in no way conservative but unashamedly statist.
I refer to the minimum wage. The philosophy that wages in the private sector is a legitimate role of government is fundamentally socialist in concept. The State already controls hours worked, pension arrangements & dismissal procedure. Yet eighty percent of the UK economy is compromised of small & medium size businesses. Ask any small businessman & he will tell you the very last thing he will do is employ anyone, even if the consequence hampers growth. The sheer burden now of the employer is too heavy to bear.
What are the realities?
Let us examine the latest lunacy of the promised minimum wage goal in the next five years of over £10 per hour. Take a medium sized Yorkshire butchery & delicatessen company, a real example by the way. Skilled butchery work carries a recognised stipend of £11 per hour, this company has sixty employees, the company naturally carries many unskilled & semi skilled employees at a lesser rate. Move the basic wage to over £10 per hour & the differentials collapse. It means skilled workers will naturally demand £13 per hour, semi skilled say £11.50.
Who pays for this? Not the government, so the extra can only come from the employer with a reduction in profit & therefore investment & expansion, or the customer making products & services more expensive & fuelling an inflationary spiral. Of course the third alternative is to lay off workers or at best freeze recruitment.
Yet slowly but surely we see a fourth way, robotics. Unskilled work is often at the checkout counter, machines are taking over as they are cheaper in the long term. Who actually gains from this? Not the customer most of whom hate self service checkouts, not the State which loses revenue from tax, not the shareholder who would prefer more stores for investment. Then we must look to the guidance of Frederick Bastiat, the unseen impact of future economics. The unskilled role in a western democracy squeezed out, skilled workers cannot be found because the State controls education, everything the State does is incompetent & wasteful. The black economy thrives, the economy moves to cash in hand, more revenue is lost but the State does not cut its appalling spendthrift policies but ironically increases taxes which raise the cost of living. The State then again increases the minimum wage to compensate.
What is wrong with our politicians?
Jeremy Paxman is running a programme based on ‘Why are our politicians so crap?’ there are many answers. A major problem is they have not worked in commerce. Pitifully few have ever done a real job, otherwise they would understand government is the problem not the solution. Paxman might do well to examine his own profession. I suggest giving me a programme, ‘Why are our journalists so crap?’
Where is the intellectual challenge to the concept of the role of the State? How can it be the remit of the government to tell a Yorkshire butcher how much to pay his staff in a free society? Especially under a conservative administration? Why not carry the concept of a minimum wage to its logical conclusion? Make the minimum wage £400 per hour? The kind of fees an employment lawyer now charges. The whole country would be awash with money, a bonanza for the ideal Keynesian utopia to which the current politicians aspire. We could all consume until we burst.
Mr. Paxman, when did you or any of your colleagues ask these kind of questions?
When did any of your colleagues challenge the fake science of climate alarmism?
When did you get to grips with the new European defence protocols?
When did you pressure any chancellor for the 100% increase in the national debt in the last seven years?
When did you run a programme on NHS procurement or management systems?
We have crap politicians because MSM is crap.
In short you & your ilk let them get away with being crap.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file