The decline of the Elizabethan Age

A fun point from Natalie Solent.

Brenda’s first PM was Churchill. Today’s is May, with Jezza in the wings. This is not an ascent, is it.

28 comments on “The decline of the Elizabethan Age

  1. In what sense could it be said of Britain’s politics, at any stage since 1952, that it was an ascent? Brief periods of flattening out, perhaps. But that’s all.

  2. To a certain extent, we lost good politicians because war disappeared and almost everything really important is run by markets or the private sector.

    Look at the top political stories any day and compare them with a generation ago. There’s no army attacking a bit of the UK, no threat of the lights going out, no equivalent of the Jarrow marchers. Even if the government massively cocks up Brexit either way, it has tiny effect on people’s lives compared to back then.

    You just have to compare the trivial bollocks that parliament has time for: bikini ads in public, the price of football shirts, companies “not paying their tax”, despite them clearly doing so. Or how they have time for apologies for slavery.

  3. You’ll have to work on that one with me Bloke on the M4.

    Admitedly you’ve set a low bar and much as I have come to detest Cameron (who underneath it all was a Blair in disguise), May still takes the biscuit.

    She has margin to surprise me. I would love to believe you are right.

    And re trivialities, WTF is government doing getting involved in something like the calories in my pizza…. (there’s one in the oven now, with extra tomato, red peppers and cheese). And the wine is fine!

  4. bilbaoboy,

    “And re trivialities, WTF is government doing getting involved in something like the calories in my pizza”

    Because when government has a lot less power, only trivial wankers go into it. If you aren’t going to be deciding what cars are going to be made at Longbridge, or getting to spunk billions on supersonic aircraft, or something really exciting, why do it?

    Even with the stuff they run like healthcare, you wouldn’t go into it to make a difference. Because you can’t. Getting any change to that from within is basically impossible. You’d go and work on software that destroyed the jobs of GPs.

  5. moqifen,

    “@bloke on m4 – time to up your meds methinks.”

    I’m not saying May is great. But I’ll take her over Cameron or Brown, and probably Blair. She’s at least serious in a way that Cameron wasn’t.

  6. getting to spunk billions on supersonic aircraft
    You do get to spunk £100 billion on the world’s most expensive train set, though. Concorde was the absolute cutting edge of aviation technology, not the last gasp of Victorian engineering.
    And it looked good, too.

  7. Granted May is serious, she’s also stubborn, unimaginative and weak. Basically, she’s a Heathite.

  8. Who knew that in an era when government spent less that ten per cent of our wealth and most people’s experience of it was limited to the post office, that Peel, Gladstone, Disraeli and Salisbury were such pikers?

  9. Jacob Bronowski was overoptimistic in retrospect.

    Where do we go after Jez? A novelty plastic drinking bird?

  10. In what sense could it be said of Britain’s politics, at any stage since 1952, that it was an ascent?

    1979 – 1989.

    I’m not sure if the Tories understood what Thatcher was doing, or understood all too well and hated it. She was building a permanent centre-right consensus, long before populism was cool, and systematically wielding her authority to make us freer and richer.

    Compare and contrast with Mrs May and her colleagues, who believe unpopularism is a virtue, and use their power to make us poorer and more circumscribed.

    Which is part of a wider problem, natch – the growing illegitimacy of British institutions as they discover new and creative ways to screw the people they’re supposed to serve.

  11. Steve,

    She was only narrowly ahead of Heath on the first ballot, and let’s remember, Heath was severely damaged by the 3 day week. They really didn’t want her but the other option wasn’t very good, either.

    People really have to understand this. Thatcher wasn’t the norm. She was an anomaly in that party like Dan Hannan and Liz Truss. She got 10 years because she won as leader of that party, not because they particularly liked her policies.

    I rejoined because in a year or two, I and quite a small number of people might get to vote for the next Prime Minister and there’s a number of good possible candidates like Sajid Javid (fan of Ayn Rand and Thatcher) and Dominic Raab (written for the CPS, willing to take on political correctness). For anyone who thinks Boris is the future, he isn’t. He believes in liberty in some personal senses (like drinking) but he is a fan of old institutions and will do nothing to reform them.

  12. Sajid Javid is another cold, managerialist, technocratic authoritarian. May would never have appointed him to the Home Office if he wasn’t. A Conservative Government led by him would just be continuity Osbornism.

  13. Toby Querfotze,

    In what way is he an authoritarian?

    He’s very capable. That’s why he got the jobs. He does a good job.

    Who do you suggest should be PM instead?

  14. @ Bloke on the M4
    The better option was torpedoed by a fake story in the Daily Mirror deliberately written in order to destroy the Tories’ chances in the next General Election. Then Labour lost it all on its own and Argentina illegally started a war without Declaring War before they started.
    Mrs Thatcher was a Whig, not a Tory, but we needed her after four years of Heath, whose economic policy was Falangist (his political policy wasn’t but his economic policy was) and nearly six years with a marxist “Labour” government.

  15. “Who do you suggest should be PM instead?”
    Anyone but a Tory. Even Jezza, temporarily..
    The Tory Party is purposeless. Dead. A great stinking rotting corpse that needs bulldozing out of the way & burying at the crossroads with stake through its heart. Leave room for a party which actually has the interests of the British people at heart.

  16. @ bis
    Leaving a lot of room, but one that will be filled with the likes of Lutfur Rahman. After Chavez died Nicholas Maduro took over and eliminated free elections, so why do you suppose that Jezza will be followed by anyone chosen in an honest election. When did you last read 1984? The Party is called “Ingsoc”.

  17. “Anyone but a Tory. Even Jezza, temporarily.”

    I get the desire for some sort of political ragnarok where Jezza comes along, brings in some sort of fascism and then we rebuild from the rubble, but it’s going to be pretty nasty for a decade or more.

    The first thing people like Jezza would do is destroy the institutions that preserve democracy and human rights. This wouldn’t be like getting Milliband, Kinnock or Foot who would just fuck up and piss money away. They’d aim for totalitarian government quickly. And the Labour PLP would vote everything through.

    “The Tory Party is purposeless. Dead. A great stinking rotting corpse that needs bulldozing out of the way & burying at the crossroads with stake through its heart. Leave room for a party which actually has the interests of the British people at heart.”

    And you’re going to do it? Or one of the other thousands of libertarians who says this is what should be done without doing anything about it?

    The Conservative Party are the only way to get to anywhere. It may be a vain hope, but it’s the only hope. Labour are lost to communism. The Lib Dems are anti-democratic fucks who are lost at sea. UKIP are over.

    I’m not saying I’m particularly keen on its current state, but it’s the only party where you meet at least some fans of Hayek and Milton Friedman, where there’s a hope of getting the sort of government I want.

  18. “And you’re going to do it? Or one of the other thousands of libertarians who says this is what should be done without doing anything about it?”
    Don’t look at me, mate. Read the username. Nothing to do with me. I don’t have a country. I just live places. Independent Non-democratic Republic of Me. One man. One Vote.
    As for libertarians… Bunch of wankers. As much part of the problem as anything else. All theory & no practise.

  19. I’ve followed BoM4’s advice and recently joined the Tories just so I can vote in the leadership election* with the intention of voting against Boris.

    Given a choice I would have gone for Sajid Javid, he at least does appear to have some belief’s beyond me, me, me, and it would be a nice kick in the bollocks for Labour for the Tories to have the first female and ethnic minority PM.

    However just recently I’ve been taken with Liz Truss since she got a gig at the CATO institute, but she does lack that bit of spark a leader needs.

    *I also live in a constituency where the Tory has failed if they don’t get 50% of the vote and I want to have some input into which donkey gets to wear the blue ribbon.

  20. Independent non-democratic Republic of me.

    Words, Mr in Spain, for all the ages. And to live by. Thank you.

  21. BiND,

    “However just recently I’ve been taken with Liz Truss since she got a gig at the CATO institute, but she does lack that bit of spark a leader needs.”

    She’s hardcore, but a bit junior for a power base or recognition.

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