The party may now have time to regret the one reform that would ensure this essentially social democratic nation is never again governed by Conservatives on their own.
I really don\’t think that England is a social democratic nation.
We simply do not trust our rulers in the manner necessary for us to be one:
I simply don’t think that Britain is fundamentally a social democratic society. It might be possible to persuade me that the Celtic fringes are, but not I think England.
We simply don’t have, as a social or cultural bedrock of the society, that belief that the men with clipboards know what they’re doing or have our interests in their hearts. That belief being the necessary underpinning of the sort of deference to government that makes social democracy work.
I really don’t think it’s a surprise that the lessons of public choice economics are more readily heeded in the so called “Anglo-Saxon” economies. For I think that to a large extent they’re just the formalisation of what the culture itself already believes, in a way that isn’t true in places like Germany or the Nordics.
That basic thought is why so many of us really don\’t buy the idea that government should run our lives. And it\’s at the heart of what so many find entirely lunatic about much of what government currently does. We make fun of jobsworths, those men with clipboards. We don\’t nod approvingly as government makes yet another law to insist that we do this, that or the other ….for our own good of course. We tell them to fuck off.
I\’m told that in Germany, a country which is really socially democratic, that local by laws can and will insist that you sweep your driveway once a week. And that the majority thoroughly approve of such laws and that there\’s a great deal of social enforcement of them.
Sure, it\’s a trivial example, but can you even imagine that being proposed, let alone enforced by the society at large here?
No, I can\’t either. And that tells us that there\’s something rather different about the two societies, doesn\’t it?