In the red corner we have full blooded Marxist policies advanced by Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott, et al. In the blue corner... Well, it isn't really a blue corner, more a light red - maybe even pink. As Allister Heath said in an excellent article in today's Telegraph, Remainers and lefty Conservatives may feel that they no longer have a home, but neither do those of us who are Thatcherites - those of us of a more libertarian/classically liberal persuasion and prefer free markets and oppose big government. We are politically homeless, too.
Here's part of Allister's article:
"It feels as if the machinery of government is in fact controlled by an alliance of social-democrats, corporatists and bureaucrats. For every problem, there must be a state solution; in the absence of any kind of principled conservatism, the default “philosophy” is that the official in Whitehall knows best. The elites are in disarray over Brexit, but continue to hold sway over almost all else: those in charge are paid up members of the Left-wing consensus, guaranteeing that whatever nostrum is fashionable is soon translated into policy. There is thus little difference between decisions taken under the previous or current Prime Ministers."
He has nit the nail on the head here. Theresa May is hostile to free markets. She doesn't understand how they work and basically mistrusts them. For her, more government is the answer. Most of the time it's nothing more than virtue signalling. She wants to be seen to be doing something.
The nonsense over the gender pay gap a couple of weeks ago is a classic example. Women are paid the same as men for the same or similar jobs. It is illegal to do otherwise. EasyJet has a pay gap of over 50 per cent, but that is because a high number of women are employed as cabin crew and very few women are employed as pilots. The opportunities at the company are available to both men and women, and male cabin crew staff are paid the same as their female colleagues, and female pilots are paid the same as the male pilots.
For the sake of cheap headlines that most people have now forgotten about, May has tried to solve a problem that isn't a problem all because she wants to be seen to be doing something to make her more popular.
More from Allister Heath:
"Even when the May government tries to be “conservative”, as with immigration, it gets entirely the wrong end of the stick and ends up embracing a bizarre mish-mash of incompetence, stupidity and nastiness which has nothing to do with Burkean Toryism or Hayekian libertarianism. The treatment of the Windrush Britons has been a disgrace. The Home Office “hostile environment” policy is at odds with one of the foundational principles of modern Britishness, the presumption of innocence. The state, not the individual, should have to show guilt and the private sector should not have to become border guards."
Theresa May's Home Office chickens came back to roost this past week. Peter Mullen, a longstanding critic of Theresa May has described her as "the most useless home secretary and the most incompetent prime minister we’ve had since Methuselah was a boy". Quite. Amber Rudd has to take some of the blame for the disgraceful way the Windrush Britons have been treated, but most of the blame goes back to her predecessor.
May is by instinct a nanny statist. She feels it is her role to put a comforting arm around the nation and tell them what do to. The direction of travel of this current Government is to either tax more or ban more.
I'll finish this article with the same words Allister Heath ended his:
"This is a Brexit government, and it is for this that it will be remembered. But let’s not fool ourselves: this isn’t a small-c conservative government, and it certainly isn’t a free-market, pro-capitalist government. It’s not just the centrists who are politically homeless."
All views expressed in contributions by named authors are their own and may not reflect the views of The Freedom Association.