If you want to know the sort of person who genuinely thinks that the Labour manifesto is a triumphant document then I refer you to the necklace below, courtesy of Guido. This was available to buy at all good communist outlets across the land. This one was bought by an Independent writer. Yes, the Independent, a newspaper that has a smaller turnover than the average communist outlet and for good reason. The hack in question is Niamh McIntyre who has promised to wear the necklace every day until June 8th, or until she fucks a Tory presumably. Or am I misunderstanding her intent?
There are, it seems, some people, genuine, apparently sentient human beings, who believe that Tories really are the baby eating, rich-loving monsters we are painted as. These warriors for a class system that has ceased to exist are manifestly so confused by a world in which the socialist paradise of Venezuela is sending the children of government ministers abroad to study while the people become increasingly emaciated that they have turned into Tory-hating cartoons.
But how else to explain that facile document presented to the nation as a serious prospectus for government? How else to explain the reaction of the halfwits in the room who alternated between cheering every half baked, economically illiterate, delusional utterance of the dear leader and booing media hate figures for asking awkward questions?
Did these credulous cretins not notice as Chauncey made policy on the hoof only to have to correct himself within an hour? Did they not notice that the Shadow Chancellor, as part of the recurring theme of this election, got his numbers and calculations wrong? How do they rationalise their party's rank amateurishness meaning that they seem to have cobbled together some of their facts from the renowned economists at Private Eye magazine? How do they explain where the money is going to come from? Water will be nationalised the cheering cretins were told. But nobody knows where the money will come from. It's certainly not contained in this document. The tax rises seem to be a half-hearted attempt to answer this, although they are more about waging class war and little to do with governing and making hard choices for the sake of the economy.
The answer is of course that they simply don't care. This litany of idiocy is not a serious prospectus at all. It is the manifesto equivalent of that necklace. It is the ultimate example of virtue signalling from people who don't worry about whether or not they are making any sense. They just know that it makes them feel good about themselves. The fact that their policies would bankrupt the country, throw people out of work, add to the tax burden of the poorest, cause a run on the pound and a spike in inflation doesn't worry them in the same way that the revolutionaries of Venezuela aren't worried that ordinary people are starving and have lost a quarter of their body weight. It's probably the fault of the rich. Or America. Or something.
The pledge to nationalise water had not been in the leaked manifesto of last week. This was obviously pointed out to them and so it was added without worrying about where the money would come from. In truth this doesn't matter. This is about a fantasy list of nationalisations to avenge the class warriors who imagine that these private utilities are a conspiracy against the people and fulminate about the inquities of a private company charging us for water. That is just how they think. They are angry about the world and this is their response.
This was a manifesto that claims to be for the many and not the few and yet what it was was what such documents always are: a fabulists agenda that might as well have been written by Hans Christian Anderson. Sure some of the policies in it are nominally popular in the same way that giving people free stuff taken from other peoples' pockets is always popular. But deep down most people know that none of it makes any sense, that taxing people more does not automatically mean additional revenue and that actually punishing people for doing the right thing is feckless, self defeating and immoral. This is not a revolutionary concept. It has been demonstrated in the last few years both here and in France. Raising taxes to punitive levels changes behaviour because people don't see why they should work hard and take risks in order to have half or more of their earnings compulsorily confiscated by feckless politicians who cannot add up and who are still in the grip of their teenage fantasy politics driven by hate and envy and spite and plain and simple prejudice against anyone who happens to have a skill that is marketable or who has simply been lucky in life, let alone those who have worked hard and created successful businesses. James Dyson, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, J K Rowling, Adele, Paul McCartney, Wayne Rooney, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray. Rich bastards!
Labour have taken this spittle flecked hatred and turned it into an economic policy. Increase the tax rate and raise more money they say when in reality we all know that this simply won't happen. How do we know? Because it has happened only recently. Cutting tax from 50% to 45% raised more money. France raising the top rate of tax to 70% raised less. Yet still they make the same lunatic proposals. Their tax rises on the supposed rich and on companies would create a recession, or worse, probably 1970s style stagflation. At a time when we are leaving the EU it would be the economic equivalent of committing suicide. In no time at all they would find themselves either having to cut savagely or print money. No prizes for guessing what they would opt for and the consequences.
And this is just the economic lunacy of this manifesto. There is also the naive foreign and defence policy stance, the dangerous energy policy, the pointless nationalisations that we cannot afford but which make those same halfwits feel good.
On defence the absurd beauty queen language about being extremely cautious over using nuclear weapons (because no other potential PM has thought of that) has been dropped along with only using our armed services as a last resort. But we all know that the sentiment remains. Chauncey is not a pacifist as he reminded us last week and as his own MPs reminded us because he was always in favour of violence when used by our enemies against us. He is a nasty reactionary who could never be trusted to defend this nation against our enemies, not least because he could never be trusted to identify who they are.
And then there is the intention to repeal the legislation that made the unions have to consult and have votes before calling their strikes and prevented them visiting their grievances on those who worked in different industries, different areas. There is the ahistorical notion that the past of nationalised industries was somehow a halcyon period of plenty and quality. We forget what a national disgrace and butt of our baleful jokes was British Rail or British Leyland. People complain about the profits of the utility companies today, but we forget that in the 1970s these nationalised monoliths had to be subsidised by the taxpayer while at the same time delivering appalling customer service. You wanted a telephone? You went on a six month waiting list. When you got it there was no choice of models and they rarely worked properly. They were eye-wateringly expensive too. Yet this is what the Labour Party want to take us back to. Why? Because it annoys them that some people earn more money than the rest of us.
Their policy to ban zero hours contracts and raise the minimum wage is another typical unthinking piece of simplistic tokenism. Zero hours contracts are the bete noir of the unions but they are a part of a more flexible working environment that has created millions of new jobs and seen unemployment reduced so that we are effectively at what economists regard as full employment. Zero hours contracts just reduce costs for employers. They are a route into employment in the same way that temping jobs used to be until they were meddled with by politicians. Those who show themselves to be reliable and worthy of more generous contracts earn such rewards in the same way as ever. Labour's policy would just make employment more expensive and mean fewer jobs. It would have a particularly devastating effect on youth employment.
Abolishing tuition fees is another one of those policies that might be popular but is again shortsighted. There is no evidence that anyone has been priced out of education. That is another prejudice. And tuition fees were raised in part so as to enable universities to invest. Higher education is one of the areas in which Britain excels. But it is an increasingly competitive arena. The reason US universities lead the world is because of the funding they get from tuition fees paid by students. This would be a ruinously expensive policy in more ways than one.
If Labour were to be elected next month they would reduce the City of London at a time when we are leaving the EU and need all the top paying jobs we can get. The City of London is another area in which this country genuinely excels and leads the world. It also pays shedloads of taxes. Under Labour that would be lost and very quickly we would see austerity on a level not seen since the war.
None of this is fantasy. It has happened before and is still happening in socialist countries around the world. It happened only recently in France. Socialism has been tried in countries around the world and always leads to impoverishment, low social mobility, less innovation, lower growth, brain drains and eventually to authoritarianism. Chauncey demonstrated his willingness to go down this last path when he spoke of the need to continue Leveson. That was a chilling moment, especially when combined with the cheering and booing of the zealots he had supporting him. This is how countries go from democratic to dictatorships. Again, look at Venezuela.
Chauncey has demonstrated throughout his career that he doesn't really like this country very much as he has sided with our enemies and decried our achievements. Now he has unveiled a long, badly written and poorly researched document that would, if implemented, reduce us once again to the sick man of Europe. It would not lead to greater fairness. It would lead to the very people he claims to want to help and champion suffering poverty and reduced chances. The polls suggest that the British people understand all of this very well. The Labour Party is reduced to hoping to at best match the result from 2 years ago. It's not clear that they deserve to do even that well. That necklace says it all.