Saturday, August 11, 2012

Conrad Black on the Commonwealth

I agreed with Lord Black that we need to strength the ties between Comminwealth countries. The Commonwealth should a massively free trade zone. Immigration between Commonwealth countries should be encouraged. The emphasis on British culture, civility and industrial history were entirely justified. It is easy to forget that the world owe to that small island the invention and propagation of parliamentary democracy, the Common Law, the English language and the Industrial Revolution. (The performance in honour of the National Health Service, which is a major national problem and a sacred cow rivaled only by the BBC, was dispensable. Most advanced countries have superior health systems to Britain’s, and those that aspire to universal coverage will not be taking the NHS as their inspiration.) As, and as I am frequently reminded, a citizen of that country, and a member of its Parliament, I hope I will be pardoned for waving the Union flag a little. Britain enjoys its status despite having allowed the departure of most of its manufacturing, and has few natural resources. The three full terms of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown effectively squandered almost all the comparative fiscal and economic strength that Margaret Thatcher had retrieved from decades of “Butskillism” (named after long-serving Tory grandee Rab Butler and 1950s-era Labour Party leader Hugh Gaitskill, and referring to bi-partisan soft-left appeasement of militant labour unions, and an immense public sector devoted altogether to disincentivizing work and massaging money around irrespective of merit). I

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I Support Lord Black