Britain’s Marxist prospective future Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, has outlined his plans for the red-green terror which will engulf the world’s fifth-largest economy come the revolution.
Eradicating economic growth; destroying British industry; killing millions of jobs by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Citizens Assemblies — a bit like the ones they had in the French Revolution — deciding how business is allowed to be run.
We know this because John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour opposition, has used a May Day speech to declare he “completely” supports Extinction Rebellion — the eco-fascist campaign group whose activism recently brought parts of London to a standstill for ten days.
With his surprising appeal to teens and millennials, Jacob Rees-Mogg could be the perfect antidote to Corbynism.
‘We need to talk about why the internet is falling in love with Jacob Rees-Mogg, because it’s not OK,’ warns a recent post on the Corbynista website The Canary. Its anxiety is not misplaced. Polite, eloquent, witty, well-informed, coherent, principled — Jacob Rees-Mogg is the antithesis of almost every-thing the Labour party stands for under its current populist leadership. And far from putting off voters, it seems to be a winning formula. Even sections of the elusive and generally very left-wing youth vote appear to be warming to the idea that our next prime minister shouldn’t be (alleged) man-of-the-people Corbyn but yet another plummy, Old Etonian millionaire…
This ought to make no sense at all. If there’s one lesson the Conservative party’s strategists have learned from Jeremy Corbyn’s performance in the polls — at the time of writing he has an eight-point lead — it’s that Britain has had enough of conservatism. Actually, the word they use is ‘austerity’ but it amounts to the same thing. So widespread is the panic in the party that even its more fiscally responsible luminaries are coming round to the idea that, from university tuition to the NHS, the only way to beat Corbyn is to talk and spend like socialists.
Conservatism looked uninspirational and self-hating – no wonder it failed to capture the young in this election.
On the morning after the election I was drinking coffee with one of my heroes, Sir Roger Scruton. We talked about the moment during the 1968 Paris évenéments when Scruton, who had been fairly apolitical up to that point, suddenly discovered he was a conservative.
He had watched the educated children of privilege wantonly destroying the property of their social inferiors in the name of something or other, and realised: ‘Whatever they are for, I am against.’ That was the reason he has spent so much of his life since trying to develop a philosophy of conservatism as thorough, persuasive and enticing as the variations on Marxism so compelling to those students.
I do wish some of those kids who came out en masse for Corbyn last week would google the marvellous essay Scruton once wrote on the subject. Actually, though, I think the people who need to read it even more are the ones who’ve been holding the reins of the Conservative party these past few years, plus their financial backers and apologists among the commentariat. It might remind them of something they appear pretty much to have forgotten since the Thatcher era: the key question, ‘Why we fight’.