I am in no doubt that in 2013 cases will be made for state-sponsored intervention to promote “growth” (which will, over the next year, become the most repeated and abused word in politics). Special groups – many very worthy and honourable – will plead for protection.
But the truth is that, like I’ve always said, there is no magic bullet. There never was. There never will be. When you’ve dug yourselves a giant hole full of debt and state subsidy and market-stifling regulation and special privilege there is only one way out. Get rid of the duff regulations and red tape – and then do a whole lot of hard work. Conservatives – and British people in general – understand the value of hard work. We just expect that at the end of a day’s graft (in whatever profession) we will get to keep the lion’s share of the reward we have earned.
This is as true for the bricklayer, or shop assistant, or hairdresser, or policeman, or civil servant as it is for the lawyer, or banker, or union boss.
I said three years ago, and two years ago, and last year, that barring some miracle like finding oil under Milton Keynes - there will be no miraculous burst back into economic good health. This country will bump along a difficult line with things occasionally looking slightly rosier.
In some respects that has not just been a recession but a correction - from years of pretending we were wealthier than we are by borrowing ourselves into oblivion back to the true situation that has been created by years of ill-considered and wrong-headed economic and social policy.
The Left Wing of politics, both nationally and locally, spend their entire time doing two things (In this I include the Southend Independent Party who are about as politically-independent as Karl Marx).
They try to sow discontent by pretending that money can be plucked from thin air to appease the special concerns of anybody who they think might vote for them and then they pretend that previous bad policy was not in error and try to fix it with more suggestions of even worse policy.
It is a cynical and dangerous ploy, but one that does sometimes bear fruit for them. My hope is that nationally and locally the sensible British people will reject this negative politicking and paucity of ideas – in the same way they would reject Get-Rich-Quick schemes.
On the positive side we should remember that the United Kingdom is second to no nation in the world for invention, entrepreneurship or hard work. We have centuries of history and excellence to demonstrate this. These traits, so special to this little island and its smaller neighbours, have not gone away they are alive and well and ready to burst back into life if the State will just get out of the way and let it happen. It needs no help. It just needs a little less hindrance, and fewer people pretending that making stuff, doing stuff, creating stuff, is somehow evil. Its not. It’s wonderful and we do it so well.
Anyway enough of the ranting for 2012, I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.