The Brits Get It

Or some of them do.  We need to figure it out, also.  Here’s another bit from The Telegraph; this lady was unimpressed with President Barack Obama’s “oration.”

There were some quite surreal moments when Mr Obama seemed to be channelling Gordon Brown at his most self-congratulatory.  Specifically rejecting the notion that America “must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future” (that is, we can afford to support both the old and the young), he said: “For we… understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.” Ah, yes—remember that refrain: we will govern for the many, not the few?  Which turned out to be a euphemism for high tax, high-spend economics, galloping entitlements and an epidemic of welfare dependency?  Warning to America: it didn’t work out.


Mr Obama made no attempt to explain how support at both these ends of the age range was going to be afforded.  Or what effect his insistence that the most expensive entitlement programmes—social security, Medicare and Medicaid—were untouchable would have on the US deficit.  Hard economic fact could be countered by ideological passion: “[These entitlements] do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.”  Well, maybe.  But they have to be paid for with hard cash—by somebody.


The core message was pounded home relentlessly: American government is now in the redistribution and welfare-provision business, and this is not (contrary to appearances) at variance with the founding fathers’ conception of a nation that is inherently opposed to state interference and domination over the individual.

Then she offered an alternative from a roughly contemporaneous oration by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Then we got Mr Cameron’s offering, which, by comparison with the Obama message, seemed to be coming from a future world: from those who had learnt the lesson of overly powerful centralised political institutions that have spent money like there was no tomorrow on programmes that were steeped in benign rhetoric about “social fairness”.


Mr Cameron had a dream of the European Union as an open, flexible, freely diverse fellowship of nation states, each of them democratically accountable to its own electorate, and all of them able to cooperate in whatever ways suited their individual needs at any given time.

Talk about role reversal.

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