Cameron’s developing political philosophy, coming to a large extent from his relationship with Jesse Norman of Policy Exchange is getting surprisingly little attention. The dry ideas as expressed, sound not unlike a text from a university tutorial, and yet they will probably before long be driving the political direction of a nation. And from there, their influence could spread to other parts of the world.
Last week’s emphasis on Co-operation, and the launch of the Conservative Co-operative Movement was only the latest manifestation of what is basically the same philosophy as the one expounded in Compassionate Conservativism published 18 months before. So what is this Cameronism-to-be, which is proving remarkably consistent and growing in confidence?
It falls into two halves – simply what we don’t want, and what we do want. And what we don’t want is the near total reliance on the State that has become the norm for life in Britain in all its aspects. Most people would agree that where we are now, is in the wrong place. Our lives are encircled by regulations at every turn. Government which was imagined as a panacaea, a way to equalise opportunity across classes, a way to eradicate insecurity, has instead become a noxious weed throttling the garden of our lives with high taxes, and rules that prevent us from doing much if anything for ourselves. It is not difficult to make the case that the State needs rooting out of our lives, so the plants can flower once more. Moving away from the state for most people will be sweet and, in many ways the easier half of Cameron’s revolution.
It will a revolutionary change from the last generation of British politics, where State anything, starting with the NHS, was regarded as the untouchable basis of the quality of our lives. But the truth which has been kept hidden a long time, but which is now becoming evident and clear, is that it makes little difference how much money is thrown into State spending. Little improvement in quality of life ever arrives. Tens of thousands, for example are dying every year as a result of treatment denied by the NHS. Often treatment or disease management costing as little as UKL 20.00 would save a life, but in the bureaucratically controlled NHS, it is impossible to save people from dying grubby, unnecessary deaths – of which the cause at root is bureaucratic hopelessness.
The essence of Cameronism is to cease reliance on the State, and rebuild society from the bottom up. Institutions whether cooperatives, businesses, educational , health, defence or anything else will naturally form and come into being with higher effectiveness, if the State were to withdraw. People will set up schools independent of government, were they allowed to do so. The same goes for hospitals. In fact for any aspect of life, if you get government out of the way, people will naturally bring about the improvement in the quality for their own lives and the people they are associated with.
This amounts to an enormous leap in faith, but it is an inevitable one. Belief in government provision is collapsing. There is no alternative that I can think of but to restart society from scratch, and turn to the intiative of individuals and the institutions and organisations that they build.
But how will people struggling to pay taxes and earn a living to pay their mortgages and rents build enough capacity to replace the State, while the State is keeping them pinned down, unable to get economically ahead of their commitments? If people are to develop institutions on their own initiative, they will need to pay a lot less tax so that they have some economic capacity to function in the way Cameron desires them to. Many taxes will have to either be cut or abolished. If State money is not to pay for the needs of the nation, then private money will have to replace it.
The collapse in Labour’s support which occurred during the Conservative Party Conference turned partly on the issue of Inheritance Tax. If this is abolished or cut right back, it will permit the regrowing of wealthy families – families who will be able to develop capacity to build institutions outside the State. Cameronism will inevitably be providing a reassessment of the cultural significance of personal wealth, if he wants individuals to expand their capacity to build their own society, and push government out of it.
And how will people be able to take any initiatives inside the highly regulated environment that’s been created since 1992, and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty?
Only if Britain withdraws from the EU will it begin to be possible to dismantle the regulatory burden on our lives. Only then can the quangocracy that throttles the health service, the police, our schools and businesses be driven over the cliff. That will be a necessary part of seizing back control of our lives – back from the self-serving State that has stolen our freedoms. The State will never willingly yield the fruits of its corruption. We may not see guillotines on the street, but there will be as much pleasure and joy seeing quangocrats turfed out of their privileged positions of power, as was ever experienced by French peasants in executing aristocrats in the French Revolution. No revolution can be complete without its victims.
As for ending the sway of Brussels, which must surely be the centrepiece of the coming Cameron regime, the joy that will sweep the land will be to relive a combination of VE Day with Guy Fawkes Night, and to celebrate several Christmases all at once – and be better than winning the World Cup and The Olympics combined. Vera Lynn, The White Cliffs and Freedom will rise once more.
The Cameron Revolution will bring Britain back from the slow and painful death it is going through at the hands of bureaucratic suffocation.
People should take a look at what it will be all about. Cameronism, its tenets and beliefs arenot a secret.