Gove et al- did they arrive here via a Victorian time warp?

queen_victoria_by_bassano

(Sorry- more politics. I did not quite get it all out my system yesterday.)

I have been thinking about what moral imperatives drive the current Tory led government coalition. There have to be some, or how else can they stand firm against the voices of protest? How else can they ignore expert advice, or most recently, even the United Nations?

Some might suggest that their policies coincide with the interests of those who already have power wealth and property, and want to keep it- the old Marx class war stuff. Whilst this might well drive all sorts of undercurrents of power people do not often make political decisions according to naked self interest. Rather they have complex systems of values, obligations and loyalties that drive the story they place themselves in.

Then again there is the suggestion that some Bullingdon Club/Old Etonian discussion about how young Tories connect with the great unwashed resulted in one too many drunken drive home with a certain kind of taxi driver- you know the kind; full of talk about how the country is going to dogs because there are too many scroungers and immigrants and not enough hanging and flogging. However, I think we need to remember that our government, no matter how much we may think it at times, is made of up of highly intelligent individuals full of drive and ambition.

No, it has to be something else- some other well of ideology they they are drawing inspiration from…

I think I have it.

Let me throw you back a hundred and fifty years or so to a time when a relatively young Queen Victoria was on the throne. Britain was ‘Great’, in the sense that we had no real challengers to the power of our Empire. We pretty much took what ever we wanted from all over the world. Our industry was booming, our trade routes enforced by gunboat diplomacy. The rich man was building ever bigger castles whilst the poor man stayed at his gate. Or rather, worked in his factory, or up his chimney. That is the Britain that we all want to live in, right? That is a Britain that we all aspire to return to?

Or let me put it this way;

Education

Rigour, discipline, concentration of narrow canon- the classics, the three Rs. So called ‘experts’ are to be treated with derision. The Education of our workforce is the thing- we educate for productivity, and leave a door half way open for those who might become Mill Managers, NCOs or Empire Administrators.

Welfare

People have to work or starve. There is room for benevolent philanthropy, but only for the deserving poor. The rest need to be treated with a tough dose of reality.

Health

The quality of medicine you are entitled to depends on how much individuals can afford to spend on it. There are other health services, but these are patchy, poorly equipped and perhaps ill judged.

Human rights

The only overarching right is Freedom- Freedom to prosper through hard work, application and free trade. This freedom does not extend to foreigners, or anyone who threatens the status quo, or the entitlement of those in power to live with the benefits that power brings.l

Criminal justice

Punish those who commit crime with as much severity as possible, so that they will learn the error of their ways. Even better, remove people from society permanently. Ship them off somewhere else with a one way ticket.

Industrial relations

The workers are there to work. If an employer kills or maims his workforce this is reprehensible as this injures productivity. Beyond this, let the market decide.

I could go on, but I am sure you get my point.

Next time you see Cameron on TV, think of the great Tory Hero, Benjamin Disraeli.  Minus the novels. And the personality. And the Jewishness.

When you hear Gove sound off against the feckless poor who are visiting our new Vicorian soup Kitchens/food banks, or dismissing research based opposition to his education policies as ‘badly misguided lobby’, think about the poor houses and Samuel Smiles’s ‘Self Help’.

It all starts to make a lot more sense.

One thought on “Gove et al- did they arrive here via a Victorian time warp?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s