The wonderful James Delingpole has written an exclusive piece for Bogpaper this week. Below, he asks, is Tory MP Owen Paterson the soundest politician in Britain?
Here at Bogpaper.com we place a high value on soundness. Sound money, sound thinking, sound policy – without them we’re stuffed. Until soundness is restored to our economy, our money system, our government, our ideological outlook, The Recovery can never begin.
This is why I found myself feeling uncharacteristically heartened last weekend after a visit to the remote (well, from me, anyway) idyllically rural constituency of North Shropshire.
I’d gone up to give a pep talk to some of the donors who help support the local MP Owen Paterson. Naturally they were feeling pretty pessimistic about the way conservatism is heading under the current coalition. So I thought I’d depress them a bit more by telling them exactly how it is.
2012-2015 Coalition crawls on to its inevitable demise.
2015 Ed Miliband (or a monkey wearing a red rosette) gets in. Insane socialistic policies ensure that economy tanks even more than it did under George Osborne’s money printing/no spending cuts mismanagement.
2020 The Fightback begins.
Yep, eight years is how long we’re going to have to wait until Britain stands even a semblance of a chance of putting its house in order. And that is the best case scenario, assuming that by that stage Cameron and his Appeasers have all been booted out and replaced by the kind of liberty-loving, small-government, free market types with the mettle to do the necessary.
Why then, did I emerge from this meeting so cheerful?
Because to a man (and woman), everyone in the audience TOTALLY got it. They recognised that the Cameron project is stuffed. They also – being mostly very successful, small-business-people – understood exactly the remedies that are needed if Britain is to experience any kind of meaningful recovery.
These remedies are so obvious that they oughtn’t to need stating. But the list of requirements would certainly include:
1. A dramatic reduction in government spending
2. Sweeping tax cuts, preferably in the form of a new low flat tax
3. An end to the government’s insanely expensive, utterly pointless pursuit of “renewable energy” and “decarbonisation.”
4. The immediate exploitation of Britain’s vast shale gas reserves.
5. The ending of red-tape for small businesses, especially regarding the employment laws which make it almost impossible to sack incompetent (or unaffordable) staff without ruining the company.
To which list, I’d add things like:
a) no more money-printing, ever.
b) greatly expanded airport facilities for London
c) the recovery of Britain’s gold reserves, sold at rock bottom prices by Gordon Brown
I don’t know exactly how much of this wish-list Owen Paterson would agree with. All of it, I would guess. The problem is, we don’t really get to hear what he thinks much of the time because David Cameron has very cunningly sidelined him as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. This means that though Paterson is a member of the Cabinet – like Iain Duncan Smith, he is there as a sop to the Tory right – he is kept out of the Westminster political loop because he spends so much of his time fighting fires in Belfast.
Paterson is doing a great job (as you can tell from the near-absence of Northern Ireland stories in the media, despite ongoing campaigns by the paramilitaries – kneecappings, pipe-bombings etc). But the price he is paying for his competence and quiet success is to end up completely off most journalists’ radar.
Mark my words, though. His time will come.