home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |

Witness to Liberals as they Really Are Liberals: Learning Nothing and Forgetting Nothing

print view

Brits Melt Down Over Naughty MPs

by Christopher Chantrill
June 25, 2009 at 11:24 am

|

IN THESE latter days parents no longer talk about children having tantrums. They talk about meltdowns, as in nuclear plants. In my day, of course, children didn’t indulge in nuclear explosions. I still remember the shock of reading The Secret Garden and the tantrums of its spoiled rich-bitch heroine, Mary Lennox. No kid that I knew got to have tantrums. It was telling, of course, that the young Yorkshire lad, Dickon, Mary’s lower-class guide to the secrets of nature and gardening, did not have tantrums.

Well, Britain is different now, for Brits of every age andclass are having a collective meltdown over the shocking publication of the expenses claimed by their Members of Parliament.

As in all advanced countries, the British disapprove of highly-paid legislators, so the MPs long ago decided to top up their taxable incomes with tax-free allowances to compensate themselves for the agonizing expense of the second homes essential to the legislative life.

Last week the MPs published the details of their lordly expenses, but decided to redact the prurient details. What a mistake! Surely they should have known that there is nothing a journalist enjoys more than publishing a redacted document that has all the naughty bits censored out.

Don’t be so surprised, says former MP Matthew Parris. “MPs are all on the same side. They behave as an interest group, just like any other interest group. They defend their own interests.” In other words, their snouts are in the trough, just like the voters.

Parris well remembers holding weekly “surgeries” listening to constituents and their problems. The parade was endless. Everyone wanted something from the government:

[H]ouseholders wanting planning permission for a porch; parents worried by plans to charge for school transport; and endless claims and counter-claims about entitlement to welfare benefits.

What a surprise! You mean to say that when the government hands stuff out for free then people line up to claim their share of the loot?

It is a little over the top for the same voters to have a meltdown when it turns out that the chaps in charge of doling out the loot are no better than the average benefits cheat. Most toddlers grow out of meltdown shortly after the Terrible Twos.

There is a way to escape this horror, these endless reruns of Snouts in the Trough. It is called limited government.

The idea is that you write a constitution and say that the government is only allowed to do a few things, as specifically enumerated in the constitution. Everything else is off limits. It works every time it is tried.

Think of all the benefits of limited government.

To start with, we could purge many social evils from our society.

All those people nosing around looking for a nice entitlement that would enable them to retire early will have to get out and get a job. This would be good because these worthy souls would actually start contributing products and services to their fellow Americans. Big businesses that are too big to fail wouldn’t get to lap up trillions in government bailouts. They would just fail and have to put their executive jets up for sale. This would be good, because there are many aggressive young entrepreneurs that could really use a cut-price executive jet to expand their profitable businesses.

Limited government wouldn’t just give individual and corporate welfare recipients a firm push. It would encourage the social virtues. People that wanted to improve their communities would have to get together with their fellow citizens in true collective spirit and all pull together. People that wanted to help the poor and the unfortunate would have to get together with other equally compassionate people and devise programs the help the poor using their own money rather than other peoples’ money.

But the biggest benefit of all would be that our representatives could at last say No. They would be able to say to all those chiseling grifters and helpless victims: Hey, Mr. Moderate, I’d love to help you. But I can’t. The government’s not allowed to do stuff like that. Why don’t you get together with Bob Boniface over at the Anytown Benevolent and Protective Association and see if you folks can’t work with him on this?

What a concept!

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

print view

To comment on this article at American Thinker click here.

To email the author, click here.

 

 TAGS


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


presented by Christopher Chantrill

Data Sources  •   •  Contact