Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

@RichardJMurphy Bemused By Display Of Principles

I won’t say that Richard Murphy, the black sheep of the accountancy profession, has lost it: for as any regular reader of his (or indeed any follower of Tim Worstall will realise) that train left the station some years ago, the track has since been ripped up on Dr Beeching’s orders, the platform has now gone to grass and even the railway preservation societies aren’t interested.

However, this morning we have yet another reminder of just why only the likes of the BBC among the mainstream media still seek his opinion on anything.

Are the Tea Party the political equivalent of suicide bombers?

Yes, that really was the headline. No attention grabbing there then.

Let me stress, straight away, I’m not suggesting the Tea Party are physical terrorists.

Fear not, I wasn’t about to fall into that elephant trap.

Suicide bombing changed the whole environment of terrorism. Suddenly we faced people for whom what had been presumed to be the ultimate deterrent – risk of their own death – held no threat….

The Tea Party may be politically similar.

Wipe the coffee off your screen, you’ll have to get used to this sort of thing.

… they don’t care about their chance of re-election when negotiating on the budget deficit. All they care about is killing the government.

Breaking news: opposition party takes more than a passing interest in seeing its point of view prevailing.

The normal sanction of political life – the loss of office – holds no threat for these people.

So, they have the interests of their country at heart rather than short-term political advantage. And that’s a bad thing because …?

That changes the rules of engagement. We don’t know how to deal with it yet.

Both groups are extremist.

Bear in mind, here, that an extremist right-winger is anyone not to the left of old Vladimir Ilyich.

Of course they’re operating in radically different ways. But both have the aim of destroying what, for reasons of dogma, they consider to be the enemy which the vast majority would consider otherwise. And in the process they’re quite willing to sacrifice their own selves.

One man’s dogma is another’s principles; and there’s the rub.

National debt clock

U.S. National Debt Clock - no doubt erected by those mad extremist Tea Party types.

The Tea ‘Party’ are a new force in American politics because they step outside the staid environment of the old Republican/Democrat revolving door. Remember that some of the Tea Party’s most notable successes were in the primaries, kicking out sitting Republicans that had “gone native” in leaning too far towards big government solutions while all the time the deficit was climbing, and the US national debt grew to the current unsustainable proportions.

The Tea Party’s key principle and central message is quite clear: government must live within its means. If the Left regard this as extreme then that says a lot about how we got where we are – in the US, UK and Europe. That Mr Murphy cannot comprehend someone holding a principled position in the face of a possible electoral drubbing says a lot about his own outlook.

Certainly it’ll take a lot more than moaning about big companies’ tax affairs and coming up with dodgy tax gap numbers to solve this problem.

It’s not how we think democracy works. I’m not yet sure how we handle it.

By “we” I assume he means the Left including, I suspect, the trade union which helps to pay his bills.

Now they would rather things worked thus: government takes decision that the Left don’t like, unions march, strike and – if UKUncut’s friends are involved – smash stuff up, and thus intimidate government into doing what the hard Left want. Democracy, you see, is only ‘working’ when it produces the result you want.

That, though, is not how democracy works – and they’ll just have to learn to live with it.

(Pic.: Johan Fr Øhman under Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.)
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