Corbyn, terror’s useful idiot

Jeremy Corbyn will suggest today that British foreign policy causes Islamist terror attacks here at home.  Certainly, it would be absurd to claim that there was no connection at all between western military action in Iraq and Afghanistan and 7/7, or 21/7, or the attempted terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport in the same year, 2007.

But is is worth pausing at the start, as the Labour leader seeks to get ahead of his critics, to ask what our foreign policy is now, rather than what it was ten years ago.  We have withdrawn our soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.  We have no boots on the ground in Syria.  Indeed, the Government has spent a lot of time and trouble trying to persuade Russia to ditch Assad, the mortal enemy of Islamists like Salman Abedi, the perpetrator of the Manchester atrocity.  Mention of Abedi takes us to Libya, the country from which his Islamist father fled in 1992 to escape Gaddafi before Britain gave him and his family asylum.  A decade or so later, David Cameron’s Government played an indispensable part in the overthrow of the dictator who that father hated.

The main Islamist force against which our armed forces are engaged in military action today is ISIS, the terror group which is attempting to form a pre-modern state in Iraq and Syria, complete with bans on music at parties,  the teaching of evolution in schools, and  the display of photographs in shop windows and women appearing in public – all complemented by forced conversions, the murder of prisoners of war, religious cleansing, floggings, rapes, stonings, the throwing of people from tall buildings, beheadings, crucifixions, burnings-alive and the use of children as suicide bombers.  All this is expended on Alawites, Yazidis, Druze, Christians, Shia Muslims and indeed anyone ISIS disapproves of, including very many of their fellow Sunni Muslims.

A moment’s thought will confirm that there is no foreign policy Britain could introduce that could possibly appease the likes of Abedi.  We are damned if we intervene, and damned if we don’t.  If we intervene, we are accused of imperialism and wars for oil.  If we don’t, we are accused of indifference to the plight and slaughter of Muslims.  Either way, we lose.

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Tories must use victory to revolutionise UK economy

There’s an election next month in the United Kingdom, though there’s not much political suspense.

The Labour Party is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a crazed Bernie Sanders-style leftist, and British voters have no desire to become an Anglo-Saxon version of Venezuela.

Or, since Corbyn’s main economic adviser actually has said all income belongs to the government and Corbyn himself has endorsed a maximum wage, maybe an Anglo-Saxon version of North Korea.

Given the Labour Party’s self-inflicted suicide, it is widely expected that the Conservative Party, led by Theresa May, will win an overwhelming victory.

But what difference will it make? Will the Tories have a mandate? Do they actually want to change policy?

Let’s start by asking whether policy should change. The good news is that the United Kingdom is ranked #10 according to Economic Freedom of the World. That means the U.K. is more market-friendly than the vast majority of nations (including the United States, I’m sad to report).

The bad news is that the U.K.’s score has been slipping throughout the 21st century. Basically, there were a lot of great reforms during the Thatcher era, but policy in recent years has been slowly deteriorating.

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Venezuela is collapsing into socialist induced chaos, yet it remains a Corbynista poster child

The Venezuelan regime’s decision to unleash paramilitary groups on opposition protestors has revealed to the world yet again the moral bankruptcy of socialism. It also shows Jeremy Corbyn’s utter hypocrisy; he parrots on about universal human rights but is not prepared to speak out against the thugs who run Venezuela, a nation of almost 32 million people.

We have been here before with socialist ideology but some people never learn. The Russian famine of 1921-22 was a direct result of Lenin’s collectivist policies. It led to around five million deaths. Between 1958 and 1962, Mao Tse-tung’s Great Leap Forward in China – a socialist project to industrialise the country – resulted in 45 million killed.

In the late Seventies under Pol Pot, two million perished in Cambodia during attempts to collectivise the countryside.

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Why Socialism Failed – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

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British Labour Leader Corbyn Stung by Former Aide Over ‘Inability to Understand’ Why He’s Viewed as Antisemitic

As the United Kingdom prepares for general elections in June, the embattled leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is once again facing damaging allegations about his personal attitude toward the antisemitism that has swelled in Labour’s ranks.

Writing in the Sunday Times this weekend, Harry Fletcher — who served as Corbyn’s aide during his first year as head of Labour — declared that Corbyn and his colleagues suffered from an “inability to understand why they’re perceived as anti-Semitic.”

Scandals involving antisemitism have plagued Labour ever since Corybn took the helm of the party in 2015. Earlier this month, British Jewish leaders, along with 42 Labour members of the British Parliament, slammed Corbyn’s decision not to expel his ally Ken Livingstone — a former mayor of London — from the party over his repeated claim that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a supporter of Zionism.

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The Telegraph – Brexit Bulletin

Good afternoon.

The people of Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent have spoken, and the parties have a lot to mull over the weekend. Labour finds itself under immediate pressure following the loss of Copeland to the Conservatives’ Trudy Harrison. Jeremy Corbyn has had to dig in, insisting he won’t stand down after what his MPs called a “historic and catastrophic defeat”. Allies seem to be blaming the defeat in Copeland on Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, with John McDonnell saying: “We can’t have a circumstance again where a week before the by-election a former leader of our party attacks the party itself.” Tom Harris is surprised by the refusal “to view reality without the red flag-tinted glasses”. “It’s bizarre and unprecedented – very 2016. And the Conservative Party is very grateful for that”.

Labour can console itself with the fact that it repelled Paul Nuttall in Stoke-on-Trent Central, even if it clung onto the seat half the majority it had at the last general election. The Ukip leader tried to put a brave face on defeat, insisting that the party was “not going anywhere”, but the recriminations are already flying. Nigel Farage told Sky that the party “ could have been clearer on immigration”, while his allies lay the blame on Mr Nuttall’s advisers. “At times, I wondered whether I’ve got a purple rosette or a red one on,” one told me.

The Conservatives are the only ones to have the wind in their sails. Michael Fabricant has pondered online as to whether the Tories may end up doing to Labour in the north of England what the SNP did to them in Scotland. Election analyst Martin Baxter has explained why these results would set the Tories up for a three-figure majority if a general election was held tomorrow. The by-elections have confirmed the Tories are riding high, so Tim Stanley has looked at how they could make the most of that advantage. “When you say that the state is a manifestation of the will of the people, then the people will expect it to move mountains,” he writes. “For now, the Tories should emphasise that they are getting the boring necessities right.”

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The Telegraph – Brexit Bulletin

Good afternoon.

Voters in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central are braving the might of Storm Doris to come out and vote today in two crunch by-elections. As polling day enters its final few hours, I’ve been looking online at how the parties will treat the possible results.

Labour is fighting to cling on two seats in what have been traditional heartlands. It shouldn’t be remarkable if that happens, but the party has lowered expectations about how it may do in the hope of making it seem so. Jeremy Corbyn’s critics will be keeping an eye out on how Labour’s majority holds up in such a scenario to see what damage his leadership may have had.

Losing both would inevitably precipitate a leadership challenge. The Tories may hope Labour clings onto Stoke then, so that Mr Corbyn can be embarrassed, but remain in place as leader. They have their hearts set on taking Copeland off Labour by trying to highlight Mr Corbyn’s anti-nuclear stance to voters there. It will be quite a coup if they manage it, as it will be a be the first time the Government had won a seat off the official opposition since the Tories took Mitcham and Morden in 1982.

Ukip’s fortunes rest on what happens in Stoke. If Paul Nuttall wins, the party will enjoy a new moment of glory as it celebrates its new MP and its first seizure of a Labour seat. If he doesn’t, his allies will be tempted to blame it on Labour’s “smear campaign” over Hillsborough. That  won’t persuade everyone, as Nigel Farage told Ukip’s spring conference that winning Stoke was “fundamental” to the party’s future. If Mr Nuttall can’t deliver, some Faragistas will be sharpening their knives.

The results will be not be known until much later, likely between 3 and 4am. We’ll have them, as well as all the analysis, on our website tomorrow. Every party will hope to have something to boast about. If not, their leaders can expect to have pretty gloomy weekends.

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