By this I mean someone who actually got some power, and promptly wrecked things. There’s lots of candidates, separated only by the extent of their wreckage.
Naturally Gordon Brown and Tony Blair leap to mind for almost everything they did and bequeathed to us. Edward Heath swept us into the EU (as it then wasn’t) and collapsed before the unions. Older hands might have examples that The Knife has no first hand knowledge of. Some might say that Dave is shaping up nicely for the title, though I still have some hope.
Apart from the detail of their particular policies and legislation, the one thing these pygmies all have in common is an overweening arrogance, often laden with vast dollops of hypocrisy. Naturally, all of them were regarded as highly intelligent by their fans.
These characteristics were found in excelsis in Roy Jenkins, the wine slurping high-handed Europhile who back in the dark ages of the 1960’s was Home Secretary, in which capacity he smuggled in the Abortion Act via his dupe David Steels’s private members bill – an early example of Lib-Lab coalescence. As Chancellor after that he may have temporarily stabilised the economy, but I learnt today, from the admirable Tim Worstall that:
The Soviets tried it in the late 1920s, taxing private business profits at well over 100 per cent. The result? Private business disappeared. We see this again, in the 1960s when Roy Jenkins taxed profits from investment (so called “unearned income”) at 130 per cent in one year. People have been disinclined to invest in British industry ever since.
That explains a lot. The quote is from an article dissecting Obama’s recent bizarre assertion that the state is mysteriously jointly responsible for all business success. This attitude, that we need the state (and therefore colossal levels of taxation) for things other than basic healthcare, defence, roads etc, is in The Knife’s opinion why we’re in the state we’re in.
This all fits with the left’s own narrative that Jenkins was the godfather to New Labour – except that they regard it as a good thing – and it applies to the Coalition just as much as it does to its spiritual home, the Labour Party.
It may have reached its pinnacle with the madness of Gordon Brown, but it began with Roy Jenkins.