by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The country’s economy today is at a virtual standstill, and how the divorce with the EU will unfold remains a mystery. The ruling conservative government has been so inept that the inconceivable could happen: The anti-American, anti-Semitic, malignant Marxist leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, might become the next prime minister.
The country had an opportunity to shape itself as a global economic powerhouse, combining the best of Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore. The soaring success this would have engendered would have had EU countries hankering to be part of the United Kingdom. Instead, the Tory regime opted for drift, confusion and the pandering politics of more “compassionate” spending and more regulation. Barack Obama would have been right at home. …
… A government of timorous hacks. Sharply cut income taxes or even enact a flat tax, as a number of central and eastern European nations have done? Continue to prune the bloated bureaucracy, as Cameron had been successfully carrying out since he took office in 2010? Reduce burdens on business, especially startups? Heaven forfend! Such sensible measures would beget criticisms of helping the rich, of being pro-business and antienvironment. Theresa May and her craven crew had no stomach for any of the pro-growth boldness of Margaret Thatcher, who, since being ousted from 10 Downing Street nearly three decades ago, has become a virtual nonperson in her party.
Needless to say, Britain couldn’t even fathom becoming an economic dynamo by unilaterally abolishing virtually all tariffs and trade barriers, as Hong Kong did after WWII, which was critical in its turning from a poor, overcrowded speck of real estate with no natural resources into one of the richest economies on earth.