• May 27, 2016

‘Bush conservative’ now leads Britain - Odessa American: Home

e-Edition Subscribe

A Look Back

Today in History

On May 27, 1941, the British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives. Amid rising world tensions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed an “unlimited national emergency” during a radio address from the White House.

‘Bush conservative’ now leads Britain

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 12:00 am

To get through its current crisis, the United Kingdom needs another Iron Lady. That’s the derogatory term bestowed by her opponents upon Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party’s prime minister from 1979-90. But the moniker later was adopted by supporters when they admired Thatcher’s getting the country through the major crises of the late 1970s and into the prosperity of the 1980s.

Rather than another Thatcher, Britons have gotten David Cameron, who Tuesday was named prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II after he allied with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who becomes deputy prime minister. They formed a coalition government, the first since World War II, since neither Cameron’s Conservatives nor the Liberal Democrats received a majority of seats in Parliament in the May 6 election.

The best part is that Gordon Brown of the Labor Party has been ousted from power, which he held for three years. Along with his predecessor, Tony Blair, Brown and Labor presided over 13 years of tax increases, wild government spending and inflationary monetary policy that have sunk the UK into a recession worse than that in America and a financial situation only marginally less dire than that of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Unfortunately, Cameron calls himself a “modern compassionate conservative,” echoing the slogan “compassionate conservative” that George W. Bush used in his 2000 presidential campaign. “Cameron is a sort of George W. Bush conservative,” observed Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. The main difference, Eland said, is that British Conservatives “don’t have the aversion to tax increases that Republicans do” in the United States.

The result could be that Cameron will try a “combination of tax increases and spending cuts” to get Britain’s economic house in order. He added that Britain’s powerful unions — which Thatcher tamed in the late 1970s — also will make it difficult to cut spending enough to make a difference.

Fortunately, Eland said, Britain’s situation isn’t quite as bad as that of Greece. We would add that Brits have a long history of “muddling through,” as during World War II.

Another major issue is Britain’s support for the American war in Afghanistan, which Cameron reaffirmed Tuesday in a call with President Barack Obama. Eland said that, although the Conservative Party has supported the war and Britain’s since-ended involvement in Iraq, “these are Labor Party wars, and conservatives may be more amenable to withdrawal.” However, Cameron may not want to injure relations with the United States, which a withdrawal would do.

Clegg could have major influence here, as he campaigned against the war. An April poll showed that 72 percent of Britons think the war is “unwinnable.” The determining factor may be that Britain may no longer be able to bear the expense of the war.

How our English cousins deal with their economic and political crisis could be a harbinger of how Americans will have to deal with ours, beginning with our elections in November.

Most Popular

Permian's Steve Steen

More Featured Videos

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Clear
82°
Humidity: 10%
Winds: W at 8mph
Feels Like: 82°

Your Extended Forecast

Today

weather
High 89°/Low 62°
Sunny

Tomorrow

weather
High 96°/Low 69°
Times of sun and clouds

Sunday

weather
High 91°/Low 69°
Afternoon showers and thunderstorms

Monday

weather
High 93°/Low 68°
Morning thunderstorms
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7670 to sign up today.