This general election is the most important in my lifetime. The choice is stark: vote Conservative, or get a hard-left government and a bleak future.
The brain drain following a Labour victory would be devastating. I have talked to many highly successful entrepreneurs in recent weeks and all say they would leave the country rather than face punitive taxation, excessive state intervention and a government that demonises wealth creators.
Investment would evaporate, and talent would flee a country that chooses to despise the ambitious. Builders, risk-takers, inventors, founders — there are many dozens of countries that would welcome such human capital with open arms. The world is a much more connected and mobile place, hence becoming an exile from Jeremy Corbyn’s Britain is a more viable option.
If Corbyn won, job creation would come to a halt, thanks to Labour’s rise in the minimum wage, burdensome employment legislation and the rapid evaporation of investment by the private sector. Nationalisation and expropriation would discourage capitalists from coming here. Meanwhile, the 30% of income tax that comes from just 1% of the population would slump, forcing the government to push up other taxes. Labour’s mad state spending plans would spiral out of control and the country would find it harder to borrow to fund such largesse. A weak currency and rising interest rates — to attract buyers of gilts — would punish the country even more.
Adam Smith wrote that “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation” and he was right. It has taken Venezuela 20 years to go from being one of the richest nations in South America to near starvation, while Caracas has become one of the murder capitals of the world, thanks to a destructive embrace of socialism. In a single five-year term, Corbyn’s Labour would not entirely bankrupt Britain, but the party would cause vast damage to our economy and reverse decades of progress in overall living standards.
Labour’s policies betray ignorance of business, economics and human nature. Corbyn and his team do not understand how entrepreneurs think, how innovation happens, how competitive the world is and the fragility of our economic success. They do not believe in choice, the profit motive, free enterprise or markets. They want a Big Brother government to run broadband, railways, energy, water and Royal Mail. Never mind state inefficiencies, the lack of investment, the bureaucracy, the cost to the taxpayer: ideology is everything — the practical realities of the world as it actually is are ignored.
In power, Labour would seek to manipulate the vote by opening elections up to 16 and 17-year-olds and to non-British citizens resident here. It would abolish tuition fees, which would be a big giveaway to the highest-earning graduates and of no help to the less well-off young people who don’t attend university.
Advances in education with academies and free schools would be cancelled, with control handed back to local authorities and teaching unions. The public sector payroll and the client state would be expanded by sharp rises in public spending, all designed to entrench their voter base. Labour would crowd out the private sector and crush dynamic parts of the economy, such as the City, financial services and venture capital. Start-ups and recruitment would shrivel — who would take on the responsibility of being an employer with such a hostile government?
Some voters dislike Boris Johnson and are angry about Brexit. Johnson is hardly perfect, but he is intelligent, optimistic, energetic and decisive. Corbyn is a tired Marxist who befriends terrorists and is surrounded by dangerous anti-Semites, quasi-communists and fools.
On so many issues, the Labour cabinet would form a gang of hypocrites wholly unfit for public office.
Too many educated voters take our prosperity, freedoms and rule of law for granted. These would all be profoundly threatened by a government led by Corbyn and John McDonnell. Milton Friedman once wrote on the “Suicidal Impulse of the Business Community”. Organisations such as the CBI and Institute of Directors have demonstrated this tendency with their pathetic responses to Labour’s manifesto. Like middle-class Liberal Democrat voters, they are simply Corbyn’s useful idiots — behaving in a polite manner, failing to see the existential threat Labour represents to our economy.
Anyone working in the private sector — employees, owners, entrepreneurs, managers — should realise that a vote for any party other than the Conservatives risks installing a government that would lay waste to this great country.