Political Commentary: China will despise us for being supplicants
The political Left is stuffed with shibboleths, high-minded principles and ideologies. Every potential decision is examined for its conformity with a tangle of intellectual notions supposedly essential to the cause. The real world is passed by with a sniff.
That’s why the Left always fails in government and why the Conservatives have to dismantle its Heath-Robinson creations before getting on with their own agenda.
The last period of Labour administration lasted an interminable 13 years, leaving a calamitous mess behind for the Tories to clear up. Almost every Whitehall ministry is still in intensive care, especially the Treasury.
To make matters worse, their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, have a similar tendency for ideological rigidity. The result is that David Cameron is getting a fatal reputation for being one of them and not a true Conservative.
In his zeal for high office, he has probably accepted the worst of all possible worlds: floundering in power and not being “one of us”. It seems a poor reward for holding prime-ministerial office.
It’s perhaps no wonder that he spends so much time abroad. Currently he is doing the rounds in China, giving the impression he’s more of a supplicant than a partner to a still hastily developing third-world country. China’s wealth lies in its government’s control of the modest earnings of a vast population, coupled with a ruthless command economy.
What Britain needs are more world-class companies and superior products. We take Burberry for granted, but it’s wildly successful in the Far East — without number 10′s help. There are many more like that, but they tend to be relatively small. They do, however, stand out for being quintessentially British and a bit toffish, just what a new ruling class is looking for.
Selling services to China, as Cameron is trying to do, will be a hard slog. It doesn’t help that George Osborne has already begged cash from them for new nuclear power stations, which the EU seems to be contesting, and for HS2.
Isn’t it time to draw breath and work out a proper strategy for Britain’s exports? For example, assisting companies to take on their own sales efforts abroad.
Publishing soon: Mystology: A different way of looking at the world.