As unveiled in Grosvenor Square earlier:
Ronald Reagan was ostensibly the great hero uniting fiscal conservatives, national security conservatives, and social conservatives. But privatisation, globalisation, deregulation and demutualisation have turned out, in the most spectacular fashion, to be anything but fiscally responsible. The same is true of a generation of scorn for full employment, leading to the massively increased benefit dependency of the 1980s and to the institutionalisation of that mass indolence down to the present day.
The transfer of huge sums of public money to ostensibly private, but entirely risk-free, companies in order to run schools, hospitals, railways, rubbish collections, and so many other things: is that fiscally responsible? Bailing out Wall Street or the City at all, never mind so that it can carry on paying the same salaries and bonuses as before: is that fiscally responsible? Even leaving aside more rarefied academic pursuits, is it fiscally responsible to allow primary education, or healthcare, or public transport, or social housing to fall apart? Is that good for business?
Will it be fiscally responsible to allow the private health insurance companies to charge the American taxpayer whatever they like, because the absence of a public option or a single-payer system was the price of the votes of Blue Dogs who still voted against the Bill anyway and of wavering Republicans who turned out not to exist at all? It is no wonder that Jerry Brown turns out to have been far more of a fiscal conservative, as that term is generally employed, than Ronald Reagan. Even to a fault on occasion.
But what of the other two legs of the stool that was the Reagan Coalition? The only two conservative things that Reagan ever did were to begin nuclear arms reduction in Europe and to withdraw from Lebanon because no American interest was at stake; Obama is the worthy heir of the first, but would that he were of the second. Reagan was no more a national security conservative, as that term in generally employed, than he was a fiscal conservative, as that term is generally employed, both uses being wholly erroneous and such as to render meaningless any concept of conservatism.
Bringing us to the third leg, the social conservatives, “the Religious Right”. The moral, social and cultural consequences of massively increased welfare dependency and the glorification of selfish greed were wholly of a piece with the rise of Political Correctness in the 1980s, and with that decade’s general moral chaos. Reagan was an extremely infrequent churchgoer and did not formally belong to any parish, congregation or denomination. He remains the only President of the United States ever to have been divorced, his Californian no-fault divorce legislation having since been copied by almost every state. And, as Governor of California, he signed into law the legalisation of abortion in that state. Read that last sentence over again.
Apologies! My post of July 4th, 2011 6:04pm was addressed to TGFUKIP and Fearty.
Is there anything, no occasion,however happy or solemn, that is not grist to the mill of your obsession…?
whatawaste on July 4th, 2011 4:07pm
Considering Grosvenor Square’s over two hundred year association with the United States and that the facade of the current embassy including the giant eagle has been listed, I personally think that it should stay where it is.
There is protocol covering these sorts of things.
The Government was represented by William Hague as First Secretary, George Osborne, Liam Fox and Alan Duncan. A pretty good turnout. Sadly Lady T. couldn’t make it at the last moment.
The US was represented by Ambassadors Sussmann and Tuttle, Condi Rice and the Majority Whip.
If Cameron had attended, the US would have had to increase the seniority of their delegation (perhaps Speaker Boehner?) or the VP, and who knows whose diary made that impossible.
Dave on July 4th, 2011 5:09pm wrote:
“so, sweepstake on how long it takes for some lefty so throw paint or similar on it? i’m betting 64 days.”
In Grosvenor Square? It would have to be a braver than average lefty. Quick way to end up deid!
The statue truly commemorates a time when our great countries were united under too great leaders. Thatcher and Reagan, were the light to the world. Wouldn’t it be great if they were both leading together again in these times?
so, sweepstake on how long it takes for some lefty so throw paint or similar on it? i’m betting 64 days.
The tone of the linked BBC report by some preening prat called Adam Fleming is truly extraordinary (even for them) calculatedly disrespectful, sneeringly anti-american and ignorant.
Verity agree.WG. Wish I could have been there.TGF Ukip. David Cameron could not be seen with right wing politicians, could he?
Reagan was a tower of strength in an uncertain time. Backed, ably, by a strong English Prime Minister.
Isn’t it a pity that Hague has ditched his former strong beliefs, to support the weak Cameron. Or is he playing a waiting game?
What happens to the statue and Grosvenor Square when the US Embassy relocates to the South Bank?
Well TGF UKIP, I hadn’t even thought about Dave, but I’m glad he wasn’t there as his cheap presence would have sullied the moment.
No Dave, there though apparently, but I’m sure CHers can think of many reasons why he might wish to stay away.
What a terrible shame that Nancy could not have been there to see him so honoured in London.
Were his children there?
I have such respect for the man! Remember when he fired all the air traffic controllers? Can you imagine anyone in Britain having that kind of steady nerve going against a public service union?
I envy you boys. I wish I could have been there…
William Hague was simply too good for the public he sought to lead.
This statue is seriously bad art of the Colonel Sanders school. The man, the Embassy, the Square, and the country deserve something much, much better.
Condi was, but she covered it well, like the ‘pro’ she is.
WG – I agree with you, although I thought that Louis Sussman struck the right note as well. Less impressed by the Majority Whip who I thought was a touch too political.
Sounded like Condi was choking up slightly during her speech, but I was just in the cheap seats so it may have been the distance?
this bronze does him proud. always had a rather soft spot for the old boy. sadly it seems the bottom of the stone base also has one. well, a rather nasty damp one anyway.no matter how much we pay, getting it perfect seems to be beyond the ability of today’s bold artisan…..
Rather tastefully done, I think. A little Soviet, but thoroughly decent.
Just returned from the ceremony.
Hague was the best speaker by a country mile – he spoke with passion, conviction and sounded like a world-class orator – such a pity his political career turned-out the way it did…
Superb! Just such a shame that his old friend and ally, Baroness Thatcher, was too ill to attend.
Oh dear! Oh dear! O dear!
Troll alert! The return of Hayward Maberley! Must be three years since we last enjoyed his scintillating s-s-s-s-scribblings. Where have you been embedded Howard, Venezuela?
Some rain on this parade of cognitive dissonance.
For it was Reaganomics that pushed US on the slippery slope from creditor to debtor nation.
In 1981, shortly after taking office, Reagan complained of those “runaway deficits” that were then approaching US$80 billion, or about 2.5% of GDP.
Within only two years, however, “The Gipper” had succeeded in enlarging the deficit to more than US$200 billion, or 6 % of GDP. At the end of the Reagan/Bush1 era iwas down to US$150 billion, still almost double what it had been under Carter.
But the National Debt had climbed from US$995 billion, when Reagan took office, to $4 trillion by the end of Bush1′s presidency,
Under Reagan and Bush Republican Administrations it climbed as a % of GDP from 26% to 42%.
Clinton managed hold/wind back both of them in returning the budget to a surplus of some US$280 billion and reducing the National Debt to 35% of GDP.
ALong came George, The Faux Texan and late encumbrance in the White House, who even managed to outdo “The Gipper” and his own Dad.
The deficit was to be $482 billion in the 2009 budget moving from black to red ink in the order of US$750 billion from the end of Clinton’s term.
And that before the Wall Street Tsunami leading to the Global Financial Chicken, that came home to roost.
That is just the Reagan financial/fiscal legacy.
daniel maris asks the member of the class of the blue-blooded, and asks suspiciously: “Baron, I think you’re taking your pro-Americanism too far…using the American spelling of calibre. Or are you American?”
nope, the portable, or to be more precise, the spell checker is, we’re but a poorly educated Slav.
Baron – I think you’re taking your pro-Americanism too far…using the American spelling of calibre. Or are you American?
great man, today’s world lacks men of his caliber, it shows.
@David Lindsay – your posts have become entirely incomprehensible. Perhaps if you tried using fewer words there might be an increase in clarity.
daniel maris, in the words of the late Joseph Sobran:
“By today’s standards, King George III was a very mild tyrant indeed. He taxed his American colonists at a rate of only pennies per annum. His actual impact on their personal lives was trivial. He had arbitrary power over them in law and in principle, but in fact it was seldom exercised. If you compare his rule with that of today’s U.S. Government, you have to wonder why we celebrate our independence.”
Makes the Gipper look like a Kipper.
Can’t say I like it. And will the Americans make room for one of our own…King George III perhaps.