Friday, October 21, 2005

Blueprint For a Tory First Term

The Brit Tory opposition is down to a slate of two in its choice of a new new leader. Here's my suggested strategy and tactics for whoever get the job.

Build a Team of The Best of the Best

Your biggest problem is to actually get things done, in the face of skilled and tough resistance from the Civil Service and lefty lobbyists. For this you'll need a fighting band including:

1. An intellectual lodestone, like Maggie's Keith Joseph.

2. A hatchet man, like Maggie's Norman Tebbit but nastier (you'll be firing a lot of bureaucrats).

3. A CTO to help you take advantage of technology shifts.

4. A gifted publicist (hard to find these) who will keep the public happy and ensure your re-election.

5. A Defense Secretary who has performed well in combat.

Your Management Strategy

Delegate, don't get involved in the detail, don't second guess your managers, lead and inspire.

Priorities

Cut Back The State

Maggie proved that Brits don't need much government, but Blair has hired another 800,000 bureaucrats, so you'll need to fire them plus some more. Assign reduced departmental budgets according to your priorities, then require that each department justifies every position to your hatchet man.

Specific measures you should adopt:

1. Cut Entitlements. For example, one in every 22 Brits is being paid sickness or disability benefits, and since 1981, the number has risen 5-fold. It's used to hide the number of unemployed, which is daft because Brits have plenty of jobs available.

2. Adopt a Flat Tax. This cuts out tax assessors and saves Brits time doing tax prep.

3. Build more jails and raise the amount of time felons spend in them - locking up felons cuts crime, and reducing crime has a huge ROI.

4. Most of the initiatives below carry substantial savings

Recreate Social Capital

The "Nanny State" encourages childish behavior in adults, so shoot the Nanny.

1. Restore citizens' right to bear arms - right now only criminals and some cops carry guns, so gun crime goes up 6% each year. US experience is that concealed carry guns substantially reduce crimes against the person. Keep the qualifications simple - over 21, passed an appropriate test, no criminal record, UK citizen or legal resident, MI5 happy there are no terror connections.

2. Remove all criminal sanction from citizens who kill intruders.

3. Restore capital punishment for murder.

5. Disbar elected officials, including MPs, who have criminal records or who espouse, or have espoused, terror.

6. Impose an "Integrate Or Out" rule for immigrants, and adopt the "Dauntless Dutch Protocol".

Restore Democratic Accountability

1. Elect the House of Lords on a regional ballot, like the US Senate, but with term limits.

2. Split the House of Commons into English and UK Parliaments, so that Scottish and Welsh MPs with their own Parliaments don't get to vote on English issues.

3. Scrap EU Parliamentary elections for MEPs, giving elected MPs the job of representing the UK in the EU Parliament - over videoconference and using no more than 5% of their time.

4. Adopt the US practice of electing local police chiefs, and extend it to Chief Constables.

5. Restore full autonomy to local councils, replacing the central government grant with a slice of the VAT collected in their areas (if this doesn't work, use a revenue-neutral local income flat tax.

6. Require that all future EU directives are reviewed and voted on as for normal UK legislation, and set up a team to review past directives and chuck out the ones thye don't like, resubmitting the rest for democratic approval.

7. Pass laws that stop courts from overruling the legislature, and introduce term limits for unelected judges.

Education

1. Introduce school vouchers.

2. Convert faux-Universities back to Technical Colleges.

3. Increase tuition fees to market levels and greatly increase the number of scholarships in hard disciplines.

External Relations

1. Join NAFTA (if they'll have you).

2. Withdraw from the European Rapid Reaction Force - it's a Franco/German NATO-killer.

3. Tell (don't negotiate with) the EU that each and every law or regulation they seek to impose on the UK will not apply unless and until it's approved by both Houses of Parliament.

4. Withdraw from the CAP and spend the money saved promoting democracy and honesty in poor nations.

Defense

This needs a complete rebuild, but you can't spend more than 3% of GDP!

1. Cancel all European procurements and switch to Anglo/US suppliers. Blair has arranged that in 6 years time Brit forces will be almost entirely dependent on European suppliers, including the Franco-Chinese GPS-replacement. As well as costing £14 Billion more than US procurement would, this policy gives our forces the same weapons as the French and Germans will sell to our enemies.

2. Quickly build an antimissile shield - four Aegis destroyers for a start. By 2010, nutters who hate the Brits will have ballistic missiles. Get your CTO to stir up the best Brit scientists to build smarter boost-phase BMD solutions, the same way they developed radar..

3. Create a Brit space war capability - doesn't have to be expensive, talk to Bert Rutan and Richard Branson about cheap launch platforms.

4. Double the size of the Army, restoring the regimental system and disbanding the ones which have performed badly in Iraq.

5. Think again about aircraft carriers - now very hard to defend against supersonic cruise missiles. Use heavy airlift for force projection and space & subs for long reach.

6. Stop the RAF delaying drones.

Energy

1. Commit to a 95% nuclear generating capacity in 10 years using off-the-shelf US systems. Make this privately funded of course but have your CTO make sure it's done right and not delayed by the oil lobby.

Health

1. Restore the medical management hierarchy and fire the managers.

2. Return ownership of all medical facilities to the local communities, with directly elected management boards.

This is a four-year program. There's still plenty left to do in the following years.