As you likely know, the United Kingdom recently held a general election where Boris Johnson and his conservative Tory Party delivered, as the Brits would say, a thumping to the Liberal/Socialist Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. What you may not know is why.
The mainstream media would have us believe that the only reason Johnson won was because of his position on Brexit. And yes, by handing the Conservatives an impressive majority the British people very clearly voted to leave the European Union… again. It’s true that Brexit was a big issue. Johnson and the conservatives ran a narrowly focused campaign with ‘Getting Brexit Done!’ as the centerpiece – along with themes of national security, safety and funding for the National Health Service. It was a simple and straightforward message.
Which, by itself, might have delivered Johnson a majority in Parliament. But certainly not the massive 66 seat majority he ended up with. No one saw this coming! The 2019 election was the worst result for the Labour Party since 1935. It leaves Johnson and the Conservative Party with their biggest majority in nearly 40 years.
So, what was it beyond Brexit that drove British voters? The answer is straightforward: The refutation of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s socialist agenda.
Over the years, the Labour Party has swung back and forth from being a center-left party to outright socialism. One of the most successful Labour Prime Ministers was Tony Blair who moved Labour away from socialism and toward the center. He even re-named the party ‘New Labour’ to distance it from the past. In so doing, and espousing modern but not socialist policies, Blair won a staggering majority of 167 seats in 2001 – the biggest in the post-war period.
Today, however, Tony Blair’s centrist New Labour is long gone. It was eventually replaced by Jeremy Corbyn and his cabal of extreme leftists. By contrast to Blair, Corbyn and his socialist gang were met only with humiliation at the ballot box in this year’s elections.
And it wasn’t because Boris Johnson and the Conservatives ran the perfect campaign, but quite the contrary. Johnson is actually something of a ‘gaffe-machine’ on the order of our own Joe Biden. No, Corbyn and Labour were resoundingly defeated largely because of the party’s extreme socialist agenda.
The Labour Party’s Extreme Socialist Agenda
Corbyn and Labour put forward the most leftward reaching manifesto in a generation, calling it a ‘Radical Change’. And it was radical alright! A seemingly never-ending list of profligate liberal spending programs and initiatives.
While Johnson focused on Brexit and free-market policies, Corbyn tried to make it a climate change election. Labour promised a million new climate jobs in every region of the UK. This would, he said, kickstart a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ that would aide in the global climate “emergency.”
Does this sound at all familiar to you? It should because it closely mirrors Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s own ‘Green New Deal.’ In fact, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter. No surprise there.
Labour also promised the building of 150,000 low cost homes within a five-year time frame (at enormous cost) and an immediate 5% pay raise for government employees and automatic raises thereafter – plus a massive increase in the national minimum wage.
And there were more socialist programs and promises, of course, because when you are spending someone else’s money there is simply no limit to it. For example, free Internet for all. Really?
And how would all this (and more) be achieved? Well, by nationalizing a sizeable piece of British Telecom, of course. Mr. Corbyn and his socialist henchmen would like nothing better than to roll back the privatization of Britain’s public utilities as they believe that these assets are better off in government hands than the private sector.
Can you imagine Bernie Sanders saying that we should nationalize a chunk of AT&T in order to give free Internet for all? On second thought, don’t answer that!
But, fortunately, the British people weren’t having any of it. Johnson smashed right through Labour’s impenetrable ‘Red Wall’ (an area of Northern England that is like the US Rust Belt). The Conservatives won seats they have not held for decades. Not only did the Labour message not resonate with voters in these Red Wall areas, British voters in general felt disconnected from the current Labour Party.
Beyond policy, Jeremy Corbyn is resoundingly disliked. He is stunningly anti-American, anti-Capitalist, an alleged anti-Semite and a class warrior. He also supports Hamas and even invited its leaders to the UK as a friend of the Parliament.
Do any of these characteristics sound familiar? I think it’s safe to say that most Americans don’t harbor these feelings and beliefs and do not endorse socialism. However, these feelings and beliefs do exist within the AOC crowd in Congress known as ‘The Squad.’
Lessons for Americans from Across the Pond
So, this wasn’t just an election about Brexit. Although Brexit played a significant part, this was the British electorate standing up against the elite-driven radical left policies of the socialist Labour Party. This election was a refutation of those policies and sentiments. And predictably the left and their allies in traditional and social media were stunned at the outcome.
Let’s hope that if the American people are ever faced with such a choice that they respond with the fortitude shown by our cousins across the Atlantic. For now, I believe they will!
Dow Jones Up 10,000 Points Since Trump Elected
As regular readers know, I am not a huge fan of President Donald Trump, as far as presidents go. He embarrasses me from time to time. However, I am a big fan of President Trump’s economic policies, and I credit them in large part for this strong economy.
I still remember President Obama telling us that America’s best days were behind us, and we should all get used to the “new normal” of sub-2% economic growth and an anemic labor market. Well, that was then and this is now. We now have the strongest job market in over 50 years! Over 7 million jobs remain unfilled.
In addition to the longest economic recovery in US history, the stock market has risen over 10,000 points since President Trump was elected, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, making it the longest stock bull market in history as well.
The Dow Jones hit a new record high above 28,500 last week. On November 8, 2016 when Donald J. Trump was elected president, the Dow Jones closed at 18,332. That’s over 10,000 points ago!
I remember some prominent Democrats and many in the mainstream media warning back in 2016 that if Donald Trump was elected president we would have a major bear market in stocks and the worst economy in a generation. What are they saying now? NOTHING!
I also remember earlier this year when some Democrats and members of the mainstream media tried to claim that the current solid economy and booming job market were the result of policies implemented by President Obama late in his second term. Those claims went nowhere, of course, and were largely laughed out of the arena of ideas.
The fact is, this good economy and soaring job market have been driven by pro-growth policies, tax cuts and deregulation efforts by the Trump administration. It also didn’t hurt that the Fed cut short-term interest rates three times this year – which I thought, for the record, was unnecessary.
Stocks were already on an upward trajectory when Donald Trump was elected, despite President Obama’s anti-growth policies, so it’s no wonder we’ve seen US equities make new record high after new record high, as I suggested would be the likely result.
Gary D. Halbert is the president and chairman of Halbert Wealth Management, Inc. His Forecasts & Trends Weekly E-Letter may be obtained free of charge by subscribing at www.halbertwealth.com.