The State Should Serve the People

In recent days we have again seen displayed the relevance of the advice given to the Chinese Emperor by Confucius. The Emperor had asked him what should be done to improve the administration of the Empire and the sage is said to have replied:-


"Improve the teaching of the Chinese language, for if what was said is not what was meant, and what is understood is not what was heard, there is no possibility of good administration”.  Nor we might add today, of intelligent debate.


The left has seized control of language and thereby of the debate.  The collectivist doctrines of Mussolini's Fascists whose name derived from the chosen emblem of the fascisti, or bundle of tightly bound sticks and of Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party are often wrongly described as "extreme right".


Britain's most prominent Fascist, Oswald Moseley was first elected to Parliament as a Conservative, moved Left to join Labour and served as Chancellor of The Duchy of Lancaster  in the Labour government of 1929. He resigned when his proposed programme of massive nationalisation of commerce and industry was rejected and founded the British Union of Fascists before being interned as a supporter of Hitler's National Socialists during the 1939-45 War.


All such parties of the Left advocate State ownership of industry and commerce which they describe as public ownership, although members of the public would be precluded from ownership of industry or commerce.


For my part, as a right winger, I hold that the Government or the State should serve the people and its powers be limited.


It's first responsibility must be to defend its territorial boundaries and to control who may enter the country whether in peace or by force in war.


Secondly it must ensure the "Queen's Peace", that is the right of the citizen to go about his lawful business in peace. That requires a system of criminal law and its enforcement by police, law courts and prisons.


Thirdly it must provide a system of civil law for the peaceable settlement of disputes between citizens.


After those functions, which only the State can perform, there are a host more which it must ensure are provided. Topping that list are the provision of public energy supply, the infrastructure of roads, railways, air and seaports and the services to ensure public health and education.


Those services may well be provided by either or both the private and public sectors, but not monopolistically.


It is the doctrine of the Left which holds that the citizen should serve the State, that wealth should belong to the State and state monopolies should provide for his needs.


Lord Norman Tebbit for Conservative Progress