The Corner

Fearful Symmetry

By an odd coincidence the main stories in the current issues of NR and the London Spectator are devoted to California. NR’s cover story is a strong critical analysis of how the Golden State has fared fiscally and economically in recent years under Arnold the Governator — spoiler alert! — that is, disastrously! Fraser Nelson’s article in the venerable Speccie reports that Britain’s Tories see California as the model for their remaking of Britain.

You’re not surprised? Okay. Read on all the same.

Sample line from Nelson’s report: ” . . . the Conservatives want to apply the Californian formula to the burgeoning “green tech” industry in the hope of incubating a whole new economic sector. There is to be a government-run green stock exchange to direct investment into businesses which spring from universities.” And so on, and so on.

The moral seems to be that the David Cameron’s Tories should take out a subscription to NR before developing any new bright ideas. Mr. Nelson obviously did so. In the middle of his cool report of them burbling on about “flattening hierarchies” and the “Googlization of politics,” there occurs this ominous little sentence: “As it happens, Sacramento, the state capital, also offers a chilling vision of the financial nightmare that Mr. Cameron may well inherit, wrestling, as it is, with a deficit that could bankrupt the state.”

There’s a fearful symmetry here, as someone once said.

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