Thursday 13 April 2023

The Beautiful Game?

Everything has to start somewhere, and as the Premier League moves to ban match day sponsorship by gambling companies on the fronts of shirts, the debate is now open around the last, sainted Labour Government's Opposition-supported deregulation of gambling.

We need to ban Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, to empower local authorities to limit the number of gambling venues, to insist on the use of that power, to end gambling on television, and to end the advertising of gambling other than at venues such as casinos and betting shops. That would be a start, anyway.

There cannot be a "free" market in general, but not in drugs, or prostitution, or pornography, or unrestricted alcohol, or unrestricted gambling. That is an important part of why there must not be a "free" market in general, which is a political choice, not a law of nature. Enacting and enforcing laws against drugs, prostitution and pornography, and regulating alcohol, tobacco and gambling, are clear examples of State intervention in, and regulation of, the economy.

In October, Labour's poll lead was 37 per cent. It now hovers between 11 and 15. When I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.


  1. That middle paragraph is vital, a proper philosophical basis.

    1. Thank you. They all claim to be Postliberals now. I never needed to become one.