Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The great strategist?

In Apocalypse Now, when Marlon Brandon asks 'Are my methods unsound?' Martin Sheen replies rather haltingly, "I don't see any method at all"

Lots of workers are getting their monthly pay packets today. Most of the retail and hospitality industry are on monthly pay. Monthly LOW pay at that. Often single and without children so the last minute fudge fix isn't coming to rescue them from what many will experience for the first time.

A tax increase. A shrinking of wages for people who in no way consider themselves rich.
Many of these young people will be first time voters. First time voters who parties are desperate to court, for the same reason the banks like student accounts. Free railcard today for you, bank account for thirty years for me. Vote for me today and set that precedent.

So why on earth, on almost polling day, would you remind them all, as they queue up to dispute their wages with their managers, that the government has taken a bit from them.
Is this the great strategy that was being talked of not so long ago?

The form V5c [ the car tax reminder to the non bureaucratic] has been being sent out to every car owner who needs a new licence with the incorrect fee. This has happened for March and April and for anyone wanting a new licence in May.

The fee is some £5.00 - £ 10.00 higher than the printed one. So each person re-taxing their vehicle is reminded some 6 weeks AFTER the budget that taxes were put up. Doubly hurting as it wasn't widely reported that EXISTING car duty had risen, when the talk was all about an increased tax on new cars.
Most people relicence their car on.. yes that's right, the 1st of the month. What's the reminder car owners are going to have as they enter the polling booth.. I have less money / I pay more tax. Is any of this this a winning political strategy?

hmm .. I don't see ... Any method.. .. at all.


Old BE said...

I can only see the strategy at all in this light: Brown does his clever tax cut wheeze which actually raises taxes and doesn't take the popularity hit until shortly after the election-that-wasn't. When people complain he says "but I announced it a year ago, you should have kicked up a fuss at the time". By the time of the next election all is quietly forgotten.

Everything hung on there being an election last year...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Blue eyes makes a good point.

And how many MPs have signed to Bob Spink's EDM that the tax-free personal allowance should be increased to a nice round £10,000?

Anonymous said...

How do people decide who to vote for? I have always previously gone on the issues/manifesto that each party gives out.

“I think these ideas/plans are the best so I’ll vote for party X” (Malcolm’s party)

However, I’m starting to become more aware that many of these promises never come into being and that, how shall I put this, some politicians are more trustworthy than others. TBH, I am much more interested in the country being run by an honest man than what policies he puts forwards.

However, I don’t pay enough attention to politics to know who is the least sleaziest bag, so I’d imagine that I’ll vote in the coming elections based entirely on policies.
I am [i]trying[/i] not to flick the news off when it switches from current business/economic news to which politician has been seen acting amorously towards his garden furniture, but I find it pretty difficult as I really don’t find people’s personal lives that interesting.

But anyway, I’m starting to ramble and I’ve realised that I have neither a point to make nor a question to pose so I suspect it’s time to stop. I just wish politicians weren’t [didn’t seem like] such liars.

Old BE said...

Dr Ed, in the old days people used to decide how to vote on a broad-brush strategy such as Socialism or Toryism or Liberalism. These days the media and unthinkers expect the parties to have a fully formed policy on everything and of course during a Parliament circumstances change hugely so committments have to be dropped or become irrelevant or get overtaken by events. Or worse, candidates say what they think people want to hear and then enact the policies they actually believe in once in office.

I favour a return to more simple "strategy" politics.

CityUnslicker said...

most voters are still tribal me thinks. The swing voters politico's aim at are a very small section of society.

Guthrum said...

Car Tax- as I found out today !

Anonymous said...

Great post. It reminds me of the words of Pope Justinian

"if you only knew my son with what little reason the world is governed."

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