Tuesday, 25 September 2012

LIb Dem Conference - is this the start?

Is this the start of a descent into pure madness. I have been excessively busy in the day job this week, which on balance is a good thing; but I note with dismay the ludicrous proposals coming out of the Lib Dem conference.

Clearly they need to win back their left of centre vote, however distant this maybe as a prospect they have to try. So they are trying with an all-out attack on the 'Wealthy' really using the language of the Occupy movement to appeal to their ex-student voters.

Sadly, all the ideas are dismally flawed, wealth taxes are a no, no economically and a certain way to enforce economic decline a la the 1960's and 1970's. Offering pensioners the right to give away money which they can do already under the law is also a little, well, ill-thought out?

But the attack must go on because it is crucial that the wealthy pay for the lack of real cuts to Government spending.

My main worry is that this is the start, the Tories are not happy at being labelled the party of the rich and labour in opposition have the freedom to suggest silly new taxes at will, confident that in 3 years time no one will remember what they were saying. So perhaps the Tories will play ball.

Attacking the rich does not really strike me as a sensible economic strategy, it smacks of desperation to avoid the hard truths about our economic prospects and entitlement culture, again just as in the 1970's when it was wage-bargaining union power and the competitive failings of the state owned industrial base.

One important lesson of the Internet age is the fast transmission of information, people, money - all is movable very easily and efforts to extract more from those who can move will work at the margins but be poisonous in the long-term. if it were a necessary cover for serious reform that would be one thing, but it does appear that it is this scenario in UK politics currently.

14 comments:

Budgie said...

Too many people have tax-itus: the disease which means they waste their time dreaming up new taxes.

Jerome said...

It's all getting worse. No sign of an end to the downturn. It's
Iikely even more cuts will need to be made when Miliband is PM. And he's the last person you'd want in charge of difficult desicions. You know he'd pick higher taxation over spending cuts and will end up with both, The 1970s with its weak crop of politicians may really be racing towards us.

Scrobs... said...

Total inward search for non-solutions.

Why can these people not realise that investment will come from other sources than the hard-pressed Brit?

I fear they all just spread existing taxpayers' largesse around the world, without understanding that there are huge opportunities to get investment from other places, who actually do have some dosh.

But that's small world politics isn't it.

Electro-Kevin said...

It is worse than the ,70s

There are far more of us now (many non productive and some leeching far worse than the '70s) and there's much less to sell off this time... apart from our armaments industry.



andrew said...

Not sure about the 70s comparison

- we dont have regular brownouts/ cuts
- we do not have a good proportion of the population unable to heat their own house
- income tax rates were higher (VAT lower)

Life was genuinely harder and grubbier (and the summers were sunnier and there were still green fields nearby - ok I was ~10 )

Give it a couple of years and you may well turn out to be right.

Many commentators mention a lack of demand in the economy.
We may be seeing the answer to 'how many pairs of trainers do I really want'
Reading Steve Keen at the moment and right at the beginning he points out that there is no basis in fact for the demand curve when applied to a population.
Basically you need at least 1 pair of shoes, but will not buy more if you have nowhere to put them - you will start to charge for storage.

Bill Quango MP said...

Not sure I agree Andrew. people build extensions because they have too much stuff. to keep nan's old dresser {£1,000 tops on a good auction day}} for the family they might add a £60k loft conversion.

Its not how many shoes can you wear or store. its how many can you need/want/afford. And it always has been.

All those cavemen hunter gatherers carrying around hides full of beads and carved stones. Why would they do that? not one or two but thousands of them.

Electro-Kevin said...

I should add to my last that our people were better educated (than the rest of the world) and more disciplined than they are now.

We had a more unified national identity and - therefore - a much better idea of a national consensus.

Now the Rt Hon Mr Redwood (among others) complains about the diversity of views and interests reaching his desk and the need to serve people of many differing ideals.

This is causing the country political paralysis which we didn't have in the '70s.

As a result there will not - and cannot - be a Thatcher moment to pull us out of it.

Muliti-culturalism and welfarism has made this difficult. The systems, officials, state broadcast media and case law protecting 'rights' prevent the sort of polarisation which is sometimes needed to put things back on track - ie after a fucking Labour Govt is booted out of office.

But they've really done it this time, haven't they !

hovis said...

EK - Agreed v. Good

Its not just the state media though - have to read the self deluded metropolitan drivel that is the London Evening Standard these day?

Depressingly though where to go? I see nowhere in the world I would care to live - or perhaps I simply have boiling frog syndrome..

CityUnslicker said...

Hovis the ES annoys me intensely the comment is so left wing hand-wringing nonsense it drives me barmy. No wonder they have to give it away to get any readership.

Electro-Kevin said...

CU - I read this 'paper' today for the first time since leaving London 8 years ago.

I could not believe it was the same paper.

roym said...

hmm, this is the same 'left wing' ES that shot down Ken over cronyism, yet BoZo hands out grace and favour jobs to his pals (e.g Veronica Wadley) without a single line in print?

hovis said...

@RoyM - surley that's simply they dont like Ken, with Boris being in favour. Excuse the pun but standard operating procedure for any metropolitan champagne socialist* surely?

I am talking of the tone, the general assumed beliefs of 99% of the articles rather than a single issue.

*not implying they are socialst but large corporatist/statism multi culti is the general outlook.

Anonymous said...

The most expensive house in Britain cost £80million. So frankly there isn't anything worth buying in the UK for the average billionaire. Therefore they tend to stay fully invested and not pay much income tax at all.

Anonymous said...

"I should add to my last that our people were better educated (than the rest of the world) and more disciplined than they are now."

Really? But then you go on to say that our nation is basically run in a fuck-witted manner by someone educated in Britain's top school. Contradictory? Much?

"We had a more unified national identity and - therefore - a much better idea of a national consensus."

You're right. 5million households read the Daily Mirror and union membership was double what it is today. The country was united... on taking the wrong path.

"Now the Rt Hon Mr Redwood (among others) complains about the diversity of views and interests reaching his desk and the need to serve people of many differing ideals."

Yep, that's what happens in a libertarian democracy. Don't like it? Make use of Schengen rules and go and try Sweden, where everybody is exactly the same.

"This is causing the country political paralysis which we didn't have in the '70s."

Eh? Sunny Jim and the winter of discontent wasn't political paralysis?

"As a result there will not - and cannot - be a Thatcher moment to pull us out of it."

A wonderful woman - now if she had only done something about the education system you were complaining about and not left huge numbers of unemployed people trapped in council housing in places like sunderland with no hope of ever getting a job. Ever thought that for all the problems she solved, she may just have caused a few as well? If there had been some political unity on the right then nobody would have voted UKIP and the Tories would have had an outright majority.


"But they've really done it this time, haven't they !"

Well actually the national debt is half of what it was in real terms after WWII. Furthermore, after WWII most people were living in rented accomodation. Now a staggering 2/3rds of the population own their own homes outright, so that debt is secured against an enormous amount of property value. On top of that the murder rate and crime rates have dropped by 30% over the last 10 years. We exported £4bn of movies, our TV is not full of American crap. In 1970 there were 7500 people killed on the roads and last year only 1,900. And we won more gold medals in the Olympics than in living memory.

Frankly it really isn't as bad as you make out. You really need to see a doctor about that depression. Looks like this new generation is actually a cut above the generation of the 70's. I'm actually pretty optimistic.