Archive for August, 2012

A taxing problem

Yes, I’m still here and now looking to get back into the swing of things with this essay…

The news yesterday that Cameron’s little Lib Dem helper, Nick Clegg, was floating the idea of a new wealth tax had me gritting my teeth in frustration. Not because I am wealthy, I’m not. In that sense I’ve no skin in the game. But because of what this latest assault on people’s wealth represents.

The problem – and major issue to be tackled – is the State’s presumption that it can simply help itself and just take money from people for no reason other than they have it, whenever it suits.

On the radio this morning the talking heads were at it again, offering views that some people in this country have too much and therefore the State should take some of that wealth from them.

The cheerleaders for this mindset and agitators for this behaviour are those left wing authoritarians who covet what others have without making any effort to achieve it for themselves, and who all too often depend like parasites on the public purse to fund their non jobs and activism.

When they say some people have too much money what they are saying is that in their selfish opinion those people have been too succesful. The logical conclusion, that more should be done to ensure more people have the opportunity to be successful and savour the rewards for their hard work – something that should attract congratulation – is rejected in favour of the dumb mantra that ‘It isn’t “fair”‘ and attendant idiocy of levelling downwards. And these deranged idiots actually feel morally superior as a result.

When this money is eventually stolen via this state sanctioned theft, it is spent as seen fit by a small cabal of politicians and The end result is always the same. The poor stay poor, wealth is stripped from people simply because they have some, and the money is frittered away on subsidy junkies, fasionable wheezes and pet initatives that somehow rarely if ever deliver value for the people as a whole, without any reference back to the people whose money it is. That is why we end up with such perverse outcomes as the billions being wasted on ineffective wind turbines and lavish and unrealistic feed in tariffs, the hundreds of millions given away on effectively subsidising the Indian space programme, the disgrace of other ringfenced overseas aid funds that are routinely plundered by corrupt officials – while at the same time many thousands of Britons in genuine need go without supposedly the unaffordable assistance to feed themselves, enjoy resdiential care in old age, heat their homes or receive a meaningful state pension.

Some people might think it is overblown hyperbole to describe this state of affairs as evil, but that is the reality. This kleptomanic behaviour and the mindset behind it that is articulated by the rent seekers in all three main parties, condemn millions of people to reliance on the State for a subsistence life. It is a major problem that is to the detriment of both the poor, the so called squeezed middle and the wealthy.

The solution is to put a brake on the State’s capacity to help itself to our money at will. The State is entirely unaccountable to taxpayers and has inverted the relationship between government and people. Instead of serving us and acting as stewards trusted to take only what is required to deliver the essential services required by the public, we have become the property of the State where we are used to serve the narrow interests of the establishment.

What is required is a dramatic correction. The people need to take back power to gain control. That will not be achieved through the political parties, they have long pledged to serve our interests but the outcome has always been a further erosion of people power and dismantling of what passed for democratic structures. What is needed is the framing of a charter of demands, that are constructive and positive and when delivered will result in proper people power. What is needed is more people to think about this and discuss this and contribute to a way forward…

Let the people decide. Let the discussion begin.

Since the Harrogate conference at the Old Swan Hotel, the participants at the meeting have engaged in a great deal of discussion about what is being called The Harrogate Agenda.

Emails have flown back and forth and debate has taken place the forum on Richard North’s EU Referendum blog.  Today is the day that the provisional list of demands has been published.

Provisional because, in a demonstration of the very democratic settlement we are demanding, everyone is being invited to share their views and ideas, and participate in the enhancement and improvement as we draw closer to the adoption of a final charter.  Your thoughts and suggestions are extremely valuable and very welcome – just join in the discussion at the link above.  So here are the draft demands…

The get the old debating juices flowing and get people thinking, below are some challenging thoughts shared in an email round robin between the Harrogate group (which really should have been on the forum) about what the aims of the charter should be and how the movement that has been spawned should approach this endeavour.

First, making the EU the target is doomed to failure. The UK’s destiny can still be mapped within domestic structures – albeit structures that need reform. That should be the target. We need to think strategically. There is no point attacking the opponent’s queen if your opponent is about to checkmate you with his pawns. We need to have our pieces in the right places on the board in order to win and ensure we have a positive and constructive path that people will want to tread.

Second, history has shown political parties are not the route to bringing about change. Movements are the method to drive change as parties will always lose focus and devote attention to their own internal intrigues and rivalries. They develop their own interests and waste energy servicing their own machine.

Having the post constitutional pieces in place is the priority – and before that we need to set aside the illusion of Magna Carta and a Bill of Rights being any use to us. They have been ripped apart with ease by successive Parliaments exposing their weaknesses. We need a modern, watertight constitution that serves the nation’s people, not vested interests, which cannot be by-passed for political expediency or changed without permission of the electorate.

What do you think?  Why not click over to the forum and contribute your thoughts.

Democracy is about power – people power.  The task the attendees at Harrogate set themselves was to define six demands which would bring us closer to controlling our own destinies and governing for ourselves the great nations of which we are part.  With the focus on bringing power to the people, this offering is a start.  It’s now time for others to play their part.

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