Monday, 29 November 2010

Lonely furrow revisited

A promising leader in The Observer about fair pay contained the sentence 'There are valid questions to be asked about the scale of public spending under Labour, whether taxpayers got value for money.' It depressed me more than perhaps it should have done because, as usual, the taxpayer got name-checked as the arbiter of right and wrong.

Am I the only person who hates the tax payer? Well, no, actually, most of the neo-cons hate them as well as they feel they shouldn't exist. I'm a big fan of tax, especially income tax and am more than happy to pay it most of the time but I can't ever feel on the side of the taxpayer owing to his/her apparent allegiance to every petty minded argument against fairness and equality.

Now, The Observer article was actually right up my strasse. It made the points they I'd make if I was barely literate and able to pronounce or spell 'phenomonen' without laughing. The Liberal Democrats seem unable to carve themselves a role and are fast disappearing as a political entity but the article could direct their future path if they would but dare. The current political future is being shaped by the meritocratic ideas of an unelected elite using the past as the justification for their policies. The past owned by New Labour. The LibDems seem to agree. I don't and here's why. The Labour party didn't mismanage the economy, they ignored it. As long as the tax revenues kept rolling in, they were free to pursue their chosen policies, accepting the credit for a buoyant housing market and all the credit it stacked up. You can see what I did there.

The Tories want a return to housing led boom but I predict they wont get it, at least I'm pretty sure they won't. They may have a resurgent economy to crow about as we come back from the abyss but we avoided the abyss by bailing out the banks, not by creating a Big Society. We're not sunk but we're going to have to wait quite a few years for the wind to pick up. It will eventually of course, and the Government in power in five years will probably take the credit for that. We'll all be busy little ants again.

I think the Liberal Democrats should stop the Coalition now before it's too late. Clegg and Co are no longer acting in the interests of the country, they're acting in the interest of elitism and vested interest. The LibDems are being lobbied out of existence. If we really are partners in Government then we should stop cleaning the doorstep and start ordering breakfast. The Labour party used the wealth of increasingly disinterested big business and the credit  boom to prop up their regime. The Tories want to lead us back to that but with less of the obvious benefits. I want to enjoy life, not by being rich but by being happy and safe - is that not a slogan to begin again with? I want to live a life where I'm not running to keep up all the time and so do you, don't you?

Of course you could be on the side of the taxpayer, the alliance of joyless penny pinchers who begrudge the state every penny because it might do something good at their expense. The taxpayers are always hard working (work really hard on this and think of a job in Britain where you have to work really hard to good purpose, as oppose to working really long hours) and seem to derive no pleasure in life. They are the dead, as Wilfred Owen might say. Surely we continually work long hours because we have to, not because we want to? Shouldn't it be the other way round?

Personally I think we should be on the side of the individual, the one that wants to be part of something rather than against everything not designed to make him or herself materially better off. And I thought the LibDems were on that side once. They could be again, or they might be on the other side or they might, seriously, be on no side at all. And then they become just as sad as all the people who have sneered so publicly at them for all my years told them they were.

No comments:

Post a Comment