December 31, 2006

new year's fisking

Polly's at it again with a new year's wish list of statist twaddle. The Devil also has a fisking, but it is just calling out for another.
Start with acts of contrition for past political sins committed by all parties.
Well that isn't going to happen, and why do I think that you actually mean past political sins committed by all parties except Labour? Labour being the party with by far the most political sins. Bishop Hill's big long list for a start.
Bring in state financing of parties
No. Never, no matter how much they may want it the only thing that this will do is increase the separation between electorate and elected. It will do nothing to stop corruption (look at Germany or France), just create a new avenue for it. Suddenly instead of having to crawl up to the people that their decisions effect the parties will be jumping through hoops for some bureaucratic quango setting the current ideological status quo in concrete.
with a strict cap on all spending over the electoral cycle
OK. That (unlike state funding) might actually do something to prevent corruption by meaning that the parties would need less money.
a ban on all money-raising except from fixed individual membership subscriptions.
That also has some promise. But why supplement it? The parties having to listen to their members is a good thing, it puts them more in touch with the people that elect the MPs that they are formed to support. Mass membership political parties happened in the past, and political interest hasn't really changed just the interest in party based politics since no individual party member has any influence over party policy.
Give each voter the power to allocate their share of party funds by ticking a box on the ballot paper to stop a carve-up by the main parties
There would still be a carve up because the small parties do not have the funds to contest all seats. And guess what the funding cap and state subsidisation of the big parties would make it even harder for the small ones to break through reinforcing the status quo and alienation from party politics that has lead to them getting in such dire financial straits in the first place.
Encourage citizens to vote with a bonus off their council tax
In other words reduce the local revenues of areas where the population is politically active and make them even more reliant on the grant from central government. If we had a government that was making every preparation for creating a police state that kind of proposal would have some very seriously scary undertones about keeping the more rebellious elements in line. Oh, come to think of it we do.
if they still won't turn out, make voting compulsory
Why not fill the ballet papers in as well Polly? For Labour of course. If somebody thinks a candidate does not represent their views then it is there right not vote for them as a representative, and if that means voting for nobody so be it. All compulsory voting would do is get a whole load more people into the voting booths that don't really care and will simply vote the way they have always done without thinking. Again a recipe for preventing change.
Make it more enticing with the alternative vote, letting voters put their choices in 1, 2 ,3 order, choosing small parties closer to their views, while still using their second choice to keep out the party they most fear
I think that you mean Single Transferable Vote there. That is the only voting system that means there are no safe seats and so the representatives really have to work hard for the people that send them to Westminster, with all the attendant perks, in order that they will be sent back.
If any party fears losing out under the alternative vote, let it support full proportional representation.
Full proportional representation? You mean get rid of any connection between representative and represented so the one and only way that they can maintain their perks is to work hard for central office even at the expense of the people that they are supposedly there for. Under PR you might as well not have MP's at all you need are the party bosses who can work out a series of compromises in the back rooms based on their respective proportions of the vote. They have no need to worry about persuading MP's that it is a good compromise, if they even hint of rebelling it is strait to the bottom of the list and out at the next election. Again transferring power away from the people to reinforce the party system. A pattern seems to be emerging here.
· Prove British democracy is not in hock to press barons, despite the humiliating courting of these political thugs. Restore the laws limiting media ownership by any one magnate, abolished by Margaret Thatcher to let Rupert Murdoch acquire his empire, so that he now owns over 40% of the press plus ever more dominant Sky.
· Fix the BBC's future with a legal guarantee of at least inflation-proof rises in the licence fee, free of political intervention in perpetuity. (Tessa Jowell should resign in protest if she fails to secure the BBC steady state funding as a bare minimum.) The licence fee is a bargain.
The licence fee is a bargain to lefties like polly who get the single largest media group, far larger than anything Rupert Murdoch has, without having to pay for it by forcing everybody to cough up whether they want to or not under threat of fines or prison. Get rid of the TV Tax entirely, let the BBC compete on its merits and then see how good it really is. These two paragraphs simply say that Polly wants a lefty monopoly on all media, and that it be paid for by taxation. I'm glad I don't own a TV.
Turn the Low Pay Commission into the Pay Commission, with a duty to recommend not just the minimum wage rate but to comment on the dysfunctions and dislocations caused by out-of-control pay at the top, now fracturing middle pay rates, inflating house prices, raising interest rates and harming all.
Yet another quango sticking it's nose in where it has no reason to be, and has no power to do anything. Unless Polly actually means, and she probably does, that it such be able to cap wages, like Mao did in China. Which since we live a world where people can easily move from country to country all the high earners will, taking the livelihoods of many less well off people with them. Which brings us neatly on to Polly's nationalist socialist bug bear, all those nasty eastern europeans since:
It should comment too on migration and its effect on pay rates
Screw you Polly. Immigration is a good thing, and the evidence is that the effect that is has on wages is minimal. When you try to claim that somehow all the nasty Poles are keeping the feckless and idle natives feckless and idle then you are speaking out of your enormously distended arsehole. The feckless and idle are that because we pay them to be thanks to the Welfare State, they where before eastern europeans came here to work they will be after the eastern europeans have moved on to better things.
Create a standing tax commission to expose who pays what and how fat cats squeeze through loopholes.
How about simply get rid of the loop holes with a flat tax? But no that would mean less waste and bureaucracy and in the Polly-verse the creep of bureaucracy is like entropy never to be reversed.
Bring a top tax band at £100,000 as an opportunity tax
The laffer curve exists, as does international migration. Slap a super tax on them and you will find these people will take their highly demanded skills elsewhere.
earmarked to pay for new life chances for left-behind children.
There is not and never has been any hypothecated taxes. once the money gets into the bureaucracy you can never know where it will eventually end up. But we can know that most of it will stay in the bureaucracy.
Make Every Child Matters a reality, with Sure Start a genuine universal guarantee that every child gets wrap-around help from well-qualified professionals to rescue all at risk.
Haven't you noticed that Sure Start is actually a failure? Or that the more the state intervenes with a child the worse they end up? Or perhaps you just noticed that that would mean lots more pointless bureaucratic none jobs to fill the Guardians advertising pages and so pay for your massive salary (itself admittedly a testament that sometimes the high salaries that some people command are simply not worth it).
Labour's great idea, 10 years on, is still often only a half-fulfilled promise.
Half-fulfilled? Well then you should be happy Polly! That is much better than most of their other promises.
Cut crime at a stroke: let clinics prescribe enough heroin to addicts daily to stop them mugging, stealing and turning to prostitution to support a habit. Lives can be stabilised on regular heroin and that is also the best hope of getting chaotic addicts into rehab.
Finally another haft sensible point glints amongst the muck. But why prescribe it? Just legalise the stuff and let everybody get whatever amount suits their fancy. For me that would be none, for others more. It is the muggings that are the problem not the drugs, so how about criminalise mugging instead the drugs? Oh yes mugging is a crime, but you wouldn't believe it given the way that the police react.
Begin again on foreign policy and, as Chirac departs, turn back to the EU.
Why? I know it is chock full of the pointless bureaucracy that Polly loves so much but really when has the EU actually done anything good in the area of foreign policy. In fact when was the EU given the power to do anything to do with foreign policy at all? It hasn't been other than to do with trade where it's last major achievement was to derail the last round of trade talks that where finally supposed to give the third world better access to first world markets and so make everybody better off. All to safeguard the indefensible CAP. Wow what a triumph.
Europe is the world's best hope on climate change
We're screwed
the only grouping of nations with the power and intent to tackle it
Intent? Where does that come from. The only country that is even close to being able to meet it's Kyoto goals is Britain, not that meeting these goals would actually do much about climate change anyway. Even the US is doing better with reducing CO2 emissions than the EU because it's economic growth has allowed it's citizens to freely choose less pollution, which many have done because energy costs money.
Make carbon trading work
You mean unlike what it does at the moment which is simply to be a way for anybody that takes it seriously (the UK) to subsidize everybody that does not (everybody else).
invite in the rest of the world
Great so we have to subsidise the rest of the world as well as the rest of the EU.
create and donate clean technologies to China and India.
And whom is going to do this, since your taxation will have already scared everybody with the skills away. And why donate? Why not sell?
Give the climate change bill teeth. The public is ready to change its habits, but is waiting for strong leadership to say what everyone knows must be done.
Yes the people are just ready and eager for the smack of strong leadership to tell them exactly how and what they can do at all times. Shiny boots really are back in fashion around the Toynbee household aren't they.
Merger and acquisition mania is back in the City with renewed ferocity. Boasts about "inward investment" to Britain are often just a sign on the borders saying Britain for Sale, in ways that amaze other countries.
Yep, great isn't it? If something would be better run with somebody else in charge then that somebody should be able to get in charge. That is the reason for the mergers mania, British companies are better when not owned and run by the british. If that where not the case then the stock price would not go up because of a merger. The old owners get cash, the new owners get a business they can run better than the old, and we get services from a better run business than before. Like in all free trade, everybody wins.


Blogger AxeTheTax./ WatchKeeper said...

I have had a little trouble with login.

I did read your remarks, and I must say that I agree with your objections. But I am not to sure of your remedy. I do have a number of Websites, this is the URL of Blogspot:-

Why not just remove the Governments Power to Levy Direct Taxation?

It is quite simple and easy to arrange for ALL Direct Taxpayers to Avoid the clutches of HMRC, the Treasury and Central Government. At a stroke, you can remove about £236 Billion of Taxation. You would then have the job of putting together another system of paying for Public Services. And deciding on What Public Services are needed, and who is entitled to receive them.

Abandon the welfare state, and the corrupted Political Ideology that has run out road. Construct a new system, a Welfare Society. I have a lot of ideas, but it isn't my place to say what should be done. At my age I will not be paying any Taxation.

If you go to my Website,there is a list of organisations I have links to. These are the Groups to include in any forum that might convene to offer suggestions. But like other "clubs" or Groupings, where membership is required and a "Fee" is paid, it must be on a voluntary basis. And people will always have the choice of moving on.

I came to your Blog by way of a Google Alert, earlier today I posted a comment on another BlogSpot Alert. The subject was very similar.

Time I think, for me to take my leave. But first, A Happy New Year To You.
And please keep on about the state of Politics and the Country. Someone has to Care. Regards, ATF.

7:47 pm  

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