Wednesday, June 18, 2008

State of the nation

Here's Tim Aker over at the Taxpayer's Alliance blog.
Even though government-speak has turned British taxpayers into ‘customers’, we’re hardly ever being served. Councils charge us for bins, for services we think we’re paying through-the-nose for in Council Tax. It’s more like we’re in the servitude of our political masters, bankrolling their expenses, jollies and lavish salaries.

Yes, that is pretty much what is happening: but the idea that we are customers is, in fact, correct in this day and age. We are customers in a Soviet style state: froth and crap we can have any amount of choice in, but the essential services? Well, that's another matter.

Sure, we are the customer but for far too many areas of our lives there is effectively only one shop and it's state-run: the state decides what education, health or hygiene services one can have. And you can't have them at your convenience, but at the shopkeeper's.

So, maybe we are less a customer and more a supplicant; although, unlike most beggars, we are forced to pay a set rate for our services and are unable to shop around.
With all the talk about preserving British liberties, from the debate over 42 days detention to David Davis’s forced by-election, we have witnessed a stark contrast, the two Britains of today. The law abiding face a lifetime of surveillance from a state that distrusts them, even so much as to have a say on the EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty, and turns normal behaviour into criminal activity. Those who pose a deeper, larger threat to the public and nation, however, are set free, given police protection and allowed to keep any state ‘benefits’ they may have been on beforehand. It’s a sharp contrast that should leave a bitter taste in the mouths of British taxpayers up and down the country. How did it all come to this?

I blame the politicians' willingness to offer bribes, paid for by extortion with menaces, to the electorate and the people's willingness to accept their own money in said bribes.

After all, despite the fact that Brown and NuLabour are incompetent, wasteful and corrupt, 26% of the moronic population of this country would still vote for them.

In short, I blame our democracy.

15 comments:

Henry Crun said...

DK, not so much that democracy is to blame, but that it was hijacked by marketeers and spinmeisters.

Noteworthy amongst the spinners was archbullshit mechant Alistair Campbell. And the great unwashed, fed a diet of crap telly and even crappier food, swallowed the govt message du jour hook, line and sinker.

You only get the government you vote for.

vervet said...

"In short, I blame our democracy."

I blame our education system - there's just no ambition anymore.

That 26% will only vote for whoever promises money for nothing.

Bread & circuses will always keep them in check.

john paul jones out of led zeppelin said...

And that's the elephant in your room. As much as you talk about how people should have control over their own lives & rage at those who think otherwise... by your definition, most people don't want "control over their own lives", & vote & behave accordingly.

We will only get libertarianism by anti-democratic means, which is why fucking mongs like Guido are trying to corrode & destroy the public space.

Old Holborn - bitter and twisted said...

I propose a Swiss style Cantonal, federal Government for the UK

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because we are not neutral and insist on having wars to keep the taxes flowing.

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because we pour it into the EU to keep Slovakians and Bulgarians in Mercedes and farming subsidies.

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because every politician who ever obtains power instantly spends it on whatever they feel will keep them in power.

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because we encourage the feckless to breed, third world beggars to plunder our housing/benefits stock and politicians are in charge of education

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because the British are criminals by nature and anything that ins't nailed down is nicked, sold off cheap and the proceeds invested in Stella Artois or Skunk

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because we make FUCK all. Our education system doesn't support engineering or manufacturing, it supports morons who can tell you Wayne Ronneys star sign and nothing else

Britain doesn't have a mountain of cash like Switzerland because anyone can become British. Unlike the Swiss where even if you are BORN there, you have no automatic right to Swiss Citizenship and your local community will decide if you have added enough value to the community to become Swiss. No mumbleing in Gujurati that you understand what housing benefit is and can you bring all your relatives too please. In the back of a lorry from Kurdistan.

Foreign youth commiting crime in Switzerland is an interesting one. If you cannot control your kurdish son because he is "out of control", the whole family gets booted back to Shitistan. I LIKE that approach. We cannot even send Africans back to Africa or Terrorists back to Jordon - thanks to the EU.

Swiss jails are not full. Ours are, to overflowing.

The Swiss pay £100 Million a year to get the good bits of the EU. The UK pays £30 BILLION a year to be ruled over by shaved Belgian Baboons.

Rant over. The EU is shit, we've tried it, it is too expensive and I don't like taking orders from people who live abroad and have never voted for.

Bastards

Anonymous said...

I like Old Holborn's take.

John Trenchard said...

fuck me "Old Holborn" - that has to be one of the best comments i have read in absolutely AGES. what a tour-de-force.


get in touch with DK and ask to be a guest blogger... we could do with more of your writings.

John Trenchard said...

DK - any chance you could do a blogpost with just old holborn's comment above , so that it doesnt get lost in the comments?

Mark Wadsworth said...

What Old Holborn says.

Secondly, I do not understand this obsession with Council Tax. It covers barely one sixth of local council's expenditure!! Taxes like VAT and Employer's National Insurance should be scrapped pronto (as economically v. damaging) and jealousy surcharges like Inheritance Tax and Stamp Duty should be rolled up with Council Tax and Business Rates into Land Value Tax, the least bad tax.

To be collected and spent locally, along Old H's 'cantonal' style of government.

patrick said...

'In short, I blame our democracy.'

DK, Is that it!?!...

The idea that we are fucking customers?!!... How much more disingenuous does it get?...

I've sat through 2 days of sub-standard, coercively over subsidised bull shit from the BBC regarding what is inflation?.. Couldn’t have been done any better than with Blue Peter... The biggest pile of sugar coated tit wank I have ever heard regarding a govt that inflates the money supply and blames everyone else for inflation but themselves...

I appreciate that strong stirrings abide in you far more, with regards to personal liberty... Things such as ID cards, 42 days and habeas corpus seem to engage your bile with such vigour that it’s a delight to hear... However you sound like a neutered tiger when the discussion turns to tax and personal finances...

Customers!?!.. The word that springs to mind is, CUNTsomer’s or CUNTsumer’s if you prefer... To give this dysfunctional filth any other term would be beyond insincere... They rob it off us whilst we work, buy, save and die, all in the name of improving our lot... To allow CUNTS like Yvette Cooper to lie through her sorry ass teeth about the realities of govt spending makes me purple with rage... So much so, that the thought of bludgeoning her with a sledge hammer could practically be entertaining kids TV...

Yours with much fury, but kindest regards....

Thon Brocket said...

DK: "I blame the politicians' willingness to offer bribes, paid for by extortion with menaces, to the electorate and the people's willingness to accept their own money in said bribes."

Get used to it. We're never going to fix it, as long as we allow our legislators to both tax and spend. Give them that length of a leash, and they'll abuse it, every time, to get more of the real currency of human affairs: power. Now, if we elected, separately, two legislatures, one to legislate and a separate one to finance the legislation, independently of the wishes of the first, we would eliminate a hell of a lot of the corrupt votes-for-bennies back-scratching that lie at the root of most of our problems, and enhance democracy.

We need separate legislatures to tax and to spend, so that neither the taxers nor the spenders can get elected by bribing us with our own money.

Separation of powers + bicameralism = a lot less government + a lot more freedom.

patrick said...

Thon Brocket,

Enhanced democracy!?!

So I'm assuming whilst one part of govt takes you from behind and the over is forcing it into your mouth, both of whom are giving you a reach around at the same time will improve things?..

So what happens when an MP from the tax govt does a back rub for an MP from the spend govt?... Its quite clear that filth is filth

Cant wait for that style of govt... %-\... Much regards...

Thon Brocket said...

P:
"So I'm assuming whilst one part of govt takes you from behind and the over is forcing it into your mouth, both of whom are giving you a reach around at the same time will improve things?.."

Read for comprehension, son.

You and I are getting fucked right here, right now, and the reason for that is that the same bunch of crooks have a perfectly aligned interest in (a) wielding power over us and (b) taxing us for the privilege. With me so far? Now if we elect two different bunches of crooks - different elections, different times, terms, systems, whatever, to carry out the two functions separately, we have a taxing chamber that is elected ***solely*** on its campaign promises to tax responsibly (since it has no power to legislate) and a legislative chamber that is solely elected ***only*** on its legislative program in the full knowledge that it can itself raise no taxes to implement them, and must cut its coat by its cloth to get the taxers' OK.


p: "So what happens when an MP from the tax govt does a back rub for an MP from the spend govt?"

What planet are you on? That's what happens ***now***. I'm suggesting that there's a way to split the two functions and push them into locking horns, instead of the fucking back-rub. Have the adjudication of tax-and-spend done out in the open by elected parliamentarians who are genuinely on their particular side, because they have no power or interest on the other side, and can make no election promises on it.

Separation of powers, it's called. We know it works by keeping the judiciary, executive and legislative functions at each others' throats, instead of combining to fuck us over. In the same vein, the functions of legislation and taxation are conceptually and operationally distinct, and need to be separated. Split the power, and we'll live freer.


p: "Its quite clear that filth is filth"

Damn right. Which is why they need to be split up, coralled off, played one against the other.


p: "Enhanced democracy!?!"

Fucking oath. You get to vote much more specifically on the tax/spend equation, instead of letting cunts like Brown and Darling carve it up out of sight in the backroom.

patrick said...

Thon,

As interesting a concept you have regarding enhanced democracy... And it's clear to me that you have thought this out very well indeed... But I must re-iterate my point once again...

Why are we being robbed in the first place?... Do you think that there is some moral imperative that we actually MUST pay any tax in the first place?... Let alone vote for another mafia to spend it for us...

It's clear to me that true freedom comes from the ABSENSE of govt and not the cutting up and downsizing of it... Do you really see these guys or any other tosser who replaces them, ever embracing your idea?...

With all due respect the US had the smallest govt in existence, in so doing created the wealthiest people in the history of mankind via the free market... However, even with this small beginning, look at the leviathan it has now become?... Can you see Obama, or MaCain ever slowing it down?... For that matter do you hear them even promising to it slow down?...

Your view is pragmatic in nature and indeed I myself felt that approach was more practical in the short term... However this scum know no bounds when it comes to slivering themselves out of a paper bag and enriching themselves in yet MORE power...

I would much prefer to be taking my arguments to a far lesser intellect than your good self... As is the problem with all cosmos thinking (last DK post), whether from the left or right, we’re all struck by the problem of GOVT!!...

My answer of course (in time, not mine likely), is to abolish it like slavery at some good juncture in the future... The end of coercion for good and when the use of a gun is for protecting oneself and his fellow man and not as a means to stealing his money and raping his wife...

Anyway, as always, with many respectful regards...

Thon Brocket said...

p: "Why are we being robbed in the first place?... Do you think that there is some moral imperative that we actually MUST pay any tax in the first place?"

Jesus fuck, no. Taxation is theft. Anybody who doesn't get that is either one of the thieves, or a fucking windowlicker.

p:
"Let alone vote for another mafia to spend it for us. It's clear to me that true freedom comes from the ABSENCE of govt and not the cutting up and downsizing of it."

Wouldn't argue with any of that - theoretically, long term. But we have a practical problem here, one that's not susceptible to a fundamentalist approach. Like the man said, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.



p: "Do you really see these guys or any other tosser who replaces them, ever embracing your idea?."

Course not. They'll fight like cornered rats. I've had fun in the past advancing this notion on lefty sites, and it sends 'em fucking ballistic, which is encouraging, because I'm annoying the right people, but also an indication of a tough fight ahead.

Look - I'm an engineer. I look at a system that's misfiring, try to nail the problem down, try to formulate amd implement a fix. It's never fuckin' ***easy***, ya know? The problem is the ongoing loss of freedom and the continued encroachment by the state. It's happening through democratic politics, which is supposed to be a Good Thing, but evidently isn't; so what's the problem with it? My take is that it's the fundamentally corrupt vote-for-me-and-I'll-see-you-right dynamic which the silly-bastard electorate falls for and the scum-bastard power-seekers exploit, ever more expertly, to gain power (and above all, it's power for its own sake they want - monkey social heirarchical dominance, right down in the ineradicable DNA). Remove the ability of the politicians to make that great, corrupt bargain, and you've gone a long way to defeating them. I believe you can do that by splitting the legislature.

So how do you get there from here? Tough one. My idea is to hit the statists right in their Great Sacred Democracy Cow. Put 'em on the back foot by arguing that the current arrangement for the adjudication of the tax/spend equation by the government in power is corrupt, as I argued in the last paragraph, and undemocratic. "Double democracy" is the slogan. What's the matter, Trotsky? Don't trust the people, huh?

Couse, I'm just a lone loon raving in the wilderness, so the best I can do is try to float it as a meme, get it out there. Run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes.



p: "With all due respect the US had the smallest govt in existence, in so doing created the wealthiest people in the history of mankind via the free market... However, even with this small beginning, look at the leviathan it has now become? "

Sure. And it got that way through bribe-'em-with-their-own-money politics, which as a political system runs like a Cat diesel, delivering what it's supposed to - power to the politicians. I'm pushing a structural change so that process won't work any more.



p: ".. Can you see Obama, or MaCain ever slowing it down?... For that matter do you hear them even promising to it slow down?...

Your view is pragmatic in nature and indeed I myself felt that approach was more practical in the short term... However this scum know no bounds when it comes to slivering themselves out of a paper bag and enriching themselves in yet MORE power...

I would much prefer to be taking my arguments to a far lesser intellect than your good self... As is the problem with all cosmos thinking (last DK post), whether from the left or right, we’re all struck by the problem of GOVT!!...

My answer of course (in time, not mine likely), is to abolish it like slavery at some good juncture in the future... The end of coercion for good and when the use of a gun is for protecting oneself and his fellow man and not as a means to stealing his money and raping his wife...

Anyway, as always, with many respectful regards"



All good stuff, and my compliments to you. But you have to get down to brass tacks if you want to change things.

Patrick said...

'Couse, I'm just a lone loon raving in the wilderness, so the best I can do is try to float it as a meme, get it out there. Run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes.'....

On this point, I do concur... But isnt the world a richer place for it?...

I may disagree with your methodology but I salute your tenacity...