As the law stands, people wishing to settle in Britain must demonstrate that they have the means to support themselves, either through work or through an alternative source of income such as a pension. The European Commission claims that this amounts to discrimination against EU citizens, who are supposed to enjoy the same rights as British nationals.
In fact, as so often happens, Eurocrats are disregarding the plain text of their own rules. Article 7(1) of the Free Movement Directive gives EU citizens the right to reside in another member state only if they have “sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State”.
In order to get around this clause, the European Commission is deploying a piece of sheer sophistry. It argues that, if immigrants were able to top up their income with British benefits, they would have “sufficient resources”.
In May, the Supreme Court ruled on the claim of a Latvian pensioner, who had just moved to Britain and had demanded Pension Credit on grounds that her Latvian pension was too small. Although our courts like to rule in favour of immigrants, the law here was so clear-cut that, by 4-1, judges turned her down. If the European Commission were to get its way, she would not only be able to claim Pension Credit, but also council tax and housing subsidies—despite not having paid a penny into the system.
There are several issues to be addressed here, and they touch on a number of issues.
- The idea of National Insurance was that it was an insurance (or, practically, assurance) scheme: if you paid in, then you could get a pay out in the correct circumstances. But the point is that yo only get a pay-out if you pay in.
If you die, your family cannot apply to insurance company for a pay-out of you haven't been paying any life insurance.
- Yes, we all know that National Insurance is a colossal Ponzi Scheme so there is no insurance fund (which Obama's administration recently confessed). It is only a matter of time before one EU country or another tries to absolve themselves from legislation like this by pointing out they they don't have the money to pay.
- At that point, I'd put even money on the EU suggesting that all social security taxes should go into a central EU fund which will ensure the payment of social security. At which point, of course, the EU will harmonise the level of payment across all member states in order to ensure the fair distribution of funds.
At which point, of course, we can all kiss goodbye to whatever semblance of independence or sovereignty remains to us.
- This is an especially important point: THERE IS NO FUCKING MONEY LEFT.
The low-grade panic and the pathetic desperation inherent in Obama's recent sham negotiations—coupled with our own government's pathetically-failed attempts to curb state spending have only confirmed the act that the Western economies are effectively bankrupt.
In fact, let us be more precise about this: every single soft socialist democracy is bankrupt—with the possible exception of Germany (which is, instead, being bankrupted by the other economies to which it is bound).
In fact, as Detlev Schlichter has so eloquently put it, we can, at last, welcome the death of politics.
Should we feel sorry? Worried? Desperate? – Well, with apologies to Oscar Wilde, but one has to have a heart of stone to read about the struggling political class without laughing.
The modern state is in terminal decline. Good riddance.
While I do not want to belittle the upcoming upheaval and the pain it will cause to many, all of us who love liberty should rejoice. The state is bust. Game over.
Hoorah, the state is dead!
We libertarians have been treated as slightly eccentric for years, no, for decades. Our plans to convince our fellow men and women of the benefits of small or no government, of the power of voluntary cooperation on free markets, of the global division of labor and of personal liberty – they were greeted with the pitiful smile reserved for the hopelessly naive. No political party would ever win on such a platform, we were told. If given the choice, the public votes not for freedom with all its uncertainty but for the caring, paternalistic state with free health service at point of delivery – and while we are at it, why not all sorts of other freebies, too? And, let’s face it, our critics were right. The chances of Ron Paul becoming the next American president are – well, zero. The political process – in particular modern mass democracy in which every vote counts the same whether from a taxpayer or tax-consumer – is designed to increase state power, not to limit it. As Mark Steyn has observed so pointedly, government is like coffee at Starbucks: It only comes in three sizes: tall, grande and venti.
But as good libertarians we should not rely on politics like our enemies, the statists, do. That is their game. Let’s not play it. We should rely – as befits proper anarchists – on our fellow man’s self-interest. Not more, not less. Most people prefer more goods to fewer goods. For that they need markets, not politics. Politics just gets in the way. Just as the market is working and delivering the goodies every day even if most people don’t understand why and how, so the state is collapsing under the weight of its own inconsistencies whether the people still want to believe in it or not.
“Events, dear boy, events.” All we have to do is sit back and let the state collapse. We know that in the long run, the state is dead. And the long run may be sooner than we think.
And he is right: in between the planted distractions of phone-hacking and assorted media wank, we have all witnessed the scrabblings of our Lords and Masters as they attempt to rescue their doomed political projects—do they realise that it's all in vain?
With all of the highly paid advisers at their beck and call, they surely must? But then I realise that most advisers to the (mostly) terminally stupid, ignorant and venal MPs are recently ex-students—not exactly the cleverest people on the planet in the first place—and civil servants desperate to preserve the illusion of business-as-usual in order to preserve their cushy jobs and platinum-plated pensions.
So perhaps they do not realise. Perhaps they don't understand.
The state is bust: there is no more money for any more bail-outs. The biggest bond-buyers are the banks (why do you think the world's governments agreed to bail them out?) and even they are shying away this stupidest of stupid investments.
As Detlev points out, the state is bust and all libertarians have to do is sit back and watch it happen.