Everyone an owner?

The UK debate has been depressing during and after the deep recession of the last decade. There has been much discussion of how to share the diminished income and output, with rather less talk of how more people can own more and participate more fully in the economic life of our country. Recently there has been enthusiastic discussion of how to tax rich people and companies more, with no discussion of how more people can be well off and more can own and run their own successful companies. If we get better at generating more wealth, there might be less bitterness about how to distribute what we already have achieved.

It is a common British attitude that things should be fair. Some on the left interpret that as meaning they should be equal. That is not the majority view. Many people’s idea of fairness encompasses the opinion that those who work hard, achieve to high standards, perform well should be entitled to earn more and keep more of their earnings. There is surprisingly little resentment of the fabulous income and wealth of many footballers, and little envy of the earnings of pop stars, top tv talent or even of successful entrepreneurs like Mr Branson. There is resentment of high salaries in both the public and private sectors for leaders who do not have distinctive talent, or who fail to lead well, or who preside over chaos or corruption.

The tax debate has been typically negative. Doubtless there are some who have got away with evasion without prosecution or even without being made to pay back what they should have paid. We all wish to see them pursued successfully and energetically. As some critics of tax avoidance have discovered, their own family tax and legal affairs can be complicated. Once you start to hurl allegations around about particular individuals avoiding too much tax, others will think they are entitled to know whether you yourself have ever used legal tax avoidance methods. As many of you have remarked, MPs who dislike current legal avoidance should change the law.

Tomorrow I want to look at some positive ideas on how we can promote an ownership society. If more have a realistic chance to earn well and build some wealth if they wish to put in the effort, it will help social mobility and satisfy many people’s sense of fairness. We need some optimism, some sense that opportunity can defeat injustice, some guidance that shows the future can and will be better than the past. Bring on hope. Elections based on fear and jealousy are not good for a society. The way to help the poor is generate a more prosperous society that has more money to share, more buying of goods and services to generate more jobs, and more tax revenue to help those in need.

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  1. Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Ownership ?

    Well for many people it is just a matter of getting by day-to-day. Things are not normal as they were in our days, John.

    People can’t just expect to get things they want by mere hard work anymore. There needs to be parental support and a lot of luck too. Even buying a home (if a deposit can be raised) requires a huge amount of risk nowadays.

    We are going through the upheavels of mass immigration and all the changes and uncertainty that brings – though I don’t suppose an established person would know how that feels.

    Perhaps we should wait for the dust from recent population increases to settle before we worry about ownership. Though, going by Mr Cameron’s Libya disaster, it seems that there are going to be more increases to come.

    Sorry to be uncouth by talking about mass immigration. But its obvious that it affects everything. Including the amount of people there are who are interested in ownership of limited resources.

    To pretend it isn’t there seems a bit bonkers to me. Plus our green targets will not be met if we increase population without reducing ownership per capita.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Why bother owning? There are thousands who have come here, been put in a council house, no responsibility for it. They are even given the money to “rent” it – which is absolutely stupid from the start. Repairs also come out of everyone else’s taxes. They have no reason to aspire, to work, to even learn the language – Free house, free cash and free NHS – everything provided by the taxpayer – who can then not afford their own home, or to have their own children, because they are paying for the homes ( and children) of thousands who have come to do nothing, but breed prolifically, because that will “earn” them yet more free cash. The provision comes from the taxes of those who are working. More come in, more taxes are needed to keep them. As the population grows there are a smaller %age paying taxes so the tax take has to be higher from the “contributors”. John knows I get nothing after working 45 yrs – yet those I have mentioned can get a totally free life, non-contributed-to pension included, paid for till they drop. Our own govt – and the EU – hate us and want us destroyed and replaced. They are well on target.

  2. Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    According to Mr Miliband, the chap who cuts my hedge once a year is a fat-cat who has to be harried and hassled by the tax office. I don’t think he earns enough to pay income tax now that the thresholds have been raised, so I really don’t care if he declares what I pay him. The self-assessment system is far too complicated for low-earners like him (lovely bloke but not very good at sums), and he certainly shouldn’t have to pay an accountant to deal with any tax declaration! If it makes any difference to any payments he might receive, then I take the view that the system is so over-complicated that there is probably a large grey area for him to occupy….

    The real problem is that politicians spend too much tax-payers money – the solution is for politicians to spend less money. All that Mr Milibands posturing does is remind me how out-of-touch and hypocritical politicians can be.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I assume Miliband, Balls and the rest of the MP’s all declare the many subsidised bars and restaurants, child care, riffle range and the likes at the Houses of Commons and Lords as “benefits in kind” to be fully taxed. After all we would not want them to be considered hypocritical tax avoiders (or even evaders) would we? Furthermore they should clearly renounce their rather over generous MP’s pensions as these too are clear tax avoidance as are the £30K? tax free pay offs when they leave the Commons.

      Also of course so is varying a will (post death) to save IHT.

      It is all pure, contrived hypocrisy of the highest order from Labour.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Spot on.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      For once Cameron’s reply was excellent
      “I want Ed Balls to have more time to cut his own hedge”

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Paying small amounts earned by the unemployed for a few beers is not the same as large scale tax avoidance even in you deluded right wing world. Or Ed Balls for that matter. How do you think the unemployed live on a pittance?

        • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink


          The trouble is that it is far worse than corporate tax evasion in round numbers. You see all this little beers add up to £150 billion per year whilst corporate evasion is almost half that at £80 billion.

          You either are against tax evasion or you’re not. You can’t be selective.

          If the unemployed are capable of doing cash jobs cutting hedges etc then they aren’t unemployed are they and if the unemployed as you put it are doing work and claiming benefits then thats a double fraud. Trouble with you lefties is that you can’t see the wood for the trees you are so blinded by feelings of inadequacy and jealousy.

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            So much for small state then libtard. Benefits are a pittance and a bit of cash in hand is taken from the benefits pound for pound in areas where there is no work, no work and don’t tell me there is always work because you are just wrong on that one.
            You seem to think you can normalise desperation, hardship and poverty making it the same as large scale tax scamming and everyday work. It is not.

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink


            As always you’re wrong as I’ve proved on so many occasions now. There’s plenty of work around

            My post was more about your addled thinking that someone with paid work is unemployed .

            So you are saying that poor people breaking the law is fine and ok but better off people isn’t. Right oh Bazman

  3. Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I believe in equality of opportunity, and not equality of outcome.

    If people have the ability and desire to achieve, and the path to that achievement does not have barriers put before it, then society as a whole, and not just the individual, will benefit.

    Barriers to achievement are many. But the one’s that can be the most harmful, are those of discrimination. We rightly have in law, acts that forbid discrimination, yet, now we see political parties demanding of private enterprise that they introduce a ‘quota’ of so many types of people. This is wrong ! This destroys the natural human need to make an effort. Why bother going for a job, when you know that the other candidate(s) may have an advantage over you, because of some insane quota system ? I can understand why people in politics would like to see such and such a candidate, but personally, I would rather the best person got the job, irrespective. It is this that is, and will, damage both Public and Private business.

    People aspire to wealth so that they can live on such wealth when times are either hard, or in retirement. For governments to behave as if somehow they are entitled to other peoples wealth, whether it be in the form of pensions or property going to relatives after they die, is wrong. The tax on such things has been paid, and to rob people of what future they may have creates a negative culture. Tax become punitive and people aggressively seek ways to keep what little they have. They also reduce expenditure which has a negative effect on the economy.

    I have long argued that a much small government is needed. A small government will will take less in tax, and allowed individuals to spend and invest. Creating growth, jobs and spreading the wealth further out.

    Simple Capitalism. Not Socialism or Crony Capitalism.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Eton being the quota you mean?

  4. Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The way to decrease inequality is to teach people to fish, paying them benefits to force them not to fish for anything (other than for a short period) is both immoral and hugely damaging.

    Tax avoidance actually benefits the economy (and is thus highly moral) as governments spend money far, far less wisely than individuals and businesses do. It is also the only way many businesses can compete. After all if you spend someone else’s money on something for someone else you do not car what you spend or what value you get – and that is government.

    Silly laws like the general anti-avoidance regulation are hugely damaging as they increase tax uncertainty and thus deter some sensible investments. Make taxes simple and lower the rates – the economy will benefit, jobs and business will benefit a even the states finances will benefit. You also destroy many pointless jobs in the tax avoidance and HMRC industries. GAAR (a sort of you owe what we say you owe Zimbabwe tax) is a hugely damaging outrage.

    It MPs do not like the tax laws change them, but do so in a clear rule of law (not rule of bureaucrats) way.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      I see channel 4 did a complete hatchet job on UKIP last night in the BBC mode. Are they no laws in impartiality for broadcasters in the run up to an election. One can only imagine the huge bias we will get from the BBC and other if we ever do get an EU referendum.

      Finally Cameron say something sensible: A life on benefits? It will finish under us, vows PM. Not that he will be there to keep the vow given his total lack of vision, wet socialism, 299+ tax increasing, ever more EU, lots and IHT and other ratting and ever more greencrap approach to the election.

      Still Miliband is still doing his best to help the Tories.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        As the BBC receives money from the EU it should be barred from broadcasting anything on the election, there is a clear bias, it is against its own charter and the policy decisions it reaches in what it broadcasts is not based on public opinion.

        Cameron has given £18 million our taxes to promote closer union to the EU therefore he should be barred from having an unfair advantage as it strikes me as a conflict of interest.

        Moreover, those politicians, and civil servants, who have connived to deceive the British people from knowing the true extent of EU rule over our country and their giving away our sovreignty and independence to unelected bureaucrats to create a United States of Europe do not have our best interests at heart. They also should be barred from holding public office of any kind. I suggest Booker’s and North’s articles as a very good read to understand the extent of the sordid behaviour of our MPs in giving away our country.

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          @Hope; “As the BBC receives money from the EU”

          Perhaps you might like to an cite a official source for this assertion -on the other hand, repeat a misconception for long enough and people who like to bash the BBC will believe it a fact…

          Oh and I would be very careful of stirring up how “UK media companies” are funded or from where the investment come from, it’s a nest of vipers, people you do not intend to get hurt might just get bitten…

          • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            If you consult the EU Financial Transparency System website at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/fts/index_en.htm . Specify the UK as the country and BBC as the recipient you will see the BBC received;
            – 6,744,151 € in 2013
            – 5,269,083 € in 2012
            – 354,954 € in 2011
            – 6,034,385 € in 2010
            – 3,498,043 € in 2009
            – 6,336,295 € in 2008
            – 1,943,146 € in 2007

            It appears the BBC received quite a lot from the EU over the 7 years listed.

          • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink


            When you say an official source, how about the BBC telling us, does that count?


            Why don’t you enlighten us to the funding of other UK media groups then Jerry. I for one would like to know who is paying the media

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            @David Price: Thank you for the link to an offical index page and not a document but what ever, at least you did better than libertarian and his second-hand here say MSM link…

            Of course the next questions are, why was it given, were ‘strings’ attached (that would affect editorial impartiality for example), did/can other broadcasters also get such funding?

            What I’m getting at is, my understanding is that these sums are to fund the reporting of the EU’s work and might be in way of subsidised use of studios and offices within the EU parliaments etc. and not “cash”, a bit like how the BBC (still?) obtains additional funding to operate the BBC Parliament channel, and in any case quite frankly the amounts you quote are peanuts when talking about broadcast budgets. What is the current BBC income obtained by the TVL fee, something like £5.102 billion pa…

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            Dear Jerry

            ………………If you had read the link you will see that is says that the OFFICIALLY file BBC accounts show the payments from the EU

            Is that too difficult for you. Sorry chappie, you’re wrong. You’ve been proved wrong and your blather to dig yourself out of a hole is pathetic

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “at least you did better than libertarian and his second-hand here say MSM link ”

            And Libertarian did a lot better than you attempt to deny there was any EU BBC funding.

            “No need as I have actually researched this in the past, read the official documents and thus understand the whys and wherefores of it, not just the here-say,”


            A total (that we know about ) £30,180,057 between 2007/13 may not be ‘humongous’ to you Jerry, but to the rest of us, it’s a sizeable sum.

            Jerry: “did/can other broadcasters also get such funding?”


            Jerry: “What is the current BBC income obtained by the TVL fee, something like £5.102 billion pa…”

            Exactly, so why does the BBC need money from the EU? It doesn’t. But you’re right, these are relatively small sums of money, which just might buy large amounts of influence.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; Then you will have had no problems citing the official BBC document (chapter and verse if needs-be) then wouldn’t you. Here-say is irrelevant, a newspaper can imply many things, and many a time they have been caught claiming things the evidence doesn’t actually back up once checked….

            APL; You really are clueless as to the costs involved in broadcasting, and I bet you would still complain if the BBC -in your opinion- had wasted TVL money on office and staff, never mind equipment in the various EU institutions rather than taking such extra funding .

            Oh and it is highly relevant if other media outlets can get the same funding as the BBC from the EU, for if they can then it rather proves that this issue is being used by those who wish to damage the BBC, merely using the EU as a way to kick the BBC as they then fail to also kick out at those media companies more to their political liking or what ever.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “You really are clueless as to the costs involved in broadcasting, ”

            See Jerry, it isn’t about costs nor is it just about broadcasting, it’s about impartial broadcasting.

            Clearly, since the BBC is having it’s costs defrayed in order to report on the EU, what is the EU getting in return, sympathetic reporting?

            Would you be happy if Sky paid the BBC to report on it’s activities?

          • Posted February 25, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            @APL; Anything to bash the BBC it would seem, but what about the other broadcasts who get such funding, when are you going to start slagging them off too?

            But if you have a specific complaint regarding impartial broadcasting from the BBC then make an official complaint, and if you don’t feel your complaint hasn’t got dealt with properly then take it to the BBC Trust, write to your MP etc etc. but you’ll need to put specific details in writing, with a name and address (or at least a return email address), not some ill-defined rambling third hand village gossip whose origin were stories in the europhobic and/or anti-BBC press, even less rants on social media!.

            As for for your comment about other broadcasters and the BBC, your comment simply further proves your total lack grasp of the subject…

          • Posted February 26, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Anything to bash the BBC it would seem, but what about the other broadcasts who get such funding, when are you going to start slagging them off too?”

            So you refuse to address the issue: Should an organisation (in this case the EU) pay a broadcaster ( in this case the BBC ) to report on its activities?

            And since that organisation is now defraying the costs of ( in this instance the BBC ) would you be surprised if you found the BBC gave favourable coverage to the activities of the organisation?

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Indeed we are better off without a referendum than with one that is lost due to voter’s own taxes (BBC. channel 4 and the EU & UK government) money being used to ram propaganda down the voters’ throats.

          What is democratic, honest or valid about that?

          • Posted February 25, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

            @LL; Define “propaganda”, I suspect that your definition might be along the lines of it being facts you don’t want to hear…

            Thus what you actually want is propaganda – that is anti EU propaganda – tell me, what would be democratic, honest or valid about that?

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        The official election period has not started yet.

        Think what a programme about the Green Party would be like, but there won’t be one.

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          @Tom William; It’s very unlikely that there’ll be a majority UKIP one either but that didn’t stop Ch4, I bet there won’t be a programme called “The Greens; The first 100 days” next week, complete with the same hatchet-job.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        The UKIP documentary was hilariously daft and ridiculous….. I found the ‘psycho and wild eyed, three tours of Afghanistan’ ex army sergeant ‘sarge’ particularly ridiculous, saying that he owed his job in the Border Agency (or whatever they are called) to UKIP…. 4 weeks after the election….ridiculous…. 5 weeks maybe.


    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      More lefty drivel from the Council of Bishops I see. Is there some correlation between becoming a Bishop and losing the ability to think rationally & logically about the world?

      I suppose there would have to be really or they would not endlessly come out with such endless idiotic statements.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        The Council of Bishops seem very keen on “social cohesion”. Perhaps they should therefore campaign for the abolition of state funded, denominational schools – as they clearly cause such damaging cleavages in society and damage rational thought in general. If we get this indoctrination of vulnerable young children minds out of our school system then we might at least have less moronic twaddle from the “Council of Bishops” in 30 years time.

        Perhaps also more of the “social cohesion” that they profess to desire.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        I notice they strangely didn’t mention scapegoating of one group- those who have worked hard enough to be able maintain property and an overseas bank account in Switzerland!

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Some worked most did not as they inherited it as evidence shows.

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            Wheres your link to this evidence Bazboid?

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink


            Ah the Guardian that bastion of upstanding and fine tax payers.

            All you need to do is look at a list of the UK’s 50 wealthiest people to see that about 5 inherited their wealth.

            Here’s a link from The Daily Mirror.

            Amongst the worlds wealthiest people it is indeed the norm that people worked for their wealth.

            Those with inherited wealth have been slipping down the table for years

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

            They where all dirt poor from the start libtard?
            Most came from rich families. Maybe they see a million quid from their fathers as pocket money, but we do not.
            Note that a number are from Russia and India these bastions of freedom and free enterprise you no doubt will tell us?
            Starry eyed nonsense and they are so grateful that they do not even want to pay any tax in any country.
            How does that wealth trickle down?

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink


            Oh dear you really struggle don’t you. …………….Where they were born and the politics in place is not the point. The point dear boy was purely that the majority did NOT inherit their wealth as you incorrectly ascertained.

            In fact only 6% of the worlds worth is inherited money. Forbes the people that analyse such things provided that statistic

            Here’s a link to some reports about it.


          • Posted February 24, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Maybe in world terms, but how much ‘work’ do you suppose Russian billionaires did for their money. Where they were born and the politics in place is not the point?! LOL! How do you suppose they got it? Have a think if you are able.
            Its a lot of graft to become a billionaire in five years and especially in Russia that bastion of communist ideals..

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        @LL; “More lefty drivel from the Council of Bishops I see.”

        Indeed, if you only bother reading the reactionary right wing media!

        What the letter asked people to do was to think, something some seem to have problems with whilst others don’t even bother, just so long as they can sign “I’m al’right Jack” to themselves and their immediate loved ones.

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I can’t remember them bleating about these problems during the 13 years of the last Labour Government.

          • Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; I seem to remember a certain Archbishops being very critical of Blair’s government and not just it’s wiliness to go to war, perhaps some people just need to pay more attention!

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            They were against Blair’s war but I still cannot remember any criticism of economic policy or moans about inequality or poverty by our lefty Bishops.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “but I still cannot remember”

            Is that because it suits your purpose not to, because you were not taking an active interest at the time in what they said or because they really didn’t do what you suggest – and as bias is, like love, so often solely in the eyes of the beholder!

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

            No Jerry its not bias.
            If you can show me 50 page essays from Bishops regularly criticising Labours economic policies and levels of unemployment poverty etc, then I will be surprised.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “No Jerry its not bias. If you can show me 50 page essays from Bishops regularly criticising Labours economic [..//..]”

            So what if you can prove your suggested assertion, most adults are more than capable to taking on-board more than one side of any argument and then deciding who (in their opinion) is correct – it’s just a pity that so many from the far left and far right can not.

            Lets see, so far people like you accuse the BBC of bias, that the Bishops are biased, is biased, many politicos and civil servants are either biased or clueless, the CBI and the CCB are biased, the TUC is biased, NGOs are biased -there seems to be a pattern, anyone who doesn’t agree with your own narrow set of opinions is thus biased, hum…

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            Stop making it up Jerry
            Ive never said what you imagine are my views.

            It is simply correct that the Church of England are pretty much silent when Labour are in power but regularly criticise any Conservative govt as the Bishops are doing now.
            I note that you fail to come up with any proof I am wrong.

            Perhas a blog of your own would be good for you.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            @edward2; “Perhas a blog of your own would be good for you.”

            Dirty Pot and pans…

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          I did read the letter and thought about it and concluded it was 52 pages of complete and utter moronic drivel. Immoral and damaging drivel in many parts too.


          “Faith” surely, by its very nature, means not thinking, but just having faith and beliefs?

          • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            We can conclude that you are very ‘faithful’?
            All evidence points to this.

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            You must have very little to do workwise if you have time to read this and bash your bishop.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Is it any wonder that they talk little sense when they always talk in those soft, affected, whisperish voices. It must be very difficult to maintain that tone and talk any rational sense…


        • Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          @zorro: “whisperish voices. It must be very difficult to maintain that tone and talk any rational sense”

          What ever, perhaps most of us mere plebs are just to accustomed to Soap actors SHOUTING, radio DJ’s SHOUTING, never mind so many parents SHOUTING at their kids and the kids SHOUTING back even though they are walking side-by-side in the supermarket!

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:48 am | Permalink


        Is there some correlation between becoming a Bishop and losing the ability to think rationally & logically about the world?

        One might reasonably assert that professing belief in a supreme deity is proof that there is.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Tax avoidance benefits the economy? Is that why so many third world economies are being plundered and millions are lost for roads and the NHS here? Your posts just become more deluded and stupid. There is little point in debate with you as you believe you own the facts and deny any evidence to the contrary of you religious beliefs. Absolute drivel indeedy!

      • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Where are the replies to this from the wealth worshippers

  5. Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    “Tomorrow I want to look at some positive ideas on how we can promote an ownership society.”

    First you’ll need to define what you mean by an “ownership society”, are you -as I suspect you might be- referring to home ownership or could it be simple consumerism beyond the needs of everyday life, does owning a second car (or perhaps even their first car), that 50″ ultra-HD TV with a golden Sky viewing card, or an expensive speed boat also count even though some have made the decision to rent either on the private market or via social/council provision -and might have very good reasons for doing so, such as having to be able to move with as little fuss as possible around the country due to their employment patterns?

    Also, social or state-ownership is a form of everyone being an owner, far more so than shares, the bulk of which so often end up being owned by institutions that might or might not be used to provide the likes of our pensions eventually. “Nationalisation” without proper management was the problem, not the ownership status as such [1], the unionised workforce think they owned the industry whilst governments thought they did and would then impose inappropriate management (structures) or refuse to sanction investment etc. John Lewis don’t seem to be doing to badly for being a Cooperative, the staff always seem happy and polite, the sales floors always seem well stocked and with interesting, quality things to tempt us into parting with our money – unlike a British Leyland showroom in the late 1970s & early ’80s!

    [1] although there might be competition issues, but that’s another debate

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Indeed an ownership society would be a good plan. Especially something to protect directors from just helping themselves to shareholders assets often while running companies into the ground. Some rent to buy scheme for social housing tenants would be a very good plan socially and for the election.

      Also reduce stamp duty which is a large tax barrier to home ownership and an unfair fiscal bias to rent instead. Taxes should be neutral in general.

      Of course there is not so much point in owning things if the government steals 40% of them off you one death – so start with the abolition of IHT or at least de-rat on the IHT threshold promise of six years ago. It should be about £1.2M per person now (with inflation).

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink


      I assumed JR was talking about the ownership of businesses .

      There are currently 5.2 million in the UK 99.3% of them are SME’s not traded on any stock exchange. They currently employ 25.2 million workers. Workers owning a share in those kinds of businesses have a vested interest in success. 750,000 new small businesses have been created in the last couple of years, the way forward is for far more people to have the incentive to start their own business or to participate in the ownership of their place of work. Whilst John Lewis is a good model the fixation on the operation of large business is what causes so much political and buearucratic problems, the reality is that SME’s are the backbone of the free market, our economy and our job creation. Yet politicians the media and the public get fixated on the behaviour of a vanishingly small number of large businesses.

      Nationalised ownership has no incentive to succeed, innovate or indeed even serve . Those of us old enough to remember the state nationalised utility and transport services can attest at how woefully awful and expensive state services where.

      I also assume JR is referring to home ownership. Currently 76% of population own their own homes. It is difficult for young people to get on the housing ladder, but do you know what it always has been. When I bought my first house the deposit was a giant chunk of money that we had to save and my interest repayments leapt from 8% to 17% in the space of 4 months. One of the things hardly ever mentioned is Blair scrapping MIRAS in 2000. Maybe a scheme of positive taxation in order to purchase a home is needed. Maybe even look at how tiny Singapore helps its lowest income people afford housing in one of the most expensive real estate areas on the planet.

      I agree with JR we need to encourage and incentivise people to own more of their own major assets. The tax system can be one route to this. We have tax incentives for some business activities, I’d rather see tax incentives to help people get their own home and start their own business.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; Nationalised ownership has no incentive to succeed, innovate or indeed even serve . Those of us old enough to remember the state nationalised utility and transport services can attest at how woefully awful and expensive state services where.”

        Well I am old enough to remember and I disagree about the nationalised utility and transport services, as I eluded to, it wasn’t always any lack of incentive to succeed from those in the industry but from those in the biggest nationalised industry of the lot – government.

        For example everyone bashes the old owned and state run GPO/BT, but the GPO had developed the video phone by the very early 1970s, and had digital telephone exchanges arrived before BT was privatised there would have be none of the often cited reasons for the sell off. British Leyland had many quality designs, but they either never got beyond concept stage or were reduced to uncompetitive tin boxes on wheels because the company was refused investment. As for utility and transport, bar the union strikes, all provided the services that were required and did so without the smoke and mirrors found in today’s market.

        Talking of transport, BR had a high speed, tilting train, that ran on the existing infrastructure back in the early 1970s, this was developed into the all electric APT, funding was always a problem though (unlike with the French SNCF and their TGV, that needed a whole new high speed track to be built in the same way as the proposed HS2), by the 1980s despite knowing the train needed more development BR was pushed into bringing the APT to market – underdeveloped and a cold winter later, BR scraped the project, sold off the technology, only for the UK to see the French state back their nationalised railway and TGV, and for all that ex-BR technology to be sold back to the UK in foreign built trains from the 1990s – go figure…

        As for home ownership and how it affects the wider economy, there are many societies were renting is considered the norm as much as purchasing is, many of these countries have stronger economies and manufacturing sectors whilst (non investment/mortgage) debt is far lower too.

        Reply UK telecoms were around 10 years behind the US when we privatised, and soon caught up with private capital and management.

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          @JR reply; Yes, because government starved them of the funds needed, nor would government allow the state owned industries to raise investment finance on the open market which is what the privatised BT was able to do from day one.

          I’m not getting at the Thatcher government John, the previous Labour governments were just as bad, my point was to dispel the notion expressed by libertarian that there was some sort of generic motivational issues within the workforce of state owned industries that caused the industry to suffer under-investment and a lack of product development.

          Oh and the private US telecoms, regulated from the start, have to provide free local calls as a standard part of subscriber line, something the UK is still waiting for, we are still catching up 30 years after privatisation!..

          Reply It was about management – the nationalised industry was opting for a hybrid expensive UK only technology and missing out on the more advanced digital technology that the USA was introducing. Once it was privatised the industry switched to world compatible and world class switching.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; So the same management suddenly changed their mind as to what was the best technology and if they did why! Oh and how put the senior managers in place, not the line managers but those who would deal directly with government/Whitehall, if it wasn’t government/Whitehall?…

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink


            Actually read my post and learn something

            The old GPO management could no longer rely on a non competitive environment, they had to adapt and adapt quickly. They hired lots of technical specialists and new engineering management teams. They became incentivised to innovate, do you see. Thats what I told you in the first place.

            Cable and Wireless, STC, Plessey and Racal i.e. the other UK based telecoms companies were suddenly able to sell their technology into the newly privatised BT who until that point had primarily used their own in house moribund tech.

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            libertarian; “Actually read my post and learn something”

            Please read what I said and respond to what I said, not what best fits your “agenda”.

            What you describe could have occurred within POT or BT (before or after the formal split from the Post Office) as a nationalised telecoms industry, after all it has happened like that in other countries, the point is they were prevented from doing so due to the miss-management of policies etc. handed down by successive governments -just as can happen in a poorly run private company that has the wrong people on its board. To her credit Thatchers government realised that governments are very poor managing directors of such industries due to being always at arms length, and thus gave many of the nationalised industries far more autonomy, often without even having to change the ‘top brass’ within the industry – but we can never know if they would have been a success or not once modernised but still nationalised, it’s crystal ball gazing, I don’t know, you don’t and nor does our host…

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink


          Sorry chap, you are completed deluded. In the 1970’s I was head of telecoms for a large multinational business based in the UK.

          The GPO was light years behind Scandinavia, Canada and USA. The Scandinavians where implementing packet switched networks whilst the GPO was still taking 6 months to install a business phone. The GPO were still touting Telex machines when others where networking WP’s

          In 1977, General Telephone and Electronics sent the first live telephone traffic through fiber optics at a 6 Mbit/s throughput in Long Beach, California. The GPO were still using twisted pair.

          A point to point leased line could take upwards of a year to get installed, yet a Western Union Satellite uplink to the US was available in weeks.

          ATT introduced a Manhattan based videophone service called picture phone in 1964

          Digital Telephone Exchanges ( System X) where developed by GPO in partnership with GEC, Plessey and STC in 1979. The GPO wasn’t privatised until 1984 so you’re wrong there too.

          Telenet a US network went live in 1974, Transpac France in 76, & Datapac in Canada in 76, the GPO PSS system went live not until 1981. X25 was developed in the UK

          Do you know what Jerry I can’t even be bothered to deconstruct your rather deluded views of the appalling Austin Metro, Princess, Maxi, Morris Marina etc.

          It wasn’t a lack of investment, I quote from the report into the failure of BL

          “The lack of attention to development of new mass-market models meant that BL had nothing in the way of new models in the pipeline to compete effectively with popular rivals such as Ford’s Escort and Cortina”

          I commuted daily by British Rail to my job in London as head of Telecoms for an Engineering company. Please please do not try to argue that BR offered anything at all in the way of service, efficiency or effective transport.

          Home ownership V renting is a personal choice, I am not remotely interested in which method people choose. My point was about the ability to buy if you so wish.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            libertarian; Sorry chap, you are completed deluded

            Don’t worry, the feeling is mutual…

            “The GPO was light years behind Scandinavia, Canada and USA. “

            Yes in many areas but why, who was pulling the GPO/BT purse strings, yes HMG.

            “Digital Telephone Exchanges ( System X) where developed by GPO in partnership with GEC, Plessey and STC in 1979. The GPO wasn’t privatised until 1984 so you’re wrong there too.”

            Yes, but it was in line to be privatised by then, and it wasn’t the only nationalised industry that suddenly found the taxpayer funded purse strings some what looser, and perhaps a good thing too as it improved the eventual price government got when sold off.

            “It wasn’t a lack of investment, I quote from the report into the failure of BL [..//..]”

            Yes but by who, I talk from trade experience as well as talking with (then) senior automotive industry R&D people, the actual facts are not always as found in official reports, WMDs anyone?! 🙁

            Oh and once again, who controlled the purse strings, oh yes HMG.

            “I commuted daily by British Rail to my job in London as head of Telecoms for an Engineering company. Please please do not try to argue that BR offered anything at all in the way of service, efficiency or effective transport.”

            That is an opinion, and you are entitled to it, but it’s not based on any hard fact. Ask any objective railway (thus with a working knowledge of the industry) journalist who was doing the same sort of commute as you. Also and once again any deficit in the service was almost certainly due to the fare-structures and a lack of investment funds, remind me who pulled them, oh yes HMG …

            One of the most troublesome problems for BR was keeping the trains clean inside, and it was one of the most complained about by the customers, but the customers (especially commuters) caused some of the worst problems, the state of some commuter trains by the time they reached the last stop were truly disgusting. The G&T specials, especially on a Friday night, were the worst but at least much of the stock had 40 odd hours to be cleaned (as well as mechanically maintained) – and here I’m talking about the London and SE areas. This at a time when BR could not find suitable staff prepared to work the unsocial hours that a commuter railway requires.

            Reply When the competitive US telephone system was first pressing ahead with digital exchanges the GPO developed Strowger, a technology we were unable to sell elsewhere as it was behind the US achievement of digital. It was a good example of how a bad investment decision by a nationalised industry also damaged our supply industry, by diverting them to a product that could not be sold elsewhere.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; I’m not deigning that bad investment decision were made, it would like trying to deign a very sore and swollen thumb that all can see, my issue is the paper trail if you like, who and why caused such poor decisions to be made.

  6. Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    We should let good grammar schools expand says Cameron! – finally about time too – but why only existing grammar schools what is wrong with some new ones Dave? Some good technical colleges too would be helpful.

    Is Cameron finally coming round to sense or is it just that an election is close and he will just rat again post election?

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      @LL; “why only existing grammar schools what is wrong with some new ones”

      Depends on if you call an a new school, in a different area, serving new students, but owned by an organisation providing an existing grammar school as new or not! 🙂

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      I would say the second.
      It is down to his friendly MPs such as our host to create some kind of “Cam-lock” so that these promises are written in the type of stone which doesn’t get chucked in the scrap bin by him on May 8th. He really has to be held to account for the sins of the past 5 years, so on balance most people would still vote UKIP.

      By the way making silly TV programmes showing UKIP as the one party which would actually evoke change in this country ENCOURAGES us to vote UKIP – it doesn’t frighten us!

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic – can you not recognise a swiz when you see it ?

      What is an existing grammar school that expands its selection to accept the whole community ?

      That’s right. A comprehensive !

  7. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    You would need to turn the clock back 40 years.
    Start by educating people according to their skills and merit, not political dogma.
    Don’t saddle them with stupid amounts of student loan debt, just help them into APPROPRIATE apprenticeships, training or tertiary education at least until 25 years old.
    Don’t manipulate house prices with silly schemes which put prices above where they should be, stopping aspiration for the future.
    Bring a sense that success means you keep what you get, not feel guilty and get castigated for working hard and earning well.
    Get rid of silly lifetime limits, compulsory NEST schemes and other paraphernalia which stop people saving as they want to and force them down particular routes.

    Pretty well undo most of the things governments have done since around 1990.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      So many University courses (perhaps well over 50% of them) are not worth £5,000 let alone the £50,000 of debt they students get saddled with. This large cost plus you give up 3 years of potential earning and on the job learning too.

      Why are we using tax payers money to fund all these duff courses? Is it even more stupid that Ed Davey’s moronic greencrap energy grants and not charging something for visits to GPs and the NHS A&E. Ed Davey needless to say thinks charging for the NHS would be daft too wrong on everything he utters.

      In general (outside a few over protected professions) people earn more because they are bright and hard working, not because they have an often worthless university degree.
      The state should stop sloping the university education field with soft loans for often duff degrees.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        You have had the Doctors appointment argument put to you and lost yet still talk drivel about it. The cost to the state due to late diagnosis of illness could be vast? What has changed?
        Is landlord not protected by massive state subsidy or do they flourish due to just hard work?

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      We need to ensure that all apprenticeships actually lead to skilled workers. Far too many of them seem to be just a way of employing cheap labour. They should last a number of years with recognised qualifications being gained at least annually during the period of the apprenticeship. This does not mean academic qualifications in most cases but qualifications measured by a demonstration of the skills gained.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        @JoeSoap; @behindthefrogs; Indeed, and we could also learn from Germany, unless someone has achieved a minimum of a proper apprenticeship qualification it should be illegal for them or the company they work for to describe then as either engineers or technicians.

      • Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Behind the frogs

        Last year 82% of ALL apprentices were hired directly by their employers on gaining their qualification.

        I suggest you actually look at the new apprenticeships which are different to the old C&G’s. There are levels of qualification upto Degree standard depending on the skills you are learning.

        Most apprenticeships offering the appalling low apprenticeship minimum wage go unfilled

  8. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Positive thoughts and actions, yes that is the way forward for most things in life, not just in work and business.

    Unfortunately a growing number find it is far much easier to sit back and criticise others who are trying their best, rather than try themselves.

    It is the usual 80-20 split, where 20% do most of the work, and others do as little as is required.

    It happens in all walks of life, and is not new, its been going on for years.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      This behaviour is encouraged by the tax and benefit system and lack of moral hazard. Often the people are behaving quite rationally given the system that pertains they are better off not working or working less and having more time with their children. The incentives to work are not in place.

  9. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    We must also realise that the world is changing and collective merits or demerits dilute to their lowest concentration.Expectations are different also.What were luxuries have now become the norm.A programme on TV featured a self made man who started life as a builder. Dave Fishwick highlighted the need for speed , taking the initiative and focus on the job to be done. He has now started his own banking business. I have always lived my life believing that every pound spent is one you don’t have and this is what he reiterated. This is all very well for myself and self starters yet we need others to buy consumables to keep the flow going.

  10. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Sorry to keep raising the issue of mass immigration.

    We need to (as they say) get real about this. New from the Med is that the influx is increasing hugely.

    We have to revise all of our expectations about lifestyle, consumption and ownership and stop pretending that things are normal. It is and will affect every single thing in this country.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      @Mondeo Man; “We need to (as they say) get real about [the issue of mass immigration]. New from the Med is that the influx is increasing hugely.”

      Yes, in times of war etc. refugees fleeing the crisis do tend to increase, but what has that got to do with economic migration?..

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Jerry: “but what has that got to do with economic migration?”

        Imagine the West has bombed your infrastructure to rubble, as in Libyia, and the squabbling Islamic warlords are busy destroying what’s left over.

        No economy, no infrastructure, no jobs – everyone is an economic migrant.

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          @APL; “No economy, no infrastructure, no jobs – everyone is an economic migrant.”

          Oh right, so all those fleeing Nazi Germany aggregation from the late 1930s, all the refugees fleeing the destruction caused by their liberation by allied forces six years or so later, were economic migrants. Wow, how have so many historians, even economists, got it so wrong for so long?!

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “so all those fleeing Nazi Germany aggregation from the late 1930s, ”

            No, as you say, they weren’t economic migrants, they were fleeing ‘Germany aggregation'[sic].

            Jerry: “all the refugees fleeing the destruction caused by their liberation by allied forces six years or so later, were economic migrants.”

            If the economy is ruined, there are no jobs and the productive section of your workforce is dead or in prison camps, yea, the rest are economic – if they migrate, migrants.

            Most people in Germany didn’t migrate, Germany was their home, they stayed put and helped rebuild their country.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Oh right, so war has flattened all industry and ruined the economy but those who are fleeing are not doing so due to a war…

            “Most people in Germany didn’t migrate, Germany was their home, they stayed put and helped rebuild their country.”

            Wrong, many fled, but most returned once real peace was restored, that’s what refugees tend to do and as the civil wars in Libya etc. are still on going…

            But never mind APL, Jacks al’right, so why worry about others, even more so if it will cramp ones “style” for a while. 🙁

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Wrong, many fled, but most returned once real peace was restored, ”

            I’m afraid you are out of Hail Mary passes, Jerry. No-one is going to accept what you say just because you said it.


            So where did these Germans flee too? I doubt the rest of war ravaged Europe were feeling that well disposed to Germans after the War.

            The fact is much of Nazi German policy was the ‘Germinafication’ of occupied territories, in Poland and the East. After the war, there was a net outflow of ethnic Germans from these territories back into Germany.

            Jerry: “But never mind APL, Jacks al’right, ”

            What on earth are you talking about?

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      You’re right MM.

      Slightly sensationalist perhaps, but a worry nonetheless:


      Is anyone actually going to do anything about this? I’m pretty sure the Italians won’t.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Cameron and the duff West have done enough thanks – all by design and not incompetence I am afraid….. Justice when it arrives will be swift and sweet.


      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Dave – ‘sensationalist’ depends on where you are in the food chain.

        If you’re just an ordinary person trying to make a crust things are going to get very difficult.

        The present ‘boom’ comprises couples with kids shelling out £350k for a one bed flat in the SE. A house bubble and US fracking.

        When that goes pop people are going to start hurting and there will be a lot more of us to hurt.

        • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          I was more referring to the IS piece as sensationalist.

          I’m OK, but – in line with your comments – I’m very concerned about my 18 and 15 year-olds’ futures.

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM; “[URL citation of a weekly news-magazine publication]”

        Well yes, but then again I’m not certain who is the more reactionary publication, something like the Daily Maul trying to sell their daily newspaper to those that have no access to either the broadcast/internet media or a Weekly news-magazine trying to sell a different spin on all the news that we already know the important facts – I’m sure many believe all they publish though, as hard “fact” without a single question of superstition, assertion or exaggeration!

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      As many of the “migrants” are young men coming through Libya which is seeing an increasing involvement from the Islamic State,why are they being shipped to Europe(rather than to appropriately supervised camps back in Africa) and then allowed to wander freely across Europe?This may present a mortal danger to the West.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        However, it does produce an excellent excuse for the authorities to further clamp down on freedoms in police state mode. There will still be the 1% dutifully exploiting the hopeless, grasping 99%….. Anyone would think it was pre-planned 🙂


    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Of course the influx will increase while the Italians continue to rescue the illegal immigrants at sea and take them to Italy temporarily so that they can continue their journeys to other countries, when they become somebody else’s problem, rather than landing them on a beach back in Libya and destroying the boat.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Our local Italian restaurant owner was complaining bitterly that his home town had changed because of immigration via the Med. I asked why they didn’t tow the ships back and he said it was because of EU rules.

        • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          @stred; More likely, UN refugee rules.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      You could always think about voting for a Party which doesn’t want us to continue open EU borders, and has been saying so for some years. There is a democratic solution!

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes, why are these rescued refugees being landed in Italy and not returned to Libya?

      Once on European soil these are asylum claims and European passport granting so they are free to move around and claim benefits all over.

      Who wouldn’t take the chance on the crossing when knowledge of patrol boats and rescues to the destination is factored in?

      Of course we must rescue them but then land them at the likely point of departure not destination.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        In answer to all of the above many of them are at deaths door, so you would still take them back? An answer is required, because if you do not answer then they should be brought to Europe. Libya is in a state of civil war. We just dump them on the beach? Say yes if you think we should or shut up.

        • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          Bazman – When are you inviting a refugee family to live in your house ?

          If you’re not prepared to walk-the-walk and do this then I suggest you come down off the high ground. I also suggest you ditch the fridge, the car, the TV, the iron, the kettle … in order to save the environment. Without such actions you clearly do not believe in what you say.

          Your most recent suggestion is that the whole of the third world be allowed to come here if it can get on a rubber boat.

          You may be right and I may be wrong. But an defining issue as big as this – in a true democracy – needs to be settled by a referendum rather than shutting down debate by intimating that those who disagree with you are nasty.

          Do you believe in democracy or not, Bazman ?

          And are you prepared to keep out of the way (as we have) when the vote goes against what you wish ?

          Bearing in mind you’ve had it all your own way for decades you aren’t half miserable.

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            Are you going to dump them on the beach or not. Beach or boat which is it?

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink


            It would only happen a few times before the message got through that we are not all as stupidly soft as you.

      • Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders; “Yes, why are these rescued refugees being landed in Italy and not returned to Libya?”

        Oh right, so the British should have returned all who fled mainland Europe war-torn and invaded areas of Europe in 1939/40, for that is what you have in effect suggested…

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          Dear Bazman & Jerry

          Humanitarian aid has a long tradition of public support in England. We have willingly taken in refugees for many 100’s of years.

          Trying to use smartarse arguments to shut down debate is typical socialism at its ugliest. There are currently 28.1 million displaced persons, if Bazman knows of a beach big enough to hold them maybe he’ll tell us.

          Where were you too when your Labour hero Tony Blair was starting illegal wars that have actually led to a lot of the problem we now face? Now as a libertarian I’m in favour of the free movement of people and always have been and despite living in the area with by far and away more immigrants arriving than the rest of the country put together I do not think the problem is a bad as some make out. However there are big cost/infrastructure/economic/health issues to consider, so I think a reasonable debate on this topic is long overdue.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: Trying to use smartarse arguments to shut down debate is typical right-wing dogma at its ugliest – ho hum…

            Heck, what do you not understand, the UK bombed Libya (nothing to do with either Labour nor Mr Blair [1]…), and we came very close to doing the same to Syria (and might still end up doing so), to unseat tyrants that we don’t like and thus cause civil wars and know you suggest that we object to the plight of people that we caused.

            libertarian, your comment could have be a lot shorter, “I’m al’right Jack, *od the rest” would have imparted the same basic message.

            [1] and if Blair had been a socialist, not ‘Tory Lite’, I suspect that like Wilson before him he would not have been so ready to get involved in so many wars etc. etc. etc. – I’ll try and save our host some work by not letting rip with what I really want to say…

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink


            You really are struggling to read aren’t you. Ironic considering the abuse you dished out about reading.

            Yes I understand very well that other politicians in other parties also get involved in these things.

            Nowhere did I say I’m alright Jack. All I said was that I’m in favour of the free movement of people but we need to debate the potential impact.

            Another topic too difficult for you to grasp ?

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; [my emphasis] All I said was that I’m in favour of the free movement of people but we need to debate the potential impact.”

            Even when they’re refugees from war? That is the issue, you and others seem to see them as just more economic migrants (the original comment by Mondeo Man was clearly about boats from Libya), others do not because they are not economic migrants, and that is why people like you are so wrong.

            “Another topic too difficult for you to grasp”

            Talk about dirty pots and pans, never mind kettles! 🙁

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink


            Thanks for proving clearly you can’t read.

            Nowhere have I ever mentioned economic migrants .

            How difficult is “I am in FAVOUR of the free movement of people ” for whatever reason they choose, for you?

            Do you not think that the country needs a clear plan for how we help people? Do you not think that accepting refugees from war torn areas has impacts on providing infrastructure, help and support.

            I actually work occasionally as a volunteer in a local refugee centre. We have lots here in Kent as its the main port of entry for immigrants of all kinds. It puts a huge strain on the local council and the ratepayers of Kent. So we do need a debate.

            Stop assuming you know what I think and start reading what I type. It clearly is a difficult thing to grasp that a free market, low tax, wealth creator isn’t actually right wing but liberal.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            libertarian; “[personal insults]”

            What ever…

            “Nowhere have I ever mentioned economic migrants.”

            Except that the discussion, started by a comment from Mondeo Man, is about people he (mistakenly) believes are economic migrants and that opinion has been reaffirmed by others such as APL (elsewhere) when they are clearly refugees from war. If you really are making a distinction between the two then great, but so many try and lump the two together…

            “I am in FAVOUR of the free movement of people ”

            (by which, seeing that you say you are not talking about economic migrants, you must mean refugees}

            …except that you have also said “we need to debate the potential impact.”, so actually you are not in favour of the free movement of refugees as by the time the debate you call for has been had the refugees might well be dead or a political prisoner of some sort. Hmm.

            “It clearly is a difficult thing to grasp that a free market, low tax, wealth creator isn’t actually right wing but liberal.”

            Define the meaning of “liberal”, after all there were no doubt ‘liberal’ (extremists ed)… Are you attempting to suggest that you are like me, politically centre, perhaps you are?

  11. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The only equality worth aiming for is that of opportunity, particularly in ones formative years. This means aspiring upwards in education and not dumbing down.

    Evasion is illegal, avoidance should be the norm because it is facilitated by government and enshrined in tax law. Trying to muddy the waters by calling avoidance in some cases aggressive is so much political hype. The hypers are the ones who wrote and oversaw the law. If there are areas to be exploited they the politicians are to blame. The strongest point I can make is that there should be absolute equality under the tax law. No sweetheart deals, no avoidance by HQs outside the UK, and no special arrangements for MPs.

    Finally if you wish to create an enterprise and ownership culture it must be outside the EU, who being largely socialist see no merit in such thinking.

  12. Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    How do you know what proportion of the population do or don’t resent footballers being paid such vast rewards for so little contribution to society, in rtelation to say research scientists or engineers. Are you relying a bit too much on what the MSM puts out? Just because the BBC and newspapers make so much of criticisng one group and idolize another doesn’t mean that is what most people believe or even value.

    I would also take issue with the goal of “ownership”. Some people measure their worth by what they own, others by what they achieve so I would rather encourage a culture of enterprise rather than simply ownership. There has to be more reward for getting as good an education as possible, working hard and achieving goals than simply owning a shoe box. The epitome of success must more than just acquiring property with the ultimate goal being a large BTL portfolio.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Referring to your first paragraph, David, I would suggest that Mr Redwood is implying that the same people who hate and deride bankers and successful businessmen as greedy, evil people are the same ones who stand on terraces hero-worshipping footballers or following talentless celebs as if they are gods. Never mind that bankers (who may well be greedy) generally work considerably harder than the former.

      I personally think footballers and actors are ridiculously overpaid by the way.

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        You may well be right though the opinion paraded by the MSM never seems to match what I experience when talking with people.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      @David Price; Why pick on the BBC, both BT and Sky broadcast far more Football and thus idolize the players, the BBC does more than either of those two broadcasters to promote scientists or engineers, especially on BBC radio 4 and BBC Four (TV).

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Why shouldn’t I “pick on” the BBC, I can choose not to pay for or watch sky or BT, I cannot chose not to pay for the BBC if we wish to watch TV.

        I don’t watch much TV and the BBC makes up the bulk of TV I have seen, I have not seen Sky or BT news or commentary so my view is shaped by my impression of BBC programming. It is a service I have used so feel it is reasonable to comment on it.

        The coverage I have seen on the BBC of current affairs is overly biased to a particular set of political beliefs while it’s sports, soaps and celebrity centred programming vastly outweighs STEM and business coverage.

        As far as I am concerned the BBC is broken and needs to be replaced. Supporters of the BBC should have seen it’s faults and addressed them. Instead, no-one is allowed to complain despite the excesses of it’s executives and “talents”. You have allowed things to go too far and it can no longer be trusted. Better to dissolve the whole mess, pay people the minimum statutory redundancy and start again with a much smaller brief.

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          @David Price; “I cannot chose not to pay for the BBC if we wish to watch TV”

          Then don’t watch TV, just as you wouldn’t use your car public roads if you don’t pay the VED, the law really is that simple. Oh and try not finding the commercial/subscriptions channels by refusing to pay that adversing levy imposed at the shop tills, you can’t even escape that even when you have the TVL…

          “The coverage I have seen on the BBC of current affairs is overly biased to a particular set of political beliefs “

          Funny how both the political right, left and centre say exactly the same, complaining about bias, could it be that the real problem is that the BBC in not at all biased and thus you do not see what you think you should be seeing – in other words, just because members of the “Flat Earth Society” might wish to see their take on astronomy, should they expect to see it reflected in the content or editorial line of the BBC’s Sky at Night programme or should the programme stick to the known facts?!

          “As far as I am concerned the BBC is broken and needs to be replaced.”

          As far as I’m concerned the whole broadcast media industry (both TV and radio) is broken in the UK and needs substantial change from the top down, the BBC is not perfect but nor are the rest.

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink


            “As far as I’m concerned the whole broadcast media industry (both TV and radio) is broken in the UK and needs substantial change from the top down, the BBC is not perfect but nor are the rest.”

            Blimey I’m going to need a lie down, but I AGREE with you. The UK broadcast media is very broken. The problem is the whole industry is controlled and licensed by the government top down. The BBC & SKY dominates. Radio, which is my area of particular interest is a complete mess. The move to DAB ( an EU recommendation) has been an unmitigated failure which is now detrimentally impacting mobile phone advances. Commercial radio is appalling in the UK, because OfCom control licensing and think that geography & non commercial is the only thing that matters. BBC Radio has far too many channels. R3, R4 are the only 2 needed. R1 R2, R6 & the plethora of DAB stations are more than adequately covered by commercial radio. The BBC’s community stations are awful , most of them not even covering the community they’re supposed to. The good thing about BBC community stations is they do mix talk radio with music. The regional commercial stations are all stuck in 1985 delivering pop music, quiz’s and phone in competitions.

            Luckily the free market once again has come to the rescue of a moribund and backward looking public sector. Internet radio listening figures have now overtaken DAB in the UK. The beauty of freedom of the airwaves is that you can have all kinds of special interest programmes. Talk, drama, special interest, comedy, drama & music by genre.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; You have similar thoughts to my own, my only points of disagreement is regarding your suggested fate for R4 Extra on DAB and some aspect of DAB its self.

            Although R4Ex’s content could indeed be absorbed into a more pure PSB R4, due to much of its content that could not be aired by commercial radio, although it could by not-for-profit PSB community local radio stations, if allowed access to the BBC’s back-catalogue, as indeed happens within my own DAB area. even more so if the BBC wants or is told to divest its self of regional/local radio.

            That brings me to DAB, I think you’ll find that it was the EBU and not the EU. I agree that DAB as has been implemented in the UK is appalling, and as you say is now holding back other coms industries, but once again it has been caused by the monitorisation of the spectrum and not the platform its self.

  13. Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “There is surprisingly little resentment of the fabulous income and wealth of many footballers, and little envy of the earnings of pop stars, top tv talent or even of successful entrepreneurs like Mr Branson. ”
    Perhaps that is because people are entertained by them, enjoy what they do, and in the case of footballers, support their team and are pleased when they contribute to its success.
    Also they recognize that the top performers are doing things that they themselves cannot emulate. On the other hand, cheating is also easy to recognize, and most people are moral enough to try to avoid it.
    It is not just the huge bonuses and dealing profits that upset people. It is these coupled with the letter which tells you that when hard-pressed you forgot that your on-line payment for goods plus your monthly direct debit to pay off your credit card meant that you exceeded your overdraft limit by few pounds for a day or two, and will be charged both for the already repaid debt and the letter, perhaps putting you back over the limit.
    When those who set up such systems also ‘aggressively ‘ avoid tax and claim expenses on the large scale by flipping houses and on the small scale for food they need to eat anyway, you can’t expect them to have much sympathy, while their colleagues all get tarred with the same brush.

  14. Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    If someone had told me 23 years ago that I would own assets worth over a million but have an income less than the average wage, I don’t think I would have believed them. However, as I bought during the period when John Major was determined to grind the building industry out of existence, property was cheap. Over the years, I have done almost all the work myself and turned slums into desirable houses, but owing to sudden changes to CGT, the tax liability if sold is huge. The opening up to councils of the choice to license all rentals has resulted in whole towns being regulated and has removed the flexiblity to choose short term sharing tenants for non licensed houses. Now Labour is going to extend tenancies to 3 years, making it impossible to pay IHT 6 months after probate, by selling. At the same time the law on deposits allows tenants to trash and disappear, leaving remedial work requiring a long time to complete. The result is under let housing and low rental income.

    I don’t mind having a low income, as I have always been frugal, doing all my own jobs and even my own haircuts. But what a waste of accommodation. No wonder rents for licensed property is so expensive.

  15. Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The recipe for an ownership society could well be :

    1. Grammar schools in every town. Nothing will ever be able to do more for social mobility.

    2. Smaller Government at both Local and National Level.

    3. Reverse the relentless push to take people out of paying income tax. We now have millions of working people who have no interest in government restraining spending because they don’t pay for any of it ! This can be done by reintroducing the 10p tax rate and telling voters that any increase in government expenditure will be paid for by an increase in all income tax rates.

    4. Reduce taxation all round leaving people with more money in their pockets. This is not contradictory to point 2. If everyone contributed something in the way of tax the overall rate and the burden on middle earners could be eased.

    5. Over a five year period rein back in and get rid of Gordon Brown’s tax credit system. One of the principle reasons that employers offer such low pay is because they know that employees will have their income topped up by tax credits at vast expense to the taxpayer. When tax credits didn’t exist, employers had to pay a living wage otherwise nobody would take the jobs. Has to be introduced with point 5, though.

    6. Leave the EU and stop the inflow of workers wiling to work for very low pay from Eastern Europe. The £13bn saved can be used to cut VAT to 17.5%. The aim should be to get it back down to 15% maximum.

    7. Nobody should get any form of benefit for not working without having to do some kind of public works appropriate to their level of skill and ability in return.
    Local government could save a lot of money through this by putting the unskilled unemployed to work cutting grass and picking up litter and the skilled can cover for holidays, maternity leave and sickness in local government offices. Unemployment will certainly reduce rather rapidly !

    8. Sort out the NHS and Social care in England once and for all. Put both together and then take it out of the political arena by setting up a board of directors independent of government to run it with only one remit : meet a set of realistic targets agreed with English MPs sitting as the English Parliament who will also agree a challenging budget to pay for it. Patients would be charged at A and E for treatment related to drunkenness.

    9. Go back to a sensible system of Capital Gains Tax with taper relief to encourage longer term investment. If this were done, profit could once again be added to income and taxed at the appropriate rate. This could easily generate an additional £5bn pa and at the same time boost the property market and provide more income from Stamp Duty.

    10. Put Universities on a business basis : In other words, students and academics to work 9-5, five days a week with normal holidays. This will cut the time needed to obtain the average degree to 18 months and enable fees to be drastically cut. It would also prepare students for their working life. Obviously courses like Medicine, Physics, Chemistry etc would take longer.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Mish mash of nonsense.
      Grammar schools hindered me as I failed the 11 plus so the advantage was decided at 11 years old.
      No minimum wage yet companies are to pay a living wage, but are to be undercut by the unemployed being forced to turn up for work? Turn up not work they will not and it would cost a fortune to run.
      The ones working for pennies are to pay taxes on them and have no income support such as tax credits. How would they survive.
      None of this is real or workable.It just right wing nonsense.

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink


        “Grammar schools hindered me as I failed the 11 plus so the advantage was decided at 11 years old.”

        I failed my 11+ too and was excluded from school and started work aged 14.

        It was indeed an advantage I agree, if I’d have passed or stayed at school I wouldn’t be a multimillionaire now.

        • Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Have you got the money?

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink


            You better believe it & paid my full tax on it

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            Many a metal trade worker is secretly a multimillionaire too, just doing it to pass the time I have found out in this trade.
            I have seen one eating Fortnum and Mason products and he told me he lived in a flat that was part of a large mansion, so in effect he lived in a mansion.
            It’s a great life so comes as no surprise.

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink


            Thats good to hear. I made money from software originally although now as you know I have a number of businesses in different fields. Are you recommending Fortnums? never been there or eaten their food, whats it like?

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      @ChrisS; “Grammar schools in every town. Nothing will ever be able to do more for social mobility.”

      Rubbish, it’s not the Grammar school, it’s schooling that is suitable for the child with qualification that are attainable that create social mobility. I used to know an elderly chap who was a self-made millionaire, he made his fortune building houses and the like, but I doubt he ever saw inside a Grammar school during his childhood as he could neither read, write or do written maths -although he was very good at mental arithmetic, today he would be a child with a SEN. He had no academic ability, I believe his wife did his paperwork and employed an accountant, but he was a totally practical bloke in thoughts, mind and hands. So, whilst I have no problem with the idea of a Grammar school in every town please don’t forget that many more are likely to need the equivalent of the old Secondary Moderns with their leaning towards the practical.

      tak[ing] people out of paying income tax. We now have millions of working people who have no interest in government restraining spending because they don’t pay for any of it

      Don’t these people also pay all the other taxes, such as fuel, VAT, even suffer at the hands of IHT when an inheritance has been expected? Most people tend to notice indirect taxes far more that income tax that has been taken at source, you don’t miss what you have never had (I know it’s listed on the payslip but quite a few on PAYE probably never look at their slips!).

      “If everyone contributed something in the way of tax the overall rate and the burden on middle earners could be eased.”

      Yeah, but to the detriment of the lower earners – and the economy as they will have even less disposable income but never mind Jacks al’right

      One of the principle reasons that employers offer such low pay is because they know that employees will have their income topped up by tax credits”

      Except that Tax Credits were brought in because some employers only pay the minimum they can get away with (now at least the NMW…), not the living wage for their location. I have no problem in keeping these Tax Credits but call a spade a spade, call it Supplementary Income Benefit, that way they will not be thought of and claimed as some sort of tax refund, make the employer pay it via their payroll, and also make all companies publicly publish (anonymised) figures of how many people working in the company have had to claim such means-tested benefits and how much.

      As for the NHS, I broadly agree but why bother with targets, that only causes people to work to the target (just like those old USSR tractor production targets), and paperwork can be fiddled anyway, make the NHS strive for quality – something that is visible, tangible, and very hard to fiddle!

      “Put Universities on a business basis [..//..] students and academics to work 9-5, five days a week with normal holidays. This will cut the time needed to obtain the average degree to 18 months and enable fees to be drastically cut”/i>

      No problems with the first bit, my problem is the second, many students need the holidays [1] (often doing in excess of the “9-5, five days a week” norm) to earn money to help support their study and living expenses, thus your idea might actually substantially increase student loan/grant costs, it might even affect what subjects or how many graduate students the university can accommodate unless they substantially increase investment in facilities, halving the time a degree takes will also mean that twice the number of students who might need to certain facilities at the same time.

      [1] and what about the academic staff who will not have the ‘holiday periods’ to carry out the necessary administration tasks that are all part of their jobs and courses

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

      Your point (6)

      VAT is an EU Tax. Leaving the EU would mean that we could reduce it or increase it at ‘our’ leisure.

      • Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        The EU is to blame for the Tories increase in VAT? LOL!

  16. Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I guess that with the adopion of Keynes ideas it was inevitable that common sense would be shown the door.

    Common sense will tell us that the less people productively employed in an economy, the less wealthy it will be. It will also tell us that the more wealth that is taken from the productive sector the less the productive sector will be able to produce and the less it produces the less people it will employ.

    The governments of the world have however taken a different and illogical route to “prosperity” and that is for them to constantly do the spending on our behalf and, in so doing they employ rafts of people themselves to administer the spending.

    Governments now spend typically between 40% and 50% of a nations wealth and wonder why the pool of wealth is shrinking (diminished income and output).

    Perhaps now is the time to dump these ideas of big government and concentrate again on small government; one where the responsibilities are restricted to defence of the realm, of civil liberties and public welfare.

    Stop providing people with reasons not to work, stop sending huge amounts of AID to overseas countries, stop supporting culture etc etc and concentrate on the things governments were first appointed to do.

    Don’t increase the tax revenues either overtly or covertly instead reduce the size of governement and in so doing reduce the level of taxation which will increase employment in the productive sector.

    Some vested interests will insist that reducing public sector employment might not result in an increase in employment in the private sector-and night might not follow day.
    My own view is that when you are in a hole, stop digging.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      @waramess; What you describe sounds more like classic monetarism (as popularised by Milton Friedman), for the vast majority of the Keynesian era in the west there was (relative, for a less consumerist era) high production and employment -in fact at times, effectively full employment, has that ever happened under monetarism?

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink


        ” the vast majority of the Keynesian era in the west there was (relative, for a less consumerist era) high production and employment -in fact at times, effectively full employment, has that ever happened under monetarism?”

        You obviously completely missed the 1970’s for a start then, under first a Tory but mostly Labour govt the economy collapsed, industry collapsed ( labour closed coal mines and shipyards) unemployment rocketed.

        There is more employment now than there has ever been.

        You also obviously missed the 1950’s which had a massive increase in work, productivity and employment & for the first time in history .encouraged women into the work place in non domestic jobs.

        • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; “You obviously completely missed the 1970’s”

          Not at all, and as my comment was clearly about the post war period why am I getting the impression that you’re not to well up on your Keynesian economics theory [1] as you don’t even appear to know between what dates it was of most influence. But yes, the ’70s were not a good decade economically speaking, but that had nothing to do with the by then competing economic theories and everything to do with Heath’s government and their industrial relations policies, and later, the international “Oil Shock” from late 1973 on were a barrel of crude went from $3 to $12 in six months…

          “There is more employment now than there has ever been.”

          I would hope so, considering the adult population is the highest it has ever been! Still not full employment though -during the 1950s it was (apparently) often suggested that if a employee was feed up with his or her lot they could give in their notice for the old job at 1pm and have found another job (and even started) by 2pm the same day. In fact such was full employment some job vacancies (especially low wage/skilled) were going unfilled, which was one of the main reasons for the start of immigration from the West Indies.

          [1] in fact libertarian, you don’t seem to be very well “read” on a lot of things, not even the basics, which is inexcusable in the era of the interwebby thingy 🙁

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Dear Jerry

            You are a real laugh.

            You were clearly talking post war, do you not know that the 50’s and 70’s are post war?

            So that leaves the 1940’s Hmm what happened then. Not knowing because I never read I had to look it up. Apparently there was a big war that devastated most of Europe. I guess that means we would have needed to rebuild our infrastructure . Oh I see Jerry you have this theory that if we start a world war devastate everything then use Keynesian Theory to put it right, all will be good. You are the Homer Simpson of political discourse.

            Do you not know that in the post war period Jerry between 1965-1980 the UK nationalised the largest number of industries. Don’t you think that was a little bit Keynesian ? How did that work out?

            The 1970’s

            Nothing to do with Harold Wilson closing more than 100 coal mines then? The winter of discontent pound in your pocket, devaluation calling in the IMF etc etc

            Maybe Jerry you could do with a little reading yourself, Try this

            Economist Nicholas Crafts attributes Britain’s relatively low growth in this period ( 1970’s) to a combination of a lack of competition in some sectors of the economy, especially in the nationalised industries; poor industrial relations and insufficient vocational training. He writes that this was a period of government failure caused by poor understanding of economic theory, short-termism and a failure to confront interest groups.

            Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein for you.

            “The source of ALL knowledge is experience”

            You live in a little bubble of theories and opinions. Try actually doing something, creating something and knowing something through the action of actually having done it.

            As I have stated many times and linked to sources of where to find the jobs the simple FACT, not theory, not interwebby opinion, not political hogwash, not BBC propaganda .

            Unemployment bares NO relationship to a lack of jobs.

            The 5.6% of people unemployed have all kinds of reasons for not being able to get work, but lack of jobs isn’t one of them.

            Oh an patronisingly putting people down by someone who has been called out on the BBC, Telecom in the 1970’s and a few other things in this thread alone is somewhat rich.

            Tell you what chap go back to you leftie theory books and let the rest of us get on with DOING stuff that actually makes a difference

          • Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            Depends on where you live. Here in South Cambs employment is very high and it is easy to find a job. You have to be idle not to work that for sure. Companies struggle to find people and often paying not bad wages for the work. Idiot teenagers still struggle though…
            In Cumbria that is absolutely not true and anyone who tells me it different is a liar or just deluded.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            Does it really look like Einstein believed that learning could only come from experience?
            Even an uneducated person like myself can see he would never have said that. Just stupid and typical of your own thinking libtard.
            Never ever anything ever.
            Like that one? Don’t quote me on it.

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

            libertarian; What ever, but do ask for that 20th century history book for next Christmas, that way you might cite some historical facts and not others opinions…

            Oh and as coal mines always closed when been exhausted of reserves or become to dangerous to carry on with extraction I’m really at a loss as to why you brought them up!

            Also, as for unemployment vs, full employment, I said effectively full employment, please feel free to actually read what I said and not what you think or hope I said that better fits your wished for “facts”. I now full well that 100% employment of adults is impossible, even in a totalitarian dictatorship!

            “Tell you what chap go back to you leftie theory books and let the rest of us get on with DOING stuff that actually makes a difference”

            Nice try, call me what you like, it’s water off a ducks back, but I bet had it not been for all the “Lefties” as you call them you would not have got to work each day, you would not have been able to tell the “Lefties” to increase production or what ever, you would not have made your wealth from THEIR sweat, blood and tears.

            It takes two to Tango, and if you attempt to dance without a proper pair all you’ll end up doing is treading on each others toes and tripping over – think about it…

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; Oh and libertarian. I know from were and how my bread has been buttered, and I know the hard graft that was involved (and not just my own), I really am getting the impression that you have no idea as to were your wealth came – oh and my name is not Walter Mitty, it really is Jerry, what’s yours…

          • Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink


            ha ha hit a nerve there didn’t I chap.

            I don’t need history books, you see Jerry unlike you I live in the real world. Keynes died in 1946, we’ve come a long way since then.

            Well let me tell you what you wrote Jerry, this is what you wrote

            “There is more employment now than there has ever been.”

            “I would hope so, considering the adult population is the highest it has ever been”

            Jerry from your vast knowledge of theoretical reading, your in-depth understanding of socialist theory and you impeccable historical genius please explain how a rise in the population would naturally mean that we would have a record number of people in jobs.

            Surely we would need to create the jobs in order to fill them? Sorry if I’m not up on my early 20th century marxist history but as a self made and uneducated businessman I would have thought that as in the 1950’s if the population went DOWN, then you are more likely to have naturally high employment, which surprisingly IS exactly what happened as I pointed out.

            Ha ha ha Jerry you ARE a clueless socialist. My employees ALL have ownership in the business I founded and we work in. Most of them earn more than me. They have got the things in life based on my hard work, my risk, my investment and my continued support.

            Socialism is a failed 19th century concept that people like you and Bazman are still churning out cliches for nearly 50 years after they came to be irrelevant. As I’ve said a few times on this blog this 19th century obsession with “the workers” is nonsense. Wealth creators, risk takers and innovators work in partnership with the workforce to produce sustainable businesses that reward ALL that work in them.

            Oh and just so you know free market business people built the railways, the roads and all the infrastructure & hospitals in this country. The socialists just nationalised it

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink


            “Does it really look like Einstein believed that learning could only come from experience?
            Even an uneducated person like myself can see he would never have said that”

            Well according to this, he did


            He even expands on it here


            So think you may be wrong Bazman, not for the first time

          • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink


            I’ve just done under 10 minutes of research on the Cumbrian job market. Sure its not as prolific as some other regions, but then its not as populated either.

            Unemployment FELL by 1,872 people and now stands at 4770 people. There are currently 5580 jobs being advertised online alone. There are 2o85 of those claiming who have been unemployed 6 months or longer this is DOWN 820. 23% of unemployed are 16-24 year olds

            In the last quarter of 2014 654 new businesses opened in Cumbria.
            The highest number of start-ups, 152 was in South Lakeland (23% of all start-ups) followed by Carlisle with 120 (18%) and Allerdale with 116 (18%).

            It seems you think Cumbria County Council are deluded liars then Bazman. As for me, experience always trumps theory or opinion. So I just check the facts from a couple of reliable sources

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “I don’t need history books, you see Jerry unlike you I live in the real world.”

            You might live it it but you appear to know little about it, unlike the supposed great unwashed such a Bazman and myself.

            “Keynes died in 1946, we’ve come a long way since then.”

            Not sure what your point was there, Milton Friedman died in 2006 so does that mean “monetarism” has died to or will do any time soon, Keynesian theory lived on well after his death and still does.

            As for the rest of your “rant”, what ever, but if my opinions make me a “Socialist” then fine, I’ll wear the badge with honour as I sleep very well thanks (although it says nothing about how I vote what so ever…), and with that, out of respect for our hosts works load – Over and Out on this…

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        jerry, I am certainly not preaching monetarism.

        Whether a high level of production and employment is a good thing will depend on how sustainable it is.

        If it has been the result of loose money allowing a large number of marginally profitable enterprises to sustain then it is not a good thing as a bust will follow causing much misery to innocent people.

        In my lifetime, which spans rather more than the biblical three score years and ten, the economy has gone from boom to bust many many times and has caused considerable misery.

        The booms are caused entirely by government action of keeping interest rates at too low a level and allowing the banks to expand the money base at will. The busts occur when the quality of bank lending falls to such a low level that the banks become wary even of lending to each other

        The answer is to employ sound money-not money that depreciates every year- to allow borrowers and lenders to establish interest rates and to stop the banks from expanding the money supply at will.

        The first and the last of these points would be accomplished by stopping the central bank from printing money and by adopting the measures proposed by Steve Baker in a recent parliamentary debate to require a 100 percent reserve on bank deposits.

        Non of this requires a grounding in economics to understand. It is common sense and it is a great pity that governments resist it because they believe it would ‘slow down’ apparent growth and put a ceiling on their spending.

        Note well: the bust is always blamed on someone else.

  17. Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    We need to tear up all existing tax legislation, and replace it with a new, simple tax system that can be legislated by an Act of no more than 300 pages.

  18. Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    In life we are still basically “pack animals” . Follow the leader is still a basic human instinct ; if the leader is successful and shows his pack how to be successful , the pack will do its utmost to follow and succeed . The leader has to be respected and at all times demonstrate that his strength and determination are without equal ; the moment he fails and shows weakness the pack will turn on him and push him out .

    “Ownership” demonstrates success so it is no surprise that pack tries to follow . In the distribution of wealth it is inevitable that the rich will get richer and the pack will strive harder to follow ; weakness in all in all its forms is basically disregarded . It is the job of a balanced and well led pack to pick up the strays and see that they are watered and fed . This humanity will not change the drive of the successful ; it will cause the leadership to simply change the pace but keep on driving forward .

    My message was first described many years ago in the “Naked Ape” by a Mr. Morris .

  19. Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    In your discussion of ownership it should be worth considering changing attitudes to ownership. It is possible to rent/lease your home and your car, typically the two big ticket items in any family budget. Some will do this as a matter of choice, though it is not my choice, so that the things they actually “own” may be relatively insignificant.

  20. Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The GFC was inevitable given the behaviour of the finance sector .

    However , Bill Clinton’s ideas on “ownership” went a long way to making it worse .

    Given that the U.S. is not so hamstrung by restrictive planning laws like those in the U.K. , they could have been successful by transferring taxation from employment onto land to decrease the cost of accommodation .

    Instead they decided to force lenders to lend more to people who would be unable to pay it back – under threat of having their banking license revoked .

    This time around “ownership” should mean “ownership” and not just expansion of credit .

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      ADS; “This time around “ownership” should mean “ownership” and not just expansion of credit .”

      Indeed, but we’ll also need to stop making people who choose (or have no option other than to) rent being made to think they the some sort of underclass for doing so…

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        The young simply won’t have enough money left over from paying accommodation costs to pay the older house owning generations pay-as-you-go pensions .

        We may have to wait 20 years until generation rent outnumber home owners and BTL landlords . When that happens the poli’s will be forced to pander to the renters .

        Inseparable from all this is ensuring people have access to decent pensions so they don’t have to resort to BTL .

  21. Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Just a thought….I used to have the assumption the tories were the party of low taxes, that seems to have been quietly dropped of their agenda.

  22. Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Yes. A distinction that used to be made in the educational world was between ‘equality of opportunity’ and ‘equality of outcome’. An open society (see Karl Popper) is one that allows social mobility while at the same time embedding its values in stable institutions. In the old days the Grammar School gave access to careers which allowed people to climb the socio-economic ladder. Such options remain but there is statistical evidence that they seem to be taken up most successfully by, for instance, the children of Chinese or Asian immigrants.

    I read a chunk of the letter written by the Church of England bishops and, so far as I could see, it was assiduous in avoiding support any one of the major political parties – though you would not know this from most of the media coverage. The bishops have a long history of political comment and most people who remember William Temple who was Archbishop of Canterbury during Word War II believe him to have had a beneficial influence on the country’s education system. In short, he believed in the importance of ‘community’, and of course congregations and schools are communities.

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Good point .

      Now we’ve got disciples of (radical anti establishment action ed) in the White House and 10 Downing Street .

      They want unspecified change for change’s sake and are doing their best to remove all the obstacles to this ; stability , institutions like the church , marriage , the family , childhood .

      I have no problem with civil partnerships for same-sex couples , and only a small problem with calling it marriage .

      However , I have a much bigger problem with civil partnerships for hetero couples .

      How arrogant must the deconstructionist’s be if they think they can instantly come up with an alternative which is superior to an institution with a 5,000+ year history ?

  23. Posted February 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    “It is a common British attitude that things should be fair” . . Is that why workers have their tax stopped out of their wages, but global firms walk away, pay nothing, and get no punishment. Add on the current both-party argument on tax evasion among those who set the laws and rules. I don’t think the word “fair” even comes into modern political life. I believe most politicians must be laughing all the way to the (Swiss) bank.

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink


      Not picking on you, but your kind of post drives me mad. So many people comment on tax without having the foggiest notion of the tax system. They consistently confuse income tax and business taxes. Once again this is what actually happens.

      Paye employees pay income tax & NI and have it deducted from their wages. Business also pays NI and it is paid at the same time

      Businesses pay VAT which is normally paid quarterly

      Businesses pay business rates normally monthly, quarterly or year in advance

      Businesses pay Corporation Tax on their profits, you can’t pay it until you know how much profit has been made and this is normally after an independent accountants audit at the end of the financial year.

      The kind of tax issues that the media have focused on is in 2 areas

      1) VAT, some digital businesses used the EU rules to obtain lower rates by virtually basing themselves in places with different rules. ( This loophole is now being closed by EU, to the detriment of 100,000s of SME and micro business )

      2) Multinational and Overseas business can move their profit earnings into other tax jurisdictions & pay their taxes there rather than here.

  24. Posted February 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    That there appears to be little resentment of the “fabulous income and wealth” of footballers and pop stars I would suggest that this is because the glamour of the entertainment business prevents rational judgement of their worth, which very many people have an interest in hyping.

    As for businessmen/financiers/bankers there is now a growing “hour glass” society being produced. I have no figures for the UK, but in the USA CEOs earned on average 30 times the median wage in their business in 1980. Now it is 500 times the median wage. It is likely that roughly similar figures exist here.

    Of course there must be reward for brilliance, but it must be related to risk. The argument that salaries have to be high “to get the right talent” is a hoary old chestnut which emoluments committees have a vested interest in never challenging.

    The claim that wealth “trickles down” from the mega rich is totally unproven.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      To many your post will smack of jealousy but to me your mention of risk for reward makes it the post of the day.

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Tom William

      The tiny number of CEO’s and other staff earning big big money is entirely down to the shareholders ( the business owners) who decide how much they wish to pay. I agree that the quality of some of these managers isn’t particularly good, but then some footballers and musicians aren’t too hot either.

      As to trickle down, it is the most basic and obvious of concepts. Of course it trickles down. Person A earning 1 million pounds of income will pay £436,127 income tax £23231 NI and ENI £136,902.

      So for a start thats £596260 to the treasury

      The rest of their earnings are then either spent or saved. That portion that is spent will be how the wealth trickles down further, on buying goods and services that generate jobs and earnings for other people.

      I’ve seen lots of people claim that trickle down doesn’t work but they never explain what they think it actually means

      • Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Trickle down or the horses and sparrows theory has largely been debunked.
        We live in a demand economy and a few people with most of the money cannot work. They can only drive so many cars and drink so much beer. Apologist nonsense.

        • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          “but they never explain what they think”
          Baz I have to say Libertarian is right and your argument against these figures is weak.

        • Posted February 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink


          OK genius if the wealthy can only drive so many cars and drink so much beer what do they actually do with the rest of their money? If they don’t spend it there are only 2 other options

          1) Give it away to charity ( trickle down)

          2) Save it ( if they do that it can be then used to a) lend to others b) be taxed on the interest earned ) Trickle down

          Of course wealthy people never eat in restaurants, buy food, go on holiday, buy clothes, jewellery, works of art, furniture. They never employ PA’s, gardeners, domestic workers, chauffeurs, nannies they never have their houses redecorated. They don’t buy private medical coverage or pay for private schools etc etc. All of these things generate more jobs, more money in circulation and more tax revenue

          You really struggle with some very basic concepts

  25. Posted February 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    “If we get better at generating more wealth..” JR – do you know what the fundamental source for this wealth is and what that means?

    “It is a common British attitude that things should be fair..” If so then we should be a lot poorer so as not to take more than our fair share of the world’s resources as we are now doing. The only way out of that is to have a population of perhaps around 5 -10 million as do other countries (even one with a population of the London Borough of Camden) which have a high standard of living – have you even had a single thought of any user friendly ways of achieving that? Oh yes we all now will be dead so no need to worry.

  26. Posted February 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    “Recently there has been enthusiastic discussion of how to tax rich people and companies more….”

    That’s true. Sometimes it is because wealthy companies are paying less tax as a percentage of their real income than their employees, who can’t ‘profit switch’ their earnings to Luxembourg or the Republic of Ireland. Naturally this situation generates some enthusiastic discussion.

    But, mainly it is because ordinary people, earning close to average incomes or below, don’t want to have to pay more tax themselves to close the deficit. And nor should they, as the extra tax they would pay, if they were subject to an increased tax burden, would also depress demand in the economy leading to the kind of downward economic spiral we have seen in parts of the Eurozone.

    A less affluent person tends to spend nearly all their income as they get it. If we increase the tax on that income or the tax on what income is spent on, like VAT, tax revenue will rise on the first round of transactions. But, as less money is left in the economy, fewer subsequent transactions will occur, the leading to a reduced tax take on these. So the net result of increased taxes isn’t what politicians intend. Attempts to close the deficit don’t have the desired result as tax revenues come in at less than the predicted rate. Mr Osborne has noticed this, no doubt.

    If we want to close the deficit by increased taxation how can we achieve that? Simply the taxman has to find stores of money which are lying idle in bank accounts, or whatever. This is inert money, so removing it from the economy by taxation doesn’t have any effect on the level of activity in the economy. Naturally, inert money is more likely to be in the possession of the rich than the poor. Although, the same economic laws would apply to poorer people too who have made an attempt to save some of their earnings. There is nothing wrong with anyone saving their money providing the economic consequences for all are well understood.

    Should governments who are seeking to reduce their deficits go after these savings? Some of them are held by the Bank of China and other large exporters so there is no chance for the taxman anyway. But where the taxman can get at them that must be a political question. But government can’t have it both ways. Either it accepts the current levels of debts and deficits or it has to go after inert money in the economy, to close the gap between taxation revenue and spending.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      It would be much fairer to tax “stocks” of financial and real assets, not “flows. It is easy for the State machine to apply income tax; NI Tax; VAT and a capital gain / transfer tax on the unsophisticated 99% as it “flows” from one holder to another.

      The system has been designed by politicians (to be fair, not just by the UK Conservative Party for their “besties”), to be very favourable to the Elite 1%, who can arrange for their flows to go by the back roads of the planet where they can’t spell, or have any notion of paying something called a “tax”. The Swiss are particularly good at faking the latter. Then, what would you expect from a country that came out of WW2, three times richer than it was at the start of ww2!

      At the last count there were $156, 000 billion of “financial assets” (governments’ spending), floating around the planet. If you include all the “securitised” (dodgy mortgage) assets, that goes up to circa $200,000 billion. The “casino banking” industry, the worlds number one “over-the-counter” betting shop, is worth an additional $650,000 billion. World GDP was circa $70,000 billion.

      “Everyone an owner”. Yes; easy if you are in the 1%.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink


      You do know that interest earned on savings in UK bank accounts is already taxed don’t you?

      You are also legally obliged to pay tax on interest earned in overseas accounts.

      In the UK the basic rate of tax is deducted at source by the bank on overseas accounts you are obliged to declare it to HMRC.

      The fact that you think savings in bank accounts are inert is rather worrying, without deposits, banking and lending to business and home buyers would be an even bigger mess than it currently is.

      Actually the best way of increasing the amount of revenue raised is to marginally reduce the level of taxation. Anyone who runs a business knows this, price reductions encourage more spending

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink


        I wouldn’t disagree with you on the tax on interest payments except to say there isn’t much at the moment , because rates are low. It should also only apply to real interest payment ie after inflation IMO

        On the question of bank accounts and lendings, it is necessary to know how they do work before coming to any opinion on how they should work . And that’s not like most people think!

        You might be sceptical of this article (its in the Guardian) but the real evidence is in the link “Money Creation in the Modern Economy” to a BoE paper in the 2nd paragraph.


  27. Posted February 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    All government cars should be changed for all electric cars. They can have a charging point at Westminster.

    • Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Electric cars are in effect coal-fired and thus increase pollution.

      • Posted February 22, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Says who? You?

  28. Posted February 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    This about selling off all council and housing association property so GDP go up and more income is paid to the banks for mortagaes and as GDP go up you can borrow more money and make it look like you borrowing less on a per cent bases.

  29. Posted February 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Because there are very few people saving for a pension there will be a gradual, now, but rapidly increasing group of people who will not be able to support themselves after 67 years of age. The top up benefits for this will be a massive cost to the country.

    • Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink


      You have heard about auto-enrolment haven’t you?

      • Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: Have you noticed the vary high increase in self employment, were “auto-enrolment” doesn’t apply.

        The future costs from the DWP’s policy of forcing people off JSA etc. and into any kind of work, or even out of the employment market, were other their NI contributions (which might also be at the lower rate) these people might not even have enough to live in anything bordering comfort never mind pay into a pension, is a cost that will come to haunt in the years to come when as OAPs they will be in need of top-up benefit to their probable very basic state pension.

        • Posted February 22, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


          Don’t suppose you know that the average wage is £27k and that the average self employed wage is £33k.

          There are millions of happily self employed people in the UK and they can choose to contribute to their own pensions. This is tax free ( tax avoidance of course).

          As I’ve told you dozens of times now, there’s plenty of work around in full time jobs.

          It makes you wonder what all these forced self employed people are working at really doesn’t it. I mean if they have skills, experience or ability to do work of any kind how come they can’t get a job ?

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “As I’ve told you dozens of times now, there’s plenty of work around in full time jobs.”

            Collectively perhaps, once again mere percentages or numbers do not tell the whole story. Try listing available jobs vacancies in individual towns, and things are more patchy, then perhaps there is the issue of skills, if all the jobs need high skilled network engineers, software developer or even some lower skilled but still HQ specialist job but the local economy had until recently been a hot-bed of cucumber growing, ship building or whatever then what chance the majority of finding a job when the company wants pre-trained people to hit the floor running on Monday morning?

            Whilst retraining courses are sometimes available much of it is either superficial (and no much use to employers) or not actually something a JSA claimant can lawfully undertake due to DWP rules. Couple all that with the fact that the DWP pushing claimants very hard to find a job, any job, or risk sanctions many -if the advocate groups are correct- have either left the employment market (perhaps to the dark economy) or decided to give self-employment a go even if they only earn not much more as they did from claiming JSA.

            Sorry libertarian but you are somewhat out of touch with the reality, perhaps you should offer your undoubted skills and knowledge to your local (re-)employment support charities…

  30. Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Completely off topic:

    I can’t help noticing that the BBC (who avoid the E word at every opportunity) are very keen to stress that the idiotic Chelsea fans are ENGLISH.

    Whereas I don’t in any way condone their behaviour (for several reasons), I find it remarkable that this story (which – let’s face it – only came to light because someone filmed it and sent it to the press), has received vastly more coverage than, say, the returning “suicide bomber” that is keen to say “sorry”, or the deluded young islamist fanatic who wanted to behead a young cadet on the streets of the UK.

    I also expect Theresa May to authorise proportionally more funding to catching these “brutal morons” (who are probably back at work earning taxable money today) than she would to curtailing the activities of hate preachers.

  31. Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    What we are seeing is many children facing a life of non ownership for just being ordinary. This idea that the majority of the population can own and run a successful company is for the birds. We live in a demand based economy so ever fewer people having all the economic opportunity due to the parents circumstance is not going to help the majority. What do grammar schools and Eton do for the average person who cannot go there mainly due to economic circumstances. Don’t bore me about working class kids at grammer school most do not go there. A fact you have to take on board.
    You seriously think that todays kids are going to pick up litter or ex-shipyard workers put on the dole by government policies are gong to work for food money in some sort of Dickensian fantasia whilst they see the mega wealthy and their corporations avoiding taxes and contributing nothing just having more for having more.
    They are not and nor should they and would quite rightly laugh in your face when told they are just jealous and should declare their illegal beer tokens to the correct authorities. Thats real conservatism.
    Pig ignorant bleating economic Darwinism put forward by many on this site who are not affected by its consequences as many are supported by the MCSSS would not last a day under it, defending the rich live under their own communism for the rich umbrella telling us about a debunked trickle down theory.
    When your arguments are disproven you do not continue to rant the same drivel and this is the problem on this site with many posters and indeed with the governments of this country. Who do you think you are trying to kid?
    The working classes start out at a disadvantage and when you are starting ten laps behind with divers boots on you are not going to win and are not going to incentivsed by some rich kid telling you to run faster.

    • Posted February 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I know my place. And you must stay as born, where you are.
      That is the precis of your post.
      How negative. How depressing.

      Its open to anyone to start their own business and work for themselves.
      Try it its liberating.
      Make yourself wealthy and free.
      Saying not everyone can do it is pointless.
      You can do it, others can do it too.

      • Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        @Edward2; “Saying not everyone can do it is pointless.”

        Telling the truth, stating the facts, is pointless?!..

        Self employment can indeed be the road to riches, but it can also be a very fast road to abject failure with very unwelcome consequences, SE is not for everyone, even if it’s for the simple fact that one first needs to have a “product” to sell that others will want to buy instead of another.

        • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Negative thinking Jerry,
          Several hundred thousand new businesses started in the last few years.
          Some will fail but so will some lose their jobs in the employed sector.
          But dont join in if you dont want to Baz and Jerry
          Just keep up your stream of envy of those better off than you.

          PS you dont need a product, just a skill or a service you can offer and you can create a new market with a new product or service.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “But dont join in if you dont want to Baz and Jerry. Just keep up your stream of envy of those better off than you.”

            That is your take on what I said, you might be surprised by the reality… Also define “better off”. 🙂

            As for negativity, no, just stating a reality, unlike you I don’t believe in leading (possibly) vulnerable people down the garden path to see what might only be the fairies to them…

            Oh and you are so correct, one doesn’t need a product, a skill will do, but then that skill is after all a commercialised “Product” that someone else needs!

        • Posted February 22, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


          Everyone has a product to sell. Its their labour/talent/skill/ability.

          If you can get a job you can start a business. You are right a lot of people don’t want the risk/hassle of starting a business and thats fine we all need workers too.

          Bazman as normal is totally wrong and as it turns out Marx was right the workers now own the means of production. Where at the start of the 20th century land and capital were the main needs to start a business, now in the 21st century all you need is a skill and willingness to sell it. The worker now has control of the means of production. I started my first business by working as a temp. I incorporated a limited company and got the whole thing set up for under £50. I employed my first employee in the 2nd year of operation. Its even cheaper now.

          There are 5.2 million SME’s in this country and the vast majority have under 10 employees however they make up nearly 70% of private sector employment and growing. So we need to encourage those that are willing to take the risk and handle the hassle to set up in business because they will become next years new employers.

          750,000 new businesses in the last 18 months Bazman thats quite a few more people creating the wealth of the country. 650 new businesses in the last quarter or 2014 in your beloved Cumbria , imagine that, much more of that entrepreneurial spirit and you could go home and get yourself a good job.

      • Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        My father was self employed most of his life. More often than not hard times for that freedom and only a certain type of person can do this willingly for years on end.
        You have a romantic view of all this. Easier if you have a job, especially with a large company. Earning 50k a year every year would be very tough and beyond the abilities of those on 5ok a year. Thanks to companies and the state for making this possible. You work for yourself I’ve got better things to do.

  32. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    With auto enrolment a greater number of the population, towards 5 million, are now shareholders on top of most of the working population in these schemes.. They have an interest now in growth. I would like the MPs pension to be based on money purchase so more appreciate the value of growth rather than just the charge. It would make MPs on a similar footing to most of the people they say they represent. If they did I sense policy may adjust or at least question FCA policy more.

  33. Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Is the time nearing when the Church of England’s state position is revoked? They seem now to be a psuedo naive political party. Should our head of state who is non political remain their head? Should they retain an automatic place in the second chamber? Should we question the CofE as a religion or a political party and their tax status?

    They seem to promote the ethic of envy rather than wash the feet of the poor in love as the Pope does, spreading a message that they say Jesus did (not saying he did) rather than envy, division and hate.

  34. Posted February 18, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    How are you dimwits getting on with this BBC piece.
    Would you get this on pay-per-view? This is what fanatics like Cameron are frightened of.

    • Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      If it was run as a business you would merge BBC3 and BBC4
      Taking the best from each channel and save millions.

      • Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        @Edward2; The same rational should also apply to the commercial and subscription channels, why do ITV and Sky for example need so many (often rebroadcasting the same content over and over), most of which are being funded by the public via that advertising levy on the weekly shop I keep mentioning!

        • Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          Well thats up to them, their owners and shareholders to decide.
          As they are commercial businesses.

          • Posted February 23, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Well that’s up to them [as commercial businesses]”

            No, it is up to the customer, without them there is no company nor owners and shareholders, just a load of people without shirts. Or that is how it would be if the companies income was obtained in a way that the customer could actually withdraw their support for without having to become Tom or Barbara Good taking to The Good life…!

  35. Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Sure my favourite rock stars deserve more money than most, real talent on drums or guitar is harder than it looks

    But the way folk on PAYE are hammered compared to the way those operating through small service companies can play the system needs fixing

    As does big time tax evasion

    • Posted February 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      Please explain what benefits accrue to a person running an IR35 compliant small limited liability service company and how it makes them not as “hammered” as PAYE employees

      • Posted February 24, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        For one you can count lots as “expenses” and take tax free that you would not if PAYE

        For two you can take money out as “dividend” (and taxed a lot less) rather than pay

        Need I go on?

  36. Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    ‘There is resentment of high salaries in both the public and private sectors for leaders who do not have distinctive talent, or who fail to lead well, or who preside over chaos or corruption. ‘

    High executive salaries have become nothing more that a modern manifestation of the medieval curse of brigandage. Most executives are not entrepreneurs or wealth creators, they are essentially corporate bureaucrats making incremental improvements to established commercial institutions. For this work, aided and abetted by a global cartel of similar executives, huge wealth is being diverted from shareholders to line the pockets British executives.

    A solution to this problem is not obvious, whereas the injustice is manifestly obvious. However when the average remuneration of a chief executive bears absolutely no relationship to average weekly earnings, you know that something is wrong.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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