Helping people to be better off


There are competing ways on offer to make people better off.

There is the socialist way. That depends on taxing the better off more, to give more money to those who are on low incomes or no incomes. The problems with this method include the unwillingness of the rich to stay and pay if you put taxes up too much, the disincentive effect if you give out too much free money without strings, and the way you have to drag too many people into paying tax to sustain it all.

If you take it too far you end up with a corrupt and poor society like the old USSR. The new rich and privileged run the state and live off the taxes. The rest pretend to work and live off handouts. Average incomes are much lower than in freer societies. There is less income inequality, but far greater power imbalances between the haves and the have nots.

There is the free enterprise way. That relies on individuals offering public service for their own personal rewards. In doing so they  create more wealth and jobs. There can be higher levels of income inequality, but also a much  higher average than in the socialist systems. Democracy can reduce the power imbalances that you get in totalitarian societies, with the state championing those who need help.

In the UK we have always gone for a mixture. Keen advocates of free enterprise like me accept the need for substantial redistribution by higher tax revenues from the rich, and sensible benefit systems for those out of work or disabled. The political battleground is over the balance – how much extra tax, how many more benefits, what is the right balance of protection and incentive? Even more important is the battle over what rate of tax will maximise revenue and do least damage to the economy.

One of the  biggest differences between parties of the left and Conservatives lies in the approach to groups of people who typically do not support your party. The left likes to have hate lists. They love to boo the bankers, harry the hedge fund managers, belittle the believers in an independent UK and castigate in most unpleasant terms the “climate change deniers”. They simply do not like richer and successful people.

Good Conservatives have no equivalent list of groups we dislike. I like Labour condemn bankers who steal from their clients. I also condemn NHS doctors who kill or harm their patients, and nurses who put their own comforts above the needs of their patients. I do not think that because there are a few bad doctors and nurses I should criticise them as a group. Why do the left have to condemn all bankers, when most simply provide a necessary financial service to us all?

Conservatives  do mot  criticise Labour’s client groups, in the way Labour regularly criticises some groups of successful workers or business people. You cannot generalise easily about groups. If you choose to do so in condemnatory fashion you will condemn many who are decent and do not deserve your words.



  1. lifelogic
    May 5, 2014

    “One of the biggest differences between parties of the left and Conservatives”

    But the Conservatives under Major and Cameron are very clearly a party of the left too, there is little difference at all.

    They are increasing the minimum wage, fixing gender neutral insurance premiums, distorting the energy industry, subsidising idiotic train schemes, increasing taxes 299+ times and still steal 40% of your wealth on death to boot. It is not your money you are just looking after it until the state nicks it off you one way or another. Thus killing sensible incentives for nearly all.

    If, in the socialist mode, you take money off the people who know how to use it and give it to governments who clearly do not (or use it to augment the feckless) you just make everyone poorer. Encouraging a dependency lifestyle is immoral, not even good for the recipient as it deters them from ever learning to stand on their own feet.
    You are unlikely to learn that watching daytime TV.

    1. lifelogic
      May 5, 2014

      I do have a list of people I do not like very much. People who produce little or no benefit to society and are hugely paid to do it.

      The governments box junction, parking and bus lane motorist muggers and the half of the state sector that produce virtually nothing of any real value, payday loan misery companies charging 4000%+, ambulance chasing lawyers indeed many lawyers in general. People who promise EU referendums and IHT reductions but then rat on them. People who distort energy production so they use absurd methods like wind and roof PV. People who use taxes to encourage silly electric cars against all logic and rational economics.

      People who for the ERM on the UK and force the EURO on the EU. People who push the financial transaction tax and countless others.

      1. lifelogic
        May 5, 2014

        Also I dislike people who use taxes and other peoples money to try to buy votes or ram lefty propaganda down peoples throats and the BBC and people who organise different special tax and expenses laws for politicians and EU officials than for the mere worker bees.

        1. Hope
          May 5, 2014

          LibLabCON implement EU laws and regulations therefore by a question of fact there cannot be much difference, only cosmetic ones to become a PM for self serving interests not public or national interest. It is a scam and to think the UK has the second most amount of politicians, to implement the will of the EU.

          Cameron knew he had no control over our borders from the EU when he promised to cut immigration, he knew this when he advocated for Turkey to join the EU. He also knows this each time a new country joins the EU. He spent£1.2 billion on the new computer system for immigration knowing the Border Agency staff could not question EU citizens how long they ate staying or what their intention is! There is no accurate way to count people in and out the country, therefore he does not know how many immigrants are here. He also is putting the security of the country at risk by his total failure to address the problem. He has followed Labour, once more, on their mass immigration policy because he simply does not know who comes and who goes, as confirmed by Clegg in the EU debate. Time for him to go. People need to vote for a change and a party who puts the UK national interest first and foremost.

      2. lifelogic
        May 5, 2014

        Also some unions who use they strangle hold over assets like the train networks to rip off and inconvenience the public for personal benefit.

      3. Denis Cooper
        May 5, 2014

        Well, as far as the present EU developments on the financial transactions tax are concerned there is a typically complex history going back for nearly two decades.

        It’s currently now being pushed under EU treaty provisions for “enhanced co-operation” among a group of EU member states, provisions which were first introduced with the Treaty of Amsterdam.

        Aha, the Tories will say, that would be the Amsterdam Treaty that Blair agreed in late 1997 and got passed by Parliament against our opposition, and without a referendum of course; and that is true but omits the fact that a new EU treaty does not usually just suddenly appear from nowhere and the negotiations for the Amsterdam Treaty had started long before under the Major government:

        “The treaty was the result of very long negotiations which began in Messina, Sicily on 2 June 1995 … and reached completion in Amsterdam on 18 June 1997.”

        Of course Blair had won the 1997 general election just weeks before, and even if he had objected to anything that had already been agreed it would probably have been too late to get it changed; and at the same time there was the other matter that Brown was trying to persuade the EU to allow him to remove VAT from domestic fuel when that was prohibited by the EU rules, something Labour must have known beforehand.

        The Tories are on safer ground blaming Labour for what happened next, which was the abolition of the national veto on “enhanced co-operation” proposals through the Nice Treaty; that meant that under the original treaty provisions introduced by Amsterdam the UK government could have vetoed a proposal for a group of member states to go ahead with a financial transactions tax, but after Nice that decision would be made by qualified majority voting.

        And then there were further changes through the Lisbon Treaty making it easier for a group of states to embark upon “enhanced co-operation”; and, yes, it was the Labour government which agreed to that treaty and pushed it through Parliament without the promised referendum, but it was the Tory party which after two years of repeatedly pledging that if the treaty came into force without having been approved in a referendum in the UK “we would not let matters rest there”, a pledge included in the Tory manifesto for the last EU Parliament elections in 2009, then turned round on November 4th 2009 and announced that it was caving in and it would in fact “let matters rest there”, swallowing the treaty whole.

        In his latest blog article:

        Daniel Hannan uses the word “unconscionable” to describe the Tory party decision to cave in over the Lisbon Treaty; so “unconscionable” did he find it that he resigned from the Tory euro front bench in protest, but not from the Tory party; and now he is urging us to vote for that same party, still under the same leaders who took that “unconscionable” decision.

        1. Tad Davison
          May 5, 2014

          And then they wonder why ‘Tory’ has become a byword for duplicitous toadies. They make me sick.


          1. Lifelogic
            May 5, 2014

            I would prefer Miliband to Cameron. It is true he will cause huge damage with his “rent act part two”, his green crap, his pro EU high tax drivel and his rail renationalisation. But it is surely far better than watching the fake Tory ratter Dave just ratting yet again? Cameron is virtually no different.

            Anyway Cameron has no chance now he could not even beat Brown when a has a huge lead one year before the election. He is now the third party with just half the support of UKIP.

          2. Hope
            May 6, 2014

            Excellent post Dennis. Of course, you did not mention the bold categoric words of Cameron warning us of the dangers from Lisbon ie how treaties could be made in the name of the UK without our consent. So terrible were the dangers of Lisbon he di d nothing about it. When he came to office and had the opportunity to change the treaty he CHOSE to do nothing. Now he wants the people of this country to believe he will renegotiate on our behalf! This is before the hurdles of time constraints, unnanimous support from the ore countries, who are net beneficiaries of our taxes going to the EU pot to be distributed around. Anyone who believes him after examining the facts, in my view, is deluded or gullible.

        2. sjb
          May 5, 2014

          Hannan’s blog entry also contains the text: [T]he idea that the Conservatives promised a referendum at the last election has somehow lodged itself in lots of people’s minds.

          Perhaps that is because on page 113 of the 2010 Conservative Manifesto it states: “there should be no further extension of the EU’s power over the UK without the British people’s consent.”

          Since the 2010 GE, I think it is fair to say that Denis (& others) have assiduously flagged-up what they consider to be further extensions of the EU’s powers over the UK.

          Hannan criticised the LibDems for reneging on their promised In/Out referendum, but if you read page 67 of their 2010 Manifesto it clearly states the trigger would be a “fundamental change in the relationship between the UK and the EU.” Joining the euro is given as an example.

    2. lifelogic
      May 5, 2014

      I particularly dislike Cameron for pretending to be a Conservative when he is very clearly a pro EU, green crap pushing, uncontrolled immigration, 299+ tax increasing, IHT and EU rating socialist, And of the worse type not even an honest one like Miliband.

      A thrower of sitting duck elections too. Who is now going to lumber the country with Miliband and his idiotic new rent act.

      1. Tad Davison
        May 5, 2014

        Agreed on all of the above LL. Everything that’s wrong with the UK as it is. Hopefully we can change it before it totally submerges us. I did say to one truly Euro-sceptic Tory MP that Cameron claimed to be one too. I think it was the very first time I heard him swear!


      2. Lifelogic
        May 5, 2014

        And now Miliband even want to nationalise the railways again.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          May 5, 2014

          Lifelogic–Just back from a few days in Scotland and it’s nice to know some things don’t change! There might be something, not much but something, to be said for going back to a national network but Miliband’s thoughts on the public sector’s cherrypicking rail franchises as they fall due is asinine: worst of all worlds. I have just depressed myself reading a letter to the Torygraph Head of Business about what successive Governments have done to the once world-beating British Nuclear Industry only for the present Government to be “hell bent……on nuclear power stations designed, built and operated by foreign powers”. This is all so very unfunny.

          1. Leslie Singleton
            May 5, 2014

            are asinine

        2. Hope
          May 5, 2014

          The taxpayer is paying for the so called private running of railways so would it be different in reality to the taxpayer?

    3. uanime5
      May 7, 2014

      If, in the socialist mode, you take money off the people who know how to use it and give it to governments who clearly do not (or use it to augment the feckless) you just make everyone poorer.

      No allowing the poor to starve and be homeless because the rich want low taxes makes everyone poorer.

      Encouraging a dependency lifestyle is immoral, not even good for the recipient as it deters them from ever learning to stand on their own feet.

      Unless society offers these people jobs that pay a decent wage living on benefits is the only viable option. Until companies create enough jobs for everyone don’t expect the unemployed to magically get jobs.

      1. libertarian
        May 11, 2014


        As you have be told and shown multiple times there ARE enough jobs that are well paid. Therefore we can only conclude that socialism is the philosophy of laziness and untruth. You are the livening embodiment of that

  2. Mike Stallard
    May 5, 2014

    This sounds trite and biased until you go onto a Labour Blog.
    As someone who has been thrown off both Labour List and Conservative Home, I must say, with one of our greatest politicians since King John, that I can still feel the scars on my back.

    (PS Our debt is growing fast, our deficit is still there, we are still consuming a lot more than we can afford and the tax regulations are now bigger than War and Peace.)

    1. Tad Davison
      May 5, 2014

      But are you still going to vote Tory Mike, that’s the question, or have you seen the light?

      Don’t forget that to deny debate, is to deny democracy. I wonder what it was you said that the others didn’t like, are you a free-thinker maybe?

      At least with John, he let’s us have our say, and he knows that if the Tory party had been true to its core values and core supporters all along, there would be no such thing as UKIP. Trouble is, they haven’t, and there is a dire need for political representation for those of us who believe in democracy and our right to self-determination. In his own words, we keep voting for Euro-federalist parties. Count me out of that one!


    2. alan jutson
      May 5, 2014


      Thrown off Labour and Conservative sites !

      So given both think you must be some sort of extremist, where do you now fly your flag ?

      You sound like a reasonable and sensible sort of person from the comments you have made on this site over the years.

      Then again my wife’s pensioner Mum and Dad were banned from the local Burger BAR very many years ago for complaining about a burger that was served up as still partly raw meat, having not been cooked properly.

      They spread the word far and wide to their huge circle of friends as did we, apart from causing a huge laugh at the time, them being banned from the local Burger BAR at aged 65 plus, the establishment subsequently lost some local OAP trade for years until it eventually closed.

      All for the sake of a few pence.

      Thanks JR for allowing some of us to let off steam on occasions.

    3. Denis Cooper
      May 5, 2014

      I’m very surprised that you’re among those thrown off Conservative Home.

      One can only see it as revealing their own perception of the basic intellectual weakness of their position that they’re no longer prepared to tolerate even the most reasonable dissent.

    4. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2014

      Far bigger than War and Peace and much more incomprehensible.

    5. Brian Tomkinson
      May 5, 2014

      I seem to have been thrown off ConservativeHome too, as any comment I make is immediately deleted by the administrator, even though I rarely contribute. Free speech must have had its day with ConservativeHome!

    6. ian wragg
      May 5, 2014

      I have been thrown off of ConHome and I can’t find out why. I am open about my UKIP membership after 40 years supporting the Tories but I don’t recall blogging anything offensive except to say Cameroon is a shyster.

      1. Tad Davison
        May 5, 2014

        Oh my, that just isn’t on, to criticise our great leader. The leading statesman. The champion of democracy. It never ceases to amaze me how the Tories can wave a Union Jack with one hand, yet give away our sovereignty with the other.


        1. Brian Tomkinson
          May 5, 2014

          They’ve been doing it for more than 40 years so you shouldn’t still be amazed. I guess it is their brazen duplicity that takes your breath away.

  3. Andyvan
    May 5, 2014

    While one could claim that Britain’s economy is a mixture of free market and socialism one could not claim that of Parliament. I have not heard one single MP argue for real free markets. On every occasion possible they argue for more regulation, more taxation and a bigger state. Even you, Mr Redwood recently argued for lower tax rates not because it was right to steal less from people but because it would actually increase revenue. That is not being a free market advocate. The reality is that politicians do not like the thought of getting rid of any layers of government in case people realise that they can do without the nanny state and without politicians. The thought of eliminating a tax or closing a government department is total anathema to them. The Conservative party is not a free market party. It is corporatist and socialist because it does not believe in the ability or the right of people to run their own lives and supports heavy regulation to stop them.

  4. Mark B
    May 5, 2014

    The problems you describe have been around for centuries and cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all. There will always be winners and losers in any system you try. That’s life !

    The problem with the Political Class is, to a certain extent, you are insulated from many of the policies you implement in order to achieve, what YOU think, is a better outcome. Often, you just make things far worse. So how about this for an idea – why don’t you just leave us a lone ! What makes you think that you have all the answers to life’s little problems ?

    I also argue that, the problems with regard to wealth are more to do with cultural attitudes than political. In the USA, those who make their fortunes are not castigated for doing so, they are admired because that is the ‘American Dream’. To start of poor and make your fortune. So successful has this cultural attitude been that, in the last two centuries, the English aristocracy regularly married into American wealth in order to maintain their estates. One such memorable family, was the Churchill’s. Let us never forget that, Winston Churchill was half American.

    When wealthy American’s such as the Rockefeller’s and Gate’s of this world retire, they create foundations in which they use their wealth to the benefit of others. We, sadly, have no such system by which wealthy people can do this or be encouraged to do this.

    When I see someone drive a nice new expensive car, I am not filled with envy, but admiration. They have worked for that, and are entitled to enjoy it. Sadly, we have a culture that is based on envy and greed. Thatcherism is often blamed for this, but I think that is by those who do not understand what Thatcherism was or was about. To me, it was about the liberation of both labour and capital and the opening up of closed markets. No longer did you have to rely on going to the right school and wearing the right tie to get that top job. You got it, because you were good at what you did, not because who you were. Government was not there as some sort of life support, constantly paying in tax payer subsidies to keep badly run business afloat. It was about personal freedom and personal responsibility.

    Today, we have crony Capitalism. We have banks that are dependent on the State, whether through ownership, subsidy or QE. We have socialized the losses, but have privatized the profits. We are back in the 70’s again, and this is wrong !

    Socialism has always pandered to the base needs of people. It gains greater traction when there is a greater disparity between those that have, and those that have not. Having access to free and fair markets and being able to trade you products and labour freely, is the best way to reduce such inequalities. Better people with better ideas, even from poorer backgrounds, will make their fortunes in such open markets.

    Capitalism does work. But not the current model.

  5. margaret brandreth-j
    May 5, 2014

    John are you not also generalising when you ask the question “Why do the left have to …..” or make the collective statement “Conservatives do not criticise…”Is it not this generalisation which pigeon holes people and makes inaccurate assumptions about individuals?.I personally believe in freedom not to be part of a collective and have my own rules and regulations about how I live my life (taking into consideration that I am not above the law). I am State Registered Nurse and I have yet to find a clinical Nurse who puts her own comforts before those she serves. There are many ‘hangers on’ as there are in many professions, but you cannot heal or comfort the sick putting yourself first. You can of course call yourself a manager and watch computers all day awaiting a mistake in documentation in order to jump on it and make money out of it .
    I also believe that to have freedom and live in a society individuals should act and display a sense of personal responsibility. For instance someone drives along in a 2014 very large shiny car and their behaviourism is one of deliberately looking down on others , it incites anger into the vulnerable poorer or contempt from others or cannot afford these bits of shiny metal.My position is good for you if that it what you enjoy .The goods do not cause anger; it is the attitude of the driver.Attitudes and behaviour are a part of personal responsibility.

    1. a-tracy
      May 5, 2014

      The last time a family member was in hospital, they took out a fluids drip and told her that if she could keep herself hydrated she could go home, she asked four times for a jug of water because her jug was empty, two clinical staff ignored her pleas. She phoned me in desperation because she wanted to leave ASAP. I called a ward clerk who apologised and took her a jug of water herself. She even offered to get her own jug from the outside tap area and was told she wasn’t allowed before she called me after several hours of waiting.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 5, 2014

        Sound pretty typical, they do not even have many vases of flowers to drink from now!

      2. margaret brandreth-j
        May 7, 2014

        Sounds like a communication problem to me . The staff who give out the jugs of water in most hospitals are private contractors, paid to ensure these aspects of care are carefully managed. Whilst it is not a clinical aspect of the job to chase around and get jugs of water it is an aspect of management to ensure enough fluids are given to the patient and a support workers role to ensure all fluids re given if unable to self manage.A good clinical outcome would be sufficient hydration.The past sisters in the ward would have checked that all her staff and contractors were doing their jobs.

  6. Narrow shoulders
    May 5, 2014

    The best way to help people to be better off is to protect their earnings or benefits from inflation. To do this demand has to be suppressed. The easy halt to demand is of course cutting off immigration. Next on the list is the birth rate. Do not make having a large family become an income generator. Child benefit only for the first two children born in this country (at most, better to abolish completely now it is not a universal allowance). Benefits as food vouchers would reduce demand for alcohol, fags and Sky subscriptions. Finally tightening consumer credit rules so the mortage supply and credit card spending are depressed will massively reduce demand.

    Unfortunately all these measures will reduce total GDP and tax take so no timid government will take them.

    Focus on per capita GDP please Mr Redwood, only corporations and civil servants care about total GDP.

    1. uanime5
      May 7, 2014

      Benefits as food vouchers would reduce demand for alcohol, fags and Sky subscriptions.

      Along with demands for clothing, Internet access (useful if you want to look for jobs), and anything else that isn’t food.

  7. alan jutson
    May 5, 2014

    Its usually much easier to destroy than it is to construct.

    Much easier to just take than to give of your time to others.

  8. Alte Fritz
    May 5, 2014

    Socialism needs a focus for hate. That is most marked in Marxists but finds its way through to mainstream Labour which would deny that it is Marxist but draws its intellectual capital straight from that intellectual store. In practice, Consersatives tend to live and let live.

  9. Matt
    May 5, 2014

    Hit the nail on the head there Mr Redwood.

  10. Tad Davison
    May 5, 2014

    I broadly agree, and it reminds me of the old joke to which I have added my own views:

    Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbour, but you don’t get any compensation. They call it a fairer distribution of wealth, but it doesn’t stimulate the economy.

    Communism: You have two cows. The Government takes both of them, and then gives you some milk for which you must be grateful. To complain about it would see you incarcerated as an enemy of the state.

    Fascism and corporate fascism: You have two cows. The Government seizes both of them for an elite, then sells you some milk, but stops you from ever having your own herd and keeps you in a state of perpetual debt.

    Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. That stimulates prosperity through growth so everybody ultimately gets a better standard of living.

    Of course, there are variations on this parable, with each giving their own interpretation and political slant, but hopefully it should at least produce some debate.

    Tad Davison


  11. Denis Cooper
    May 5, 2014

    Well, JR, I’m fascinated to read that Conservatives do not:

    “belittle the believers in an independent UK”.

    Given that the Conservative party allegedly has a team dedicated to digging up whatever dirt they can find on the 2000+ UKIP candidates for the local elections, as well as other UKIP personalities, and then feeding carefully prepared stories out to the mass media for them to repeat and embroider.

    Of course UKIP doesn’t really have the resources to do a thorough positive vetting job even for its own candidates, let alone to trawl through the histories of all the candidates of the other parties, which I think add up to some number in excess of 12,000, to see if any of them have once done or said or even thought something that could be held up against them, if necessary with some distortion and possibly omitting some salient facts.

    And even if UKIP did that for the old pro-EU parties the pro-EU journalists in the mass media would not be as interested in that as they are in helping out with an orchestrated smear campaign against anti-EU UKIP.

    However if UKIP gets stronger and better organised that could change, and then the smearmongers in the old pro-EU parties might ruefully recall the words of Air Chief Marshall warning the Germans what they could expect as Bomber Command grew stronger and more effective:

    “They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind”.

    Every party has skeletons in its cupboard and it’s just a matter of being able to put in the effort to find them, if that is how politics are to be conducted in this country.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2014

      Indeed the BBC seem to little on its “comedy” and politics programs other than attack UKIP at every turn.

      It does seems to be helping them though.

    2. ian wragg
      May 5, 2014

      In think in a few= years when UKIP become established and find out where the bodies are buried there will be some very worried ex politicians and public officials. I the Nigel would do a very good job exposing their double dealing and treasonous behaviour.
      Max Clifford thought he was above the law………

      1. sjb
        May 6, 2014

        As a UKIP member, how do you think a narrow defeat for Roger Helmer in the Newark by-election on 5 June would be received by the Party?

        For example, what proportion of the membership do you think would then criticise Nigel Farage for not standing because arguably his profile might have ensured victory?

    3. Tad Davison
      May 5, 2014

      Mark my words Denis, the Tories have an awful lot of skeletons in the cupboard, but as you rightly say, so does every party, so those in glass houses shouldn’t go throwing stones.

      Nigel Farage warned everyone within UKIP, and those who intend to vote that way, that the others would try every dirty trick in the book to discredit them and turn people away. Negative campaigning just makes me even more determined to show the others up for what they are.

      A little over a week ago, I had a Labour canvasser come to my door to try to garner my vote. He denounced UKIP as isolationists and racists, so I asked him about Gordon Brown’s call for ‘British jobs for British workers’. ‘Oh no’ he said, ‘that is just wanting the best for British workers.’ When I picked him up on other matters related to the EU, he wouldn’t argue any more (because he knew he couldn’t). He did what most EU fanatics do when faced with an irrefutable argument, he clammed up, but no doubt he’ll peddle the same old crap at every door he calls at. It’s the Goebbels syndrome we so often see perpetrated by the BBC. If the lie is big enough, and repeated often enough, then the people will slowly come to believe it.

      Keep on keeping on is my motto. All we need do is keep telling the truth, and one day, that will surely overcome.


  12. Kenneth
    May 5, 2014

    I agree that the Left tend to generalise and worse still, they peddle the myth that those who believe in free enterprise have some kind of evil intent.

    These are symptoms of a losing argument.

    The problem is, if they were more honest and accepted the common sense notion that virtually all politicians want the best for all of us, they would be faced with the prospect of arguing about facts instead of myths.

    They would then lose the argument.

    The proof is in the pudding: when socialist governments get elected we end up with more unemployment, more corruption and more poverty.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2014

      The problem as I see it is almost everyone (the BBC, channel 4, most charities, Universities, the schools & the exam system, the Tories, Labour and LibDims, actors, celebrities, pop bands …..) make the idiotic half baked argument for big government, high tax, over regulation, green crap loony leftism.

      Virtually no one makes the case for the obvious economic truth. They just want to sound caring, but the by far the best way to be kind, in the long term, is the small government, freedom, liberty and low tax way.

      Teach people to fish not to sit on their bums watching daytime TV while throwing the odd fish at them.

      1. Excalibur
        May 6, 2014

        Agreed, Lifelogic. You failed to mention SKY which broadcasts its own brand of mindless drivel. Where is the voice of the moderate right ? Even when it is heard, it is labelled ‘far right’. Any attempt to voice the legitimate concerns of the English is labelled racist or bigoted.The recent smear campaign against UKIP is a case in point.

  13. Gary
    May 5, 2014

    if you really want to help, then get out of the way. Preferably shut down westminister , send the poor dears home,and use the offices as an entrepreneur startup site.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    May 5, 2014

    JR : “You cannot generalise easily about groups.”
    Agreed; such a pity that so many in your party, starting with your leader, do not concur particularly as far as UKIP is concerned. Wasn’t it Cameron back in 2006 who started it when he said “Ukip is sort of a bunch of … fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists mostly”? A comment endorsed in March this year by your colleague Baroness Warsi. How about your other colleague, Lord Heseltine, who, as the Telegraph reported last October, when asked about UKIP said “Of course it’s racist, who doubts that?”?
    Now as you say “You cannot generalise easily about groups. If you choose to do so in condemnatory fashion you will condemn many who are decent and do not deserve your words.” I shall therefore refrain from condemning all the Conservative party of supporting or believing such offensive and misleading comments.

  15. Matt
    May 5, 2014

    I often ask socialists. Or people of no firm allegiance. What should be the aim?
    Is it to make the poor better off in absolute terms,or to make them better off relative to the rich. I find few who opt for the latter, so it seems to me that they don’t realise that excessive redistribution has reliably failed to achieve the former.
    If I were struggling to make enough money to support my family without help in the form of tax-payer subsidies, I would find that a rather undignified state of affairs. I would be ashamed to be consuming more from the society in which I live than I contribute.
    Are there really so many people out there who are okay with having there lifestyle heavily subsidised, that we’re to expect their numbers to grow?
    Doesn’t the left realise that this is unsustainable. By encouraging people to be unproductive we can’t help but damage growth. Eventually we shall fall so far behind countries where the people have a strong work ethic that all the productive people will give up and head off for a country that respects and rewards their efforts. I already look at a future in Canada, Germany, Australia or the USA as a serious option.

    1. uanime5
      May 7, 2014

      If I were struggling to make enough money to support my family without help in the form of tax-payer subsidies, I would find that a rather undignified state of affairs. I would be ashamed to be consuming more from the society in which I live than I contribute.

      Well most people don’t blame themselves because they’ve realised that it’s not their fault that minimum wage isn’t enough to live on or that there aren’t enough jobs.

      Are there really so many people out there who are okay with having there lifestyle heavily subsidised, that we’re to expect their numbers to grow?

      It depends on how many jobs are created and where they’re created. If most of the jobs to be created in London you can’t expect those outside of London to benefit.

      By encouraging people to be unproductive we can’t help but damage growth.

      Who’s encouraging them to be unproductive? Are you criticising the state for not giving people enough help to find jobs or the unemployed for not getting jobs despite there being millions more people unemployed than jobs available?

      Eventually we shall fall so far behind countries where the people have a strong work ethic that all the productive people will give up and head off for a country that respects and rewards their efforts.

      Are you complaining about engineers and other professional being able to earn more in these countries because these jobs are valued more, or are you complaining that the unemployed are remaining unemployed because there aren’t enough jobs for everyone?

      In conclusion if society doesn’t provide opportunities for people to get jobs don’t be surprised if they remain unemployed.

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        May 9, 2014

        People can price themselves into employment. In case your haven’t noticed, it’s been happening on a large scale. That’s why Ed Miliband has been banging on about the ‘cost of living crisis’. I prefer our 7% unemployment rate to the Euro zone’s 12% rate. Don’t you?

  16. acorn
    May 5, 2014

    As a died in the wool (in todays PC terms that means cognitively biased), laissez-faire neo-liberal, you automatically assume that the state is socialist and the private sector is capitalist.

    Some of us have moved on from this old Victorian thinking. With the right management, the state can be just as capitalist as the private sector thinks it is, that is, when it doesn’t recognise the subsidies and tax favours it gets from bought and paid for politicians.

    As you are currently spinning the “get self-employed and get rich” meme. I assume you understand that the Jobcentre is encouraging the unemployed to become self-employed, pretend they are working over thirty hours a week, so to swap jobseekers allowance for tax credits and disappear from the unemployment count.

  17. Iain Gill
    May 5, 2014

    being “better off” is having power over your life, being able to make choices yourself, its not just about money. its being able to choose your childs school yourself, being able to decide where to live, being able to choose which medics to use. it is precisely because the state imposes schools and the parents have no choice that poor quality education continues and we have folk coming out of school who are unemployable. the Conservatives may not realise it but they do discriminate in favour of some parts of society and not others, just as the labour party does, and the pro public school discrimination etc is there for all to see.

  18. Roy Grainger
    May 6, 2014

    The left demonise very rich people but with the important qualification that they must have different political views to their own – for example very rich TV comedians are approved of but very rich bankers aren’t. Likewise, privately educated Tory MPs are derided as being out-of-touch but privately educated Labour MPs aren’t.

  19. David
    May 6, 2014

    One way to make people better off would be to allow the free market to build the homes we need. The cost of housing in the UK is crazy. Sadly I now hope my 5 year old son can emigrate from the UK when he is older so he will be to have decent housing.

  20. uanime5
    May 7, 2014

    If you take it too far you end up with a corrupt and poor society like the old USSR. The new rich and privileged run the state and live off the taxes. The rest pretend to work and live off handouts.

    In the USSR companies were forced to take on workers, resulting in them having too many employees to be profitable. So while many employees pretended to work (when the KGB and other spies weren’t watching) they didn’t live off handouts as they were paid a salary (though many things were rationed).

    Ironically when the USSR collapsed and companies were free to limit the number of employees they had unemployment greatly increased.

    what is the right balance of protection and incentive?

    Well 3 year long benefit sanctions for 3 offences seems too harsh. All it does is results in people who are reliant on food banks and who lack the energy to look for jobs.

    Making people work for free for 6 months, even though it has been shown not to make people more employable, isn’t a good incentive. Labour’s idea to at least pay them minimum wage is much better.

    They simply do not like richer and successful people.

    Especially when they get rich by paying their employees as little as possible and trying to remove all their rights.

    Good Conservatives have no equivalent list of groups we dislike.

    And bad Conservatives seem to dislike anyone who isn’t a millionaire, especially those on benefits (even if they’re working).

    1. Edward2
      May 7, 2014

      “Making people work for free for 6 months”
      Its not for free, it is more akin to being asked to do some work in return for all your benefits. Which is rather different and the norm in many socialist command economies.

      “Labour’s idea to at least pay them minimum wage is much better”
      I think you will find Uni that this is not on top of their benefits.

      “Especially when they get rich by paying their employees as little as possible”
      I presume if you ever were to become an employer yourself Uni, that you would promise to pay way above the market rate for all your staff.
      Best of luck surviving in a competitive labour intensive business.

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