This title is a mea culpa for my previous posting in which I lampooned the deficit of principles in our politicians. But the LibDem conference has proved beyond any doubt that there’s something much worse than self-serving politicians: those who proceed from honestly held pernicious principles.
For there’s little doubt that the Nick-Vince-Danny gang are inspired not only by self-aggrandisement but also by a genuine urge to destroy our country. In this they converge with the Milibandits, and, if there is such a thing as a coalition made in hell, this would be it.
Allow me to recap briefly the main prongs in the LibDem attack on Britain. First, they insist on penalising anyone who lives in a decent house. Second, they crave extra taxes on the group that pays most of them anyway, those with an annual income exceeding £50,500. Third, they feel in their viscera that, even though British businesses are suffering from investment anorexia, they should pay more corporate tax. Fourth, they’ve come up with a devious system of making sure every last loophole is taken out of the inheritance-tax laws. Fifth, they think parents should use their pension funds to pay, or at least collateralise, their children’s education costs. At the same time, they think it advisable that the tax-free ceiling on pension contributions be lowered.
One almost wishes these chaps could emulate their colleagues in the sunnier European climes by taking a backhander to abandon their subversive notions. But they won’t: their policies are driven by viscerally and selflessly held commitment to envy, hatred and stupidity. When these are in the forefront, reason needn’t apply.
However, if we leave the swamp of putrid ideological emanations and cast a dispassionate look at their proposals, we’ll instantly see what a shattering effect they’ll have on the economy.
First, with asset inflation outstripping the monetary kind at least by a factor of seven over the past couple of generations, someone living in an expensive house may not have much money to pay any extra tax. Many such individuals simply got lucky that their parents bought an average house in a good postcode, which at the time may have been quite ordinary. In fact, a few of my friends live in such houses, even though their income may fall short of the £50,500 seen as obscene wealth to be punished.
Now someone making that amount would be lucky to clear £30,000. This is, in a first-world country at any rate, a subsistence wage for a couple with one child, never mind more. Half of it would probably pay for the mortgage, council tax and maintenance. That is, of course, provided they didn’t inherit the house from their parents who had bought wisely. Should that be the case, the left jab of extra income tax would be followed by the right cross of mansion tax to knock them cold.
At a time when British wealth creators are showing every symptom of economic consumption, corporate tax must be repealed, not increased. Surely this ought to be clear to anyone blessed with an IQ of above room temperature (Celsius)? Businesses must be given every incentive to invest, hire and grow bigger, not to cut back, lay off and grow smaller.
Such a gifted individual would also know that limiting people’s ability to pass their wealth on to their children will cool off their desire to create this wealth. Blowing money on a Spanish villa or, say, an iffy oil-drilling venture would appear more attractive, with disastrous effects for the economy.
And if pension funds stop being just that, which is to say a nest egg for people’s old age, they’ll be debauched even more than they are now. To be fair, congenital, cordial hatred for the very idea that people should be independent of the state isn’t the exclusive property of the LibDems. This is the genetic disorder of all statists. Thus the first act of Blair’s government was to launch a £5-billion raid on pension funds. This is understandable: people more independent of the state will be less likely to vote for any old Tony, Nick or Eddie whose life’s work is to make the state more powerful and the individual less so.
If their proposals are acted upon, moderately dynamic wealth creators will become apathetic, truly enterprising ones will flee, and we’ll all suffer. Tax revenues will go down, but taxation will have served its punitive purpose, and that’s the whole point to this vindictive lot.
To come up with such cretinous, suffocating measures at a time the economy is booming would be ill-advised. To do so now, when our economy is on its last legs, gasping for breath, should be an imprisonable offence, or perhaps a loony-binnable one.
This drives home yet again that neither crises nor bad politicians can succeed in bringing about a catastrophe on their own. A catastrophe befalls only when a crisis happens at a time when bad politicians are at the helm.
We are living at such a time, and we must thank the LibDems for serving a useful reminder that this is the case. Only a conservative party led by intelligent, resolute patriots could save us from this disgusting lot. And if you think we have such a party now, perhaps you’d like to buy Westminster Bridge. I can get you a good deal.