Today the latest results from the British Social Attitudes survey is quite revealing about where people are on the issue of tax vs. freedom: the attitudes of young voters seem to indicate much LESS tolerance toward the ever-increasing taxation of New Labour than they would have before! Perhaps a wonderful Dawn of Awakening has descended amongst their lazy posteriers, as they learn of the absence of free lunch, and perhaps even realise that it is wrong to take money from ME for working, to give it to THEM for sitting in front of the telly farting. I live and hope.

The 18-34 generation are least likely to support any tax increases in return for public services like health and education. Only 31% of them believe in increased tax for welfare benefits. Presumably, the other 69% either:

a) do not support increases in welfare,

b) think that these people should get off their asses to get jobs,

c) don’t particularly know, or

d) don’t particularly care.

But the real problem for the government seems to be that only 34% of this age group actually think redistribution of wealth from “rich” to “poor” is a good thing. (I always like to ask, “WHOSE wealth do you intend to redistribute?”) According to the survey, as reported by today’s Times, “…there is a trend towards greater individuality, such as a willingness to get private pensions in place of reliance on the State, notably among the young.” I think I would be very concerned about this, if I was Tony Blair. It would appear that most of the people who matter are NOT amused with a socialist idea of a better society.

They may, however, agree with a lot of what the Chancellor Gordon Brown set out in an article in the Daily Telegraph this morning. His piece was called “Britain’s business is to rival America’s entrepreneurial dash”. What I found most disturbing about this article was how breathtakingly naive what he said about business was, in the light of what his other economic policies are. He claims to want to promote more enterprise, to see lots more self-employment, small business, new starts, etc., and yet he conveniently ignores what is recognised by anyone with a few braincells to be The Most Major Obstruction to any business – TAXATION, which the government alone is responsible for. It seems utterly at odds with the government’s policy. Observe that high taxes, redistribution of wealth, socialist policies like welfare, and a behemoth public sector incorporating anything from leisure centres to education CHOKES business, stifles its productivity and produces some of the worst economies on the planet – yet by the same token Brown is writing in the Telegraph pointing to the UNITED STATES as a model – traditionally one of the most capitalist, free, low-tax economies in the world! What is he on? Is he on some kind of dippy pill?

No – what we are seeing here is not just stupidity; what we are seeing is a deliberate contradiction of principals which New Labour believes is NOT such a contradiction. Brown actually believes that he can tow the line on this: continue to fleece from the pockets of the individual with high taxes on the one hand, all the while saying that he desires enterprise to grow on the other. He wants America’s prosperity AND Europe’s crap social engineering. Well I’m sorry to disappoint you, Mr Brown, but thousands of years of economics have taught us a lot, and the one nation you point to as an example of good enterprise (USA, the best this planet has ever, ever known actually) only got there by historically staying OUT of the lives and pockets of its citizens.

And frankly, to say something like “I am proposing to give [local government] A SHARE OF THE PROCEEDS FROM NEW BUSINESSES”, (capitals mine) is the most pretentious, disdainful, autocratic, contemptuous, arrogant and insulting violation of human individual rights that I have read from a cabinet minister in quite some time. To even contemplate that YOU would GIVE somebody something that you do not HAVE, have not EARNED, and would have to TAKE forceably to do so, is actually quite disgusting.

Congratulations, Mr Chancellor, you have succeeded in seriously pissing me off. 🙂

(Feel free to email me at john-wright@ntlworld.com on this or any other posts.)