Sunday, 10 April 2016

Havens of the Mind

Across all classes, all parts of the country, and the support bases of all political parties, there has always been a majority to renationalise the railways.

As there now is to renationalise steel. Yes, steel.

And as there now is explicitly (implicitly, it has always been there) for the view that even perfectly legal tax avoidance constitutes a bar to public office, and perhaps even to polite society.

The view that paying tax is a matter of moral obligation seems to be questioned by almost no one, as anyone who has ever lived in Britain will find wholly unsurprising.

Who in Britain even thinks of that as a question? If anyone ever posed it such, then the answer would be "the NHS", and that would be the end of the conversation. Of course.

So much for the comments full of Americanisms on certain websites, which have had a thoroughly deleterious effect, via their cult following in the Westminster Village, on the terms of the political debate in this, a country that their authors have never visited.

But what of those authors' own country? The view that America is the heart and soul of "free" market capitalism rests on an extremely partial, and even laughable, reading of American history.

Yet even accepting it for the sake of argument, the two American parties are about to nominate two protectionist Presidential candidates, one of them a Scandinavian-style social democrat of the old school.

Or else to give those candidates so many votes in the course of the nomination process that, even without any such nomination, they would put themselves on the ballot, there undoubtedly to garner many millions more votes apiece.

Remind me again why Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable.


  1. Leftwing morons hate George Osborne so much that they think he can spend our money better than we can.

    Nobody opposes tax avoidance in practice. Everyone who has an ISA takes part in tax avoidance.

    It's perfectly legal and proper.

    What is this moral thing we are we paying for?

    Awful schools? Multilateral liberal wars? A police force that nobody ever sees? 180,000 abortions a year, on the NHS?

    Virtually anyone could spend their money better than the Government.

    If you want to give it to a good cause, there are any number of charities that could spend it better than the government, too.

    Very rich people who don't use public transport, state schools or state healthcare have even less reason to pay than the rest of us.

    1. Their wealth depends on the existence of public transport, state schools and state healthcare (not the term used in this country, as you would know, if you had ever been here), among numerous other things that are maintained out of taxation.

      Moreover, you can have all the private health insurance that you like. But if you were hit by a car, or if you collapsed in the street with a heart attack, then someone would call 999, and an NHS ambulance would take you to an NHS hospital.

      That that call would certainly be made, even by a perfect stranger, is testament to the definition of the United Kingdom’s culture by the social democratic legacy of previous Labour Governments, and supremely of that which was elected in 1945.

      Everyone benefits, of all classes and in all areas. Such was always the intention behind it.

      This is the only British identity that almost anyone alive can remember, or that almost any of the rest would wish to have.

      Today, however, it is under threat as never before.

    2. "Left-wing" has a hyphen in Britain.

    3. Of course, you will know that it does as an adjective ("the left-wing MP"), but not as a noun and its qualifying adjective ("the left wing of the party").

      Dear Anonymous 19:16 would have to work very hard in order to get these things right. But there is always hope.