Sunday 3 March 2013

Sunday, March 03, 2013 Posted by Jake 3 comments Labels: , , , ,
Posted by Jake on Sunday, March 03, 2013 with 3 comments | Labels: , , , ,

The UK Minister of Defence said, in an interview with the Telegraph, the "kind of Conservatism I was brought up on says that the first priority of the government is defending the country and maintaining law and order. Those are the two top priorities for me” . Which seems reasonable. There is no doubt that paying for the banking crisis required us to cut defence spending, probably beyond what is prudent. However, he then goes on to say the people from whom money should be taken to pay for Defence are not those with the most money (including bankers), but those with the least. 

The minister went on to say: “There is a body of opinion within Cabinet that we have to look at the welfare budget again. The welfare budget is the bit of public spending that has risen the furthest and the fastest and if we are going to get control of public spending on a sustainable basis, we are going to have to do more to tackle the growth in the welfare budget.”

At least he is being consistently true to the "kind of Conservatism [he] was brought up on". Defence and Law&Order are the "two top priorities" apart from keeping tax down.

They pick us off one at a time. Public servants, then teachers, then 'skivers and strivers'. So who is next? Nick Clegg, Iain Duncan Smith, and various 'think tanks' are softening us up to the idea of cutting benefits to the elderly. Are pensioners so feather-bedded they can afford to lose their benefits?

Fortunately the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is still manned by ordinary Britons driven by maths, and still manages to publish their statistics regardless of the bums on the ministerial seats. They know they need to be careful, as does The National Audit Office (NAO) whose criticisms of various government departments including, among so many others, HMRC and the Department of Works and Pensions may send it the way of the abolished Audit Commission. Following the Audit Commission's abolition it will be for the various government bodies to choose their own auditors. We need look no further than the banks to see what happens when organisations are the paymasters of their own auditors. 

So let's appreciate some of the truths brought to us by the ONS while it is still alive and counting:

a) The UK has similar percentages in poverty to the EU average for those up to 64 years of age (children and what used to be 'working age' before retirement ages were pushed up). However, the percentage of over 65's in poverty is much greater than the EU average.

b) The reason poverty has fallen in the UK since 2008 is that the definition of 'poverty' sets it at 60% of the median income. So when the median (average) income falls there are fewer people in 'poverty'. 

"Poverty" falls even though the poor are actually worse off than before as inflation pushes prices up. A report by Lloyds Private Banking shows the value of money has fallen by two thirds since 1982. Regardless of the definition of poverty, it is a case of having less money when money is worth less.

c) The UK has a significantly higher percentage of its population in poverty than Germany and France. The UK is kept off the bottom of the pile by such economic paladins as Spain, Italy and Latvia.

According to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, part of the University of London, the British Army already focusses recruiting in schools with children from the poorer families.
Having already targeted their children to defend the nation is it reasonable to also target their benefits?

If the Tories regard defence and law&order as their "top two priorities", then they should put their hands into their own pockets in the form of taxes.


  1. The gvmnt from money saved by withdrawing foreign aid and theEU

  2. Yes but these solid working stock should feel proud that they can rely on our fine armed services to bolster their career prospects for life and defend this great Commonwealth and all its citizens. There simply aren't enough rich people to tax! Politics of envy - let's abolish first class and make everyone suffer equally! Oops, sorry, right wing twinge crept in for a minute,,,,,ouch....and of course these great entrepreneurs will create the wealth which will create the jobs and prosperity for all....ouch again sorry....leave me alone Mr Hyde.... you....and of course everyone has opportunity, the chance to better themselves and enjoy a level playing field of opportunity......oh my god, I've turned back into a 1980s Tory Boy, help me, hel....... oh bother, stuff and nonsense, let's go down the pub....oh it's shut? Boarded up! And those greedy expenses grabbing M.P.s can booze all day at cheap tax payer subsidised bars, and even smoke in the lobby or on the delightful river terrace! They're all b@stards! Join the Tooting Popular Front.......aarh I'm back!

  3. yes everyone has the opportunity in britain to better themselves. the problem arises when those that succeed suddenly believe that that gives them the right to exploit those that dont beyond any concept of common decency. its forever been the case that some people exploit others for profit and thats fine. but britons are being screwed every which way today. successive govts have allowed business to drive down wages far too much in favour of obscene £billion profits. this country needs a govt that rewards working people that just want to pay their way and look after their families instead of sticking two fingers up to them and protecting the tax dodging businesses that finance them.


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