Wednesday, November 01, 2006

If it moves, tax it; if it doesn't tax it anyway


WELL HELLO there, Mr Holier-than-Thou. You must be feeling pretty chipper this week, what with your wind turbine on your roof, your multi-coloured recycling bins and your energy-efficient light bulbs.

Not sure about the electric car in the driveway though. What happens when you want to drive more than 30 miles in one go? And just how are you going to recycle those enormous batteries?

It’s one of the hazards of penning this weekly diatribe that you’re forced to face your demons every seven days. This can lead to misery, depression, and excessive alcohol consumption. But mostly I just shrug it off and get on with the bar-room rant and tasteless jokes. This week, however, has left me feeling more battered than usual. (Mind you, I had spent the day dipping boiled sprouts into chocolate in readiness for that Trick or Treat nonsense.)

I think it’s the senseless inevitability of it all that leaves me low. One economist comes out with one report about global warming and the world goes mad. Within seconds we’ve got NuLabour apparatchiks coming out with a whole raft of new taxes designed to bully and berate the average citizen and no-one – NO-ONE - stops to say “Hey, hang on a minute, is this bloke right and, even if he is, is taxation the right way to tackle the problem?”

And meanwhile we’re told that those of us lucky enough to have worked hard all our lives to provide our families with a nice house in a nice area are going to be taxed for that “privilege”. Furthermore, a Council Clipboard Clown will soon be banging on our front door demanding entry just in case we’ve got above ourselves by installing a fancy bathroom or a conservatory.

Usually we just bow our heads and accept that we’re about to get another kicking. Well I’m sorry, but up with this I will not put. I’ve had enough. Middle class civil disobedience starts here.

Let’s start with this global warming nonsense. And let’s introduce a few facts to the argument – an unusual approach in these knee-jerk, tokenism times.

For our sins, Great Britain accounts for just two percent of the world’s total carbon emissions, and that figure will shortly fall as India and China metaphorically put their foot on the gas. If every single one of us in this country stopped driving our cars today until the end of time, the benefits to the environment would be outweighed by just 12 months of China’s current (yes, current) emissions.

The Chinese economy is expanding so fast that they’re opening a new, coal-fired power station every 10 days. Yes, every 10 days. They have 30,000 coal mines, with new ones opening every month. China is literally eating the planet, and however many energy-efficient light bulbs Mr Holier-than-Thou buys isn’t going to change that. So we’re agreed: whatever we do simply isn’t going to matter in the grand scale of things. Our self-flagellation is pointless and meaningless.

Now let’s look at this taxation nonsense. Why is there an assumption that increased taxation is the only way to deal with the perceived problem? And what is the money going to be spent on anyway? Vast acres of eagle-mincing wind farms? Solar panels to drive the pizza-frying microwaves of the underclass? Tidal defences to protect the millions of houses that that nice Mr Prescott has ordered to be built on our flood plains?

If it was for building a dozen new nuclear power stations (preferably in Scotland and Wales) then I could understand it, because however many zillions you throw at the problem, you can’t manufacture coal seams and oil fields.

And anyway, if the government is really serious about this, why don’t they just ban cars with engines bigger than two litres? Why don’t they just remove the licences of low-cost airlines? Why don’t they turn the street lights off at midnight?

I suspect you already know the answer. This is not about solving a problem; it’s more to do with finding new ways to extort even more cash from a guilt-wracked and gullible public. Cash that will no doubt help fund the ever-growing ranks of the useless and unnecessary public servants in Mr Blah’s Turkey Army.

And there’s a nasty element of class warfare in there. Let’s bash the rich, with their four-wheel-drives and their five holidays a year. The irony of the situation is that these punitive measures won’t even touch the well-off. An extra £300 on road tax won’t trouble a bloke who’s spent £50,000 on a Range Rover. And massive taxes on air fares won’t stop the wealthy flying off to Venice, but they will stop Mr Average spending the occasional weekend in Amsterdam, or buying a second-hand Freelander because he lives at the end of a country lane.

(Hang on a minute. If the problem with “gas-guzzlers” is that they use too much fuel, doesn’t that mean that the owners are already paying a disproportionate amount of tax anyway?)

And as for the Council Clipboard Clown? Well he’s not coming in. They can fine me that rumoured £200 a day, but I’m not having it. I might have just installed a new chrome toilet roll holder, but I’m damned if I’m going to pay Gordon Brown for the privilege.

PERHAPS ANOTHER destination for the proceeds of this crime might be the trough into which most MPs appear to be dipping their snouts in the last days of the Blah Empire. I have to inform you that the bill for expenses claimed by Members of Parliament increased by £13 million last year.

Yes, that’s increased. The total now exceeds an astonishing £131 million annually. Thank God there’s only 646 of them. Much of this State-approved benevolence is dispensed in expenses meant to cover the cost of a second home, the assumption being that MPs will have to rent or buy a London base. If I told you that MPs whose constituency home is less than 30 miles from Westminster still see the need to claim this allowance, you’ll get the picture.

Now to the best of my knowledge, the average cost of an average house – including mortgage repayments, council tax and utility bills – is around £9,000 a year. Yet many, if not most, MPs managed to claim more than twice that. There is also an ongoing scandal regarding travel and postage expenses, but that will have to wait for another day.

I’m off for a lie down. And a good cry.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, or of anyone who hasn't got time to write this bit because they're due at the airport in half an hour. Bye.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Doctor Mick said...

So the solution to global warming is to nuke China and India?

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

£131000000 into 646 MP's is 202786.37. That means that if every MP stopped claiming expenses then 2027 elderly home owners would be able to afford to put the central heating on and not freeze to death. And as for the stealth taxes lets just assume nothing is going to happen for 4 years. Having said that they want more moeny from the public, so it will be in place in 2 days.

2:08 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

... and things will be so different under "Boy Blunder" Cameron and NuTory.

No matter who you vote for, the Government still gets in.

I also hear Gordo wants all those who decide to stay at home - predominently women - who look after children to actually go out to work, to be empowered. Even though you don't cost the state by drawing unemployment benefit, you nevertheless should go out to work, the Government will help you with child-care costs, but work, work, work...

No mention of the fact that Gordo can then tax you. Funny that.

I once read about a married couple with two kids, both work, and child-care costs equate to half the mother's salary.

Hang on, call me silly and mysogynistic, but what is the point of her working when she has to use half her salary to pay someone else - usually another woman on minimum wage - to look after her children in a creche full of other kids?

But, like I said above, things will be so different under NuTory.

:rolls eyes:

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't doubt it.

What I do doubt is wether it is entirely constitutional to go about taxation in such a backhanded way.

I experience the sceneraio you so ably describe on a daily basis but since neither one of us is in a position to change or influence this, I must ask, "What do we do about it?".

The point I was merely trying to make is that back-handed schemes and this disparity between the lavish comforts afforded a great many MP's and the common public who placed them in this situation and provide these comforts must be re-dressed.

Accepting the fact that no current or near-term future government figurehead is likely to do this, we (and indeed the rest of the nation who isn't already a multi-millionaire) are monumentally stuffed.

A final thought, if you had read the article and not jumped to conclusions you might have figured this out yourself.

So long.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous The Other half said...

M.P's housing allowance? Is it really true that our dear PM claimed over £8600 for this allowance? Sorry, I was under the impression that as a job perk he was given a rather nice London pad known as No10.
Never mind, the gannets aka M.P's are now to get some £10000 each to enable them to communicate with their electors. With the recent rise in the pension (slush fund) that they are into, can we wonder that they will do anything to keep their noses in the trough?
We pay, they raid our pension funds-paid for by a lifetime of work and then they rub our faces in the muck with such insults.
Yes folks, join the exclusive private club in Westminster and enjoy the membership perks,everything provided free for you including, it would appear, acting lessons to keep a straight face while you justify your life of luxury to the people of the country.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

Well said, Chris.

Probably one of the best rip offs of the late 20th century was the notion that 2 parents working is better than one. Now, for many people, it's not a matter of choice, it's that or not make ends meet. Result? Big business- and the taxman- get 2 workers for the price (i.e enough to live on) of one. All dressed up in the name of feminism.

And now we wonder why our kids are fat, unfit, promiscious, ill mannered and often feral. Parenting is a full time job, and, as Chris says, who looks after the childminder's kids? So much for equality: poorer women get to look after the children of richer women, who made the "choice" to "have a career". Nice when you have the choice, and lets not forget, most women, like most men, don't HAVE a career: they have a job.

Seems to me that there are a lot of us who are deeply disatisfied (read: pissed off with) with Nulabour and the rest. I wonder when someone will get the hint. When there's only 1% turnout at a general election?

Chris is right: Tory Boy and his pals are almost indistinguishable from Teflon Tony and fido brown. We're not even talking "Republican vs Democrat" here.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous John Bull said...

Anything must be better than the prospect of Gordon Brown in charge.

That's the nice thing about a democracy - you can throw the lot out.

I don't care who runs the fucking country - Terry Wogan for all I care - so long as it's not the present incumbent bloodsuckers.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Terry Wogan would probably do a better job.

No, I'll revise that: he would do a better job. ;-)

This debate is no longer one of political bias: some of you are true blue, I'm a beige red (and yes, I read the Guardian), but we all agree that the vast majority of those whom we elected are rotten to the core, or is it that Westminster corrupts the idealist?

As a side-note, just heard on the news that the armed forces are 5000 under-strength and the majority of sixteen year-old's are too fat to join up.

I dare say a few sixteen year-old's are too fat, but I'd wager the vast majority of young men and woman who do want to join up are changing their minds because of the dispicable way our forces are treated by respective Governments.

We're doomed.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Westbury Boy said...

I am afraid that Barry is wrong in saying that 'Great Britain accounts for just two percent of the world’s total carbon emissions'. We actually account for just two percent of the world’s MAN-MADE total carbon emissions. Actually 96.5 per cent of all CO2 emissions are naturally sourced from animal respiration (Schimel, DS, Global Change Biology, 1995, pages 77 to 91). So, if the whole world stopped driving cars, generating power, flying aeroplanes and everything, 3.5% is all the contribution that would be achieved. Perhaps some politician might suggest that it might be sensible to look at the natural emissions and see if anything can be done to change some of those? A vastly more effective use of time than wrecking our standard of living!

8:27 AM  
Blogger The Reverend said...

So what do the Army do Chris? They are now starting to let fat bastards in and hope they lose weight with the training! I can see it now "I'm tooooooo fat to fight for King and country so I'm going to sue the British Army for letting me join"

8:56 AM  
Blogger sky_dog said...

Bazza:'It’s one of the hazards of penning this weekly diatribe that you’re forced to face your demons every seven days. This can lead to misery, depression, and excessive alcohol consumption.'

So what are the drawbacks Bazza?

It's only like being married. :o(

2:20 AM  
Blogger sky_dog said...

chris:'Hang on, call me silly and mysogynistic, but what is the point of her working when she has to use half her salary to pay someone else - usually another woman on minimum wage'

Get with the programme Chris FFS! This married woman who goes out to work pays taxes ... still with me so far? Good. THEN.... she needs someone to look after her brood ... IOW She becomes an EMPLOYER ... and her EMPLOYEE also pays taxes on the wages she receives from her EMPLOYER who has already paid taxes on her income. Geddit? Double-Whammies all round at No.11 ! ;o)

2:25 AM  
Blogger sky_dog said...

Baz:'(Mind you, I had spent the day dipping boiled sprouts into chocolate in readiness for that Trick or Treat nonsense.)'

I use sprouts dipped in laxative chocolate for preference Baz. But then I'm a miserable old bastard for some reason or other. ;o)

2:27 AM  
Blogger sky_dog said...

Westbury Boy:'Perhaps some politician might suggest that it might be sensible to look at the natural emissions and see if anything can be done to change some of those?'

Simple: Make all farmers fit CO2 scrubbiung muzzles to cattle,sheep and goats and insert environmentally friendly corks up their ringpieces. This could lead to exploding livestock but we've a planet to save here and sacrifices must be made.

Alternatively, we could fit bullshit scrubbers (and insert corks) into every MP, Euro-MP and Local councillor in the country, starting with Prescott as a trial run. This alone would cut out 99% of unwanted emissions at a blow.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are spot on Sir.

See page 19 (top quotation)

on:

www.sd-commission.org.uk/
publications/downloads/
I_Will_If_You_Will.pdf

The Eccentric Mare (without a blogger account.)

4:16 AM  
Blogger Neal Asher said...

Methane, I believe, is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. So I suggest we shoot all vegetarians since it is probably their farts that are causing global warming. This will have the added bonus of eliminating a large number of eco-activists.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

Bazza!

Have you buggered off on holiday again????

11:38 PM  

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