Why the Tories have lost the Election.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bravo_Bravo, Mar 29, 2010.

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  1. Bazzinho1977

    Bazzinho1977 LE


    So – some interesting points have been raised here. So thanks for that interestednovice, dozy, CP, one or two others.

    I think my argument holds together like this.

    We want people to be self sufficient – and the more that people learn to fend for themselves the more valuable member of a society they are. If people have to work to get things, they value those things and also see how others value them to. This gives them a respect for their own and others rights and responsibilities. However, if you demotivate people by making it clear that the system is stacked against them, then they are less likely to want to achieve – and more likely to become recidivist / useless as members of a society. Quite simply, if you do not know what I mean by that demotivation – turn on your telly about the time Jeremy Kyle or any of the other freak wrangling shows start.

    How can we tackle this:

    Education is key. We all want the best for our children. Anybody who claims otherwise is probably pulling your leg. But what is the point of our child getting the best, if they are then going to fall foul of the unterrmensch and troglodytes left behind howling at the streetlamps? So I want my child to succeed, but I want her to succeed in a fair competition. It is possible to want the best for someone without it being a nasty snide type of competition, which many on here seem to indicate a desire for. (Okay, and I also had a working class chip on my shoulder that if I sent her off to the public school she would come back unrecognisable).

    So a few possibilities.

    One – go for full competition of privately run schools, dismantle the state system. I think that this would actually cut massive wastage (certainly bureaucracy) from the system. BUT, I think this would only be fair if any parent could send their child to any school. So you would have to have the only available currency being vouchers for one child per term. Schools could then move towards being elitist (although ultimately, every child would need to be found a school place).

    Two – we go for full competition, based upon “pay what you can” approaches. Quite simply, this will lead to the dissolution of our society back to a pre-enlightenment era. We will end up with the Christian brothers running schools for the poor and get straight back to who your parents are deciding whether or not you are allowed an education. If anybody really thinks that is the way to go, then my arguments are going to be beyond you.

    Three – we have only state sector run schools. With all the bureaucracy / crap that goes with them. Whatever people want to say – and I am sure come August we will get the usual “exams are getting easier I know cos the Sun told me” rubbish – school standards are improving. But most of this has come from the professionalization of the teaching staff, not the layers of bureaucracy and targets laid on them.

    Four – the current system. Erm yeah. Let’s leave that one out – because quite simply it doesn’t work.

    I think I came into this conversation actually believing that the third option was the right one. The more that I think about it (and whether this is because I am getting older and my eyes more opened) I think I actually prefer option one. Maybe I am less socialist than I think.
  2. Bazzinho1977

    Bazzinho1977 LE


    Moses: "We have been sent a message from god - it is beautiful"

    Scribe:"God himself?"

    M"Erm, yes, why?"

    S"Just seems a bit amazing. I mean maybe he sent down an angel. Let's make him a senior angel to talk to you - that'd be more believable"

    M"Actually yes. It was a senior angel. An arch-angel, perhaps? But that doesn't sound too grand"

    S"Well, naturally, the archangel was attended by other angels, erms lets call them chrubim and seraphim, eh?"

    M"And Lo, it came to pass that I was visited by the Metatron, who is the voice of god, and is senior to the angels, apart from the archangels. And the angels are supported by subangels, then by seraphim, then chrubim, then fairies, pixies and sprites - and He said to me etc. etc. etc."

    Nah - humans don't like making things more complicated than we need to.
  3. Mediaeval

    Mediaeval War Hero

    Back to the thread if I may - I'm not sure any of the main parties have a way out of this mess that they have articulated clearly, so the electorate are confused. I've a feeling that in this situation Labour might sneak back in, so yes, Cameron may have blown it...

    What must be faced up to is that UK has largely lost the means to earn an independent living sufficient to sustain over 60 million people on a small island with finite useable space and limited natural resources. Buying and selling houses to one another at inflated prices, or working in the service and state sectors are not long-term substitutes and have had a number of corrosive effects, some of which are potentially catastrophic and all of which future generations will have to undo.

    We all know the party has to end, but none of the main (and rational) parties has the courage to tell us how, why and when...
  4. clownbasher

    clownbasher LE

    No, just that you said the cost of ownership was subject to the tax regime. You are right. I will one day have paid off my mortgage from my taxed income. But I just can't get too upset by those who inherit it having to pay 40% of everything they get over £325k. The tax has got to come from somewhere and I'd rather the government took this relatively small amount after I die than an extra couple of % of my earnings every year. Of course I'd rather they weren't so profligate with my money in the first place and didn't require such an amount of it, but in choosing where it falls this seems to me one of the less painful.

    I can understand people who argue the threshold should be a bit higher, as you should be able to leave an average house to your children without taxman inteerference.

    Going back to the cost of ownership thing - what I meant was, hving a roof over your head costs money whether you rent or buy and some of that is just an expense of living; the money's gone and you can't expect to fully recover it. It's not quite the same as saving the equivalent sum in a bank account (out of your earned and taxed income...) and then complaining about the government then taxing you on your savings / investment - although of course they do that as well. Likewise you may get tax relief on your pension contributions now but you will likely pay income tax on your pension when you retire.

    You have to set aside the emotional attachment to the house and the emotional aspects of dying. In all circmstances they are going to take the opportunity of soaking you for tax!
  5. CaptainPlume

    CaptainPlume LE

    Sorry, bazz, we've been round this block repeatedly but my belief in sky pixies/flying spaghetti monsters bears more rational scrutiny than your assertion that school standards are improving.

    Yes, the Government reports ever increasing pass rates at GCSE & A Level. However at the same time Universities are reporting that they need to give undergraduates remedial training before they are capable of studying at anywhere near what would previously be considered a degree standard while employers state that there are serious numeracy & literacy issues with their new recruits. Just look at the standard of communication of some of the "youneee" educated aspiring Officers on this site.

    I am afraid that I am unlikely to believe someone who states that qualification production in the current five-year plan for State Collective Educational Facility No 23 is at an all time high (& naturally better than when the bourgeois wreckers ran the place) when it is in their interest to persuade us this is so despite the evidence.

    FFS when "studying" Great Expectations actually consists of being able to point out similies in two short passages of the book there is something wrong.

    Anyway, back OT. The reason the Tories are at a severe disadvantage to Labour in the forthcoming election (if the Lord High Everything Else lets us have one) is that they lack the nasty attack-dog instincts of Labour which were learnt on the shop floor & in the smoke-filled rooms of industrial dispute & local politics. It is not the Conservative way to smear their opposition & distort the truth, nor is it their way to point out that Labour could have given lessons in corruption to the Borgias. If it was they'd have done so & capitalised on the recent disclosures about Labour party funding & Labour members' grasping ways.

    The electorate is so blinded by smoke, mirrors & spin it is almost impossible to discern the truth. I almost think that some kind of Government of National Unity is what is needed to get us out of this mess.
  6. Bazzinho1977

    Bazzinho1977 LE

    Following on from my other point about education. Again, I think that a fair society leads to a better society, and leads to an improved economy through drive and innovation.

    So once we get the education system sorted out then, a remaining problem is inheritance.

    So far, I have heard from an awful lot of people saying “well obviously, I want my parents to spend all their money and not leave any to me. But if they want to then I mean that is okay too. You know it’s their money. For now.”

    Simple point of fact – you can not take money from a dead man. They can’t own things and have no concept of ownership, what with them being deed an all. I imagine (but haven’t been through it myself) that your main concern from that point on is no longer whether you can afford a second holiday next year.

    So I think we can remove all this emotive rubbish about calling things “death taxes”. They are not, they are taxes on inheritance.

    The current system is quite frankly rubbish. £325k is not a lot of money. If you have (as some have said on here) worked all of your life and owned a home, paid for its upkeep, insurance, building work, decorating, toiled in the garden etc. etc. etc. then you have earned that money. If you have been a captain of industry and worked hard and are now a multimillionaire with houses across 3 continents, chances are that you have worked hard to earn that money.

    Your children have not. You end up with the feckless Goldsmith / Tomkinson / Beckwith / Hilton types.

    Now for every example of an idiot child from the wealthy there are examples of more who do well for themselves. I have absolutely no problem with that. Again, because of my working class chip, I expect those people who were raised in luxury and with every possible benefit in life to do great things. Why shouldn’t they? In fact, if you are one of those and you haven’t risen as quickly or as far as I have, why are you wasting your opportunities, lackwit?

    But we have a massive imbalance in the system that favours some on the basis of who their parents are. I think that this is unfair. I would like to see every child have the same opportunities to succeed. The current government has actually made social mobility worse. Social mobility improved more under Maggie T than under the Labour government. How embarrassed would you be to be a labour person and have to admit that?

    So the other plank of making things fairer is this. Get rid of inheritance tax, up to a value of about (and this is pure guesswork) £2m. But make it clear that above that a tax of 70% will apply – to everything. This would make one of two things happen.

    I think setting it at a level, to which we would have to attach some formula to stop it becoming regressive, that was sufficiently high that it didn’t impact upon the poorest 90% (another guess) of the population would counter Intnov’s argument that it would act as a disincentive to working hard.

    People would spend more during their lifetimes rather than leave it and support trustafarians. And people would salt it away out of our jurisdiction.

    This would remove the hoarding of assets beyond needs, and would also mean that money earned would be spent supporting the economy. Service industries, manufacturing, construction, would all benefit.

    It would have also the benefits of acting as a motivator to those lower down the order that they have a fair shot of being as successful as anyone else.

    The strongest arguments I have heard against this are:

    It is too authoritarian. Well, I am struggling with this. I can see no other way to achieve (what I think is a worthwhile goal) of a fair society, characterised by opportunity, a sense of society, a sense of competition with social mobility available for those that aspire to it. Maybe we are now at the point where we all believe that the system we have in place is fine and we all get a fair hand. Okay then, keep reading More and Nuts, plug your ipod in, watch the pretty TV commercials and go right back to sleep. We are not going to change things by having things remain the same.

    People would salt away their money to other locations etc. Well, they already do that. Quite simply whatever our tax regime there are ALWAYS going to be cheaper tax havens. We just need to get cleverer about them full stop, this one tax will make no difference to that fact.

    Anyway, I know that I am not going to change many minds on here. People are stuck in their ways. I tend to try out my ideas on here because I am not so arrogant that I believe I am always right. I want to be challenged to see if I really think my ideas stand up. But the strongest counter argument to my suggestion so far has been “it is just not fair”. Well, do you think the current system is fair? Really? If so, any chance of me selling you some magic beans for that pile of useless old bank notes you have there?
  7. CaptainPlume

    CaptainPlume LE

    Perhaps this "average value" thing should drive stamp duty etc. Rather than a starting rate of £250,000 for first-time buyers as recently announced, why not base it on the average value of a property in a certain defined area?

    If that makes someone Oop North pay SD on a property worth £10 grand while I pay none on something worth a few hundred thou then so be it. That's fair, isn't it?
  8. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    So if I understand you right Bazz, you don't think Paris Hilton has made a massive contribution to modern society :?
  9. Cuddles

    Cuddles LE

    There is a dichotomy here! The tax has to come from somewhere. Sure but how much? If the government was spending the right amount of money in the first place on the right things, then probably once we had all got over our counter altruistic greed impulse - it would all be peachy.

    However there is an attitude which runs along the line "the government's a big firm, they won't miss this or that" which starts with paper clips and ends up with contracts being let for new academy projects!

    So while a level of tax is a quid pro quo for living in society, there is a level of government which is acceptable and which we are drifting evermore to the debit side of. Profligate government's tend to have hearty tax regimes. Remember Charles I? How did that one end?
  10. CaptainPlume

    CaptainPlume LE

    Sorry, OT again but I wanted to raise some points with Bazz even though we are agreed we won't change each others' minds!

    These people have inherited beyound the dreams of avarice. One of them isn't even a Brit. While I don't move much in exalted or wealthy circles I know of a fair number of people who have inherited a bit of cash & use it for philanthropic purposes or to subsidise themselves in doing something altruistic pretty much pro-bono.

    When I referred to "death tax" I was on about the £20,000 to be collected on retirement/set as a debt against a future estate as a contribution towards care in old age. While this has now been shelved I suspect it will rear its ugly head again after an election.

    I feel this levy is enormously unfair as my Parents' generation had paid into the system all their lives with the understanding that they would be looked after. Now they are told they have to flog their house/pay £20,000 to get this care.

    Only one of them needs it? Bad luck Mater/PaterPlume, you'll have to sell up to pay for your spouse's care & of course the money you might have put away in trust for the education of your grandchildren is now forfeit.

    Oh, & AIUI the IHT has to be paid up pretty much as soon as probate is granted, so there's no allowance for property being low on the market. That reduces returns to the estate and to the government in tax.

    Can settle the tax bill but want to keep hold of the house until a decent value can be realised? Again you'd best use that house or the Government will have it off you for social housing...
  11. A few points here I disagree with.

    First of all, when I want people to be self-sufficient, I simply don't want them to be a compulsory burden on others via public funds. If their own family are happy to support them, I don't consider it any of my business, or that of the state.

    Fops and playboys ruined by their parents' generosity are simply not our problem, and I certainly don't think their existence is a good excuse to go looting every family's capital.

    Secondly, allowing people to inherit lots of money from their parents doesn't really stack the system against others, although it does certainly engender jealousy. That's the jealous party's problem.

    The reason we have a Jeremy Kyle culture isn't because a tiny portion of the population were lucky enough to have very wealthy family who passed it on to them, it's because the state now treats swathes of the adult population like children, and they've basically regressed into being overgrown, ill-disciplined children that can get served in the pub.

    Looting the bank accounts of a few sacrificial scapegoats is no solution here.

    One extra possibility. We have vouchers, and some schools will charge more than the value of the voucher and parents would have to find extra money to send their kids there, so not everybody will be able to afford them.

    However, there will still be loads of schools catering to people who can only afford the value of the voucher, and competitive pressures will likely make these better than the worst rump of the state sector we have now. Those schools will quickly reform or die.

    We'll still have a system where wealthy people can afford to give their children extras (as now), but the competitive pressure introduced would go a long way to cleaning up the worst parts of the system the rest of us to use.
  12. Bazzinho1977

    Bazzinho1977 LE

    I can understand why you say that. However, you are conflating a massive amount of different issues, looking at a single outcome and then saying "nope, it is all because of just that one thing, and nothing else has any bearing on it".

    If you are right, how come more people scored higher than ever before last year in the oxford and cambridge entrance exams?
  13. Bazzinho1977

    Bazzinho1977 LE

    Because you end up with a circular reference, making the law (and the limits) even less useful than they are now.
  14. Bazzinho1977

    Bazzinho1977 LE

    Well, apart from the TV show "The Good Life" and her film "Waxwork", obviously.
  15. whyohwhy

    whyohwhy Old-Salt

    I'd really struggle to find cause and effect in this example...

    Am I really for 100% inheritance tax? Well, no, far from it, it creates many problems. But we've got to pay a huge debt. Like most, I don't like the way it was built, but it won't magically go away.

    I'd rather tax second / third / tenth generation money more, than cripple those earning money from scratch. I'm sure I'll give cash to my children who no doubt will use it wisely, but I see no good coming from keeping my great-great-great grandchildren living in Hampstead feeling it's their right to a political career.