am i a lib dem’r?

11 Dec

I was never really an Old Labour man. I became politicised during the age of Blair. Although, more than most, I have always been interested and aware of politics and current affairs. I remember a Christmas quiz at school and I was the only one (we were about 14 or 15-years old) who knew that the leader of the opposition was one Neil Kinnock. I was astonished, but it does prove that political apathy was around even when the divisive Maggie was in Number 10.

While I toyed with Marx at university (especially re. his thoughts on technology as a liberator) and my family were indeed Old Labour, I have always identified myself as someone who believes primarily in freedom and opportunity – both very much market-orienatated values, rather than socialist ones. So, prior to Iraq, I believed in Tony Blair. He spoke to me. He talked about empowerment, Europe, constitutional reform, education, and liberal values. I was for a while a Blairite.

Events and the failures to deliver on promises have meant that my support for the party has been inconsistent. I was never a supporter of Gordon Brown, and even as a member of the party, I never had a chance to vote against him. The party no longer reflects who I am, if it ever really did.

Having spent the last month writing Casting the net for Liberal Conspiracy, I have been exposed – for the first time – to a wide range of Lib Dem blogs and the thoughts and values of their supporters (obviously I followed some Lib Dem blogs, but now I take in the whole gamut of writers). I always knew that a great number of Old Liberals (see Classical Liberalism) operated under the party’s broad umbrella, alongside the more recognisable sandal wearing lefties, but other than a quiet respect for Mark Oaten and few other Orange Book’rs, I had never really considered whether I was a Liberal Democrat or not. It had always been, as the old adage goes, a waste of a vote. But slowly I am coming around to the idea that I may vote for the Liberals next time around.

Every political party is a coalition, but I just don’t think the core values of the current Labour Party bear any resemblance to my own. I deeply reject many of the policies that are at the heart of Brown’s platform. I am angry that the new leader is pushing forward with regressive policies such as ID Cards and increasing detention without trial to 42-days. The state is unarguably too big, and the hulking tax-credit system, which has admittedly helped millions of children, is ridiculously complicated and a drain on an economy facing a precarious future. Labour has also manifestly failed to reform the penal system, taken foreign policy positions on auto-cue from a Neocon White House, and pandered to a right-wing press that makes me retch. So why, pray tell, should I remain a Labour Supporter?

I have not yet relinquished my membership to the Labour Party (I left after Iraq, but rejoined to help shape the post-Blair era – what was I thinking?), but I am considering my position very seriously.

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44 Responses to “am i a lib dem’r?”

  1. jennie.rigg@googlemail.com November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am #

    1, am completely in agreement with anticant about the greatness and applicability to today of Mill.2, am linking to you from here: http://community.livejournal.com/theyorkshergob/21535.html(you’re quite a way down; I’m using you as an example of people who broadly agree with LD policy, but don’t generally know what LD policy is unless it’s shoved in their face by, for example, having to edit a blog review.

  2. jennie.rigg@googlemail.com November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am #

    1, am completely in agreement with anticant about the greatness and applicability to today of Mill.2, am linking to you from here: http://community.livejournal.com/theyorkshergob/21535.html(you’re quite a way down; I’m using you as an example of people who broadly agree with LD policy, but don’t generally know what LD policy is unless it’s shoved in their face by, for example, having to edit a blog review.

  3. jennie.rigg@googlemail.com December 11, 2007 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m not a Lib Dem’r, merely living with one. I find myself alternately repulsed and attracted by the party and it’s members. I agree with vast swathes of policy, but a lot of the younger male members (the ones I’m not shagging) are annoying, self-aggrandising, hooray henries that the Young Conservatives of the Thatcher era would have been proud of. OTOH, you always notice the noisy annoying ones first, don’t you? And I have a lot of time for people like Alix Mortimer and Charlotte Gore. And I worship at the fluffy feet of Millenium Elephant and his daddies.I am, like you, swaying towards the idea of joining up. If only because there ARE Millian Liberals like me in the party, even if they are quieter and less obvious than the boorish members, and the more Proper Liberals there are, the more chance we have got of ousting complete imbeciles like my local PPC and her pro-censorship councillor cronies, who seriously need to look up the word “Liberal” in a dictionary…

  4. jennie.rigg@googlemail.com December 11, 2007 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m not a Lib Dem’r, merely living with one. I find myself alternately repulsed and attracted by the party and it’s members. I agree with vast swathes of policy, but a lot of the younger male members (the ones I’m not shagging) are annoying, self-aggrandising, hooray henries that the Young Conservatives of the Thatcher era would have been proud of. OTOH, you always notice the noisy annoying ones first, don’t you? And I have a lot of time for people like Alix Mortimer and Charlotte Gore. And I worship at the fluffy feet of Millenium Elephant and his daddies.I am, like you, swaying towards the idea of joining up. If only because there ARE Millian Liberals like me in the party, even if they are quieter and less obvious than the boorish members, and the more Proper Liberals there are, the more chance we have got of ousting complete imbeciles like my local PPC and her pro-censorship councillor cronies, who seriously need to look up the word “Liberal” in a dictionary…

  5. matbowles@gmail.com December 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    I grew up in an area where if you voted for any party other than the Lib Dems, you were letting the Tories back in, so my initial membership was a tactical anti-Tory vote, and I was very in favour of “the project” in the run up to ’97, and the tacit tactical campaign that was run by both parties when they targetted their campaigns.I’ve lapsed and rejoined several times, and am now very much in, but am still put off by some elements—frequently the social democrats that I used to most identify with. It’s not a wasted vote, but it does depend where you live as to whether voting for them is effective or not-stupied electoral system makes all of us tactical, I voted Labour in 2001 despite being on the local Lib Dem campaign team (Exeter, thus anti-Tory again).I now live in a strong third place seat for them, and have to choose between propping up Labour, voting Tory to get Brown out, or voting LD to help them with a chance in two or three elections time. But Labour has lost me almost completely, the absence of a challenge to Brown and the business as usual approach means I want them out, thus the LDs are my only real option. People such as yourself and Unity, still in Labour but disliking the direction, I respect, but I think the cause you fight for is lost until we can get electoral reform, and that means 100+ Lib Dem MPs. So that’s what I’m working for. I’ll jump ship once we’ve got STV, and then we’ll all definitely be in the same party, the new one that’ll form.

  6. matbowles@gmail.com December 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    I grew up in an area where if you voted for any party other than the Lib Dems, you were letting the Tories back in, so my initial membership was a tactical anti-Tory vote, and I was very in favour of “the project” in the run up to ’97, and the tacit tactical campaign that was run by both parties when they targetted their campaigns.I’ve lapsed and rejoined several times, and am now very much in, but am still put off by some elements—frequently the social democrats that I used to most identify with. It’s not a wasted vote, but it does depend where you live as to whether voting for them is effective or not-stupied electoral system makes all of us tactical, I voted Labour in 2001 despite being on the local Lib Dem campaign team (Exeter, thus anti-Tory again).I now live in a strong third place seat for them, and have to choose between propping up Labour, voting Tory to get Brown out, or voting LD to help them with a chance in two or three elections time. But Labour has lost me almost completely, the absence of a challenge to Brown and the business as usual approach means I want them out, thus the LDs are my only real option. People such as yourself and Unity, still in Labour but disliking the direction, I respect, but I think the cause you fight for is lost until we can get electoral reform, and that means 100+ Lib Dem MPs. So that’s what I’m working for. I’ll jump ship once we’ve got STV, and then we’ll all definitely be in the same party, the new one that’ll form.

  7. null@childfacsimile.biz December 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    I think the main problem is that the differences now between the leadership of all three parties are so slight as to be almost negligible. With Labour, the left rump that still exists is now either in apparent collapse or simply not prepared to speak up against Brown with the Tories recovering. The “Cruddas” left, if you’ll call it that, is still more attractive to me than the Liberal Democrats are, but I’m also starting to have second thoughts.

  8. null@childfacsimile.biz December 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    I think the main problem is that the differences now between the leadership of all three parties are so slight as to be almost negligible. With Labour, the left rump that still exists is now either in apparent collapse or simply not prepared to speak up against Brown with the Tories recovering. The “Cruddas” left, if you’ll call it that, is still more attractive to me than the Liberal Democrats are, but I’m also starting to have second thoughts.

  9. mikepower@gmail.com December 11, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    Aaron, move up here and join the Scottish Nationalists! I quite like them 🙂

  10. mikepower@gmail.com December 11, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    Aaron, move up here and join the Scottish Nationalists! I quite like them 🙂

  11. blog@davecole.org December 11, 2007 at 11:09 pm #

    Tell me what the Lib Dems stand for, and then I’ll have a go a telling you as to whether you stand for the same.

  12. blog@davecole.org December 11, 2007 at 11:09 pm #

    Tell me what the Lib Dems stand for, and then I’ll have a go a telling you as to whether you stand for the same.

  13. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 12, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    Hi guys,Thanks for all your interesting comments. Off to the airport now but I’ll give a full responses later this evening (or tmrw morning if Mrs. tyger is planning on reintroducing me to babysitting, while she catches up with her sleep – poor, lovely flower that she is).

  14. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 12, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    Hi guys,Thanks for all your interesting comments. Off to the airport now but I’ll give a full responses later this evening (or tmrw morning if Mrs. tyger is planning on reintroducing me to babysitting, while she catches up with her sleep – poor, lovely flower that she is).

  15. jack1969@gmail.com December 12, 2007 at 12:45 pm #

    Join Compass. it’s the growing and influential and growing space for for people on the Liberal left who believe in everything Labour stands for: equality, community, the welfare state but also embrace many ‘liberal’ ideas such as Europe, freedom from tyranny (ID cards), the environment and a fairer voting system. Don’t leave Labour just yet. Join Compass and help fight from within.

  16. jack1969@gmail.com December 12, 2007 at 12:45 pm #

    Join Compass. it’s the growing and influential and growing space for for people on the Liberal left who believe in everything Labour stands for: equality, community, the welfare state but also embrace many ‘liberal’ ideas such as Europe, freedom from tyranny (ID cards), the environment and a fairer voting system. Don’t leave Labour just yet. Join Compass and help fight from within.

  17. jameshigham@mail.com December 12, 2007 at 1:27 pm #

    You might eventually step up to being libertarian, Aaron. Hope springs eternal.

  18. jameshigham@mail.com December 12, 2007 at 1:27 pm #

    You might eventually step up to being libertarian, Aaron. Hope springs eternal.

  19. rwsymonds@hotmail.co.uk December 12, 2007 at 2:38 pm #

    You are in the NOTA Party, Aaron – “None Of The Above” 😉

  20. rwsymonds@hotmail.co.uk December 12, 2007 at 2:38 pm #

    You are in the NOTA Party, Aaron – “None Of The Above” 😉

  21. bob.piper@gmail.com December 12, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    James’ comment is the rub, of course. There are the social liberals who stand for those things you advocate, no id cards, etc… and then there are the orange book economic free market liberals.As Dave Cole says… which liberal party are you joining?

  22. bob.piper@gmail.com December 12, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    James’ comment is the rub, of course. There are the social liberals who stand for those things you advocate, no id cards, etc… and then there are the orange book economic free market liberals.As Dave Cole says… which liberal party are you joining?

  23. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 13, 2007 at 1:00 am #

    Tyger, wash your mouth out with soap! The Lib Dems in many ways are similar to how Labour was in the 1980’s in the sense that they take impossibly high-minded impractical positions safe in the knowledge that they will never be called on to test them in the real world. But it allows them to spout out a lot of holier-than-thou talk.They are not that great when putting rhetoric into practice though. eg despite claiming they want to advance equality, they are the only major political party to have NO ethnic minority representatives at Westminster, Holyrood or the Welsh Assembly. Even the SNP and Plaid Cymru have ethnic representatives. And the Tories do. And of course Labour does. Makes you wonder whether the LibDems simply say things they don’t mean to gain supporters (and nobody calls them out on it, because nobody checks). Likewise their stance on public schools. I did a post a while back on this. Seehttp://snowflake5.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-representative-of-britain-are-our.htmlAnd they have daft policies eg local income tax put too much pressure on the young, who have enough to contend with due to demographic problems.Labour is a better party (don’t believe everything you read in the press). The LibDems are good for making protest votes, but that’s about it.

  24. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 13, 2007 at 1:00 am #

    Tyger, wash your mouth out with soap! The Lib Dems in many ways are similar to how Labour was in the 1980’s in the sense that they take impossibly high-minded impractical positions safe in the knowledge that they will never be called on to test them in the real world. But it allows them to spout out a lot of holier-than-thou talk.They are not that great when putting rhetoric into practice though. eg despite claiming they want to advance equality, they are the only major political party to have NO ethnic minority representatives at Westminster, Holyrood or the Welsh Assembly. Even the SNP and Plaid Cymru have ethnic representatives. And the Tories do. And of course Labour does. Makes you wonder whether the LibDems simply say things they don’t mean to gain supporters (and nobody calls them out on it, because nobody checks). Likewise their stance on public schools. I did a post a while back on this. Seehttp://snowflake5.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-representative-of-britain-are-our.htmlAnd they have daft policies eg local income tax put too much pressure on the young, who have enough to contend with due to demographic problems.Labour is a better party (don’t believe everything you read in the press). The LibDems are good for making protest votes, but that’s about it.

  25. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 13, 2007 at 9:52 am #

    Hi all,Re. Bob/DC,I’m sure I’m about to join any party at the moment, or that I’m sure I’m going to leave Labour (although I’m certainly not comfortable). Maybe I need to get more involved, or throw myself more into writing and leave the actual politics to those more resilient to the rigours of office. I just know I’m not happy!Hi snow,Quick poll: hands up if you’ve ever voted Lib Dem?Just you then, snow? ;)No, you’re right, the Liberals don’t have all the answers, and I’m not sure either of the two numpties up for the leadership have my support either – although it’s too early to say, the election has been rather unhelpful to either, especially with Vince Cable showing them both up!Right, time to start up my own party. Who wants to be in the tygerish democrats (lower-case, natch)?Donations to the usual address… PO Box 123, Saint Helier, Jersey.

  26. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 13, 2007 at 9:52 am #

    Hi all,Re. Bob/DC,I’m sure I’m about to join any party at the moment, or that I’m sure I’m going to leave Labour (although I’m certainly not comfortable). Maybe I need to get more involved, or throw myself more into writing and leave the actual politics to those more resilient to the rigours of office. I just know I’m not happy!Hi snow,Quick poll: hands up if you’ve ever voted Lib Dem?Just you then, snow? ;)No, you’re right, the Liberals don’t have all the answers, and I’m not sure either of the two numpties up for the leadership have my support either – although it’s too early to say, the election has been rather unhelpful to either, especially with Vince Cable showing them both up!Right, time to start up my own party. Who wants to be in the tygerish democrats (lower-case, natch)?Donations to the usual address… PO Box 123, Saint Helier, Jersey.

  27. bob.piper@gmail.com December 13, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    Do I get the Peerage though, Tyger?

  28. bob.piper@gmail.com December 13, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    Do I get the Peerage though, Tyger?

  29. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 13, 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    What can I do you for, Sir Bop?

  30. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 13, 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    What can I do you for, Sir Bop?

  31. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 13, 2007 at 2:48 pm #

    Hey tyger! I only voted LibDem once – to protest about Iraq, not because I endorsed their policies. And I wasn’t very politically involved at the time – I just thought Charlie Kennedy was a nice man. I know a lot more now…The Iraq protest worked though didn’t it? – we are pulling out arn’t we? And we are not going to go anywhere near Iran, and witness how awkward Gordon’s body language was when he was with Bush (compared to Sarkozy who was practically fondling Bush’s sleeve). IMO lots of things are now going right with the Labour government. It’s just that the press is desperate to trash the govt so that the Tories have a chance to get in. I guess if you read what they write all the time, you absorb the negativity and start to doubt our side. Which is what they want.

  32. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 13, 2007 at 2:48 pm #

    Hey tyger! I only voted LibDem once – to protest about Iraq, not because I endorsed their policies. And I wasn’t very politically involved at the time – I just thought Charlie Kennedy was a nice man. I know a lot more now…The Iraq protest worked though didn’t it? – we are pulling out arn’t we? And we are not going to go anywhere near Iran, and witness how awkward Gordon’s body language was when he was with Bush (compared to Sarkozy who was practically fondling Bush’s sleeve). IMO lots of things are now going right with the Labour government. It’s just that the press is desperate to trash the govt so that the Tories have a chance to get in. I guess if you read what they write all the time, you absorb the negativity and start to doubt our side. Which is what they want.

  33. anticant@hotmail.co.uk December 13, 2007 at 9:13 pm #

    Being longer in the tooth than most of you kids, I’ve voted LibDem [or whatever] in every election since Suez [when I stormed out of the Tory party in disgust] – except once when the Labour candidate was a friend of mine, a good guy and very pro-civil liberties.I’ve only briefly been a party member, and haven’t much time for the current unimpressive LibDem parliamentary performance [except for Cable, who’s a ‘character’]. With 60 seats, instead of the dozen or so they used to have, they should be making much more of an impression on the ebb-tide of the decaying Brown government. But regardless of their other policies, the reason I shall continue to vote for them is that STV is the ONLY voting system that will give more power to the electors, and cut down the overweening influence of parties – which is why the two big ones won’t touch it with a barge pole. Once we have a fair and honest voting system politics will become much more interesting, because it won’t be so easy to steamroller unpopular policies through. For your Christmas reading, I venture to suggest J.S. Mill’s “Representative Government”. It’s worthy and lengthy, but not dull: plenty of food for thought there, as in his seminal essay “On Liberty”.

  34. anticant@hotmail.co.uk December 13, 2007 at 9:13 pm #

    Being longer in the tooth than most of you kids, I’ve voted LibDem [or whatever] in every election since Suez [when I stormed out of the Tory party in disgust] – except once when the Labour candidate was a friend of mine, a good guy and very pro-civil liberties.I’ve only briefly been a party member, and haven’t much time for the current unimpressive LibDem parliamentary performance [except for Cable, who’s a ‘character’]. With 60 seats, instead of the dozen or so they used to have, they should be making much more of an impression on the ebb-tide of the decaying Brown government. But regardless of their other policies, the reason I shall continue to vote for them is that STV is the ONLY voting system that will give more power to the electors, and cut down the overweening influence of parties – which is why the two big ones won’t touch it with a barge pole. Once we have a fair and honest voting system politics will become much more interesting, because it won’t be so easy to steamroller unpopular policies through. For your Christmas reading, I venture to suggest J.S. Mill’s “Representative Government”. It’s worthy and lengthy, but not dull: plenty of food for thought there, as in his seminal essay “On Liberty”.

  35. dan.paskins@gmail.com December 14, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    I actually wanted to ask about your statement that the state was ‘unarguably’ too big and about tax credits.If the state is too big, what do you think it should not be doing which it currently is? I can see the argument that it should be doing things more effectively than at present, but, for example, we still spend a lot less money proportionately on healthcare than countries like France or Switzerland.As for tax credits, if you get rid of them or scale them back, then either wages for low-paid workers would have to rise or millions of families would lose a substantial chunk of their income, in either case causing economic problems amongst others. If you want to make it less complicated, then it would end up costing more – it’s complicated because of its targeting.

  36. dan.paskins@gmail.com December 14, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    I actually wanted to ask about your statement that the state was ‘unarguably’ too big and about tax credits.If the state is too big, what do you think it should not be doing which it currently is? I can see the argument that it should be doing things more effectively than at present, but, for example, we still spend a lot less money proportionately on healthcare than countries like France or Switzerland.As for tax credits, if you get rid of them or scale them back, then either wages for low-paid workers would have to rise or millions of families would lose a substantial chunk of their income, in either case causing economic problems amongst others. If you want to make it less complicated, then it would end up costing more – it’s complicated because of its targeting.

  37. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 14, 2007 at 6:00 pm #

    donpaskini,(Disclaimer – I’m an accountant by trade)I actually think a more simpler system wouldn’t tax the poorest at all. The income tax threshold should be higher. Also I think the people who really suffer are those couples without families, who both work very hard and yet are screwed every way they turn. Increasing council taxes, motoring costs, and energy prices etc.Everything must be in balance. Take corporation tax. Too high and industry migrates, too low and it leads to an unjust disparity. I do understand the problems governments have, I just think the tax credit system (and the tax system in the main) is far too complex. And complicated tax systems put strain on industry and are a hidden cost of poor treasury governance.The NHS? I would like to see much more reform. The health professionals took the pay increase (which, no doubt, they deserve), and then dug in their heels and refused to cooperate on necessary changes – hence the government’s almost-seasonal nuclear stand-offs.

  38. aaronsheath@gmail.com December 14, 2007 at 6:00 pm #

    donpaskini,(Disclaimer – I’m an accountant by trade)I actually think a more simpler system wouldn’t tax the poorest at all. The income tax threshold should be higher. Also I think the people who really suffer are those couples without families, who both work very hard and yet are screwed every way they turn. Increasing council taxes, motoring costs, and energy prices etc.Everything must be in balance. Take corporation tax. Too high and industry migrates, too low and it leads to an unjust disparity. I do understand the problems governments have, I just think the tax credit system (and the tax system in the main) is far too complex. And complicated tax systems put strain on industry and are a hidden cost of poor treasury governance.The NHS? I would like to see much more reform. The health professionals took the pay increase (which, no doubt, they deserve), and then dug in their heels and refused to cooperate on necessary changes – hence the government’s almost-seasonal nuclear stand-offs.

  39. felixthecat1@btinternet.com December 14, 2007 at 7:35 pm #

    NO NO Dont go lib-dem!! Here in Cornwall we live in a one party state of Lib-dem’s… 5 LD MP’s and a Lib-dem County Council…..Were’r fucked down here. Thear utterley usless. The C.C. buddgets fucked, The Fire service is fucked, the district Councli’s fucked. .. Thay cound’nd run a piss up in a brwery… NO NO don’t go thear!!!! Take it from someone who know’s………………………….

  40. felixthecat1@btinternet.com December 14, 2007 at 7:35 pm #

    NO NO Dont go lib-dem!! Here in Cornwall we live in a one party state of Lib-dem’s… 5 LD MP’s and a Lib-dem County Council…..Were’r fucked down here. Thear utterley usless. The C.C. buddgets fucked, The Fire service is fucked, the district Councli’s fucked. .. Thay cound’nd run a piss up in a brwery… NO NO don’t go thear!!!! Take it from someone who know’s………………………….

  41. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 15, 2007 at 6:35 pm #

    “I actually think a more simpler system wouldn’t tax the poorest at all. The income tax threshold should be higher.”Tyger, tax credits are actually Negative Income Tax. i.e. the recipients get more than they would if the tax threshold was higher and they were paying zero income tax. BUT they only get this help if they are in employment – the theory being that once people have jobs they not only stay in employment (due to the gain in self-esteem plus the social aspect of working) but they soon get promoted and end up not needing help at all. It was the brainchild of one Milton Friedman, who though right-wing worried about how the poor had no help in getting out of their rut, and the policy generally achieves it’s goals.The LibDem proposal would cut the income of these people. The Tories make noises in this direction for the same reason – they want to cut the help given to the very poorest to free up money for their long-term goal IHT abolition. But they dress up the policy as “tax simplification” and don’t talk about the cut to the income of the poor, simply to persuade people like you that it’s a good idea.

  42. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 15, 2007 at 6:35 pm #

    “I actually think a more simpler system wouldn’t tax the poorest at all. The income tax threshold should be higher.”Tyger, tax credits are actually Negative Income Tax. i.e. the recipients get more than they would if the tax threshold was higher and they were paying zero income tax. BUT they only get this help if they are in employment – the theory being that once people have jobs they not only stay in employment (due to the gain in self-esteem plus the social aspect of working) but they soon get promoted and end up not needing help at all. It was the brainchild of one Milton Friedman, who though right-wing worried about how the poor had no help in getting out of their rut, and the policy generally achieves it’s goals.The LibDem proposal would cut the income of these people. The Tories make noises in this direction for the same reason – they want to cut the help given to the very poorest to free up money for their long-term goal IHT abolition. But they dress up the policy as “tax simplification” and don’t talk about the cut to the income of the poor, simply to persuade people like you that it’s a good idea.

  43. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 15, 2007 at 6:43 pm #

    P.S. I should have added that though people claim they want tax simplification, everytime the govt makes a move in this direction, a storm of protest goes up. See what happened to the CGT proposals from the last budget. it meant we’d have the simplest CGT rules on earth, but did the advocates of simplicity support it? Hell no! They yelled about unfairness. Same thing goes for flat-tax – The Americas have a tax called the Alternative Minimum Tax which works very much like a flat tax would – and it is so heartily loathed that all the presidential candidates are committed to reforming it. In practice people always prefer fairness to simplicity. Be aware that the LibDems live in a theoretical world where the practical realities never impinge.

  44. snowflakec5@yahoo.co.uk December 15, 2007 at 6:43 pm #

    P.S. I should have added that though people claim they want tax simplification, everytime the govt makes a move in this direction, a storm of protest goes up. See what happened to the CGT proposals from the last budget. it meant we’d have the simplest CGT rules on earth, but did the advocates of simplicity support it? Hell no! They yelled about unfairness. Same thing goes for flat-tax – The Americas have a tax called the Alternative Minimum Tax which works very much like a flat tax would – and it is so heartily loathed that all the presidential candidates are committed to reforming it. In practice people always prefer fairness to simplicity. Be aware that the LibDems live in a theoretical world where the practical realities never impinge.

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