Quote Of The Year

Totalitarianism is the invention (by which I mean the betrayal) of reality.

From the excellent NickM at Counting Cats; put another way the acceptance of the acceptance of unreality, like the one presented to us by politicians and the media, is manifestly evil - to notionally and continually accept their bilge when events and reality start to bite and tell you differently is not only idiocy but also inherently evil by this measure.


Cable's To The Metro

Zippy, yesterday.

An email I wrote to the Metro this morning on the peasant wagon to work, saved here for posterity:

It is heartening to hear that Vince Cable has been censured from the enquiry and business case of Rupert Murdoch's desired takeover of BSkyB, a company his group has effectively revived from it's pre-Murdoch state; it is repugnant that so much can be made of other established competing media groups complaining of monopoly when at best this will give him a 25% share of the UK media market; in context the BBC enjoys over a 40% share of the market backed up by it's licence fee we are forced to pay like it or not; an advantage Rupert Murdoch's group doesn't enjoy.

What has garnered less attention though is still as incredible is some of Mr. Cable's other activities as business secretary, namely to do with my own political party, The Libertarian Party.

At our last Annual General Meeting we elected a new party leader, Andrew Withers; he has been pursuing a legal battle with the BIS for some time now; the content of which he is documenting in his blog and a book.

His official recognition in the role (something which needs to be registered by the state) was challenged by the BIS with a legal injunction direct from Mr. Cable's office before being thrown out by a court judge as outside of the BIS's remit.

In case this needs laying out more clearly: Mr. Cable used his political position to try and stop legitimate election proceedings for a minor political party who targets the liberal base of their party; are these the benign actions of a secretary of state or that of a politically motivated electioneer?

So Cable 2 words: zip it.


Getting NHS, Heck, Any Service Reform, On Peoples Minds

Why didn't I think/remember/bleat about this before?

Reading this on the peasant wagon home I've stopped to mention one surefire, simple way of getting people talking about real reform of the NHS.

First what are the main wildly wrong views people have of the NHS?

- That it is free.

- That it is fair.

- That it is the envy of the world.

Now I won't try to fisk these particular points about the NHS; they have all been done better elsewhere and by smarter people, and I'm sure that, for it's faults, it does still do it's job as good as it can, however all the points made above do not address one aspect; that the current free at the point of entry scheme need be collected as it currently is.

So my suggestion is this: National Insurance should be collected in the same way any private insurance policy is: by going direct to the consumer with an invoice/bill*.

Would you really be as disinterested in how much your national insurance premiums were value for money if you had a bill came through your door or a debit left your account at month end?

People forget where they should look on their pay slip; it's not the "Net" box at the bottom right highlighted but the "Gross" pay amount normally hidden above.

Can you imagine what would happen if they did this to income tax?

* = Taking it further why not have a part-fund mechanism for NICs? Your unemployment and pension become linked with a minimum annuity guarantee on the pension- if your unemployed the fund kicks in to pay for it until you find work whereby it fills back up again; if you drain the fund it defaults to your pension pot - if you live a life on benefits you drain your pension pot to it's insurance backed minimum which provides a lower annuity threshold than would be got for paying in normally - if the unemployment pot fills you pay a lower rate of national insurance than you would filling it.


Forest, Trees.

Been reports over the last few days of this sorry individual and the Hooman Roits crowds success in keeping him in this country and how this is, apparently, a. bad. thing.

Me? I can't but help thinking that the focus on deporting him is a little perverse; what angers me about the whole case is that for painfully ending the life of a twelve year old whilst banned from driving, without insurance or a licence, a life that would hopefully had had several more decades sadly cut short, this equated to 4 months in jail:

Lifetime of Amy Houston = 4 months locked in here:

One long playstation/hooker/drug holiday at her majesty's pleasure.

If that doesn't anger you- that you can be put away longer for smoking in a pub than for running someone over- more than whether we should send him back or whether we need a piece of legislation from Brussels you really need your head examined.

Course, the prescription in either case is the same; we need to democratise the judiciary and elect our officials in all fields we consent to be governed by - it is a lack of this assent to be governed that is causing this disenfranchisement and sadly there are few people who are successfully advocating this.

Until this changes, that the judiciary's minds are concentrated on the justice we want as a people, everything else is just window dressing and will change little.

Judicial activism needs to be destroyed.


Malcontents & Chaos

From my post yesterday morning I see some more folk have enforced my very low opinion of humanity; my growing misanthropy is being fed daily.

They defiled a statue of Winston Churchill by urinating on it, ripped flags from the Cenotaph – the nation’s sacred memorial to those who died in the name of liberty – then lit fires and sprayed slogans on the ground in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament.
Windows were smashed at the Supreme Court building. Even the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square – a symbol of peace and goodwill – became a focus for senseless vandalism.

These are not the actions of urban warriors fighting against apartheid; they are not followers of the spirit of great men like Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jnr fighting against the injustice of state-mandated segregation, racism or imperial oppression - if anything they are arguing for more of the latter - and they are certainly not Anarchists (capital A) in the honourable sense; anarchy is the noble belief in absolute liberty and freedom of the individual to rise or fall by their own merit and to contract as they like with whom they like. These are Chaotists and malcontents and are not fighting for a noble cause but against one; they could strive to achieve great things in later life, be entrepreneurs and donate their wealth to real charities helping give poor kids their "right" to a decent education; instead they moan about being forced to make difficult decisions about where totals their life- in effect, being forces to grow up and face reality*.

My company took us on a retreat this week in thanks for all our hard work making it profitable year on year; they hired a motivational speaker who told us that FEAR is 2 acronyms- the first: False Evidence Appearing Real- these demonstrators would do well to understand that this is not the collapse of a "right" but it's genesis.

Me? I prefer the second acronym: Fuck Everything And Run.

* = yes I did get my education "free; I consider it a "privilege", not a right and the following points should be made:

-6 years on my pay is only now coming to levels where I am asked to pay for it; a consequence partly of events in my own life and the New Labour experiment choking the life out of every job market in the country.

- I pay in excess of at least 40% of my wage in taxes of one form
or another, a third being lifted before I even get my weekly pay cheque, the rest extracted by billed taxes like council and road tax. It is probably above the 60% mark in terms of taxation when you consider VAT and ancillary costs of regulation on consumer goods & services which are passed on to the consumer.

- Are education system is incredibly closed down and illiberal; I can download top American university lecture series onto my iPhone for free and learn but how would I get accredited learning this way? Whilst the cost to the education supplier is actually going down due to technology, the cost to the consumer goes up; this is a direct result of a government monopoly in education.


Giving Back

A Major Hunt, Yesterday.

Waking up this morning to Jeremy Hcunt hectoring the middle classes to donate more of that shrinking disposable income to charity.

A millionaire minister has risked angering the middle classes by lambasting the better-off for not giving enough money to charity.
Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, also believes they should do more to help their communities by volunteering.

I am too tired and cranky this morning to deconstruct this bilge, but it does bring up recent feelings that have been fulminating recently.

When the youth group I give my own time voluntarily to came back from the half term break I was told that at least several members that we knew of had been involved in criminal acts, had vandalised others personal property or bullied them, and, somehow worse, had been a little forthright about how they felt about the various youth group leaders who had been selflessly giving their time (and in one very dramatic case their health) to try to make their lives a little bit more comfortable.

Last week, when the snow was at it's worse, I dropped the car at the bottom of my hill (which becomes impassable once the ice sets in) only to have it broken into, 2 windows smashed, one which was electric, so some crack head could steal my 16-month old daughters toy, which they later abandoned down the street; the cost of repairing the windows (luckily) was less than £150 - the cost of cleaning the glass, snow and water damage out of the car, nor the emotionally tiring arse-ache of ringing the (frankly useless) police or my insurer (who dutifully informed me I could claim for the damage after much the runaround, but would lose my no-claims and crank up my premiums massively next year) hasn't been ascertained yet.

These 2 events, and the fact that the impetus towards and ever expanding state hasn't slowed, have led me to a somewhat depressing conclusion: the people of this land don't want change.

As such I am beginning to come to the same conclusion of Rand's character John Galt came to: that we are a nation of looters and mediocratists, and that the only way this will change is to stand well back and let it play out to the inevitable conclusion.

I will not be helping out at my youth group anymore; right or wrong to inflict collective punishment on innocents these are the product of multiple generations of looters who continue to perpetuate the current kleptocracy rather than take the grips that need to be got; civil society is collapsing and sadly nothing I have seen, nor seemingly that of my betters is indicating otherwise.

That's not say good things aren't still happening; my wallet fell out of my pocket and a school child turned it in to his teacher who handed it to my bank nearest me. It is just that for every good thing I am seeing 20 bad.

We are at a false dawn; Cameron promised much but appears to be as venal and corrupt as his new labour predecessors. I'm going back to bed; I've been working all night long.


Happy Christmas

So how's everyone first day of December treating them?

Having trudged back 6 and a half miles from the centre of Leeds after my bus got caught in the mother of all traffic jams due to several inches of global warming bringing traffic to a near standstill I now have to work on metrics for the last year's work based on incoherent figures pulled together haphazardly from my predecessors notes, organise a mass cleanup of my department area remotely for an impromptu VIP visit for which I have had my boss "delegating" tasks to me, and entertain my 16 month-old daughter whilst she is teething and feeling extra-clingy.

This on the back of a dose of norovirus last week in which I shat and vomitted myself half a stone lighter along with my wife, daughter and immediate family, and having to sort out a car insurance claim after someone smashed my passenger-side electric window so they could steal my baby-girl's broken phone we gave her to play with.

Couple that onto the fact that my car, now full of broken glass and unable to get to my driveway for the global warming, will now almost certainly be breaches past my imperfect cardboard and plastic bag seal to let huge mounds of snow and ice in.

How's your December starting out? Good?


Petition for Rationality

Reading this yesterday got me thinking: how do governments guarantee certainty? For all it's demerits, it's big-talk-small-action and it's downright illiberal poo-gravy this coalition has at least done one (good?) thing; it has stopped the mass capital flight that Eire is currently undergoing by assuring the markets that things, though not ideal, are at least stable.

So I felt obliged to create this petition (annoyingly missing the last word off which is "limit").

My logic can be no better summed up than in these famous words:

I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, "How do you hold down government spending?" Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.

-Milton Friedman

Ultimately the stranglehold is that of our elected representatives and the fact that they have the keys to some very powerful tools:

- The legal use if violence.

- The legal use of counterfeiting

I simply say that the problem of abuse of these tools can be fixed by arbitrarily limiting what proportion of the economy politicians can control and staple it to a written constitution protected by democratically elected but separate powers in the judicial services (which are long overdue an overhaul).

Will people join me?


So Much For £480 Million...

Thank God for Dave "cast-iron" Cameron eh? If it wasn't for him we would be paying considerably more to the EU on seriously nebulous grounds while public services are wound down to levels we can't afford rather than levels we hilariously could never afford in our lifetimes.


British taxpayers could be liable for up to £6 billion of Irish debt under a potential rescue package for the Republic's stricken economy, it emerged today.
Downing Street said the UK was responsible for 12% of a €60 billion (£50.94bn) stability mechanism that might be used in a bid to restore confidence in the Irish economy.

Yes I am aware that this was a bit of scorched earth policy that Labour put in to stick it to an increasingly compromised europhilic-in-europhobics-clothing Bory party, but it goes to illustrate just how un-erring our political masters are to the grand EU project; they are willing to pile on a few extra thousand on each of us for the moral hazard of absolving another nation of it's actions, all in the name if "ever closer union".

I am not even going to attempt to list what you could buy with this kind of money; if the left weren't so buried up the arse of the EU to see what a bad idea it is they would no doubt point out that that covers a fairly massive part of the welfare cuts proposed- the EU are quite literally taking money out of poor peoples hands & putting it in bankers in Ireland.


I Wants One

Backlash after budget supermarket Lidl launches reindeer meat for Christmas

Lidl, which has more than 500 shops in Britain, is the first multiple grocery retailer in the UK to introduce reindeer meat in the run-up to the festive season.

Guess where I'm headed after work?


Well There You Have It

Count Yourself Lucky It Was So Warm, Ye Gods.

Anyone else listen to Radio 4's Material World last night?

Apparently last winter was a consequence of other factors including sea currents and so other cyclical phenomena which apparently don't affect the underlying trend in rising global temperatures.

So in a nutshell, were it not for our polluting, mother-earth bashing ways it would not been freezing cold but freezing bollock, nuts firmly trapped in the freezer cold.

Remarkable; has it not occurred to any of them that global temperatures themselves might vary in temperature?


Reasons To Be Cheerful

After seeing the odious YouTube efforts of convicted murderer John Hirst gloating about winning his "Hooman Royts" battle with the government I couldn't help but wonder "if he is on licence should he really be smoking dope? Won't that land him back in jail?"

It seems I'm not the only one who questioned this and that John Hirst may soon be practicing his new found "rights" in jail.

This folds in the increasingly hilarious fact that Cambo has basically no real sovereignty or power on matters usurped by the EU:

- He failed to tell the EU where to go on a billion pound budgetary increase (and there is no guarantee that will be the end of it)

- He failed to grasp the ECHR's very simple request to clarify the rules on prisoners voting rights, and by doing so left them to rule in favour of the odious little turf Hirst (Labour naturally share most of the blame or allowing this to languish but surely a dyed in the wool conservative wouldn't need to give this a second thought would they?)

- He has failed to keep public sector reform about service reform and has allowed the unions and Labour to make it about money - ultimately the state is will not only grow bigger but be galvanised by an apparent climb-down by weak Bory's.

- He has failed to address dissent in his own coalition and what's more ignore the gall of a BBC that reports every Bory proposal in a negative light, vilifies Maxwell and friends for wanting to grow whilst ignoring the monopoly it enjoys through it's licensing structure.

- He has abused both the localism movement and the civil rights agenda espoused by the likes of Hannan and Carswell, waxing lyrical about referendums and people power while handing taxpayer money over to fake charities, special interest groups and QUANGOs, albeit slightly fewer than there was when he beganin the latter case. All the while still spying on our emails, still handing over British citizens to foreign governments and ignoring louder calls for a referendum on the EU.

And why is this something to be cheerful about? Because noone's buying it anymore...

Because Sometimes Comments Just Get Too Long

Old Holborn has, as is his way laid down the gauntlet for a very divisive issue, one which sees some very bad people privileged.

The comment I was going to post there got too long I now give it it's own blog here:

It is testament to the state of our country which has thrown natural rights by the wayside that they have adopted so called "human rights"; they are a mockery of natural rights. It is merely a consequence of govt. abandoning the Individualist perspective in place of a communitarian one, born of too much power concentrated in too few hands.

To me the answer is simple; infringing on the natural rights of others (to life, liberty and property) and, regrettably, those laws set forth by our parliament means you give up those natural rights of yours that can be returned or compensated for at a later date if the arbitrating process (I.e. The justice system) fails and your are wrongly convicted.

As all other "civil and social rights" as Mr. Hirst posited are merely extensions, in both positive (eg the right to elect those who minister and formulate the law) and negative (eg the myriad "entitlements" mistakenly called rights, which usurp everyones natural rights) terms, of the natural rights then their denial is intertwined in that of the natural; the right to vote is an extension of the right to liberty and thus is rescinded when the criminal is convicted of infringing on someones own natural rights.

You are correct Old Holborn; what was done to Mr. Hogan is an injustice but only because of the deeper injustice contained in unjust laws and corrupt lawmakers- likewise with speeding.

But, to apply the same logic to a just infringement on someones natural rights is foolish; I would go further in stating that this brings Mr. Hogan down to Mr. Hirst's level.

I'm beginning to understand a very important point about the philosophy of liberty (I believe it was Obo who pointed it out shortly before he gave up, kind of); one of the main "gauntlets" laid down by challengers to the libertarian message could be written thusly: "if your ideas are so great then why not start a political party and see if people will vote you in to pursue that goal" - this is the rationale of the guilty rapist or murderer who will tell himself and his victim that "they were asking for it"; it makes the victim of injustice the offender and turns the concept of justice on it's head.

By removing the right to liberty and property justice is served; to say we must overturn justice when it comes to natural rights because there are miscarriages of justice or the law is abused in dealing with things beyond natural rights (Mr. Hogan for example) is to accept there is something wrong with your argument, not something wrong with their supposition that you should fight for laws that respect natural rights.

Fighting for a prisoners right to vote because their is legislative abuse of the justice system is silly arguement; removal of those natural rights that can be returned or compensated for in the event of a miscarriage of justice is a legitimate action to take on someone who infringes on another's natural rights. We fight a lost battle when we accept that the cause for freedom is something we should bet for, rather than claim by right.

Way too long, hyperbolic, but gets my point across.


Victory At Any Cost

So it appears the Republicans now control the purse strings of government; their control of the house, with it's powers to dictate federal spending is exactly what the TEA party movement needs:

I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, "How do you hold down government spending?" Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.

- Milton Friedman

This was as much a slap in the face to Bush's big-state conservatism (a contradiction in terms) as it is to Obama's bigger-state socialism; which is why it is especially repugnant to hear so many reporters on the radio this morning talk up the "fact" that "fundamentalist teapartiers" were responsible for losing the senate for the republicans.

It is telling that most paid MSM commentators see it as incumbent on voters of a particular political hue to compromise on most issues in order to get "their man" elected - "the middle ground must be occupied" the sheeples pundits bleat, and in our race to the bottom in our various mediocracies the world over we have bought into this line to our detriment, particularly when "the middle" isn't actually the middle at all but graded to a curve dictated by authoritarian scum.

That is why the TEA party movement is important - ultimately it is teaching politicians that there is no curve, nor is there a "left" or "right" in the way we neatly dress it in out minds; only freedom and slavery, the latter of which we have drifted forward to for too long.


Useful Things £430 Million Will Buy You

Following yet another incident of Cameron folding like a deck chair and assuming the position on our behalf it is important to illustrate precisely what £430 million buys you nowadays:

- 14500 band 6 nurses salaries
- 8000 specialist doctors salaries.
- 4 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters so that those aircraft carriers we are set to buy don't look so empty and/or ridiculous when put into service.
- 2 and a half pints of beer for every person in Britain (based on beer being £3 a pint).
- A Mastiff APVfor every 12 Uk troops stationed in Afganistan.
- 12 Boeing CH-47D Chinook Helicopters to serve in Afganistan; after all, he did say in opposition it was "a scandal" there weren't enough helicopters didn't he? Sure I remember that...
- Covering the household debt repayments on UK Government Debt for 22,787 households or, to put it another way, pay our UK sovereign debt interests for 6 hours.
- Buying a Playstation 3 console pack for the lowest earners (<£6000) in Britain.
- More than enough money to propel every member of Blair and Brown's cabinet since 1997 to the moon, preferably one way.

Anyone got any other things we could use the money for?


This Week I've Mostly Been Playing...

In a change of pace from my usual vitriol I hereby present reviews in a subject and past time I have a lot of time for: gaming.

I will cover games, new & old, on the platforms I have (PC and Xbox 360, unless anyone at Nintendo and Sony are willing to bribe me with shiny toys, then them as well) and rate them only own unique system based on a free market approach; what I would willingly pay for them.

So without further ado This Week I've Mostly Been Playing...

Metro 2033

Bored as I was and unable to afford Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda, take note), I instead bought this with another game (more of which in a separate post) as I'd wanted to try it for some time.

Based on a popular Russian SciFi novel this novel follows the story of Artyom, a survivor in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, living in the tunnels below it along with a few other thousand survivors, his already hard life is made all the harder by the arrival of his step-father's friend, Hunter, who's arrival and disappearance follows a chain of events potentially ending with the end of the human race.

A rarity in first person shooters, the game presents you with a number of difficult choices on top of the standard skilled death dealing of a plethora of enemies; for one good ammo also doubles as currency; pre-apocalypse, military grade ammo is found across the shattered remains of Moscow but it's rarity makes it valuable - you can trade it for better weapons and supplies and post-apocalyptic ammo which packs less of a punch, the technology and knowledge slowly dying out as time has passed.

Additionally weapon choice is a problem; you have a choice between pre-war and post-apocalyptic weaponry, some of it requiring different actions to keep it clean and serviceable; you have to "pump" over-engineered air rifles and crossbows to with an air-pump constantly to keep them firing, difficult when under a hail of gunfire. this is matched by the difficulty in keeping your surroundings amongst the ruins lit; your headlamp (and later night vision goggles) run on batteries that you have to charge using a hand-charging device, levying you vulnerable yet again.)

During your journey as well as seeing the impact of new, mutated, species on humanities quest for survival you also see the regular concepts of humanities own inhumanity; we see resurgent communist and nazi groups, having taken command over several metro stations, vying for control over the few remaining free ones, all the while oblivious to an encroaching darkness...

The game itself has a very good game engine with a good degree of userability and simplicity. The player is required to make difficult choices in that your carryable weapons are limited and thus push you to make choices as to how you progress through the game: do you go in guns ablazing with a pre-war AK-47 and shotgun or stealth it out with silent killers like the crossbow and silenced revolver? The spectre of low ammo and fast, deadly enemies making your choice all the more critical.

Graphically it cannot be faulted either; this is no doubt helped by the nature of your surroundings; unlike the calm pristine beauty present in the Halo games you are made aware of the palpable decay present in this world, presented in a sepia pallet of despair.

All in all this game is definitely a lot better than I had imagined; with so many FPS' out there it is easy to become blind to the innovative that occasionally pops up; games like this are a welcome change.

Rating*: £20, a few months after it has come out.

* = the rating relates to how much I'm willing to pay and how long I'm willing to wait, e.g. Fallout 3 would be "£70 spec. ed., bought immeadiately" whilst Bullet Witch would be "£3 in a charity shop when drunk"; they are not a reflection of what I paid but what I would be willing to pay with a working knowledge of what the game is like.


Natural Oligarchies & Hypocrisy

On my way home last week from work listening to Radio 4 O was caught up in the insanity that was the outcry to this story and was able to hear one of the council leaders discuss this with the presenter (I forget whom); it went something a little like this:

PRESENTER: " Right now we have the Tory (enemy of the people & they who are in receipt of the 2 minute hate each day) leader for Numpty on Sea, one of the councils who are thinking of pooling their procurement processes but for the benefit of not causing our listeners brains to bleed out their ears, we will now convince is a coup d'etat by the fascist, BNP-loving Tory lizard people who run these councils."
PRESENTER: "Now, Generic spokesperson, can you confirm or deny the rumour that your plan involves using puppies and your constituents elderly populace as kindling in the homes of rich hedgefund and bank managers?"....

I might be misremembering the interview somewhat but you get the idea.

Having worked for my own local council in the dim but recent past none of this strikes me as a bad idea; nor does this supercouncil appear particularly super (except maybe, in the minds of the loons at the BBC and the Gaurdian; you know the type - the same who keep calling the Spending Review "cuts" and believe in fairy's and homeopathy).

All they are really doing here is consolidating their buying power by streamlining procurement of services; this is a good and necessary thing as the recession begins to bite and belts are tightened all over.

One thing I would say in criticism is the call for efficiency savings is coming from the top-down; it is still repugnant and hypocritical that Councils get the majority of their income and rules handed down from Whitehall, particularly when the likes of Pickles and Clegg have been waxing lyrical about localism for months now, taking Carswell and Hannan for mugs.

However this pales in commission to the BBC and it's hypocrisy in discussing the actions of Labour strongholds like Greater Manchester in doing the exact same thing.

Dropping the BBC's licence few can't come quickly enough.


For Cretin's On The Subject of Aggregate Demand

Was incensed this evening to read this; should make better efforts not to read twitter before bedtime:

It also makes some keen observations, very relevant today; namely, private investment’s dependency on aggregate demand from public investment and public consumption. Rightly the report notes that balancing the budget in the way the coalition is – in break neck speed – will shrink aggregate demand.

Now not being an economist by training I must profess a naivety in my understanding of "aggregate demand" so here is wiki on the subject:

In macroeconomics, aggregate demand (AD) is the total demand for final goods and services in the economy (Y) at a given time and price level. It is the amount of goods and services in the economy that will be purchased at all possible price levels. This is the demand for the gross domestic product of a country when inventory levels are static. It is often called effective demand, though at other times this term is distinguished.

With me so far? So it's basically a value attached to the accumulated goods and services bought at any one time.

An aggregate demand curve is the sum of individual demand curves for different sectors of the economy. The aggregate demand is usually described as a linear sum of four separable demand sources.[3]


AD = C + I + G + NX

C is consumption (may also be known as consumer spending) = ac + bc(Y − T),
I is Investment,
G is Government spending,
NX = X - M is Net export,
is total exports, and
is total imports = am + bm(Y − T).

Y'see this is what gets me so incensed about Fabians trying to justify theft from productive part of the economy by saying if it doesn't cough up it will suffer as a result; they appear to have got the I and the G mixed up as represented by the equation above. "Public investment and public consumption" (the latter I'll take as being procurement in the public sector) are nothing of the sort; they are Spending, G, and that spending now accounts for a little under 50% when you add up all those little taxes, stealth taxes and regulatory burdens place on consumers and probably over 50% when you stencil in the "opportunity costs" of the state dwarfing personal freedom and monopolising industries like healthcare or schooling.

With Gordon's PFI debt, Byer's botched handling of Network rail and the great ponzi scheme that is Public Sector pension liabilities (compiled here) our real national debt stands at £950Bn plus (we will use that figure for the moment; the other is too scary to contemplate); were we to pay it off this year we would need to put 70% of our economic activity towards putting this debt to bed, before you pay for public services. Let's have a look at that wiki article on what it says on debt:

If debt grows or shrinks slowly as a percentage of GDP, its impact on aggregate demand is small; conversely, if debt is significant, then changes in the dynamics of debt growth can have significant impact on aggregate demand. Change in debt is tied to the level of debt:[4] if the overall debt level is 10% of GDP and 1% of loans are not repaid, this impacts GDP by 1% of 10% = 0.1% of GDP, which is statistical noise. Conversely, if the debt level is 300% of GDP and 1% of loans are not repaid, this impacts GDP by 1% of 300% = 3% of GDP, which is significant: a change of this magnitude will generally cause a recession. Similarly, changes in the repayment rate (debtors paying down their debts) impact aggregate demand in proportion to the level of debt. Thus, as the level of debt in an economy grows, the economy becomes more sensitive to debt dynamics, and credit bubbles are of macroeconomic concern. Since write-offs and savings rates both spike in recessions, both of which result in shrinkage of credit, the resulting drop in aggregate demand can worsen and perpetuate the recession in a vicious cycle.

"debts are not repaid"? Could we substitute this for "money is taken out of government spending" in this instance?

If so debt repayment is set to reach £43bn this year, which is to say 3% of GDP which is a fairly massive impact on "aggregate demand" dont'cha think?

Whether you believe Keynesian economics actually work (there is not one example that it has been successful in existence) it doesn't take a genius to work out that the jump start in the economy will not happen by burning money in the engine of government; Mises and the Austrian School on the other hand felt that recessions were the economies way of telling us where we were going wrong; I'm putting my money on it being the states hiring of one half of the public sector to dig holes whilst the other fills them in again.

With an immediate 3% loss of GDP caused by debt any attempts to stop this getting any bigger are to be welcomed; there is only one monocular cretin to blame for the sorry state we are in.


The "Cuts" Explained

"So Mr. Osbourne do you expect me to meow?" "No; I expect you to DIE!

Imagine you run a big department in a major business; the business has made it a policy of offering shares in itself to it's employees and as a result they have built up a large share through this means.

Like all good businesses it give you a CAPEX (capital expenditure), money to invest in making your department more profitable, and you the dutiful manager work out the best way you can maximise the return on your money.

In 2007 you are given £50 million, in 2008 you are given £75 million, in 2009 you are given £112.5 million and in 2010, at the height of your company suffering losses, you are given £168.75 million; overall up to this point the company board has agreed to give you year on year CAPEX increases of 50%, taken partly out of other departments budgets and partly out of issuing new shares.

Finally the stockholders get fed up of their stock value dropping as a consequence of the reckless support of your department and, back up by other departments that have been squeezed, oust the current management board; their coup however is not as effective as they would like, faced down in part by existing shareholders in your department, meaning that dissenting groups have to combine and direct the business in a productive heading.

One faction believes that cutting your CAPEX and reacting to the changing marketplace's demand for your goods is the only way forward; the other believes further investment, but in different CAPEX spends, is the way forward.

At your next review for 2011 onwards you are thus told that, instead of a CAPEX increase of 50% to £253.13 million it is having to reduce the increase to 25% so that it doesn't have to issue as many shares this year in the company; you thus only get £210.93 million.

Your department supervisors are livid, and are backed up by scathing articles in your businesses in-house magazine which slowly forces the board to recant fearing a revolt and being ousted.

And at no point does anyone question what the CAPEX is being spent on.


Osbourne- some QED

“25 percent taxation is about the limit of what is easily borne.”

- John Maynard Keynes found here

Currently? 47% if GDP.



Rumbled - Damn Your Eyes @JamesDelingpole !

How can it possibly make sense to have a system where the government steals earners’ income through taxes and then gives a tiny sliver of it back to them with a prissy label attached saying: “This is to be spent on your children?” As if, somehow, left to their own devices, salaried parents would instead blow their wodge on Albanian donkey porn and Krispy Kreme donuts?

How did Jimmay know?.

Anyone else missing Obo yet?

The Case for Transferable Tax Credits Grows Stronger

Herr Cameron was on damage control today after the special pleading got a little more clamourous with Labor becoming the defender of the richest in societies welfare cheque and everyone else's head-scratching at the bizarre incongruities of the scheme (or maybe genius of social engineering).

However, amidst the vast turd-sandwich that this is for Cameron he was occasionally doling put golden nuggets of corn:

Mr Cameron admitted he needed to convince the public the tax and benefits system was fair and suggested a transferable tax allowance between couples could make it more balanced.

The transferable tax allowance, also known as a marriage tax break, was a key Conservative election pledge.

The party announced it would allow spouses who did not claim all their taxfree personal allowance to transfer £750 of it to their working partner.

Small beer compared to what I suggested and what our cousins have been espousing across the ocean, this meagre offering of £750, or £63 a month is a fraction of the workable income the non-working parent could earn if they ditched the kids and got to the coalface.

In fact let's look at this another way:

1. If Cambo and his Bory/Soc Dem coalition are so committed to "fairness" and "equality" (of outcome; it would seem there us little difference in action to suggest of opportunity) then they would enable people to have full autonomyover their tax allowance and how and who is responsible for it's use.

2. Looked at another way this is actually an encrouchment on the minimum wage; agree with it or not, if we are to assign a state-mandated value to an hourly rate then it should be based on what the individuals time is worth to them (not what it is worth to the state) - by this estimation based on a 37.5 hour working week (to which most housewives would laugh at, wondering where the other 22.5+ hours went) this transferable tax allowance equates to a "wage" of 39 pence an hour; hardly progressive policy that to pay slave wages eh Dave?

Mrs. Rat was increasingly angst ridden and tearful ever since going back to work full time; the strain of not seeing our baby daughter is starting to fray her around the edges; with quite a few simple changes to the tax regime Cambo could allay the fears of millions of people, ease the burden on those hardworking families he says he represents and create true fairness by instituting a truly liberal transferable tax credit regime that would make him a hero to everyone.

And all without dancing a merry jig for Adam Boulton.


Tell You What George...

Despite not being a higher tax rate payer (not having 2 euros to rub together an' all') and not even coming close to it with my wife and my income, and despite you leaving me no choice but to agree with KEVIN CHUFFING MAGUIRE, that their is something asinine about punishing a family with only one working parent on £50k and leaving another with 2 on a cumulative £80k+ plus, I have a deal for you.

I'll give up my meagre psuedo-tax rebate that is the Child tax credit and benefit if you:

1.Sack the adulterer Chris Hunhe.

2. Put Labour's regulatory framework, energy acts of parliament and EU policies out the door with him.

Costs for energy have nearly doubled in 10 years since the great warming swindle came about and their has been little to show for it apart from some heavily subsidised wind farms, plans for the doubling of energy bills again and more green mouths to feed while old ladies freeze in true homes.

It's on the table Osbourne. Take it; reckon I'll come out of the deal breaking even with the ability to drive prices down for the future and guarantee energy security.

The Credit Crunch In Glorious Tomrato-vision

Suspend what you know about the credit crunch; as a recipient casualty of it's effects in my anger I blamed anyone but myself, but that's just it: at the core of the problem is man's natural tendency to mitigate the harm his actions have on himself; it is the oldest self preservation mechanism in existence and cause of our greatest triumphs and lowest, most base failures.

So consider the following allegorical concept my understanding of the credit crunch, the villains and steps taken all being related to what has happened and what is happening:

A balloon maker is trying to inflate his greatest ever invention: the ACME Ever-inflating balloon. His latest invention is actually the latest in a long line of inventions like this which, whilst occasionally falling short of spectacular over the years, or not providing balloons for all, will potentially provide a balloon so big everyone can enjoy it.

After decades of testing, trials and failures he thinks he has it based on some very simple principles:

1. The balloon has to be inflated at just the right speed: not too fast or too slow, the former running the risk that the air will leak out with the latter risking bursting the balloons.

2. The balloon manufacturer builds a dormant safety mechanism into the balloons outer skin which stops gas escaping all at once if the air is pumped in too fast: a second skin underneath attached to the outer one is connected in such a way that when the outer one is breached it falls in on the inner one sealing the breach; the outer skin can then be inspected, repaired, and re-inflated.

3. As a consequence of the need for some delicate control of the balloons expansion it is controlled by a hand pump so the rate of pumping can be varied.

4. In the event that the pumping doesn't yield enough air in a timely fashion further hand pumps can be added, with more people drafted in to help pump it up when needed.

The balloon-maker sets about working - slowly he starts the pump and the balloon begins to fill; occasionally it bursts and settles on the inner skin, he takes some time out to make adjustments and begins filling it again.

Eventually the balloon gets so big it pokes over the top of the balloon-makers wall; the villagers see it and are happy to see it, their minds imagining what they could do with a big balloon like that and the fun they could have. However, it quickly dawns on them that whilst they are enjoying smaller balloons sold in the balloon-makers shop he is not going to sell this one till he can be sure he has figured out the problems with filling it; in a moment of impatience they ask the village watchmen to go help the balloon-maker with the pumping - the watchmen are convinced when fears of the balloon "deflating" are put in their mind.

The watchmen, enamoured by their new position and honour don suits and set themselves down next to the balloon-maker; despite the balloon-makers protestations at pushing it too quickly they set about pumping.

It is not long before the villagers see the balloon expanding faster than before; they start to surmise that the actions of all that extra air being pumped in is the cause - to push things faster they hire further town watchmen to don a suit and pull up a seat and start pumping. The town watchmen are paid with the villagers smaller balloons which, having seen the size of the new balloon and the feelings that this will provide the greatest amount of fun and joy this will bring are summarily neglected and start to sag, popping and deflating altogether in a few cases.

The balloon-maker is worried; he has repaired the outer skin many more times than he though would be necessary due to the speed of inflating; he begins thinking it time to stop for a while to make more sensible repairs and rethink his strategy; the suited watchmen, sensing their new found powers and authority coming to an end balk at this, and encourage some of the less reputable villagers to set themselves up as competing balloon-makers.

So many balloon-makers appear; most fail with a few successful ones appearing: some rely on luck and others on copying the original concept - the successful ones attract the attention and "help" by more suited watchmen.

Then one day, having suffered too many deflations and been too quickly pumped up by the suited watchmen and villagers pretending to be balloon-makers the inevitable happens: the inner skin on the Ever-Inflating balloon and it's many inspired progeny rupture and they deflate en masse. The original ever-inflating balloon is the last to go - both inner skin and outer, and, in a panic, the suited watchmen press-gang the villagers into picking up pumps to keep it filled.

The villagers toil in vain; the skin slowly deflates and, with the older, smaller balloons lying flaccid and limp in their homes they try everything; they work in shifts under the watchful eye of the suited watchmen, who occasionally, in moments of fitful madness, engage them in "big pushes" to keep the balloons inflated; eventually the villagers children are press-ganged into helping on the pumps, but the big balloons remain lilting and in an increasing number of cases flaccid.

Ultimately there are no balloons left, the joy ripped out of the village and it's inhabitants exhausted; the remaining suited-watchmen disappear beyond the walls with the few small balloons given to them by the over-eager villagers.

The few villagers who turned their hand to balloon making themselves are only able to make littler balloons than before and, with trepidation, they knock on the door of the original balloon-makers house, hoping he has not left the village for good, and some modicum of joy can be returned.


Another Blow Against Death by Banality

The BBC reports (with the usual if somewhat tepid bias) that the US Senate has had it's "Net Neutrality" bill killed off.

The bill aimed to stop ISPs from acting as online gatekeepers controlling the content flowing through their pipes.

Let's look at this again through individualist eyes and highlight the key words to see where it failed:

The bill aimed to stop ISPs from acting as online gatekeepers controlling the content flowing through their pipes.

"You know that thing you own and manage? Well now you don't own or manage it- ta da!"

It's good to see the Obama's ideas come crashing down; it is also good to see the TEA party getting so little mention as it again illustrates the extremely limited understanding the BBC has for what is going on, and why it is failing convincingly overall.

Net neutrality is just the next frontier in pushing egalitarian and failed socialist doctrines into yet another media sphere: that because their is inequality of a commodity that this somehow needs to be fixed and/or can only be fixed by government; it isn't always necessary and govt., as should be patently obvious by anyone lately, is the least good way of bringing about change for the better.

You want better coverage of left-wing ideological concepts? present something other than generic bilge, hope enough people read it and garner the advertising and popularity that drives greater bandwidth; heck, Maddox manages to support higher connection by the millions of viewers to his site utilising the thousands made and he posts something maybe once every few months.

Why is the collectivist's first reaction to a problem always to wish it away with government intervention? You see a mountain you need to cross you don't force someone at gun point to dig a hole through it or blow it to mulch and rubble, you climb it and feel rewarded by the endeavour.

Otherwise every molehill becomes impassable.


Fun With Numbers

Mark Serwotka writes today that their is an "alternative" to public spending cuts; predictably his answer boils down to "not cutting his meal ticket":

If, as Osborne plans, we sack 600,000 public servants in the coming years that is 600,000 people with no income, on benefits – since few jobs are being created. They will spend less in the economy, which combined with cutting public capital spending, will have a knock-on effect in the private sector. Cutting 600,000 public sector jobs will lead to 700,000 private sector job losses. We know this, because the document telling Osborne this from his own Office for Budget Responsibility was leaked to this newspaper at the end of June.

Fascinating; let's look at this another way:

The percentage difference between the median level of full-time earnings in the public sector (£539 per week) and the private sector (£465 per week) widened over the year to April 2009, following annual increases of 3.1 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively.
(From here)

So the cost of firing these people in terms of lost earnings is £33.75Bn. Measured against the average welfare payout (I'll generously say it's £17.5k) in terms of the afforded benefits in kind means the cost in added welfare payouts is £22.75Bn, meaning we make a net saving of £11Bn; a healthy swipe at the structural deficit and one that the markets will certainly take notice of.

Let's make a wilder assumption here: say Osbo takes this 10% drop in the number of public sector plebs and marks it with a resultant drop in the amount of work it dips it's oar in, e.g. winds down every NHS PCT passing funds directly into GPs hands or adopts a full educational voucher system and privatises education provision voiding local education authorities en masse or passes logistic control of the army to generals and reforms the MOD thusly; let's say 10% of government spending based on that's £66.1Bn.

In total we have saved £72Bn just by cutting these numbers and several of those assume that their us no splash effect on the economy; we don't take into account that those unemployed civil servants will not remain unemployed for long or that private education providers will become net contributors to the tax pot than detractors (though this strays dangerously close to Seworta's neo-Keynesian assertion that we should continue to dig holes for others to fill, which is just silly). None of which takes into account how inefficient public funding is processed - if we accept a conservative value of say £1 in 4 is wasted just by churning it through HMRC then we put £90Bn back in the economy instantly.

Numbers are fun yes?


Some People REALLY Love Public Transport

Via the Good Dr. North.

In other news Bob Crow has been remanded in custody for molesting Transport for London.


That Bible Burning Preachers Actions in Context

As Hamas completed its conquest of Gaza last Thursday, a spokesman for the group appeared on Palestinian television and announced the “end of secularism and heresy in the Gaza Strip.”

Shortly after, a group of militants stormed the Latin Church and the adjacent Rosary Sisters School in Gaza City, reportedly using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) to blow through the doors.

After gaining entrance, the rampaging jihadists burned every Bible and destroyed every cross they could get their hands on before setting both buildings alight, according to sources who spoke to Israel Today.

This doesn't excuse Pastor Jones of his actions, but when I hear of the constant persecution of us kuffir in lands with large muslim populations, of churches built on charitable donations demolished by the state in Nigeria on spurious grounds, ex-muslim converts skinned alive along with their families in Saudi Arabia whilst our quisling government and that of the USA wring their hands at their own people burning paper.

Course who can blame them? They've been sucking at the bond-buying teat of oil-producing countries for decades to hide the fact that they've sold our children into penury so their client-voter base can be sated on borrowed money.

The rank dishonesty and hypocrisy of all involved stinks to high heaven; expect God to illustrate his displeasure. Amen.


Alcohol Tax in Context

Following the Scottish governments plans for a minimum price for alcohol it seems that for all their bleating about the increasing abuse of the demon drink we are drinking less of it.

Al Jahom has put it succinctly enough in the blogosphere, however, it is worth relaying the words of Sian, our local off-licence shopkeeper.

He pointed out that during Brown's period as Pillock in Chief and Chancellor there were no increases in the duty costs of Whiskey; incidentally duty on cider was more or less half of what it is for wine and beer.

So we have a situation where Brown, a serial tax riser who would rip off his own granny for her pension to pay for another vote to keep him in power, avoiding an obvious port of call for a grab, on a product synonymous with Scottish industry and exports.

Incidentally when Brown tried to raise the duty on cider it was later dropped by Cameron, a man who owes what pitiful support he got at the last election to a few core southern constituencies in farm areas, run by red nosed farmers producing large volumes of scrumpy.

Not questioning the underlying wrongness of them taxing the crap out of us for shits and giggles isn't it wrong that this is a turf war between the Jock-mafia and the Turnip Taliban?


Emmerdale: The Musical

"I've been trying to lure them with free tickets to Emmerdale: The Musical, but they're still a bastard to kill."

Gonna be a real shame when The Mash goes the same way as The Onion but for now it's still brilliant.


Daily Thoughts

From a few mornings Word for Today - proof that David Cameron is a poor poor leader:

Qualities of a Good Leader
...Seek out... men of good reputation... whom we may appoint over this business. Acts 6:3

Good leaders practise four qualities. First, submission. Only a leader who has followed well, knows how to lead others well. Connecting with people becomes possible because you've walked in their shoes. Leaders who've never submitted to authority tend to be proud, unrealistic and autocratic Second, self-discipline. To make consistently good decisions requires character and self-discipline. To do otherwise is to lose control of ourselves. British essayist John Foster writes, 'A man without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself. He belongs to whatever can make a captive of him.' Peter writes, 'Knowing God leads to self-control' (2 Peter 1:5-6 NLT) Third, patience. Leaders look ahead, think ahead and want to move ahead. That's what makes them leaders. But the true goal of leadership is not to cross the finishing line first, but to take as many others with you as you can. For that reason you have to deliberately slow your pace, stay connected to your people, keep them informed and inspired, enlist the help of others to fulfil your vision, and keep going. And you can't do that if you're running too far ahead of everybody. Solomon writes, 'Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride' (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT). Finally, accountability. Many people feel that accountability is a willingness to explain your actions. In reality, real accountability begins long before you take action. Most wrong actions come about because we are not being accountable early enough.

And as any reader of Cameron's actions of late he has been found wanting on many counts, vying for the swivel-eyed, lunacy of focus groups and faux-lobbyists, terrified at what handing over the reigns of power to the people would really look like. And with a call for localism that is no such thing, we are all loser here.


Months Most Expensive UK Face Save?

Plans to scrap free milk for children under five will not go ahead, Downing Street has said.

It comes after UK Health Minister Anne Milton set out the proposals in a letter to Scottish Public Health Minister Shona Robison.

Downing Street said Prime Minister David Cameron "did not like" the idea of scrapping the free milk scheme.

I bet he didn't; who would like to be pilloried like Thatcher was for an asinine scheme keeping millions in hoc to the state.

Very silly.

Couldn't We All Just Have A Whip Around?

Fascinating to see Aunty reporting on the return of the milk snatcher this morning:

The government is considering cutting a UK-wide scheme offering free milk for under-fives in nursery or daycare, the BBC has learned.

A few obvious things first:

1. As the ~£60 million price tag shows (no doubt actually costing about £90 after it's churned through HMRC) it is hardly "free".
2. Who it's not "free" to: we've been piling up the IOUs so long it's no longer the kids drinking it that are paying but their children; and we've debt interests eclipsing our Education and armed forces budget they're paying over the odds as is.

That all said is it really beyond the realms of possibility to pay for this through charitable means? The outcry will be state-paid milk being stolen from the poor; is paying through a consortium of private charities at local level with nationally agreed pricing with milk companies really that difficult? Assuming the simple shopper isn't paying over the odds it a little under a quid each a year to keep 5 year olds in milk.


Fill Yer Boots

Has the TV licence had its day?
Free market thinktank the Adam Smith Institute has called for the TV licence fee to be scrapped, arguing that a BBC subscription model would be better for the industry and avoid criminalising poorer people. Is this the best way forward?

Get stuck in.


Not Really Getting The Point Are We?

Seems some protestors in Pakistan are kind of missing Cambo's point:

"Demonstrators burnt an effigy of Mr Cameron on the streets of Karachi over his claim that state elements in Pakistan were ‘exporting terrorism’."

So, mark your disapproval for an evidenced point of view that your country is probably undermining democratic systems in another country by supporting terrorism made by that countries PM by burning an effigy in the streets. I'm convinced they mean us no evil intent.

Still at least Pakistani officials have enough about them not to bite the hand that feeds them:

The United Kingdom and Pakistan are historic allies and friends. With around 1 million British citizens claiming Pakistani heritage, US$2 billion worth of trade flowing between our two countries each year, and almost 10,000 Pakistanis studying in the UK, there is much that unites us.

Sustainable development and poverty reduction in Pakistan are key priorities. With this in mind, the UK has committed to spending £665 million on development aid to Pakistan over the next four years. Within this total, the UK will provide over £130 million to help improve healthcare, and £120 million of support direct to Pakistan’s budget, which will support macroeconomic stability, the implementation of the IMF programme and social protection for poor people. Education is a priority and so nearly £200 million of this funding is specifically to support a variety of education programmes.

So in order to protect a contentious ~£1.4Bn in "trade" we hand over the better part of £0.6Bn over the next 4 years not to mention the unimaginable losses of life and money wasted in the war in Afganistan antagonised by Pakistani Intelligence agencies?

You want to do something about the dire public finances Mr Cameron? You might like to start by folding the quasi-socialist, agit-prop DFID's functions into the foreign office and reducing their remit to covering disaster relief only; no more schools teaching the delights of socialism. No more diversity counsellors in villages with starving children. No more British millions disappearing into the Swiss bank accounts of Palestinian militants; you want to build an orphanage in the wastes of some African hellhole? Fine - put out your request direct to the taxpayers and see the money roll in- charitable contributions in the wake of the tsunami some years back dwarfed government aid programmes massively; imagine what would happen without that particular monkey on our back.


A Fairer Welfare System

Due For a Rethink

Am sick at home in bed this morning reading the #tickertapeofbanality ; Tim Montgomerie highlights this scary piece by Wat Tyler at BOM.

Despite all the blustering and big stern words from The Cleggeron and the wailing and knashing of teeth from the Labourious party and it's cheerleaders in the BBC (though it pleased me to hear Evan Davies tear one such idiot a new one this morning on radio 4 with regards to zippy's mooted graduate tax scheme; might've saved himself being first against the wall) the cost of servicing everything the public sector does is increasing by even more unsustainable levels; the figure given being a whopping 6% on the coalition's watch.

Noone expected them to make changes overnight, but I get the distinct impression that settings go their means of dealing with impending budgetary collapse (the type companies have been undergoing where they find they can't meet payroll; when you know your in trouble) is little different to dealing with Labour's plans, albeit just a little faster.

The reason this is a bad thing and why it proves without a shadow of a doubt that the Cleggeron are no less backbiting, no less concerned by infringements on our liberty and property (just look at the communitarian ideas espoused by Cameron in his "Big Society" wheeze; rob "unused", "idle" bank accounts to pay for porkbarrel politics meted out by yet more unelected quangos and wooden tops with spreadsheets in local government) than anything Labour could have imagined.

Which is why I am putting my idea on welfare reform forward again for the coalitions scrutiny; they appear to be only paying lip service to the concept of restoring civil liberties, with Clegg seemingly quite happy to accept minor, inconsequential changes whilst vetoing in advance the larger ones like the smoking ban and 1972 European Communities Act. They are also completely ignoring ideas for real reform offered by the self-same people who will have to endure it.

So my idea is here and is essentially comprised of the following principles:

1. That the state guarantees a working tax allowance that removes those under the relative poverty line completely from the tax system; based on the following graph and info provided that the median salary for a man/women (averaged) is £478.5/week or £24882 per annum; my fagpacket calculations roughly equates this to an allowable untaxed income of ~£15000 (that's right; your in "poverty" by the government standards if you are capable of buying only one playstation 3 a week with your earnings).
2. That you can transfer ownership of your tax free allowance in whole or in part to other parties at any "cost" agreed to (I.e.you can give to your partner/spouse for free and double their tax free allowance to to £30k, or "sell" it at an agreed value lower (or higher?) than it's perceived one to a specialist company who use it to increase someone's tax allowance further.
3. That the tax allowance is interchangeable and exchangeable for other forms of tax (preferably in a simplified tax system which doesn't double tax as much; a prime example being capital gains and income - your taxed when you earn it and when you sell the product of the remainder; this is unethical to me), so it can be exchanged for a reduction in business rates for example.
4. That whilst they don't work and/or have work that can be taxed (I.e. babysiting, household chores, pocket money), children and teenagers have an amount of tax allowance reflective of the amount of public funded used coincidentally (e.g. education and national insurance payments); let's say that after this amount the tax credit comes to £5000, controlled by a parent or guardian till their 16th birthday where they gain control of it's function.
5. There is no upper income limit; as can be seen here the current system of tax free allowances are atrophied and inherently punish success; if you earn over £100k a year it decreases your tax free allowance as you increase your salary and standing- as you will already be paying higher levels of tax this is quintessentially a slap in the face and exhibits a mindset that you keeping your money is predicated on the current governments ability tiger away with stealing it; truly unethical and wrong.

Through this system it would be incumbent on the holder of said tax credit to utilise it as they saw fit; if in work they could use it fully to maintain a minimum chunk of their pay on which to live, stay-at-home parents could donate theirs to their spouse, commanding a larger take home pay packet for one working family member whilst providing a stable home environment for families wanting to be there for their kids (something which only the richest able to "afford" one working parent are capable of at the moment). The unemployed could garner a living income from this, whilst utilising their free time to take up voluntary, unpaid work, further education and training whilst looking for work, incentivised by the reduced monetary value to them offered by the buyer of their credit to seek work to maximise it's use. The elderly could do likewise, using it to supplement their pensions through combinations of voluntary/monetized work and sale of their tax credit.

Too many credits in the market would, as with any commodity, depreciate the total price offered for them, in turn pushing the owners to utilise them through employment; a recession would likewise push more out of work, making the availability of tax credits cheaper leading to lower taxation on businesses able to buy them, enabling them to recapitalize and reconcile for growth, leading to jobs, growth and such like. The tax system would need to be simplified significantly; the Office of Tax Simplification's job would be made considerably simpler and more pertinent with the competing tax credit component reducing the tax take from this direction, realising the goal of not reducing tax revenues but the losses associated with chasing one of the most complex tax systems in the world. HMRC could be reduced massively as well, considering much of it's activity and cost is associate with dealing with red tape it itself has created.

So how much would such a scheme cost? Whilst it will have increased the 2001 census tells us the British populace was comprised of 18% young people (0-14); say that the 0-16 component is ~20% and the mist recent government statistics state the population being currently 61.792 million (taken from here; incidentally this states children 0-16 as 1:5 so 20% best) then the value of the tax credit (set at £5000) would be £62Bn and £742Bn for every adult given a tax credit value of £15000.

Note this is not money the state has to dole out in welfare or outlay to business; it is purely the non-taxable monies in the economy it doesn't have access to - with a GDP last year of £1.42 trillion this means that the taxable income of the UK becomes [1420-742] = £686Bn is now only available to taxation, resulting in a considerably lower amount of revenue available to fund the state activities - even at a flat taxation rate on all activity of 50% only £343Bn would become revenue-available, and any government would have to justify such a massive increase over the odds for such a high tax take; more likely when the more productive would insulate their earnings with tax credits whilst the poorer utilised theirs to spend more time at play that this would incentivise government to lower the income tax rate, probably at a flat rate of ~20%, to incentivise economic growth.

So how much revenue could be collected? Keeping VAT as is (a sales tax) on current trends* would net £78-97Bn (the top value if VAT receipts stay at current trends); that is if the rate of consumption doesn't change - highly unlikely if us simple plebs have more money available to spend rather than government doing it for us.

So on a reduced tax take the total estimate is ~£234.899Bn, accounting only for centrally mandated/collected sales tax replacing VAT and a flat 20% income tax rate above the allowed tax free sum. What can we do without?

According to the website UK Public Sector Spending the following is a breakdown of the current estimates for 2010 spending. I've struck through what can be done without under my scheme in a very rash manner, with a minor comment as to why, though most should be obvious:

[+] Total Spending (in £billions)
Central: 495.7
Local: 173.2
Total: 668.9

Pensions 117.2
Sickness and disability 33.5 - welfare payments in general would stop as they could be covered by the tax credit, the excess costs of sickness and disability easily met by increased revenues from charitable agencies and individual action.
— Old age 81.9 - this would remain but the amount would not rise with inflation and it would be closed to individuals not yet paying national insurance, being replaced with privately financed pensions and the ability to work shorter, tax free, supplementary hours. Eventually the monies needed would wind down to zero.
— Survivors 1.8 - as above.

Health Care 119.8 - I've deliberately not mentioned this; while there are plenty of libertarian solutions to healthcare I am primarily dealing with the issue of welfare and a fair tax system. National insurance would remain with no upper limits to contributions; simply put if you are utilising more than one batch of tax credit allowances you are more than likely supporting another as it stands. I would envision this changing once people started to take more responsibility and demanding mire accountable healthcare services an choice.

Education 85.6 - again not primary point to deal with here, so remains unchanged. This would also be paid for out of the local council tax take.
— Pre-primary and primary education 0.7
— Secondary education 14.4
— Post-secondary non-tertiary education
— Tertiary education 12.9
— Education not definable by level 56.2
— Subsidiary services to education 1.4

Defence 43.9
— Military defence 31.8
— Foreign military aid 4.1
— Foreign economic aid 5.6
— R&D Defence 0.5
— Defence n.e.c. 1.9

Welfare 109.1
— Family and children 22.2
— Unemployment 7.0
— Housing 4.5
— Social exclusion n.e.c. 23.9
— Social protection n.e.c. 51.5

- All of the costs associated with this portion of spending now met by tax credits.

Protection 34.7 - Policing and the Judicial services will pass to total local control, with democratic leadership (police chiefs and elected judges) to oversee local requirements.
— Police services 5.0
— Law courts 6.9
— Prisons 4.6
— Public order and safety n.e.c. 18.2

Transport 21.5 - paid out of road tax payments

General Government 24.7
— Executive and legislative organs 9.4
— General services 14.8
— General public services n.e.c. 0.5

Other Spending 84.1
— Basic research 0.1
— General economic, commercial and... 10.0
— Agriculture, forestry, fishing an 5.9
— Fuel and energy 1.8
— Mining, manufacturing and constru 0.4
— Communication 0.3
— Other industries 0.1
— R&D Economic affairs 3.5
— Economic affairs n.e.c. 1.2
— Waste management 8.4
— Pollution abatement 0.4
— Protection of biodiversity 0.4
— R&D Environmental protection 0.4
— Housing development 5.3
— Community development 0.8
— Water supply 1.0
— Housing and community 4.7
— Recreational and sporting service 8.0
— Cultural services 2.1
— Broadcasting and publishing services 3.8
— R&D Recreation, culture and religion 0.2
— Other Spending 25.3

- can we really justify such things as "cultural/religious awareness" spending and funding the beeb? It shouldn't be something coerced from our pockets, and all peoples should be bound by the rule of law, anything beyond that, be it honour killings to female genital
mutilation, should be taken to task, not coddled by a diversity awareness officer.

Interest 31.0
— Public debt transactions 31.0

[+] Public Net Debt 771.5

So adjusted for my figures about what would be covered and what wouldn't you reduce the deficit to £110.201, and we haven't even considered winding down the size of a vastly unnecessary and surplus HMRC and the myriad agencies built up to "deal" with poverty. None of this takes into account the potency of giving people more money, to make more informed decisions with it and creating the kind of growth we need to revive this country of ours.

Ultimately the push is for greater individual control of ones destiny and welfare; this I feel is the best way of going about it.


I Have a Problem With This Picture

Seriously, I do. On this point and this point alone I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of the Huffington Post piece; that some of the Teabaggers (tee hee) really do need a good hard slap (the racism and homophobia? Don't really see anything other than a mild, misdirected dislike of some peoples lifestyles or stereotyped remarks; climate change fanatics, maggie-hating labour supporters and Hamas apologists all say stronger worded stuff in their daily rhetoric).

My daughter turns 1 this week; I want to teach her what it means to understand what freedom truly is, to have a healthy respect for a true rule of law and the mockery that sits in it's place and a sceptical view and sense for political ideology masquerading as science.

What I won't do is force her to sit under the baking sun holding a placard to something I subscribe to, be that religion* or politics - if I can't convince her of my feelings on the subject, my passion or the righteousness of my cause then it is my failure, not hers.

So I don't like this and have to question any parent and libertarian who would force their children to do this who is barely capable of not wetting the bed, let alone assembling a credible, informed opinion or choice.

*= yes she will be coming to church with me and MrsRat on Sundays; practicallities of finding her someone to sit with while we worship aside, she is not forced to accept anything- she doesn't have to take communion & as a church we don't believe in baptising children (being an arcane, cruel and cynical ploy developed by the Roman Catholic church to guilt and scare parents into roping their kids into superstitious bilge, just in case they died and went to purgatory or some other patent nonsense). All we ask is for her to follow our lead to a reasonable extent until she is old enough to take charge of her life and autonomy; that is the bargain we ask- we will continue to feed, clothe and house her in return for abiding by our rules until she is old enough to support herself and live by hers.


MPs Need Schooling.

Andrew Gwynne engages in a bit of misdirected "free market" bashing this morning:

‘There is no money’ – this is the message blasted across the Chamber by Ministers every time an Opposition MP (and increasingly, some Coalition backbenchers) condemn a decision to cut a project in their constituency. And to some extent, this is true. The public finances could not grow indefinitely and, given the banking crisis and the global recession, huge deficits followed. Had Labour won the 2010 General Election, there would still have been cuts – deep cuts – though not as severe or immediate as the Coalition’s plans.

Now there are whole shovel-fulls of wrong in this first paragraph that should be put in the context they so thoroughly deserve. First off let's deal with the spending "cuts" - these are not actually cuts but a decision by our new coalition overlords not to endorse an unfunded spending plan put in place before the election by the previous overlords in a contrived bit of scorched-earthing; a veritable "vote for us or this puppy gets it" ploy - now that we didn't vote for them they are saying "well will you look at all those dead puppies surrounding the new overlords collective feet? Terrible". Then lets look at the "backbench revolt" at cuts in their constituency - Gwynne appears to be shocked at the concept of pork-barrel politics as if this is the first time a Laborious politician has ever heard of this; I wonder what would happen if we explained what gerrymandering and electoral fraud where? Then the biggy; the ongoing NuLaborious canard that the crunch was "nowt to do with us init; dem stinking Yanks and Tory donors working in the city" ploy. That's certainly one potential excuse - it was someone else's fault - here's what my reading of the event make me think happened:

1. Greenspan artificially lowered interest rates after the last recession to encourage credit agencies to lend; Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, both federally sponsored institutions, inflated the mortgage market and encourage home-ownerism- combined with the Community Reinvestment Act, pushed through by far-left groups (to which Obama was a junior member) to enable poor people to get access to loans they could never dream of paying back, generated a stream of toxic debt, re-polished, packaged and sold worldwide.
2. Brown as Chancellor "raid private pensions"; dividends are taxed to pay for his already unsustainable public sector jobs boom which alter private investors behaviour encouraging the "buy-to-let" market to inflate overnight, driving up house prices in an incredibly over-regulated and controlled system where new builds are made ridiculously difficult. At one point the amount of money being "earned" by bricks and mortar overtakes normal wages; Labour nod through lower interest rates to encourage banks to lend more in credit and mortgage amounts.
3. Eventually the number of defaults reaches critical mass and the investment vehicles they are folded into falter; overnight the bubble burst taking with it Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac as well as several major investment banks, mass nationalisation of much of the industry (or part nationalisation); Brown, now the British PM despite facing no popular vote in this country, who panics, seeing the banks most exposed and liable to fold are in in key labour strongholds, bails out the worst hit, thus validating the fears of moral hazard and enslaving future generations with debts as big as they were left post-WW2. "Quantitative easing" is used to inject further cash into the banking industry by buying back bonds from them with freshly printed money.
4. Mass unemployment in the private sector is masked by disingenuous spending splurge in public sector so Brown can debate Cambo in parliament that he is not destroying jobs through all his other asinine laws. Ongoing debate between multimillionaire public school boys does nothing for my daughter, her newly unemployed father agonising over how the house will be paid for, let alone her food.

But no Gwynne your probably right: was dem damn yanks dat dunn it.

However, for Building Schools for the Future, this wasn’t the case. Gove tried to use the mantra that the money wasn’t there, only to be shot down by his own Permanent Secretary who confirmed that Ed Balls was correct to say that full Treasury approval had been given to BSF. The money was there.

No Andrew I think you misunderstand what is meant by the "there's no money left" mantra; it is not a case of what NuLabour placemen have said you can use the coffers for, or that brown removed the purse strings altogether and hid them; there are no coffers - you didn't plan the costs you just stuck them on; dead puppies remember?

We are currently borrowing £1 in 4 we spend hence spending should be cut just to stop us haemorrhaging more money on debt repayment by somewhere considerably higher than this; ask my credit card manager if you don't understand this.

And if the money was there, it must still be there.

See above.

Now call me a cynic but I’ve not yet seen Gove scurrying up Downing Street with his bags of treasure wishing to please his master in Number Ten. So has this all been a cunning ploy to generate a slush fund of capital money for Gove’s ‘Free Schools’ plan? I suspect it might be.

Again: see above- the reason you haven't seen this treasure is because it doesn't exist; it is unfunded.

You see, apart from a small number of middle-class mavericks who may be quite happy to have their Tarquin (apologies if any readers are called Traquin) educated above a shop or in an industrial unit rather than mixing with ordinary kids in the Comp down the road, most parents are not going to buy into that. They want their children taught with the best facilities too, and for ‘Free Schools’ to work, they need to be in shiny new buildings.

Your right Gwynny, because middle class parent definitely don't have Tarquin's (like the class envy poke BTW; very old Labour) best interests at heart; and as for the patent nonsense about the need for "shiny new buildings" it is that kind of nonsense that has got us in so much trouble; besides, if advocates of free school actually agree with him they will accommodate the changes necessary and build his "shiny new buildings", for that is the power of the markets.

The real concern is that this whole policy will be at the expense of the majority of children.

No... 1 in 5 children with functional illiteracy, classrooms out of control, highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe is at the expense of our children.

It cannot be cost effective to create extra capacity in the schooling system when there is just no need for it. And nor can Local Authorities effectively plan for the future when, if parents don’t like a sound strategic decision, they can just declare UDI!
I have very real doubts that this free market approach to schooling will work. I also have very real concerns that in these financially tight years ahead, it will waste public funds on a scale rarely seen; and in the process, will have denied our children of that best start in life that Building Schools for the Future promised so many.

At last we start to see the real reason why they are scared witless at this; the vast client scale and fifth column of teachers unions will no longer be able to sit cosily by while parents demand the bare minimum in vain; schools will have to offer the education the parents or see them walk their cheque to someone who will.

Of course this is overlooking the mindset of Gwynne et al; that this money is not the parents money to be wasted on things like an education they know will cater best to their children- it is for the state to spend, and politicos to waste on whatever flavour-of-the-month educational or social theory is gripping the left by the nipples.