Friday, 23 March 2012

Politics of Envy and Irony

The world's best ironic joke:

Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for yourselves! You're ALL individuals! 

The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals! 

Brian: You're all different! 

The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different! 

Man in crowd: I'm not...

The press is all over the budget and calling it a raid on pensioners. Yet on the other hand they're also telling us that this generation of pensioners is the most wealthy ever and the youngsters of today will never enjoy such wealth. Wish the buggers would make up their minds. 

Others say it’s a budget for rich people at the expense of families. Rich people have families too and will have to do without the child benefit the poorer will still get (although poorer is a somewhat relative term when the cap is £50k). 

Seems you can’t win - everyone wants the national debt paid off, but without making any sacrifices – or at least wanting such sacrifices to be made by anyone else but them - and preferably someone with more money. 

The order of the day appears to be to kick the well off for having the effrontery to have an education (not always), work hard (invariably), invest (almost always), make money as a result and only pay shedloads more tax than the average feckless pensioner with 30 kids, 10 grandchildren at university, a penchant for Saga cruises, an unhealthy addiction to Theakston’s Old Peculiar and a nasty Erinmore habit. That's the politics of envy and jealousy and it’s shallow, ugly and very, very British. 

Making your investments tax efficient through entirely legal means is no more morally repugnant that claiming every bit of benefit you’re entitled to. One thing I learned from my parents was to never trust a government to give you a pension. If you don’t save for a rainy day, then you only have yourself to blame. 

It looks as if the plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol means my Lidl whiskey is going up 50%.  Bastards! It's illegal under EU competition law anyway, as proven when they tried to do this in Holland.

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