Monday, 2 December 2013
What Can Britain Afford?
We can afford £50 or £60 billion to build a high speed railway so that the rich can get to Birmingham 20 minutes earlier, we can afford to subsidise the investments of MP's in the lucrative London property market, we can afford loopholes that bleed off billions in tax avoidance for the rich, we can afford tax cuts for the super-wealthy, we can afford to subsidise wind farms for wealthy landowners, we can afford to bail out criminal bankers and we can afford billions in foreign aid so that our politicians can swank about the world pretending to be important. But, as George Osborne explained today in full smug, self-satisfied mode, we can't afford the welfare state. When all the ideology and greedy self-interest is stripped out what Osborne said today in the Telegraph is that ordinary people count for nothing and the entire country should be run exclusively in the interests of people like George Osborne. This has come about, he forgot to mention, because the rich, smug and self-satisfied have all but wrecked the world economy to slake their insatiable greed. But greed is good and, therefore, there should be more of it not less. So it is the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, the disabled and the unemployed who must now pay the price for the neoliberal economic insanity and not the greedy, the self-interested and the criminal. It is the typical Tory message - in a time of famine the rich must be feed ever bigger meals on the basis that they will leave more crumbs for the rest of us. The truth is that what Britain can't afford are the bone idle wealthy scroungers who avoid paying tax like the plague and seem to believe that corruption is a viable political philosophy. What Britain can't afford is the Tory party.