Monday, 8 December 2014
Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen
At the end of the dog there is usually a waggy tail, doing the dog’s bidding and indicating joy; joy at being fed, joy at being appreciated, joy at the sheer wagginess of belonging to a happy dog. The tail has no purpose without the dog and the dog is the poorer for lack of its semaphoric appendage. The Labour Party is a detached tail, desperately trying to wag its dog.
Once the party of the poor, fighting for those without representation, they now rely on the tribal loyalties of the poor for their very existence. As somebody said, keeping people poor is effectively Labour’s business model. Without poverty where is the fear to keep people voting for the red flag? So in recent years Labour has cleverly championed ruinous policies sold as incentives to help the poor while deviously increasing their numbers.
What is classed as poor in modern Britain? Adjusting that measure was a stroke of genius. If less than half of median income used to make you poor then redefining poverty as less than 60% of median income added to that number handsomely. As did inventing the terms ‘fuel poverty’ and ‘child poverty’. Unless they’re on a mahoosive whack of pocket money children are by every measure in miserable, grinding poverty. But if altering the meaning of words isn’t enough there are a number of policy strategies you can employ to make even the non-poor feel the pinch.
Gordon Brown increased the fuel duty escalator and scrapped the 10% tax rate, adding to the woes of the working poor and then appearing to come to their assistance by introducing tax credits – taking with one hand while giving some back with the other. Minimum wage policies inevitably drive down legitimate employment and encourage the sub-minimum wage economy, putting more UK citizens on the breadline. The living wage rhetoric is just the same, ignoring economics in favour of looking like they care. Rent controls always impact most heavily on the poor yet still Labour pursues the illusion that government can fix such things that are beyond its control without totalitarianism.
Things like the climate and the cost of fuel. Miliband’s 2008 Climate Change Act locks everybody into increasing fuel costs for ever more. The wind farms don’t work as promised; the costs will never be recovered, let alone returned with profits and most of the government-subsidised ‘income’ goes to foreign investors or rich UK land owners. How many poor people have a share in a wind turbine? So it is rather astonishing that under the banner of challenging the coalition’s economic credibility Mr Ed flaunts his own credulity towards the climate change industry; the project which will guarantee enduring poverty and insecurity for years to come. But that’s socialism for you.
But still the biggest problem is people – rapidly increasing populations with increasingly voracious energy appetites. Keeping people poor and ill-educated - the Labour vote machine - is an ecological disaster in the making, because poor, ill-educated people have more kids. And kids are the root cause of even more kids. So if you want to reduce poverty you need to tackle the root cause. Want fewer people in poverty? Simply reduce the numbers of poor people. Time to chop off that annoying tail.