Is it just possible that the UK government is facing the possibility of a rapid financial exhaustion, thanks to its sustained assaults on private enterprise?
Might even our lumpen Chancellor have come to realize that we donkeys are about to refuse to work if we realize that we carry a heavier and heavier burden for the reward of fewer and fewer carrots?
It was bad enough when the buzz word was u2018hypothecation’ — the notion that we sheep would be more willingly sheared under the cynical Lib-Dem ploy of promising that all the proceeds of any extra marginal tax hikes would, in future, be dedicated to this or that outwardly meritorious object, such as u2018better’ health care or lower university fees.
In the same vein, it was always despicable the way this government has exploited the idea of promoting road safety as an excuse for refilling the public purse by criminalizing the car-driving classes via the rapid proliferation of speed cameras.
But the latest suggestion to emanate from the depths of that Ministry of the Interior of the Neuearbeitspartei’s which is Gruppenfhrer David Blunkett’s Home Office — one which conflates both of these two pieces of naked Orwellianism — is even more breathtaking in its combination of crapulousness and moral cant.
For henceforth, it seems, the myriads of motorists regularly convicted of speeding may not only have to pay their hefty fines and to face consequently higher insurance premia for years thereafter, but they will now be asked to pay u2018compensation’ into a special fund for the u2018victims of crime’.
Now, the payment by transgressors of a little Anglo-Saxon u2018wergeld’ is no bad thing: even we Celts had a similar system which made law a matter of restitution, not of retribution — and certainly NEVER of such a psycho-socialist concept as u2018rehabilitation’.
But dressing up a random tax hike — and according to the BBC, three-quarters of all motorists share the view that speed cameras are about raising revenue not reducing road risk — as some kind of socialized blood guilt, a mass expiation of Middle Class angst, when the majority of offenders will be perpetrating an arbitrarily defined regulatory offence, wholly separated from the doing of harm to any single identifiable person or to their property, is almost beyond parody.
In an interview for the PM programme with the BBC’s no-nonsense Eddie Mair, Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland — an unelected, ennobled Blair babe, ex-silk from Dominica, friend of those arch Tony Cronies, Lords Irvine and Falconer, and erstwhile member of that self-appointed Inquisition of u2018Hate Crimes’, the Council for Racial Equality — had the gall to suggest that no offender would be so lacking in u2018generosity’ that he would quibble at atoning for his offense by making a payment to such a u2018worthy’ cause!
u2018A lot of people out there, if asked, would not mind paying an additional five or ten pounds if it is going to go towards the victims of crime getting the sort of counselling, the help, and wider support they need,’ she oozed.
To Mair’s acerbic query that, if this was the case, perhaps ALL of the monies raised from speed cameras should be so devoted, the honourable lady naturally had no reply.
Some of this proposed legislation will also be retrospective — but only where that heinous legal folly can be combined with petty spite, for especially lottery winners and the beneficiaries of u2018substantial inheritances’, as the Standard put it, may also be subject to post hoc claims for compensation being levied against such obviously u2018undeserved’ future riches.
Even more damagingly, the latter day Sheriffs of Nottingham who populate our corridors of power are also to dress up another effective increase in employers’ national insurance contributions — aka a tax on jobs — by making THEM contribute to a fund set up to compensate the u2018victims’ of any crime which is visited upon their workers in the course of their duties.
THAT should slow down the exodus of jobs to India and China, don’t you think?
This may seem a world away from our daily business of working out which stock will rise and which currency will fall, but remember there can be no lasting prosperity in a system where there is no guarantee of individual liberty, respect for private property, or legal equity.
Thus, even the most inveterate of us market watchers must occasionally take our noses out of the business pages and read the paper from the front!
For, a country which allows the only imperatives upon legislation to be those arising from the malice of envy and from the needs of the exchequer has imposed upon its people the worst standards of arbitrary government — as bad as anything seen at the courts of the ancien regime, or in one of those u2018corrupt’ polities in the East which First Citizen RobespiBlaire would so eagerly have us replace by force of arms.
We must worry, therefore, that the financial and moral bankrupts who rule over us will do more to damage to our prospects of our well-being — material or otherwise — than any drop in the FTSE, rise in the oil price, or fall in the Dollar.
We must also reckon that the state of the UK government’s finances are even more parlous than it will admit, if such rapacious practices are to be enshrined in law under the transparent guise of aiding society’s less fortunate.
Sean Corrigan [send him mail] writes from London.