Is this what Cameron thinks of them?


3:58 pm - December 11th 2008

by Sunny Hundal    


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Harpymarx says if you thought James Purnell was bad, then try Civitas.

Sure but if you thought those idiots were bad, check out David Cameron’s latest editorial in the Daily Mail. Now we know what the Tory leader truly thinks of all unemployed people: that they’re just on the verge of turning into Karen Matthews.

Or maybe he thinks that of all working class people. Anyone still praying for these arrogant toffs to come into power? (via Paul Waugh)

Update 1: Good related piece by Matthew Norman in the Indy.

Update 2: Beau Bo D’Or has knocked up a perfect response.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Crime ,Economy ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Of course, no mention of the other people on tax hand outs. The Duke of Westminster, and other wealth Tory landowners who pick up millions to help run their farming interests. Farmers in general. How many business get to use red diesel? The whole military industrial complex. Arms makers and dealers living on tax handouts. Great sways of the Legal profession, The police. Nice juicy hand outs to private schools in letting them register as a charity and therefore help subsidize their own fees.

But Dave has no problem with any of them.

Farming is an EU competence, but if you are suggesting pulling out of the EU or at the very least demanding a radical reform of the CAP, then we have an area of agreement, Sally:)

Does working class = Not working now then ?

Not sure I see the connection there

4. Alisdair Cameron

Sunny (and I think you know this) Purnell is such a f*cking arse, odds are he’ll be asking Dacre for similar space in the Mail to try and pose as being even bloody tougher. Dacre is unaccountably pally with Brown, so watch this space: £10 says Purnell or one of that crew will have a slot in the Mail within the week
Sally, your point has some merit, slightly undermined by the fact that Purnell turned to Freud, a bleeding merchant banker, who by his own admission knew nothing of benefits to draw up labour’s disgraceful policy.Like the bankers don’t rely on handouts these dsays, yet Purnell listens intently to a plan to f*cking privatise welfare, enabling the rich to get richer by stamping on the already downtrodden.
Matthew Norman in today’ Independent is absolutely outstanding on all this:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/matthew-norman/matthew-norman-it-takes-a-rich-man-to-pour-such-scorn-on-the-poor-1061132.html

By the way has anyone read Polly Toynbee’s latest? Scary, and utterly illiberal (and a bit barking, truth be told: totalitarianism to save the world?).

If anyone wants to see a clear case of class warfare compare how much benifit fraud costs us as tax payers compared to Corporate tax evasion/avoidance…

Newmania – some people on benefits also do have jobs, just low paid or part time jobs supplemented by benefits. So an attack on ‘5 million’ claiming benefits will also include people working.

Furthermore even those without a job are not necessarily people who have never had a job before, they may just be contract workers, made reduntant etc. So the sort of people who could reasonably be expected to obtain work in the future, and claiming benefits is a temporary phase.

The stereotypical scrounger who has never had a job, and doesn’t intend to get one, is a small minority of those claiming benefits. The govt claims around 100 000 people are in this position, which is rather less than 5 million.

So I think it is fair to say the 5 million benefit claimants referred to can to all intents and purposes be called the working class.

Alisdair – Though I have no sympathy for Purnell (we’ll be publishing our own response to the Welfare reforms early next week), if you see the Paul Waugh link even he condemned this attack by Cameron.

That Norman piece is really good, and I was reading it now. Am going to link it.

Its ironic you accuse Cameron of class hatred and then preach your own class hatred (“arrogant toffs”).

Alisdair: By the way has anyone read Polly Toynbee’s latest? Scary, and utterly illiberal (and a bit barking, truth be told: totalitarianism to save the world?).

Yes – in that she appears to include ID cards as a legitimate part of ‘big government’ and somehow justified by the collapse of laissez -faire economics, and that there is no distinction between left-wing and right-wing libertarians…otherwise it was the usual stuff from her (including her continuing belief that New Labour will – finally – turn into the social democratic party in her head). For someone whose instincts I have some sympathy with, it’s just embarrassing reading how she repeatedly ails to ‘get’ that it’s New Labour she’s dealing with.

As for Cameron’s article, I’ll just repeat what I posted elsewhere:

New Labour have always given vent to their inner Peter Lilley – at one point they made something like six ‘benefit crackdown’ announcements within less than 12 months, soon after taking office. All those ‘we’re watching you’ ads with the Mysteron rings – just a continuation of the reassurance to Daily Mail readers that the scrotes will be kept in place that the Tories offered for so many years. And in Karen Matthews, they now have their new poster child.

…or to put it another way: Karen Matthews’ face is now the Myra Hindley of the welfare state – it’s just that Cameron’s just a touch less hypocritical about saying so than Purnell and his ‘reforms’.

Sunny: Alisdair – Though I have no sympathy for Purnell (we’ll be publishing our own response to the Welfare reforms early next week), if you see the Paul Waugh link even he condemned this attack by Cameron.

And the New Labour groupies all punch the air and yell: ‘Back of the net! Triangulation rocks!’

#8: nothing wrong with class hatred as long as it’s directed the right way.

#11 I agree. The working-class have definitley cause to hate the middle-class Left. The class hatred here is from the middle-class Left towards the upper class. That’s mostly class envy.

Ah yes, those benefit thief adverts…just how can we have a cohesive community when the main “weapon” of Labour’s welfare policy is getting us all to spy on each other and report each other to the authorities?

Well said, Leon about corporate tax avoidance/evasion.
Up to £40 bn a year it costs.

Sunny, no question Cameron is an arse and shame on whoever doubted it.
But to be honest, the current British political system reminds me of those horror films where you get a victim held captives by two baddies.
One is absolutely evil. Proper psycho stuff. The other is also evil ,psycho and a criminal, but he likes to show he’s slightly, ever so slightly softer than his mate.
That’s New Labour and the Tories.
Depressing.

And the New Labour groupies all punch the air and yell: ‘Back of the net! Triangulation rocks!’

whoa there sunshine. I’ve not written one piece of praise for James Purnell yet, anywhere. As it is, I’m with most people on this site in thinking this New Labour govt is nowhere near being an ideal progressive/leftwing/liberal government, and in all likelihood I would like a new bunch of people to come and this lot all voted out.

However, I’m also not happy about the alternative. As Claude says, rock and hard place. Above, I’m just pointing out what Purnell said in response, not defending him.

16. Chris Baldwin

Karen Matthews may not have had a job, but her partner did. Isn’t that pretty much the Tories’ ideal family structure?

There are polar opinions about the influence of newspapers: the “decision” group argue that editorial content in newspapers determines how people vote (“it was The Sun wot done it”), whilst the “taste” group claim that people buy a newspaper that fits their belief set (“taste”) but are influenced by other media too. It is a crude division but one that we can use for the sake of argument.

Political activists unavoidably fall into the “taste” group. They believe that knocking on doors and delivering leaflets makes a difference. Elections are not predetermined by mass media consumption. Indeed, some people may even be influenced by local campaigning or characters to change their newspaper.

The Cameron article in the Mail suggests that his team think that newspapers are the decision makers. Cameron’s team no doubt wrote the substantive article, relying on the Mail to perform the ruthless presentation. The name “Matthews” appears twice in Cameron’s words but they are accompanied by three photos (in the web version) to ensure that you get the sub-context.

If the Cameron team are correct, the next general election result is already determined. We believe in argument and can turn around that insulting headline about five million claimants (and their families and friends) to our advantage. But not while Purnell and the like have jobs in government.

I enjoyed the Beau Bo D’Or image.

Makes me think of the auto-bailout in the US. Scores of self-righteous congressmen and woman chastising car execs for running up debts and providing a shoddy product. Not sure US politicians should be criticising anyone for their debts or job-performance.

Likewise, our own politicians, who let’s remember have their own crooks and scumbags among their number, shouldn’t be singling out the exceptions as evidence of any fault in society.

There are major trends in our society for which we should worry and on which our politicians should comment. However, Cameron’s use of the Mathews case conveys just how shallow and cynical he is.

“The Cameron article in the Mail suggests that his team think that newspapers are the decision makers.”

Which effectively makes them so.

The key point isn’t whether the mail and sun determine who wins elections, but its the fact political parties believe they do that gives them power.

“Well said, Leon about corporate tax avoidance/evasion.”

The difference is that they’re not taking money from other people. Of course you could argue that they do indirectly because tax avoidance/evasion causes government to put taxes up. But in turn you could argue that government could choose to cut spending instead. It’s a left-right issue really.

“The Cameron article in the Mail suggests that his team think that newspapers are the decision makers.”

The power of the media is a complex issue. A number of factors have to be in play. First the media, to have a big influence, has to have a big circulation/readership. But that is not the only factor. In the 1980’s The Mirror had a decent circulation, but did nothing to stop Thatcher. Equally, over the last 10 years The Telegraph, which is the largest selling, so called quality has had jack shit influence over stopping New Labour. Why? Because they both preach to the converted. So circulation alone is not enough.

That is why Murdoch and the Mail are seen as so important by politicians. Not only do they have good circulation ,but they have a wide cross section of voters who buy them. There is a refusal by both media ,and politicians to admit the power of these papers publicly. The media does not want their readership to think they are so powerful because it can piss of their audience. The Sun backed tracked after the famous ‘The Sun wot won it headline’ Did not want to look too smug, and powerful. The politicians don’t like to admit the power of the press either because it makes them look weak idiots.

In the early 70’s the media was luke warm about Ted Heath, and Labour won in 1974. By 1979 the media was overwhelming in it’s support of Thatcher, and she won 3 elections in a row. By 1992 the media was not so pro Tory but was very hostile to Kinnock, and that helped Major win. By 1997 Major and the Tory party were getting a rare taste of the media’s hostility and Blair won 3 in a row.

Planeshift: “The key point isn’t whether the mail and sun determine who wins elections, but its the fact political parties believe they do that gives them power.”

Most newspapers are reflective of public opinion. That’s why the Sun backed Tony Blair in 1997; it ensured that the newspaper matched the “taste” of its readers. New Labour would have won anyway, without support from The Sun.

Political parties campaign to attract public attention, of which mass media reflection is only a part. If mass media reflection predominated, this would mean that we would have a predictable political landscape. We don’t have that landscape, partly owing to first past the post, partly owing to the influence of national or local campaigns.

@Sally #23: I can’t argue with paragraph 1: the Mirror and Telegraph are very reflective of their readers’ tastes.

Murdoch owns three newspapers: The Sun, The Times of London and News of the World (aka Sun on Sunday). Times of London has always been conventional, establishment but even today it is not a partisan Conservative paper. Sun and NoW don’t hide their allegiance, but backed New Labour *after* their readers had made up their minds. Murdoch doesn’t care who wins as long as he makes money and retains influence.

The Mail is the outlier. It has a political philosophy (“turn back the clock”), and I’m happy to bet that the publishers would stick with it if readership collapsed. But does the Mail change any or many votes? If the readers own a letter box, does the Mail have to be their only source of information?

Richard,

“The difference is that they’re not taking money from other people. Of course you could argue that they do indirectly because tax avoidance/evasion causes government to put taxes up. But in turn you could argue that government could choose to cut spending instead. It’s a left-right issue really”.

Well, but those tax evaders/avoiders still enjoy all services associated with tax, from street lights to police protection to fire protection to rubbish collection to whatever but contribute little to the system. Secondly, paying tax is an obligation. Tax avoiders, like the word astonishingly reveals, avoid what they are expected to give back. To me that’s ethically worse than benefit scroungers. Especially when the tax they avoid goes to their 5th property or 2nd yacht.

And another thing. I lived in Spain for a while. As you may already know there’s a socialist government in power. All the anti-scrounger rhetoric we enjoy from New Labour is completely absent here. Nothing. Zero. Zapatero’s government wants to be perceived in a totally different way, some say too friendly.

Like, the general rhetoric from government or public agencies is, we’re here to help and we’ll try our best because it’s in the best interest of everybody. Totally, totally different.

If there is one thing that drives me up the wall it is the left Liberal establishment arguing that the media is insufficiently weighted in their favour . There is no bar to entry into the market for left leaning papers , the Mirror is there , as is the Guardian itself the subject of an £800,000,000 public sector advertising bung (or at least a large part of it ) . Buy them is perfectly legal ! The BBC is financed by a Poll tax and well knows that the Conservative Party have its Empire in their sights . Its support for left Liberal causes such as Europe has at times been unhinged and its attitude to tax and spend government can never be even handed
Everyone else has to make a living which is why the media is appallingly slanted to the left especially at the top end . It makes me weep to see a collection of dupes trotting out the establishment lies imagining they are the only ones to see through “Murdoch”. Go back to the 60s .
As for tax avoidance unless you are suggesting we close the border( the end game of all left governments ) I am afraid you will have to live with a degree of freedom to vote with your feet . Fortunately for you little Stalin’s the middling people who get stuck for the bill are available for your predation . You may not be aware of this but we are actually at about the highest tax yield that can be squeezed out of this country

Newmania,
what are you talking about?
The UK top rate of tax is one of the lowest in the EU. A few figures for your ill-informed brain:
Sweden 55%. Finland 53%. Netherlands 52%. Belgium 50%. Spain 45%. Germany 45%. Italy 45%. Portugal 42%. Ireland 41%. France 40%. UK 40%.

Secondly, 35 of the 70 tax havens in the world are under British jurisdiction. How would legislating against that be ‘Stalinist’? Are all the other countries that don’t make it so easy to dodge tax ‘Stalinist’?

About the papers. The Guardian ‘s public sector ads stuff is all you can churn out. Just use that brain of yours. The tabloids are the best selling papers in the country. The Sun, Daily Mail, Express are firmly on the right. The Mirror is the only ‘left-leaning’ tabloid, so to speak.
Broadsheets. The Times and the Telegraph vs The Guardian and The Independent. That’s a more balanced situation. But overall…you tell me…

As for the BBC anti-Tory, just come off it.

28. douglas clark

Richard, Newmania,

Some of the ultra rich are unsocialised thieves. You sound like a couple of Republican idiots who are dirt poor but aspire. Aspire to join the cheats and manipulators who are exempt from the taxation system.

They contribute zero so what’s the problem if they fuck off?

Ridiculous. Trickle down economics at it’s worst.

29. douglas clark

Och, Newmania,

I spent a fairly pleasant evening yesterday watching the BBC i-Player. It was mainly quite enjoyable, I’d forgotten how funny Dr Who could be, James May was quite amusing on the whole idea of teenagers, Never Mind the Buzzcocks was as silly and hilarious as ever. The only fly in the ointment was watching Nadine Dorries on Question Time. Mainly because she got applause.

Right wingers like your, no doubt, good self, are on a loser if you think that the average Joe – me – are going to buy into your libertarian solutions for the BBC. It is still the best TV around.

30. douglas clark

And this is how the super rich behave. Talk about throwing the dummy out of the pram:

Barclay brothers tell Sark: you didn’t vote for us, so we’ll take our money elsewhere:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/dec/12/barclay-brothers-sark-democratic-election

It is kind of tough in the 21st century to put up with this sort of shit, is it not?

sunny: ‘whoa there sunshine’ – I knew i should have put a ‘no, not you’ disclaimer on that post, as I fully accept you weren’t defending Purnell, but my comment still stands.

I could well be being a muppet here [ignores shouts of “no change there, then” from the back] but does anyone have a link to the Cameron editorial? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

Sadie Smith,
here it is:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1092588/DAVID-CAMERON-There-5-million-people-benefits-Britain-How-stop-turning-this.html

We briefly talked about it last Sunday on our Hagley Road blog here:
http://mymarilyn.blogspot.com/2008/12/this-week.html

For what it’s worth here’s what my colleague John had written about Cameron’s editorial: “Taking it out on the benefit system only is like blaming paracetamol for the pisshead’s hangover”.

On international comparisons of tax take ( and indeed debt ) , they are a pointless we are not Sweden a fact I know that disappoints you lot dreadfully ( Their lower debt quoted by Cameron is equally meaningless ) Hamish Macrae on revenue the other day in the Indy

‘The top level of tax take in the UK seems to be around 36 per cent of GDP. Labour has never managed to nudge above that level for more than a year. Again and again it overestimated tax revenue even though growth came in on target. You can add all sorts of new taxes but the money simply does not seem to come in. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reckons that the proposed 45 per cent top tax rate will bring in no additional revenue at all.”

This remember has been during a period of puffed up growth dependent on global factors and debt. It is like in the future that the disincentive to get out of bed taxation causes would be more pronounced as it was prior to the extraordinary period of affluence we have just squandered

On the possibilties of redistributive taxation
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, since 1997 the people ranked as the “top 10 per cent” of earners have seen their income grow by 17 per cent in real terms. The bottom five per cent’s income has risen by 13.5 per cent – again, in real terms.
… Institute for Fiscal Studies .. The IFS calculated that the Government would maximise the revenue it collects from those earning over £100,000 by imposing a marginal rate – the additional tax paid on each pound of increased income – of 55.6 per cent. This, however, is perilously close to the current marginal rate of 53 per cent charged when income tax, national insurance contributions and indirect taxes are all included.” The IFS concluded that “there is not a powerful case for increasing the income tax rate on the very highest earners, even on redistributive grounds.”
As far as tax bolt holes are concerned I suspect other will, be quick to fill in the lucrative business even if I thought you had access to reliable information on the subject which I seriously doubt .
The BBC employed one Polly Toynbee as editor of social affairs for many years in the 90s . What I would like to focus on is not so much the flabbergasting bias this entails , but the fact it did not even occur to this public funded body to question the wisdom of such an appointment . If you are looking for better evidence I would direct you to the Wilson report which tracked the BBC reporting on the EU finding overwhelmingly biased in favour The tabloids broadly reflect the views of their readers. In an open market you have zero cause for complaint . The New Statesman ( which I quite like ) only gets by as rich man’s toy now that is a warp to the market .

“The UK top rate of tax is one of the lowest in the EU. A few figures for your ill-informed brain:
Sweden 55%. Finland 53%. Netherlands 52%. Belgium 50%. Spain 45%. Germany 45%. Italy 45%. Portugal 42%. Ireland 41%. France 40%. UK 40%.
Secondly, 35 of the 70 tax havens in the world are under British jurisdiction. How would legislating against that be ‘Stalinist’? Are all the other countries that don’t make it so easy to dodge tax ‘Stalinist’?
About the papers. The Guardian ’s public sector ads stuff is all you can churn out. Just use that brain of yours. The tabloids are the best selling papers in the country. The Sun, Daily Mail, Express are firmly on the right. The Mirror is the only ‘left-leaning’ tabloid, so to speak.
Broadsheets. The Times and the Telegraph vs The Guardian and The Independent. That’s a more balanced situation. But overall…you tell me…”
As for the BBC anti-Tory, just come off it.”

That is of course ignoring all the taxes that Labour have introduced by stealth, so that “useful idiots” can perpetuate the lie that our tax contributions have remained low.

I would not label the Times left or right. Compared to the Guardian, its comment section is very small. It has previously supported Labour at general elections. The influence of newspapers over voters is small when compared to the broadcast news. Newspaper sales are declining and even most actual readers will only browse through their paper. Politicians are aware that headlines are all important, especially on broadcast news. Most people will be exposed to headlines on TV or radio during the day. If you notice the BBC now does hourly bulletins on TV and on, Radio 5, its every 15 mins. When you watch the BBC news, they will announce the headlines and then 10mis later announce the headlines of “what’s coming up”, then 10 mins later do the same. At the close of the programme they will announce the headlines once again. The Labour Party links at the BBC is well documented and it is the State broadcaster.

New Labour and their taxpayer-funded propaganda machine have exploited the influential headline grabber concept to the extreme. They feed the Media endless press releases, regurgitate the same announcements over and over again, their quangos have their own press departments and the countless Govt funded reports and inquiries feed the Media the same New Labour lines.

The power of indoctrination is evident on this blog when so many left-wing posters contributions are limited to repeating bland anti-Tory diatribes that they’ve been fed for most of their short lives.

Then there is the influence of our powerful luvvie community. The Arts are full of Labour voting, middle-class ponces, many of whom are reliant on State handouts to survive. From Billy (hypocrite) Bragg to Mark Thomas they are given airtime to promote their left-wing agenda.

Labour have politicised virtually every public organisation in the past 10 years, by appointing their own people to their Board. Their favourite technique is to feed the Media a negative story about the organisation, often using the deplorable ethnic under-representation complaint (the whiff of racism is enough to prevent any proper examination of the facts). They then initiate a report or investigation from yet more cronies. The final outcome sees that organisation forced to adopt New Labour influence or/and one of their appointees. Just look at how the previously independent Football Association has come under their control with Lord Triesman’s appointment to their board. Look how English heritage now monitors the colour of skin of people who visit its properties.

36. Mike Killingworth

I want to look at one particular subset of claimant – the 50+ individual who is claiming incapacity benefit on mental health grounds.

It’s reasonable to expect such a person to organise their lives around the management of their illness. Anyone in the mental health field will say that one of the things they should do to this end is to “avoid vexatious persons” (as the Desiderata puts it).

One thing you can be sure of is that the workplace will contain at least one such vexatious person. They may have a resentment couched in terms of “identity politics”; they may think your job doesn’t really exist and the bit of it that does could be better done by themselves, with a pay rise; or you may remind them of someone else who has seriously hacked them off in the past – or they may just be bent and fear you’ll expose them (all of which have happened to me at one time or another).

Dealing with such people requires a good deal of energy and life-skills which, I think we can safely assume, our hypothetical claimant won’t have. Of course, politicians, who by definition thrive on conflict with the vexatious – because they almost all are themselves – are hardly likely to give this line of thought the time of day.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, why should people already in work be subjected to new colleagues with a history of mental illness? Does the government perhaps secretly think that work is too easy and should be made more difficult? There is, after all, a management theory – and for all any of us know David Freud subscribes to it – that if someone is performing their job well all that proves is that the expectations of their boss are too low.

chavscum,
You say you wouldn’t label the Times right-wing. By the same token The Independent is actually quite ‘independent’. They have regular right-wing commentators on given days of the week alongside those on the liberal-left. Bruce Anderson, for instance, or Dominic Lawson. Today George Osborne wrote an article for the Independent. So there you are.

I won’t disagree with you on how New Labour has managed its relationship with the BBC. The Greg Dyke affair is one of New Labour’s lowest moments.

But then though, get real. What relevance has Billy Bragg got on society? I mean, man, yours are the words of someone who has nothing else to clutch at! Who wields more power, Billy Bragg or the Sun? The Daily Mail or The Enemy? Come on…

On tax. Stealth tax, alas, exist all over the world. Again, in several countries V.A.T. is higher than Britain. And corporate tax too. Belgium, the Scandinavians, Italy and Spain all have higher corporate tax than the UK. I will agree though that the council tax is a British aberration. I know for a fact that its rough equivalent in France, Italy and Spain is a tiny fraction of what people pay in the UK.
However, you will concede that the council tax hits the lower classes disproportionally as it’s not AT ALL a progressive tax. So you have OAPs on the breadline in parts of the country paying less council tax than the Prime Minister.

Both the quotes I give above are from the Independent one from D Lawson. Claude’s problem is his inability to grasp that you do not have to buy these papers and there are alternatives. Furthermore it is demonstrably a market you can enter so if there was a demand for a more leftish tabloid there would be one . They are all losing circulation actually partly to the internet where the BBC competes unfairly with its necessarily statist bias .
I think on tax comparisons some countries , like Sweden are genuinely collectivist in outlook but others are taxing people out of a far greater disposable income after housing costs so the comparison is skewed. You would have to look at the utility costs
At all events we are heading into a period of heaving US services and European taxes thanks to Browns squander over ten years
( On corporate tax we clearly are not in the same position in ward and out wards investment here dwarfs European levels )

“The Arts are full of Labour voting, middle-class ponces, many of whom are reliant on State handouts to survive. From Billy (hypocrite) Bragg to Mark Thomas they are given airtime to promote their left-wing agenda.”

Hold on a minute, what are you suggesting here? That comedians shouldn’t be able to include political material? That musicians shouldn’t be allowed to write political lyrics? Or should the state censor them and insist they can’t mention politics except behind closed doors?

It’s not the fault of Labour or lefties more generally that people who are talented musically happen to have left-wing views. And it’s not the fault of Labour that comedians who people find actually funny have left-wing views. There are comedians (not as many, granted) who are right-wing, eg Jim Davidson, Roy Chubby Brown etc. The trouble is that most people (of my generation at least) just don’t think they’re funny (regardless of the content).

Tim F that is changing fast the old “alternative (to) comedy” brigade look decidedly stale now against the new crop whose outlook is rightish. Frankie Boyle Michael MacIntyre . As for musicians. …. the music industry used to be dominated by left of centre baby boomer views but now you are starting to get a mix of views

Michael MacIntyre spends his entire act taking the mickey out of upper-middle class people who live in Muswell Hill. That doesn’t seem particularly right-wing to me.

I wouldn’t place Frankie Boyle’s act anywhere on a political scale, but if I had to guess I’d say he votes Labour.

Please name me some right-of-centre bands. Other than Slayer (who’ve been around a while now so you can’t have been referring to them), the Spice Girls (who hardly qualify as musically talented), and the odd white-supremacy band, I can’t think of any. And I listen to a lot of music.

Oh, if I had to guess I’d say James Blunt’s probably a Tory. You’re welcome to him, though.

I quite like James Blunt , what’s the matter with him then ? You are being disingenuous about the style of comedy I am pointing out . Its not sanctimonious Ben Elton and Dawn French is it and right wing people enjoy it ? The working class comedians you predictably despise probably did vote Conservative having made a tidy sum but their audience was entirely Labour .
Music is a tricky one . I ‘m not sure if being a Conservative makes a for a good rabble rousing anthem but is that relevant ? If , as I have , you have ever been in a band , you would not trust musician to sit the right way round on a lavatory seat neither would you listen to the poetic musings of an accountant . I think we both know who we would trust to get anything right though. Personally I find the vacuous waffle of Sting and Bono hysterically funny . Billy Bragg is a nauseating bore .There is , no red wedge today , he lives in all white Dorset while Paul Weller sends his kids to Public school. Predictability rules.

I cannot imagine a public sector band , know one ?

“I quite like James Blunt , what’s the matter with him then ?”

I have a special category for people who don’t understand what everyone else hates about James Blunt, and I can’t tell you how much it delights me to find out you’re one of them.

We’re getting way off the point, though, which is that it’s silly to complain about artists being given airtime to “promote their political views”, because the alternative is a ridiculous level of censorship. If there were talented and popular right-wing comedians or musicians they’d get airtime too (as Jim Davidson in fact did 20 years ago when people still thought he was funny/relevant).

The Rolling Stones ?Conservative. Mick always was.ACDC , Conservative, David Bowie ,Conservative Most black musicians Conservative (if anything ) , I do understand Bluntophobia , I just don`t agree particularly , its a bit like the sort of faux horror that used to attach to sweet German wine and the province of the ignorant provincial snob . It is still unwise to admit to being a Conservative in the music industry , comedy is certainly moving away from the left . I have no objection to anyone saying anything but the dominant role of the BBC in that sphere has skewed the media . I know one or two commissioning editors for R 4 . I promise you , its a time warp.

I attach great importance to this cultural battle and the fact it is finally going my way is hugely interesting

Sunny did you listen to this week on Thusday. John Bird was very critical of the welfar edependency culture .The Big Issue undertook a survey and found in a book makers 60% of the clients were on welfare. Karen Matthews had 5 children from 7 fathers. A magistrate told me he had sent down a child whose mother had 7 children from 7 fathers. In The Independent12/12/08 p38 there is an advert for Kids Company the quotation is “Is your fist reaction that he needs a damn good hiding?. That’s what all his mother’s boyfriends thought too.” Here is a clear inference of mothers bringing in unsuitable men into their homes resulting in the suffering their sons.

The Beveredge Report hoped to fight idleness, squalor and ignorance. Can you explain why someone who survived the convoys; fought in the Battle of Britain; served in Bomber Command and flew over occupied Europe; served in the Chindits or served in the Commandos or Special Forces risking torture and execution pay taxes to subsidise Karen Matthews lifestyle? Could you also point out any passage in the Beveredge Report which justifies Karen Matthews lifestyle. The neighbours were horrified at the filthy state of Sharon Matthews. There are no excuses why a child should not be brought up in a clean and orderly home- go to bed an a reasonable hour,have a nutritious breakfast , wear clean clothes to school,be washed once a day, have a nutritious meal in the evening, and have a parent listen to their reading every night. As the Kids Company points out please explain why any mother should not be criticised for allowing any man into her home who would harm her children in any way.

After 63 years of the Welfare State there is no excuse for idleness, squalor and ignorance. If someone is unemployed there is no reason why they cannot keep a home clean and orderly, their appearance clean and well kept, take exercise within their capability and use such facilities as the local library and adult education service to keep their minds occupied. Unemployed people can also undertake useful work in the voluntary sector. The question is of will power. If the British people had shown the same level of ignorance and idleness as Sharon Matthews and people like her, we would have never carried on fighting after the fall of France.

A google of ACDC and conservative brings up your comment, newmania. The second result is a statement that conservative groups boycotted ACDC.

The only info I can find on Bowie’s politics is a donation to the NAACP and his refusal of a knighthood. Doesn’t sound particularly right-wing either. Besides, all those groups are pretty old now, so not much evidence you are winning a cultural war right now.

Your comments suggest you have no idea why people hate James Blunt.

Mainly aimed at Charlie #48:
In an interview with the Telegraph, David Freud, advisor to the government on the welfare system, is thus described:
“He took three weeks to research and write the first draft of his report.”

Brilliant — 100 years have passed since Lloyd George’s People’s Budget but an advisor, with no background in sociology or psychology, can fix the problems after three weeks of study… Whilst sharing Freud’s lack of academic qualifications in the field, I’ll raise one idea.

Welfare (defined as support for those in need) should be separated from “what do we do about the failed underclass?”. They need to be two discrete policy making decisions. The budget debate about how much money should be provided to needy families would be conducted over one or two days. Discussion about dependency culture would be off-topic. Bringing people into the jobs culture is for next week’s debate.

Oh Jesus you sound like my little niece telling I just don’t get Mac-Fly Alright you are really really fashionable . Happy ?

Could you also point out any passage in the Beveredge Report which justifies Karen Matthews lifestyle.

Nothing in the Magna Carts justified Derek Conway’s behaviour either – I’m not sure if that’s an argument to justify tearing down the Parliamentary system. Is it?

51. AvantiPopolo

Hmm. A danger of polarisation obscuring the big picture here.

The Duke of Westminster & his sponging ilk, the hedge-fund parasites, arms dealers etc = scrotes who don’t contribute to society and, further, are dysfunctional to the common good (but you won’t hear that from Cameron as they’re his mates).

Karen Matthews & the ASBO crew (not working class) = scrotes who don’t contribute to society &, further, are dysfunctional to the common good (but you won’t hear that from middle-of-the-road liberals because of misplaced good intentions).

Owen’s lecture in the Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists gives a good socialist perspective on this when he describes – & I paraphrase as I don’t have the book in front of me – “bishops, dukes, vagabonds, earls, burglars & other layabouts – all that class who have no intention of ever doing an honest day’s work”.

What we need in Britiain is a non means tested Citizen#s Income (CI) payable to everyone whether earning or not. I would set this at between £150 and £200 per week which should be enough to live on for most poeple if you are frugal. You would need to be as you would get little other help from the State after this except for education (this help would be means tested) or if you were disabled and therefore could not work and you needed significant additional help to cope with day to day living.

The sort of benefits that would replaced, now being covered by seperate parts of the Welfare State would include Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and the State Pension. Other benefits might also be covered by the CI

How could this be paid for? Well, there are a numbe of ways, some of which are:

1 The Citizen’s income itself will replace, almost entirely the bureaucracy of the current welfare
system.That means that most of the buildings and staff who currently administer the various
benefit payments would no longer be needed. The staff who would lose their jobs would be
covered and protected by the CI payments everyone else would get.
2 National Insurance. Everyone in work would continue to pay their National Insurance
contributions exactly as they do now.
3 Tax. The tax system would be streamlined such that everyone pays a fair amount of tax and is
therefore seen to be contributing, financially, to the economy. CI would be taxable at a low rate
of, say 1 or 2% so as not to penalise the least well off unfairly. On top of this everyone would
pay a flat rate income tax of let’s say 5% of their total income from any source. This way we all
pay a fair share of tax based on ability to pay. A high earner would pay more in cash terms but
i terms of actual income he or she will be paying the same proportionally to income as a low
earner.
4 Business controbutions. A levy will be payable by businesses again based on thier size and
profits. The conttibution would be reduced for those companies who employ British workers
rather than offshoring staff to India, China or elsewhere. This will create an incentive to employ
British workers instead of foreign labour. Companies could still choose to “offshore” but they will
have to pay the Government here a greater contribution should they choose the offshoreing
option in order to compensate the British workers who they have made unemployed. All of a
sudden the practice of “offshoreng” will become very unprofitable and cease. O course, a
business could choose to move abroad entirely but in this case the question must be asked do
we need that sort of employer anyway?

It might be arguef that the CI will encourage people who do not want to work to be lazy. This may be true and it is true under the current benefits system as well. However, under the CI, unlike the current Job Seekers Allowance an individual could take any job they wish for as many hours as they wish. Under the current Job Seekers Allowance you may work for up to 16 hours per week after which all benefits cease entirely.The trouble is that most jobs are advertised at at least 18 to 20 hours per week which means that someone on Job Seekers Allowance cannot afford to take the postion as they could not then afford to live. However, if we changed to a CI system instead then the currently jobless individual could certainly afford to take the job and would actually be better off if he or she did so even though more tax would now have to be paid.

Alternatiely the individual could choose some other form of legitamate activity such as Voluntary work which betters society as a whole or could go down the education route, perhaps with a view to getting a better paid job. The state might be able to provide some help in the latter case if it is clear that the training course will help give the iindividual a better chance in the labou market and does not have sufficient income to meet the costs of the course. That would be means tested.

Help and careers advice would be made available to the citizen. What is left of the current Job Centres would be tasked to do this. although most of the administrative staff would have been made redundent a proportion of the staff would be retained and would be trained to provide help in job seeking activities, educational and training courses (including associated sources of funding) and more general careers advice at all levels whether the individual is someone who is a professional, a graduate or who left school with few or no qualifications. Such an adivser would have to be a very knowlegble, well trained and flexible person. Since there would be no compulsion to attend such advice anf guidance sessions the system would have to provide timely, effective and relevant help to the job seeker ot that person might choose to obtain help elsewhere.

Will such a system ever be put into practice. Well, I hope so as it could be just what is needed to start getting us out of the current economic downturn. Unemployed people under the current Welfare System do not go out and spend much money because they cannot afford to do so. If you were on £60 per week after you pay rent/mortagage but before you pay other nills you could not affotd to do very much at all either.

Under the current Welfare System the more poople we have in this postion the worse things get for everyone as fewer people will be spending and therefore business profit margins will narrow ever more dangerously. And so companies will make more staff redundant. Tjhis in turn will create another vicious downward spiral of unemployment, homelessness, social discontent and growing desperation.

This in turn will lead to a growth in political extremism. Think of it this way. In Germany in the year 1929 there was a small, insignificant and seemingly unelectable party called the Nazi party under the leadership of a certain Adolf Hitler. Five Years and a Great Depression later, in 1933 that party was the party of government in Germany. As history tells us that party went on to start a World War that killed over 50million people and probably much more. Including the genocide in the Nazi Death camps which killed at least 6 million.

And you don’t think a party like that could take power in Britian? Or that we might not have a revolution like the French in 1789 that led to the deaths of millions (and that was just those killed by the French Revolution itself, not the soldiers who died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars tjhat were fought out over the next 20 years?

Well, if you make people desperte enough as you will if we continue on the current route then something like the above might very welll happen.

Either that or the Government and the People need to work together to deliver the social, political and economic challenges our society now faces. If the Government and current political elite do not do this then there may come a time when they will regret it. And the people also will suffer the consequences.


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