Hannan: most people disagree with me on tax


10:30 am - March 9th 2010

by Sunder Katwala    


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He is the leading advocate of the British Tea Party vanguard, yet Daniel Hannan MEP may be slipping sensibly down the Palin-o-Meter scale this morning.

Hannan makes a series of partisan points in his paean of praise to Eric Pickles, but he also offers a rare acknowledgement from the right that wanting lower spending and less government as a matter of principle is a minority pursuit, quietly admitting that “the country” can not be convinced on that basis.

If the Conservatives win the next election – and I remain convinced that they will – there will need to be drastic action to restore order and sanity to our public finances. In order to win that argument, ministers will need to convince the country, not just that large minority who want spending reductions on principle. It is perfectly possible to have voted Labour in 1997, wanting the government to spend more on public services, but to feel that things have gone too far. It is perfectly possible to have been satisifed with the level of taxation and borrowing as recently as 2008, but to be horrified by our Greek-level deficit today.

You could call this the ‘most taxpayers don’t agree with the taxpayers alliance’ insight.

It may be churlish to quibble with this tacitly centrist advocacy – but you could question “large minority” a bit too.

Findings depend on what question is put and how. But the longest established British Social Attitudes academic series, offered lower spending and lower taxes against either the status quo, or more spending with higher taxes, then even moderate moves in favour of the “populist” Taxpayers Alliance/Tea Party mission win the support of 8%.

With most of the party base believing the answer is more more Tory Red Meat, this apparent outbreak of centrist sensiblism from Daniel Hannan may come as some small measure of relief.

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About the author
Sunder Katwala is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is the director of British Future, a think-tank addressing identity and integration, migration and opportunity. He was formerly secretary-general of the Fabian Society.
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Reader comments


Shock news: most people want more of other people’s money.

Shock news: not everyone is so stupid as to think that you can run a modern society with decent health care, transport and public services without paying decent taxes for it.

3. Sunder Katwala

” It is perfectly possible to have been satisifed with the level of taxation and borrowing as recently as 2008, but to be horrified by our Greek-level deficit today.”

Yes, because nothing has changed between 2008 and now. Let’s all go and live in Dan Hannan’s paradise, Iceland.

Fuckwit.

He is also fucking ugly. I even hate seeing pictures of him.

Hannan is quite vominous, a poster boy for bad ideas.

7. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Phew, I was wondering what Hannan was upto,

Any news on Nadine Dorries?

8. Sunder Katwala

There’s been an outbreak of less certainty.

They are all at it today. Here’s Fraser Nelson at CoffeeHouse
http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/5828153/bringing-clegg-to-the-table.thtml

“My gut feeling is that Cameron will win with a majority. But I had a gut feeling that Carey Mulligan would get Best Actress at the Oscars. When Scotland play rugby, I have a gut feeling that they will win. My gut, alas, has a pretty poor track record. But if I look at the polls, it suggests that Cameron will not win outright, and that Nick Clegg will be needed to form a majority”.

Most voters don’t know what they want until they see it put in practice. I doubt many people foresaw an end to exchange rate controls or NHS specs, but no party is suggesting we go back to them now.

Could any of the economists who follow this list put our debt into some kind of perspective? I can’t help but feel its being used as some kind of an excuse for policies that would otherwise be unpopular, and with ulterior motives.

11. Truth Talker

“Shock news: not everyone is so stupid as to think that you can run a modern society with decent health care, transport and public services without paying decent taxes for it.”

The prviate sector can handle all of the things you’ve mentioned, without taxes.

Going to convince anyone of that, are you? In an election?

Trash Talker:

You have got to be kidding me? Even the most free-market uber capitalist will concede that the private sector is not suitable for all things, quite simply because in many areas of life, a bottom line and a profit should not be the be all and end all.

Good grief.

Could any of the economists who follow this list put our debt into some kind of perspective?

I’m a historian – will that do?

According to the Ernst & Young Item club, in the two years 2009-10 and 2010-11, the government will probably have to raise £350bn.

That is more debt bequeathed to its successor than the total borrowed by successive rulers and governments of Britain between 1691 and 1997, the year Labour was elected.

15. Col. Richard Hindrance (Mrs), VC, DSO & Bar Six, KitKat

There’s something about those posters who adopt usernames like “Truth Talker” or “Veritas”, isn’t there? What is it…?

Oh yes, they always end up being the ones guaranteed to talk utter bollocks.

You’d think they’d have learnt their lesson from the credibility afforded to “Pravda,” wouldn’t you? Self-important tossers.

15 – like newspaper columnists styling themselves ‘the voice of reason’.

Yes, does anyone remember that political “party” Veritarse? The ones who left UKIP because even UKIP weren’t cunts to a high enough level for them?

Are you a gynecologist?

Personally I am. Never had any of that medical school shite but I learnt on the job.

“The prviate sector can handle all of the things you’ve mentioned, without taxes.”

My sides are splitting! The banks?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Paul Sandars

    RT @libcon: Hannan: most people disagree with me on tax http://bit.ly/cUB7zN

  2. Sunder Katwala

    RT @libcon Hannan: most people disagree with me on tax http://bit.ly/cUB7zN < A cooler cup of tea (next left) http://bit.ly/bpewlL

  3. Liberal Conspiracy

    Hannan: most people disagree with me on tax http://bit.ly/cUB7zN

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