Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Monthly Archives: March 2012

If Oswald Mosley Had Fought Bradford West …

Imagine an alternative universe where a by-election had been held in a predominantly white constituency, which we shall call – just randomly, because it’s somewhere in the middle of the UK – Bradford West. (I did say alternative universe, remember).

Pick a race card ... any race card

Is it just plausible that some old ‘far right’ loon like Oswald Mosley might have put the following letter out to the electorate?

To voters of Anglo-Saxon heritage and English ascendancy in Bradford West:

God Save the Queen!

I have been increasingly angered by the dishonest and desperate efforts of the Labour campaign for Joe Bloggs, to deceive you about your vote.

You should vote for him because he is “British” they say, and because he is of Anglo-Saxon background.

Leaving aside the wisdom of a party running such a campaign in a constituency which contains thousands of people of many faiths and backgrounds, and in the name of the deputy leader of the council no less, let us look as this more closely.

God KNOWS who is British. And he KNOWS who is not. Instinctively, so do you. Let me point out to all the true English countrymen and women what I stand for:

I, Oswald Mosley, do not drink foreign beer and never have. Ask yourself if you believe the other candidate in this election can say that truthfully.

I, Oswald Mosley, have fought for the Anglo-Saxon way of life at home and abroad, all my life. And paid a price for it. I believe the other candidates in this election cannot say that truthfully.

I, Oswald Mosley, tell the truth, stand up for the truth, in parliament, on radio, on television, in the face of all its enemies, without fear, however powerful the are. Even in the US Senate, by the Grace of God. The truth and Mr Blair’s New Labour are passing strangers.

I, Oswald Mosley, hold Britain’s highest civil awards. The Knight of the British Empire. What has the other candidate ever done for Bradford West let alone Britain and England?

And, with your support, and if God wills it, I want to give my remaining days in the service of all the people – Whites, English and everyone in Bradford West. I await your sincere judgement on this matter.

God Save The Queen!

Sir Oswald Mosley

With apologies to George Galloway for the plagiarism … maybe.

H/T: Skip Licker for the inspiration.

The 30% Granny Tax Trap Osborne Could Set for Labour

Well, Conservatives can take heart that at least incompetence isn’t restricted only to their own side, as a top Labour spin-doctor admits that they screwed up when they failed to vote against the cutting of the 50p tax rate.

However, it may well be too late now to repair the damage done by the incompetent handling of the gradual withdrawal of the age-related allowance (ARA) – the so called ‘granny tax’. The incompetence, however, was not to decision to withdraw it; it was a sensible move given that the significant increases in the standard personal allowance is making the ARA redundant. No, the incompetence is to miss the biggest win resulting from the move: the abolition – not imposition – of a granny tax.

The biggest negative side-effect of the ARA was the abatement mechanism: the gradual withdrawal of the allowance as the pensioner’s income approached the income limit (currently £24,000 for 2011/12). With £1 of allowance being lost for every £2 in extra income, the abatement added an extra 10p effective marginal tax rate on top of the existing 20p.*

Yes, George Osborne last week abolished the 30% granny tax.

However, thanks to the government’s slow-witted spin operation, it became regarded as the imposition of a tax. How useless does a PR operation at the highest level of domestic government have to be to manage such a disastrous inversion of the message?

Those pensioners who are only on the state pension will not be affected by the ARA withdrawal, as they will be nowhere near that abatement band. Those on more than £24k would similarly be unaffected, as they will not be benefiting from the ARA anyway. Those in the middle are being relieved of a 30% marginal tax rate. What’s not to like?

There is, at least, an opportunity here to salvage what little advantage may be left, to embarrass Labour and perhaps belatedly shore up some of the wavering support among the age bracket that is most likely to vote.

Labour will surely be tabling amendments on the ‘granny tax’. If the government spin-doctors can remove their shortest digits from their posteriors for a few minutes, then this could be legitimately presented as Labour trying to re-impose a penalty on age, a slap in the face for those who spent their working lives … blah blah blah…

I wouldn’t bank on it though. Frankly – and I shudder just typing this – Mandelson would have done a far better PR job.

* (It’s the same effect that creates a 60% rate, plus NI, between £100,000 and £114,950.

Cash for Access (Part 94) – The Answer Will Still Be Wrong

You just know that whatever answer they come up with to the latest cash for access scandal, it’ll be the wrong one.

Number 10 is now publishing the details of who Cameron entertained on government premises. Like it will make a difference to anything. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done – of course it should; it’s public property so we have a right, within the usual reason (national security, etc.) to know what’s going on there. Apparently, Francis Maude , soon-to-be-reshuffled Cabinet Office minister, had gone some way by publishing details of meetings between ministers and lobbyists … up to June 2011, but then it stopped (though probably more through incompetence than conspiracy). Strangely, so eagerly awaited and pored over were these reports that no-one seems to have noticed that they had stopped until now.

Anyway, back to the point. There are calls for limits on the amount of donations, bans on non-individual donations (which might get traction, as it could – rightly – also include unions) and of course, the old chestnut, state funding of parties. The latter will hopefully not come to fruition, if not because of the current fiscal situation, then the fact that there is apparently no cross-party consensus on the issue … yet.

But the real issue is this – all this is mere tweaking. The fact is that the more areas that government insists on sticking its nose in, the more scope there will be for said government – of any colour – to be lobbied, cajoled, wined and dined, or otherwise pushed by the competing interests involved.

The more pies the state sticks its fingers into, the more people that will be wanting to lick said digits.

Minimum Alcohol Pricing – Today’s Headline-Chasing Silver Bullet

This morning I thought of a superb policy idea. Something that will eliminate speeding and deaths on the road. It will save the NHS billions and mean that the police can stop ‘doing traffic’ and go out and chase ‘real criminals’ … and it’s stunningly simple:

Introduce a minimum price for petrol and diesel.

I mean, the stuff’s so cheap at the moment, I really don’t know why anyone hasn’t thought of it before. Perhaps, if that’s too radical, they could slap a load of tax on fuel – that would probably work as well….

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Tax Avoidance Creates Jobs And Boosts The Economy – Livingstone

Yes, that’s today’s excuse from Red Ken about why he avoided £50,000 of tax/National Insurance by channelling his earnings through a limited company rather than as an employee of is various ‘engagers’, or as a Schedule D* self-employed taxpayer.


OK, so it might not have been as much as £50,000 – it may have been more – but this figure was not calculated by a Ken-bashing swivel eyed right winger like me. It was Richard Murphy; he who, if you asked him if tax avoidance was worse than paedophilia, would have to pause and think about his answer.

Anyway, speaking on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show this morning, Ken said that the £50,000 saved enabled him to give jobs to two people. Clearly Ken isn’t an accountant or economist, but it seems he implicitly recognises the phenomenon of tax incidence and the extent to which much business taxation ends up being borne by the employees – his reasoning for his tax avoidance pretty well says as much. So, his tax avoidance helped create jobs. He could have added the observation that this was an example of him choosing how to spend that £50,000 rather then the government doing so, but let’s take that as read.

His response also acknowledges that fact that tax removes money from the economy. Again, this is a significant departure from the conventional nonsensical leftist line that reducing public expenditure (and thus, by definition, reducing taxation now or in the future) is ‘taking money out of the economy’. Not that Livingstone would see it this way, but when you’re still digging in as deep a hole as he is, I’m surprised he can see anything.

* Showing my age now. Heck, I still find myself talking about SC60’s** sometimes.

** My fellow accountants will understand.

Cameron Loses the Hilton Rudder

Steve Hilton, Downing Street’s policy ‘guru’ has left, fed up with the Whitehall machine and Europe to spend more time with his family.

The direction that Steve Hilton took the Conservative Party in was not to everyone’s taste, but at least he gave it one. Despite the capitulation to watermelon greenery, detoxification in principle was necessary, and Hilton’s euro-scepticism was credited, in part, as being a factor in Cameron’s quasi-veto back in December.

A couple of weeks ago, a conference of Conservative MPs heard from Andrew Cooper, the former pollster who is now at the heart of Number 10. His increasingly influential position is in contrast to Hilton’s; while all governments should have regard to public feeling, an increasingly prominent feature of the government in recent months has been an apparent heightened sensitivity to the headlines. Whether it’s the over-reaction to the Council prayer’s decision (which only served to open new divisions in the party) or the woolly response to the Heston bonus story, the pollsters influence on government business has been trumping whatever coherent policy direction that existed before – and that direction was pretty weak, diluted as it inevitably was y the politics of coalition and Cameron’s own antipathy to “-isms”.

Alas, with Hilton now taking his ball home with him the party’s rudder, erratic though it could seem sometimes, has finally disappeared. A government reacting to headlines and polls seems to have more in common with the last years of John Major’s. One could suggest New Labour as another comparator, but at least they had some grip on the media, rather than the other way around.

There is one consolation with this situation though – before now, Cameron’s government has been haunted not by the ghost of Margaret Thatcher’s time in power, but by Ted Heath’s – and that has nothing to do with Europe, rather the numbers of u-turns and compromises that destroy any confidence in the ability to govern.

Cameron is unlikely to be asking the electorate the question, without knowing the answer, ‘who governs Britain’. He’ll know the answer from the polls, we’ll know the answer is the polls.