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What did you do to cut the deficit, Daddy?

Nick Robinson | 15:06 UK time, Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Poster of Lord Kitchener

 

Evoking Britain's wartime spirit, David Cameron has just declared that "Your Country Needs You".

His call to arms invites the small businessman to get up early to get the economy growing again, public sector workers to become their own boss - turning the Post Office into a version of John Lewis - and parents to demand new and better schools.

I can't help feeling though that what he really wants is to invoke the spirit of another wartime poster - "What did you do to cut the deficit, Daddy?"

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    And what are you going to do Nick ?

  • Comment number 2.

    Not complaining about cutting the child benefit for a start. Posh and Becks get it at the moment - it has to be an embarrassment to them.

    For those where two people earn less than super tax salaries then why not super tax them? That makes it fairer.

    Given the chance we can all use our common sense and co-operate in doing what is right for the country. And from that emanates a more responsible and caring society.

    A nation without a conscience is a nation without a soul. Winston Churchill.

  • Comment number 3.

    Is this a joke?

    What nation is this I am supposed to be supporting?

    The tories are back and it is every man for himself.

    This is more laughable than the child benefit fiasco - it's a great day to laugh at the tories.

  • Comment number 4.

    What is going on?

    This is not a real national emergency it is a distraction technique. Don't look at me, look at where I am pointing.

    Cameron as Lord Kitchener or Churchill, rallying the nation. I really don't think so. We are not all in it together. Cameron and the front bench are millionairs and cannot suffer from the effects of econimic collapse. However, the ordinary public have to pay with their jobs, income and then their homes.

    This is an artifical crisis created by an opportunist PM who wants you not to see the truth, that he has a hidden agenda to hack away the whole of the public sector as he has old fashoind monistrist ideas. He does not have the mandate from the voting public to make cuts on the scale that he is doing, and more to the point, even if any of his policies could be justified, he is in such a rush to push so much through so quickly that it is all being done on the fly.

    In fact what should be happeneing is a call to arms of the voting public who sewm shell-shocked by what is going on, and a major push to get this govenment out.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Parents to demand new and better schools" - what an insult to all of the teaching profession.
    So there you have it "I David Cameron am going to smash up the public sector and cause massive unemployment that will spread into the private sector, and you the public are to build the economy yourselves."

    So then it will be the fault of the British public if they don't repair the damage that Cameron is going to do?
    This is an outrage!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    It reminds me of a story where someone was arrested for pasting Kitchener's iconic poster on the headstones of a local gravyard. Cameron's call for high income earners to take their share conveniently leaves out the potential for a wealth tax where those enjoying the obscene vast accumulation of wealth could make a proportionate contribution. Billionaires could adopt a run down part of a big city and pour investment in it instead of bankrolling a football team.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Your Country Needs You" is an echo of a dim and distant land.

    As I have just finished a book by Rev. Burder entitled Hell On Earth - My Life In The Trenches, then maybe it would be prudent to let somebody else - benefit claimaints? - go over the top.

    Yes, todays cannon-fodder are to be, just like 95 years ago, the uninformed.

  • Comment number 9.

    Perhaps that should be, "What did you do to cut the deficit, Mummy?"

    Although the the thinking behind the universal Child Benefit is clearly outdated, some of the old slogans still have resonance today.

    Let's dig for victory. Also, Don't be a Squander Bug.

  • Comment number 10.

    His call is a bit like celebrities on charity events asking hard working people 'give us your money now' when quite clearly they could all put their hands in their pockets and do the same without it hurting.
    Fine in principle but until we really see the super rich, the banks etc really hurting too, are people really going to take up his baton, especially when the real culrits of all this, carry one as before. Why are we being asked to pay the price for their greed and incompetence?

    It all very well to say we are all in this together but for those who are going to loose their jobs, possibly their homes and break up of their family, we are not all in thsi together and it is certainly not fair. Some might even contemplate suicide. I just don't think they really truly understand what they are asking some people to sacrifice.

    Why can they not play around with the tax system more and have more bands of tax and raise the threshhold higher to keep those at the low end out of tax and raise the threshold at the upper end to make them pay more? Would that not be a fairer system rather than some loose everything?

    David Cameron bangs on about how it is all Labours fault when quite clearly Mervyn King admitted only recently at the TUC 'we had it in our grasp and we let it slip'. Labour couldn't have been doing too badly for him to admit that. Every Country in the western world was totally consumed with greed, and moer and more for less and less, instigated by the financial sector and what appeared to be boundless sources of credit.

    I don't recall either Mr Cameron or George Osborne ever giving out warning signals about this and no-one has ever challenged either of them to tell us what they would have done in the crisis and what kind of deficit we would now have. It is always very easy to blame others but it takes a real statesman to stand up and say 'actually they did their best in the heat of the moment and we maybe would have had to do the same but now we have to deal with the problem' and then tackle those who caused it, not shy away for fear of upsetting them and take it out on those who can ill afford it.
    The coming cuts in the public sector are going to seriously hurt those in the private sector and no good telling people we are going to cut your benefits if you don't work because there will be no new jobs.

    The Tories presided over the recession in the 1980's, which for those who can remember, were seriously scary times with 4.5million people unemployed, 14% interest rates and double digit inflation. Mrs Thatcher destroyed our manufacturing base because she wanted to destroy the unions and now we have nothing to build on. I recall being told manufacturing didn't matter because the financial sector is so successful we don't need it and now we are being told we have to export ourselves out of this. Export what? Skills have all gone.

    This Government now wants to dismantle the public sector in the same way but forgetting that the public sector spends its money in the private sector, so do it too quickly and the economy will undoubtably suffer and the private sector will make people redundant far quicker than the public sector, so more in benefit, less tax revenue and less to spend in the shops etc.
    I agree much needs to be done to reform our society but you cannot persuade people to take the pain when quite clearly those who have broad shoulders are not having to, to the same extent.
    Will £50,000 a week footballers suffer, I don't think so. Will bankers about to award themselves six figure bonus' I don't think so.

    All in this together is meaningless, unless everyone takes the pain in the same measure and that is not going to happen.

    No-one ever thinks about the stone in the pond and the ripples it creates. They are about to throw a massive boulder into the pond without any knowledge of the ramifications for doing so and no way to stop it once they have done it.

  • Comment number 11.

    I think its going to take more than a speech to get more people to start businesses. The banks are apparently still not lending very much and the grants application is a drawn out process which not many people bother about. All in all, if you start a business you take the full risk yourself if it goes wrong. If it goes well, you'll get taxed more and more. This doesn't seem right to me so some kind of tax breaks need to be introduced or people won't bother starting up on their own.

  • Comment number 12.

    David Cameron pledges to build "a nation of doers and go-getters". Not very patriotic is it?! I'm sorry we as a nation have disappointed him.

    "Your Country Needs You" - much better than "We're all in this together", much more Andy Coulsonish

  • Comment number 13.

    A really interesting speech especially on the Big Society. I was surprised to hear a Conservative PM talk about society in a way that really brought home to me that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone and that the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe.
    I'm sure a lot of the country could agree with this idea of us working together to achieve things. It was the major part of the speech and it certainly appealed to my Methodist values.
    I thought he had some good jokes, the one about the Tory party not being a party of vested interests made me laugh the loudest. Although I noticed the group sitting behind him that contained a lot of public school educated millionaires didn't laugh at that one -not sure why?

  • Comment number 14.

    jon112dk

    'What nation is this I am supposed to be supporting?'

    Given that you and most of your lefty chums are living on a different planet I'm not sure it's a question that really concerns you.

  • Comment number 15.

    Bet a few more quid on the Euromillions tonight....

  • Comment number 16.

    "What did you do to cut the deficit, Daddy-O?"

    As the people fundamentally responsible for the deficit and the national debt are primarily from two cohorts, namely politicians (£700 billion+ interest) and some bankers (£160 billion + interest), then surely the question should be directed at them?

    That is what sticks in the craw, politicians and some bankers are mainly responsible for this situation but the general public are required to pick up the tab.

  • Comment number 17.

    Oh, if only Labour were in charge. None of this nonsense about it being up to us to sort it out. We could just sit back and Nanny State would do everything for us. Increased benefits, pensions and salaries for public servants, more public servants! A new school for every pupil and a new hospital for every patient. And only the moaning minnies would ask where the money was coming from...that's obvious. The rich! It's so easy. Doesn't everyone remember how well it worked over the last couple of years?

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    To elaborate on what I said in 2. above:

    People banging on the on the wireless last couple of days about the unfairness of two people earning just BELOW super tax level not losing their child benefit whilst the household with just one worker who is above the threshold losing the child benefit -

    Well this is an anomaly in the tax system not the new child benefit arrangements. To put that right lump the two salaries in the same house together and tax them - I have a feeling that is down the road and to come maybe.


    Anyway, to the whingers: 83% in a poll thought that the government is doing the right thing. So do I.

  • Comment number 20.

    7 - "Billionaires could adopt a run down part of a big city and pour investment in it instead of bankrolling a football team."

    Do you know, I quite like that idea. Much better use of the money. In the US, there have been some amazing charitable works achieved by the very wealthy.

    Mind you , in the US they don't see the rich as some sort of pariah to be demonised.

  • Comment number 21.

    Flame #2

    Blimey! Have you been on the happy pills?! Coherent and well thought out, which is surely a first for your good self.
    More of the same please, old bean.

  • Comment number 22.

    In the grip of an ideological belief in role of the state this government, along with several other European governments, have declared war on the working people, those on benefits, pensions, welfare, and the public sector. The war imagery is appropriate; the government has declared war on the country and the people have to ask what they are prepared to do in this war with the coalition, and indeed, with the governments throughout Europe who are obeying their generals in the banks.

  • Comment number 23.

    "What did you do to cut the deficit, Daddy?"
    "I became unemployed cannon fodder, Son!"

    "Your Country Needs You" is going to sound very very sick to those currently working in the public sector who are going to lose their jobs.

  • Comment number 24.

    TAX THE RICH! seems to be the only thing the left canb say these days.

    I wonder (if they have a calculator to hand) if they'd like to do a quick sum. Which is greater?

    50% of £200,000

    or

    40% of £275,000.

    If having that lower tax rate was more like to encourage the worker to earn the latter salary, who loses? Who gains?

    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well, if Mr Cameron thinks that wealthier people should pay more... why not increase taxes 1p, 40 to 41? That would probably help. Of course, this would be a "tory anathema" and it is much easier to sell the idea of cutting a benefit. "Benefits", in the mind of the tories (and many other people), equal to "money for the poor". Well, let me just say that there are tax deductions in most of the first world countries, that think that, if you have kids, you should pay a bit less of taxes. If you have kids, you understand why.

  • Comment number 26.

    Jeremy Pearce

    'What is going on?'

    The coalition are sorting out New Labour's mess

    'This is not a real national emergency it is a distraction technique'

    That's right Jeremy. Let's just wish away £155bn debt shall we ?

    'Cameron and the front bench are millionairs and cannot suffer from the effects of econimic collapse'

    Have no fear. Everyone's going to suffer as a result of the economic fiasco left behind by New Labour. Poor, middle classes, millonaires included.

    'This is an artifical crisis created by an opportunist PM'

    You're living on the same planet as jon112dk. Haven't you noticed the problems in France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Greece etc, etc. Are their problems artifical too ? And note the UK has the largest deficit of any G20 country.

    'and a major push to get this govenment out.'

    Do you think you could do us a favour and wait until they've sorted out New Labour's mess first.

  • Comment number 27.

    #6 Jeremy Preece wrote:
    "' Parents to demand new and better schools' " - what an insult to all of the teaching profession."

    No, though in a few cases it's probably deserved.

    Teachers are service providers and should meet the requirements of their customers.

  • Comment number 28.

    Jeremy Preece

    '"Parents to demand new and better schools" - what an insult to all of the teaching profession.'

    Why ??? Are you seriously saying they should just like it and lump it if the quality of education their childen receive isn't up to scratch, or are you so far out of touch with reality you think all public sector services are beyond reproach.

  • Comment number 29.

    So 'son of Thatcher' says we are all in it together... we will be soon, at least most of us will be!

  • Comment number 30.

    "Fine in principle but until we really see the super rich, the banks etc really hurting too"

    For God's sake, what do you want? A banker earns a million pound bonus today and he hands over £510,000 in tax and NIC. Enough 'hurt' for you? From next April it'll be £520,000. He's probably earned that bonus by making £2,000,000 extra profit for the bank who then pay £560,000 in tax on that. Isn't that enough for you? Isn't someone paying more tax in one year than many pay in a lifetime enough contribution to the country?

    Why can't people realise that there just are NOT enough very rich people in the country to pay all the tax needed to sort the mess out that Labour created. Sometimes I wish you lot would get your way.

    90% tax! Hooray! Now the rich are hurting. Er, hang on, now the rich are leaving.....or not working....or getting involved in tax planning...hey, what's happening there's no tax coming in....

  • Comment number 31.

    "What did you do to cut the deficit, Daddy?"

    Judging from the response to the first £1bn of cuts, I think it will be something along the lines of:

    We closed our eyes, pretended it was all the bankers' fault, and saved it all up for you, son.

    Still, maybe the next £149bn will be easier?

  • Comment number 32.

    I guess this is nothing new to us in the North East of England.

    The last recession in the eighties was a time that everything David Cameron is saying now was going on here then.

    Co-ops Mutuals Enterprise Allowance start-up businesses you name it and we did it.

    Not that the South East knew too much about it for the big recession of the eighties really only hit the industrial areas of England.

    So it seems that we here have more experience in riding the bad times and seeing them turn into good times.

    Who'd believe the same thing would happen all over again but this time it's not just the North but the whole country that's affected.

    So when David Cameron talks about the big society we know what he means although it will be somewhat of a culture shock to those further South.

    His speech was a precurser of what lies ahead and how we can help ourselves get through it.

    Nanny has gone. Welcome to the Radicals.

  • Comment number 33.

    Is this the start of the return of the One Nation Tory?

    Tony Blair will be pleased.

  • Comment number 34.

    Let's take a minute to think what happened to those that followed that famous poster....

    885,138 military deaths, 109,000 civilian deaths + 1,663,435 military wounded... (courtesy wikipedia).

    Mostly sacrificed by incompetent Generals who couldn't change direction when they made a mistake. (Osbourne take note)

    Probably better not to draw comparisons David, stick to talking about the society that Thatcher did not think existed.

    "and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first" MT October 1987

  • Comment number 35.

    9. DistantTraveller
    'Although the the thinking behind the universal Child Benefit is clearly outdated, some of the old slogans still have resonance today.
    Let's dig for victory. Also, Don't be a Squander Bug.'


    'Loose lips sink ships' would be apt for Liam Fox.

  • Comment number 36.

    19. At 4:29pm on 06 Oct 2010, Flame wrote:
    "Anyway, to the whingers: 83% in a poll thought that the government is doing the right thing. So do I."

    Me too. However, what you failed to say is that, whilst 83% of people in this poll support the gov limiting child benefit for higher earners, the majority disagree with the way in which they have gone about doing so. So do I.

  • Comment number 37.

    14. At 4:24pm on 06 Oct 2010, jobsagoodin wrote:
    jon112dk
    'What nation is this I am supposed to be supporting?'
    Given that you and most of your lefty chums are living on a different planet I'm not sure it's a question that really concerns you.
    =========================

    Oops, not a leftie I'm afraid - sorry the simplistic pigeon holes dont work - you need to try and defend your tory chums not divert the discussion on to 'lefties.' I don't blame you going off the subject, it can't be easy to defend them.

    Lord Snooty's silly references to war time images really don't work. The world wars had British people working together to confront an external threat. Now there is no such thing as a british nation and the biggest threat is cameron and his chums.

  • Comment number 38.

    #16 John Constable
    'That is what sticks in the craw, politicians and some bankers are mainly responsible for this situation but the general public are required to pick up the tab.'

    The problem is that we (repeatedly) voted for a bunch of politicians who thought it was funny to go wild with the national credit card. We're all responsible

    We just about managed to break-even on the banks but you only have to look to Ireland / Iceland to see how much worse it could have been.

    Basically we've hit the end of the line - there's no-one else to blame but ourselves. Question is, are we ready to hear that yet?

  • Comment number 39.

    AndyC555 @17
    "Oh, if only Labour were in charge. None of this nonsense about it being up to us to sort it out. We could just sit back and Nanny State would do everything for us. Increased benefits, pensions and salaries for public servants, more public servants! A new school for every pupil and a new hospital for every patient. And only the moaning minnies would ask where the money was coming from...that's obvious. The rich! It's so easy. Doesn't everyone remember how well it worked over the last couple of years?"
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Very kind of you to remind us. We mustn't forget our manners. So....

    Thank you Mr Brown and Mr Darling for getting us through the first two years of the recession. And for standing up to the banks when they refused to agree to your rescue package and hold out for better terms. Your support for our economy in these circumstances was clearly the right thing to do and has proved largely successful despite that awful Mr Osborne try to grab all the credit for himself. As if, after only 4 months in the job! We know who really laid the foundations of our recovery and for this you deserve our thanks.

    Gotta problem with that Andy?

  • Comment number 40.

    Another thing to tackle : there are hundreds if not thousands of Eastern Europeans here getting child benefit both here AND in their own country. Grossly unfair. Tax payers in both countries paying for THEM.

    Sort that one out.

    Also, there are millions of foreigners here getting child benefit who own houses both here and in their country of origin. I know this because we have dozens in our road, they quite openly crow about having one or two houses in India and they go there yearly to check on them (being rented out no doubt).

  • Comment number 41.

    Flame#19

    I knew it coudn't last. Normal service has resumed.....unfortunately.

  • Comment number 42.

    24.c555.
    i dont understand why you are talking about the amount of tax the rich pay.
    is that based as a percentage of their income or as in the most amount of money paid. what about the 50% rate taxpayers that you mananged to get down to paying 5% with a tax scheme you said you did?. or depending on what day it is do you just blog out contradicting, off the cuff uninteligent unthoughtout rubbish?

  • Comment number 43.

    #10 I think you put it excellently.

  • Comment number 44.

    What DC's pathetic little homily reminds me is that it was the PBI who took the pounding in the war - it was ordinary people like my parents who were blitzed from their homes in London. Meanwhile, DC and his like were safely tucked up in the Home Counties away from the blood and gore - no unseemly bombs dropping on their neatly trimmed lawns.

    And so it will be this time. Is DC really asking us to hark back to a time of inate privilege for the the inherited wealthy, with its requirement for due deference - where people were expected to know their place - where those who toiled to survive worked themselves to death for the privilege of seeing their masters grow fat on the backs of their labours - where the country was run by a bunch of inbred public school idiots who saw themselves uniquely superior to the hoi polloi?

    The promises made throughout WWII were that there would be no return to the privileges of the few at the cost of the many - hence the welfare state. What DC and his like want to do is roll back the clock, destroy the welfare state, and re-install twerps from Eton at the top table.

    This government's policies sound more and more like a badly adapted version of "Animal Farm". Beware DC's rhetoric if you want to avoid Boxer's fate!

  • Comment number 45.

    2. flame.
    blimey. please share out those clear thinking pills to c555, fubar, croft, rockin robin, jobs, atilla the hun, jr perry. etc.
    (of course some of these are the same people...eh fubar.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good speach to prepare the way for the spending review - it is of course apparent that they have used the occasion to test public reaction to controversial cuts many more of which are likley to be announced on the 20th October.

    I imagine that they are quite pleased with the outcome of this conference season. George has slain a holy cow and survived the experience largely intact, expect a long line of sacred animals to be lined up behind the despatch box on the 20th.

  • Comment number 47.

    andy @ 24

    Of course if one assumes reducing top rate tax from 50% to 40% will cause people to work harder and earn 38% more (unless they're doing so at the expense of others), we should go ahead and do it. But if we assume it wouldn't have anything like that effect - which it wouldn't - then we shouldn't.

    Any case, Andy, not what I'm writing to you about. What I'm more concerned with is this (rather pertinent) question of Mr Cameron's: what is each of us, in our everyday lives, going to do to reduce the deficit? Must have got you thinking (I'm thinking); after all, how many of us can say - as you can say - that simply by chilling out on the patio chez nous, instead of trolling in to the office, we'd be making very significant improvements to the nation's fiscal position?

  • Comment number 48.

    i was trying to find the words to describe the tory party conference.....
    seemed a bit unreal. posh accents. retarded thinking. old fashioned rhetoric. dangerous ideology, selfish attitudes. and good old tory social unintelegence.....
    it was interesting to read these blogs over the last few days. i felt a bit sorry for those losing money when higher household incomes would still receive govt funds. but then it struck me how bitter and angry some people were. listening to talk shows on the radio with people earning 40k plus a year saying they havent had a holiday for years and that sort of income wasnt a large amount...especially living in london. new usernames filled these blogs with the unfairness of it all. yet these same people are so quiet when it comes to those on the lowest incomes. those who stuggle to pay basic bills. who work hard and are forgotten in society. how selfish most of us have become. sure working hard should reap monetary rewards. but never at an amount which is at the exspense of paying people a livable wage. its a shame when things only effect their income they complain. when lower earners have been breaking their backs providing essential services for years and yet being exploited under the noses of an im alright jack, look the other way society.
    and now worst of all those on lowest incomes are being governed by the financially elite, and their sponsers. listening to camerons speach today...the man has absolutely no idea. pure smarmy faced guff. when i see him speak i feel physically nautious. i see him and his party for who they really are. and i know for sure they represent and offer NOTHING in regard to equality and fairness.
    we are all in this together...the new catch word for the tories and the sickest joke af all.

  • Comment number 49.

    "Haven't you noticed the problems in France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Greece etc, etc." - jobs @ 26

    We certainly have, Jobs. All of those countries (and more) seem to have a "New Labour's mess" to clear up.

    New Labour ... rocking all over the world.

  • Comment number 50.

    One the he has said that is true is that we will all feel the pain of cuts in some way . I think that most of us want the mess to be sorted out , however many people want it to be done in a way that dose not effect them . My wife is a public sector worker that could be directly effected by the cuts, who voted for this goverment . She says she will not support any union strikes as she knows cutting back the state is the best thing for all of us and our children

  • Comment number 51.

    At 4:37pm on 06 Oct 2010, AndyC555 wrote:
    TAX THE RICH! seems to be the only thing the left canb say these days.

    I wonder (if they have a calculator to hand) if they'd like to do a quick sum. Which is greater?

    50% of £200,000

    or

    40% of £275,000.

    If having that lower tax rate was more like to encourage the worker to earn the latter salary, who loses? Who gains?

    Just a thought.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Got your calculator Andy. Then I'll begin.
    Which is bigger?
    20% of £4000 - roughly what a min wage pays in tax
    or
    20% of £7000 - roughly the tax you'd get on a decent min wage
    So paying a decent minimum wage encourages the people to work and cuts the welfare bill. Who loses?
    It's a dumb game but if you want to play.....

  • Comment number 52.

    #

    # 27. At 4:43pm on 06 Oct 2010, johnharris66 wrote:

    #6 Jeremy Preece wrote:
    "' Parents to demand new and better schools' " - what an insult to all of the teaching profession."


    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Well i shall be demanding better aka dimic skools, its the litterate consumArty wott have ruined the sosayetti buy using profishanal teachers to stick their big foot init.

  • Comment number 53.

    The Big Society is what we used to call community spirit . We all used help run many things before health and safety got to involved with no win no fee claims . Its also getting people to take responsibility for there own future rather than sitting back waiting for the state give them everything .

  • Comment number 54.

    'Patriotism is the the last refuge of the scoundrel'
    Samuel Johnson

  • Comment number 55.

    Idont Believet

    'Thank you Mr Brown and Mr Darling for getting us through the first two years of the recession'

    But weren't we first into recession and last out ? And didn't we end up with the largest deficit of any G20 country (far higher than most other European economies). Oh but then I'm forgetting, GB saved the whole world from collapse didn't he ?

  • Comment number 56.

    PaulRM

    'And so it will be this time. Is DC really asking us to hark back to a time of inate privilege for the the inherited wealthy

    Nope

    ,with its requirement for due deference

    Nope

    - where people were expected to know their place

    Nope

    - where those who toiled to survive worked themselves to death for the privilege of seeing their masters grow fat on the backs of their labours

    Nope

    - where the country was run by a bunch of inbred public school idiots who saw themselves uniquely superior to the hoi polloi?

    Nope

    What DC and his like want to do is roll back the clock, destroy the welfare state

    Nope

    ,and re-install twerps from Eton at the top table.

    Nope

    Apart from that, spot on.

  • Comment number 57.

    jon112dk

    'Oops, not a leftie I'm afraid - sorry the simplistic pigeon holes dont work'

    Apologies for the terrible insult.

  • Comment number 58.

    Been brooding about the benefits trap. It’s such a difficult issue. Thing is, we have to make work pay, we simply have to. A full time job must always return significantly more than benefits. And, the converse, nobody in full time employment should be claiming anything. But what to do? We obviously can’t cut benefits (just barely adequate as they stand), so we need to UP the rewards of work - the very worst paid job has to pay around £350 per week after tax. Unaffordable? Yes, I’m afraid so. But only because, for the low paid, the relationship between effort and reward has got out of kilter – the workers are not receiving a sufficient share of the spoils of their labour. They are being ponced off – ponced off by all the people who are remunerated in excess of the wealth they create (you know the ones, I would imagine). No solution to the benefits trap until this is resolved. Can’t see it being resolved, is the problem. Only thing I can suggest is for the workers in some way to come together and take action. Unite. They have nothing to lose when you think about it.

  • Comment number 59.

    MattWasp @ 38

    You say that the problem is that we (repeatedly) voted for a bunch of politicians who thought it was funny to go wild with the national credit card and that we're all responsible.

    It is true that the vast majority of voters in England have for decades indicated a preference for either a Labour or Tory Government.

    I think you are discounting something very important, those voters TRUSTED politicians to behave responsibly and they have repaid that trust by running up a colossal national debt, which we, the general public, are expected to pay down.

    Something is not quite right here, politicians behave incredibly badly but get off scot-free whilst the public bear the backlash.

    There should be a way of tying in politicians to the decisions that they make such that, if things go sour, they can be personally bankrupted - or if the opposite occurs - they reap a healthy bonus.

    As things stand, they effectively win either way.

  • Comment number 60.

    3#

    Ah, you've got a new pointless soundbite jon. Red Ed will be so proud.

  • Comment number 61.

    58#

    Strange how the man you laud as the next prime minister was one of those instrumental in letting it happen then, eh mate.

    No new solutions, just the same old stuff.

  • Comment number 62.

    "Well, let me just say that there are tax deductions in most of the first world countries, that think that, if you have kids, you should pay a bit less of taxes. If you have kids, you understand why."

    Like where?

    With an idea like that, you're dangerous.

  • Comment number 63.

    "i was trying to find the words to describe the tory party conference....."

    And I see you're still searching lefty. Let us know when you've found them, eh? Mind you, we'll see that bleeding stump of yours coming a mile off, so perhaps not, eh?

    Dont call us...

  • Comment number 64.

    sagamix @ 58

    It is patently obvious that the rewards of work must be improved and as the official poverty level (60% of the median wage) currently equates to an income of around £15,000 pa then that does give a tax free income of about £290 per week.

    It is a start and is rational - why should an individual earning 'poverty level' wages pay any tax (or disguised tax aka NI)?

    We desparately need an honest Government in England that would take the steps towards solving this sort of issue.

    The coalition might answer that the tax-free threshold on earnings is being raised - which is true - but bluntly, it is nowhere near enough at around £7500.

    Those at the bottom of the heap continue to be stiffed.

  • Comment number 65.

    44#

    You forgot the cull of the lower class first born's for the tory party barbecues in their winter second homes in the tropics.

    Do you get paid to write that crap or do you really believe it?

  • Comment number 66.

    "Oops, not a leftie I'm afraid - sorry the simplistic pigeon holes dont work - you need to try and defend your tory chums not divert the discussion on to 'lefties.'"

    Yeah, right! Just as well you're not under oath eh Jon?

    If it whinges like a lefty, limps with a bleeding stump like a lefty, bangs on about the rich all the time like a lefty, then its a lefty.

    The cap suits you mate. Wear it.

  • Comment number 67.

    #58 Sagamix wrote:
    "the very worst paid job has to pay around £350 per week after tax. Unaffordable? Yes, I’m afraid so."

    If I were a socialist, (and perhaps anyway) I might look at the issue another way, namely the cost of living.

    In particular housing costs. If the supply of social housing was increased substantially then housing costs would fall. Both public and private sector housing costs would fall, saving on housing benefit (and private landlord fraud).

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    Jobsagoodin @55
    Obviously no one taught you manners.
    Perhaps you would have preferred to arrive at an ATM that Monday morning to find a sign saying 'Closed until further notice'? Check out the facts instead of parroting Tory propaganda.
    Try this to add balance to your views.

    "And the omens aren't good as he (George Osborne) stakes his bid to run the British economy.
    As one financial pundit put it: "He's too weak, inexperienced and ill-informed about his subject. How could such a bumbling nonentity run the fifth biggest economy in the world?" As shadow chancellor, Osborne failed abysmally to offer a convincing argument about what he would have done with Northern Rock in 2007 (he opposed nationalisation) or how he would have saved RBS and Lloyds, and critics say he has never grasped the severity of the spending crisis.
    The respected financial journalist Jeff Randall was scathing about him at the time: "As the situation becomes ever more serious George becomes increasingly flaccid. He's not so much behind the curve as behind the curtain."
    Even this week a blog on the pro-Tory Daily Telegraph website summed up feelings towards him after he unveiled his economic strategy for the general election: "How to judge Cabin Boy George? By the words that emanated from his mouth during the gravest financial crisis in a century. Namely: none." Few in the City will go on the record with their fears over Osborne's unsuitability for high office in case it jeopardises a Tory victory, but David Buik, senior analyst at brokers BGC Partners, said: "I find it quite extraordinary that his only experience, in terms of business, industry or commerce, has been as a speechwriter at Tory Central Office and that he should be the chosen person to be the next Chancellor." (The Tories Unspun, by Brian Reade 5/02/2010)

    This is the man Dave hails as our saviour, pulling us back from the brink? In four months? His anounced extra cuts may have marginally helped although opinion is divided. Even without them it's doubtful we would have lost AAA rating or that interest on gilts would have moved significantly. It's much more likely that any improvement in our situation is a legacy of the previous government. Any suggestion that we were ever near the situation of Greece or Ireland is simply untrue.
    Created huge debts did he, that terrible bogeyman Brown? Tell you what I've got the figures in front of me. In the Brown years the Debt grew by 1.7x. Pick any comparable 13 year period between 1979 and 1997 and these are the figures you get 1.9x, 2.1x, 2.2x, 2.3x and 2.4 times. Oh dear, looks like the debt grew faster before Brown. Cameron is on record as backing labour spending plans up to 2010, so our starting position for dealing with the deficit and debt 'problem' would have been no different anyway,
    Welfare spending (big topic this week) fell under Blair and Brown and although rising latterly, never quite reached the levels recorded at the end of the Major years or the even higher levels recorded in quite a few of the Thatcher years.
    The figures are there,available to anyone who wants to look. But thats the problem, some people don't want to look and make up their own minds. They prefer to be fed stories by the media or the spin departments of political parties.
    I(just)DontBelieveit.
    P.S. I'm not a big fan of Gordon and loathed New Labour. But that's beside the point.

  • Comment number 70.

    #59 John Constable:
    'There should be a way of tying in politicians to the decisions that they make such that, if things go sour, they can be personally bankrupted'

    An apealling idea but much as I'd like to see Brown and Co. cough up, it's not going to make the problem go away.

    Perhaps we'll be more careful over who we elect in future?

    I doubt it though. The last government's defence of blaming the nearest available banker still seems to work with a significant portion of the electorate.

  • Comment number 71.

    66 @ 67

    Yes John, something else I brood about (although only in a dashing "Heathcliffe" sort of way) - housing and, related, our unhealthy property market. I agree, and so does Bob Crow, with your point about more stock; I also support sub prime lending (on good terms) so as to widen ownership opportunities - replace the ladder with a scene. Not keen on ladders. Certainly not those which many people never see the first rung of. Grammar schools, for example, they were that sort of ladder.

  • Comment number 72.

    re #58 Thoughtful post, Saga old son. The Whitstable oysters must be kicking in at last.

    Carry on brooding.

    I would maintain that a wholesale reform of the tax and benefits set up needs to be undertaken and staged over a period of time. Unfortunately, good evidence is emerging that the Coalition are going about it in a piecemeal fashion with a bit of a disconnect both from reality and the electorate. My post-Budget optimism is fading fast.

    Hey! Dave and GO & Co: let's be exceedingly careful out there today ... tomorrow ... the next day ...

  • Comment number 73.

    MattWasp @ 70

    It does appear, if the comments on these blogs are anything to go by, and not forgetting these these are people who are interested in politics, that the 'collective memory' is playing tricks already and the bankers are getting {all} the blame.

    So, there is every chance that at the next General Election, such a faulty collective memory might just decide the outcome.

    The politicians, as a cohort, will certainly hope so, and if that is how it turns out, it will demonstrate that yet again, their deceptive skills have 'shaped their public' (in Jack Straws infamous words).

    In some ways, you have to grudgingly admire their rat-like cunning but in other ways, it makes you despair.

  • Comment number 74.

    @ Flame #19:
    Anyway, to the whingers: 83% in a poll thought that the government is doing the right thing. So do I.
    ===========================================================================
    83% think the government is doing the right thing?
    What was the question in the poll? If the question was 'is the government right to take child benefits off higher earners?' of course 83% would agree. I agree with what that myself.
    However, I would like to see a poll which asks "is the government right to leave a family with an income of £80k with child benefits, but take it off one with an income of £50k?", then I suspect the majority of the respondents would disagree. I would disagree, and I suspect YOU would disagree as well.

  • Comment number 75.

    52. At 6:34pm on 06 Oct 2010, Punkawallabanksi wrote
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Now, is this the lovely Rita writer maid in disguise or one of pupils or apprentices?

    I think we should be told ...

  • Comment number 76.

    re #30
    Fine if they do pay the tax here. Unfortunately bonus payments provide opportunities for mitigating tax liabilities, as I think you well know, Andy. Just think what that million pound bonus would do (accomplish might be a better word) if it were spread more evenly between that banker and the team who worked for him.

    There was a fascinating discussion on R4 recently about possible cuts of state subsidy to the arts. The son of a famous actor - a very good and successful actor himself - inadvertantly let slip, in effect, that low earners have to pay tax to subsidise the arts (making some pratitioners wealthy in the process) because the luvvies who have made it to the top of the pile don't want to pay tax on their high earnings.

  • Comment number 77.

    "Yes John, something else I brood about (although only in a dashing "Heathcliffe" sort of way) - "

    .... whilst opening another bottle of Chablis in NW8....

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    At 9:55pm on 06 Oct 2010, Cre0021 wrote:
    @ Flame #19:
    Anyway, to the whingers: 83% in a poll thought that the government is doing the right thing. So do I.
    ===========================================================================
    83% think the government is doing the right thing?
    What was the question in the poll? If the question was 'is the government right to take child benefits off higher earners?' of course 83% would agree. I agree with what that myself.
    However, I would like to see a poll which asks "is the government right to leave a family with an income of £80k with child benefits, but take it off one with an income of £50k?", then I suspect the majority of the respondents would disagree. I would disagree, and I suspect YOU would disagree as well.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Fear not, a similar question was asked as part of the poll but not widely reported (The Sun did but, strangely, the Sky news article I found had mislaid it) You weren't far out. Of the 83%, 41% thought the anomalies weren't ideal but acceptable and 46% thought them unfair and should be means tested.
    Flame left that bit out, didn't he? And sort of twisted the other bit to suit his purpose. I wonder why?

  • Comment number 80.

    #69 Idont Believit

    Comparing Tory and Labour borrowing is difficult (comparing the same stage of the economic cycles, global economic conditions, whether to include capital investment, etc.) and it can be said that both parties have at times lost control of the public finances.

    I've always thought that it was useful to look at 2007, before the credit crunch and then to look at international comparisons.

    So I will quote from the Institute for Fiscal Studies:

    "On the OECD measure, the UK had a structural budget deficit of 3.3% of national income in 2007. This was the largest structural deficit of the G7 economies and the third highest of the 26 industrial countries of which the OECD has data (behind only Hungary and Greece)."

    So again, Labour ran a structural budget deficit during a boom (what price Keynesian economics then, I ask?). This, rather than the borrowing during and after the credit crunch, is the real charge of economic mismanagement during the Brown years.

  • Comment number 81.

    johnharris66 @80
    John, you're such fun to play with.
    Here is my quote from the OECD report on the UK for 2007.

    "The United Kingdom’s welcoming approach to globalisation has contributed to a strong growth performance. GDP per capita is now the third highest in the G7, compared with the lowest 10 years earlier. GDP growth has been close to its trend rate of around 2¾ per cent for a number of years, suggesting that the amplitude of the economic cycle is smaller now than in previous decades. This strong performance is not only due to the willingness to embrace the opportunities offered by globalisation, but also to sound institutional arrangements for setting monetary and fiscal policy as well as a period of robust trading partner growth."

    Doesn't sound too disasterous does it?
    Personally I think it a bit overgenerous but it shows just how confusing lots of differing opinions about where you are and where you're going can be.
    I'd settle for this. Solutions are easy with hindsight. Brown as chancellor and PM had to make the decisions blind. You can pick bits out of reports -IFS, IMF, OECD,etc - and show he got some thimgs wrong. Or you can pick out bits that show he got some things right. But, Importantly, none of those reports got it all right either. Many of their projections (guesses) look comically wrong. Remember when some confidently predicted a deficit of 200bn or more - it turned out to be more like 150bn.
    The demonisation of Brown is unfair and unjust and the characterisation of the new labour years as unmitigated disaster from start to finish a myth.
    And remember I don't even like new labour.

  • Comment number 82.

    @44 PaulRM
    Have you read Animal Farm recently? It is about communism but actually relates very closely to the previous Labour government. I re-read it a few years ago and it completely changed my view of the government.
    I'm not saying that capitalism or even the Conservative party are perfect but it brings into stark perspective the hypocrisy of the socialist agenda actually persecuting those who it is supposed to be helping. Hence why the rich/poor gap has got worse under Labour and the poor will now have to pay a high price for their policies.

  • Comment number 83.

    #81 I dont Believit

    I think we both recognise that it is possible to quote selectively.

    I ask you to compare the two quotations, in #80 and #81.

    My quotation is factually correct.

    Your quotation is also mainly factual, except for the "sound institutional arrangements for setting monetary and fiscal policy". This is a matter of opinion, albeit from a respected source. Many commentators now think these arrangements were flawed, a debate we could continue.

    I don't argue with Labour's growth record (though I say that it was partly based on an asset bubble). Do you accept that Labour should not have run a structural deficit during a boom?

  • Comment number 84.

    Evoking Britain's wartime spirit, David Cameron has just declared that "Your Country Needs You".

    Shouldn't it be "Your Leaders need you (to clean up their mess)"

    To me that would be more appropriate, it was the decision makers, policy makers and lenders that should have been making sound judgements and decisions but instead were acting recklessly and iresponsibly. Credit became far too easy to access and everybody was being encouraged to jump on the band wagon so people who shouldn't have been allowed to borrow were allowed to. They share in some responsibility but when you apply for a credit card or visit the bank for a loan and they're throwing all these great deals at you telling you that you can afford these things doesn't help in making rational decision making.

    When you see items on the supermarket shelves for example:

    Item X @ £2

    You may think "Well this will exceed my budget and I can't really afford it so maybe another day."

    Then you see the sign "Buy One Get One Free", "Buy Two and Get the Third Free", "Buy Two for £3", etc.

    And before you realise it you've fallen in to the trap of thinking that it's such a great deal that why wait until you can afford it when the offer is gone when you can spend money you don't have on getting it now at such a bargain price.

    I know I fall for these traps, the marketing and offers compel you to buy and you just think "Well, this one off excess isn't too much of a problem" but like other addictions it can spiral out of control.

    Therefore, like harmful drugs, do we blame the victims for taking the drugs? Do we blame the fact that some company somewhere created the drugs? Or do we blame those who distribute drugs all in the name of profits who have no regard for those who end up suffering?

    If we had a culture of cooperation, understanding, respect, acceptance, unity, etc. then people would not recklessly and irresponsibly distribute drugs as they would feel sympathy for their victims. People can always be easily manipulated and yet people see nothing wrong with manipulating others without any thought or consideration.

    How can we stand together as a community when we've lost sight of what a community is?

    Who here speaks to their neighbours?
    Who here knows their neighbours?
    How much time do you spend with neighbours?

    I know I certainly don't interact with my neighbours in any way unless I happen to see them in the corridors as I live in a block of flats and even then, there's just a nod of acknowledgement. I know absolutely nothing about my neighbours and now David wants us to suddenly embrace each other and work together to build, develop and grow our way out of this mess.

    He may as well have just gotten a random bunch of people, thrown them together, told them to build a school and simply gone home feeling very proud and satisfied. Everyone would most likely stand rigid staring at each other, wonder what was going on, people would be reluctant to interact with each other and before long everybody would simply go home.

    Weeks later, there would be no sign of anything, the site would be visited, the team nowhere to be seen and all there would be is David scratching his head wondering where everything went wrong.

 

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