...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 2481: Mr Balloon's Poverty of Ideas


It is the duty of a party leader to ATTACK THE ENEMY! So here goes…

Oh very fluffy dear – the Conservatories are headed back to Mr Peter Lilley territory. Do you remember the nineteen-nineties when he "got a little list" (I THINK that that is not a EUPHEMISM)? He sang a little song before SLASHING benefits for single mothers?

Now, Mr Balloon announces that he will "Make Poverty History"… by SLASHING benefits for the long-term sick.

How the BLUE BLAZES is THAT going to help make poverty history… except in the sense of returning to HISTORICAL levels of poverty (Victorian, Mediaeval, Stone Age… pick your Conservatory target era)!

Copper creosoted creep Mr Peter Vain retorts with the frankly PATHETIC response that "there aren't enough sick people that you can force to work to pay for this scheme!"

MY response is: THIS IS A THUNDERINGLY IMMORAL IDEA – forcing the sick to work so that you can give tax cuts to the fit and well, that is DISGUSTING and you should be ASHAMED, Mr Balloon!

And so should you, Mr Vain! Talk about COSY CONSENSUS! The Labour would clearly STING THE SICK too, if they thought it was worth their while.

Presumably we can expect more of this sort of thing, along the lines of:
  • "Make the Trains Run on Time"… by turning the tracks into private motorways (for cars that carry shoes)
  • "Make Hospitals Free of Infection"… by turfing out all those sick patients
  • "Reintroduce Grandma Schools"… by sending all poor kids to the WORKHOUSE
  • "Give Peace a Chance"… by declaring WAR on France… no, hang on, that one might be POPULAR with Conservatory voters!
Mr Balloon claims he would lift 300,000 children out of poverty by increasing the working families' tax credit for couples so that it did not benefit them to live separately.

That would be the "clunking tax credit system" that HE says has "caused misery among the poorest and wasted billions in overpayments, error and fraud."

So Mr Balloon wants to INCREASE the misery, overpayments, error and fraud?!

Means-tested benefits, like the Tax Credits that Mr Balloon and Mr Frown both so admire, are complicated and demeaning and go wrong and do not reach the really needy.

The BEST benefits for reaching the people that need them are UNIVERSAL benefits. Certainly, that means there will be some NASTY people who take advantage – but you ACCEPT that because the benefit of the benefit outweighs the small cost.

But people do not like to feel they are being RIPPED OFF, they want VALUE for MONEY and that is why Mr Balloon turning the clock back to Mr Lilley strikes an unfortunate chord.

We currently have a HIGHEST EVER proportion of people IN WORK. We are raising record levels of tax. I think we should be PROUD that we can set aside some money to look after the less well off, rather than RESENTFUL of the cost.

But selfish Mr Balloon disagrees:

"We have to help the haves to have more so that the have-nots can have something," says Mr Balloon. Like that makes ANY kind of sense.

"If we do not succeed in that mission then I tell you frankly, that we will all be poorer."

Though obviously not in a FINANCIAL way.

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