In the week when Mr Nigel Farrago decides he wants to be the poor man's Mr Daniel Hangman (no, Mr Farrago, bellowing rudeness at a passing Belgian will NOT make you this year's HootTube Hero), Mr Daniel Hangman decides that HE wants to be the poor man's Ms Sarah Pain*.
Enter the TEA PARTY.
TEA, you probably know, was the making of the British East India Company. First it was stolen from China, after which we inflicted the OPIUM WARS on them all to make them trade the stuff to us. Tea is therefore a sign of STUPID BRITISH IMPERIALISM.
Did I mention the TEA PARTY?
In fact, the East India Company only started importing tea because they wanted something to put in their ships after exporting British-made goods to the Colonies in the East so that they didn't have to come back empty. To that end they went to the trouble of getting everyone in Great Britain drinking tea in order to make this profitable. And of course everyone in China smoking opium. That way they could ship home-made goods to India, Indian opium to China and Chinese tea back to Britain and make a profit on each leg.
It would be like shipping British goods to the colonies in Africa, then African SLAVE to the Americas and then American sugar back to Britain.
Come to think of it, we did THAT too.
So, TEA, symbol of all that made Britain Great – i.e. rich – by trading in DRUGS and SLAVES. "Oh Jolly Poor Show" as they used to say.
And now, TEA the symbol of another bunch of wingnuts who don't give a HOOT for the well-being of their fellow humans.
TEA in this context is an ACRONYM and stands for "Tax Evasion Antics" or something like that, but it basically means sticking your fingers in your ears, screwing up your eyes and shouting "LA LA LA WE'RE SOOOO SELFISH LA LA LA!"
No one WANTS to pay more in taxes. That much is OBVIOUS. But you have to be really STUPID not to realise that SOMEONE is going to have to pay more if we are ever going to repay the HUGE DEBTS that Mr Frown has run up. PRETENDING that you can do otherwise is a silly, selfish LIE.
So the only question is are you going to do this in a FAIR way – ask for more from the people who are better off and can afford to pay, the people who let's face it did BEST out of the BOOM years – or are you going to say "I'm a hugely well paid Member of the European Parliament and get paid LOTS for doing a job that I don't even believe in but IT'S NOT FAIR, I want to keep MORE of my grubby money and NOT pay my share, boo hoo hoo!"
The irony is that people turning up for this sort of shindig are of course comfortably-off Middle Class people. (Or indeed, Conservatories who have escaped from the secure zone around their Spring Conference). Because working people are, you know, too busy WORKING.
Is taxation AUTOMATICALLY a BAD THING?
Conservatories seem to think so, but we are Liberals and we think about things a bit harder than that.
Taxation takes money out of the economy and, with less money to circulate, that does make us all a little bit poorer. And – again because we're LIBERALS – we would normally trust people to know what they want to do with their own money. The State DOESN'T always know best – something Hard Labour have proved by testing it to destruction! So for those reasons we WOULD prefer to reduce taxation if we can.
BUT, we also recognise that there are some things that the Government actually CAN do better than people on their own. The Army, for example, works better if we just have the ONE Government paying for ONE Army, rather than lots of individuals hiring their own private mercenaries.
AND we believe that there are some things that are WORSE for people's freedom than being a little bit poorer – for example being a LOT poorer, which is why we support the Welfare State, and indeed why we INVENTED the Welfare State, so that EVERYONE gives up a little so that NO ONE is utterly destitute.
SO, it is about BALANCING difficult CHOICES: you have to CAREFULLY decide what are your priorities and make sure that you CONTINUE to support them, and then cut back on things that we CANNOT afford.
Hard Labour have behaved like spoiled kiddies in the sweet shop, expecting Mummy Taxpayer to fork out for whatever they grab off the counter, even when their eyes are too big for their tummies. Now it's come time to pay up and they haven't really got a clue what to do. Hence all the tears and tantrums.
The Conservatories instinct is to slash spending on EVERYTHING and cut taxes. But even THEY have realised, from the feeble state of the recovery from recession, that they can't do that. Their problem is that they don't what else to do. Their wobbles since Christmas, and the accompanying decline in their polling lead, have ALL been about their lack of a Plan B.
So it's JOLLY LUCKY that the Liberal Democrats have got a PLAN! We KNOW that the economy is about making difficult choices, so that, of course, is what the Liberal Democrats have DONE.
We have a plan to reduce public spending. Handily we get some savings just by cutting things we REALLY DO NOT WANT, like I.D.iot cards and Trident missiles. But we still have to do things that are HARDER than that, like not abolishing tuition fees instantly (though we STILL WILL).
And we have a plan to cut taxes for low and middle earners by SHIFTING the tax burden more to the better off, and onto pollution.
So who do you want in charge? The people who got us into this mess, the people who don't know how to get us out of it, or Vince Cable?
Surely it's not THAT difficult a choice, after all?
PS:*To make this PROPERLY triangular, like the East India Company's journeys, Ms Sarah Pain would, of course, have to want to be the poor man's Mr Nigel Farrago. And she would have to be a COMPLETE LOON to want to be the poor man's Mr Nigel Farrago…
…so we can't rule that out!