Some Good News?

A recent survey (so usual caveats apply) suggests that Britons are becoming increasingly intolerant of the previous 13 years of tax and spend by the Labour government –  and appears to be continued by the present one.

Britons are less willing than ever to pay higher taxes to support the National Health Service, schools or the environment, a new survey suggests.

Now two things interest me in this story. The first is that if this is true, then there is hope yet. People really do see through all the leftist bollocks about high taxes being a good thing. Perhaps, just perhaps, the populace really have seen the light and notice that hmg merely takes huge wads of cash from our back pockets to piss it up the wall –  or, as mentioned in a throwaway comment on Garrow’s Law this week –  a politician cannot manage the public purse without siphoning some of the cash into his own. Ahem…

The other thing that interests me is the BBC’s stance on reporting it. Whereas I –  and possibly you –  see the reluctance to be mugged by the government as a good thing, the BBC puts a whole different spin on it. Indeed, their headline says it all:

Britons ‘less willing to pay for taxes to help others’

It’s got nothing to do with “helping others”. Taxes are taken by the government and spent without recourse to the donors. When we see it spent on frippery then we become understandably angry. When we see it sent abroad to be siphoned off by the local kleptorcacy, we are understandably annoyed. When Mark Easton talks about a move towards more self reliance and personal responsibility, this is a good thing –  even if he doesn’t think so.

Not according to everyone, though:

Penny Young, chief executive of the National Centre for Social Research, said: “In a time of economic austerity and social unrest, the big question coming out of this year’s report is whether we really are in it together, or just in it for ourselves?”

I work to support myself and my own. I do not do it to support the hangers on. They can go out and do as I have done, frankly.

“An emerging sense of self-reliance may take the government some way toward its vision of a more responsible society, but an emphasis on individualism, not Big Society collectivism, may present as much of a challenge as it does an opportunity.”

There speaks the collectivist. The idea of Big Society Collectivism send a chill down my spine that would freeze the South Pacific. The enterprise and hard work of the self-reliant must be used to support the feckless and lazy, to pay for government propaganda programmes to lecture and hector us about our chosen lifestyles. That more of us are waking up to what is happening and don’t like what we see is an anathema to the collectivist. Individualism is a good thing. Society consists of individuals. That we don’t like the idea of rampant state theft does not make us selfish, nor does it mean that we do not care for those less fortunate.

One of the comments on the piece echoes my own experience from earlier this year when I needed help following my unemployment:

When I was working, I was happy to pay my share of tax in the mistaken belief that it was going to support those less fortunate. Now that I have been made ‘redundant’ and need that support, I find it is not there. Once I am working again, what incentive will there be for me to give money away when the government does not meet its duty of care to citizens, the sole thing it’s allowed to tax for?


7 comments for “Some Good News?

  1. john in cheshire
    December 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I’ll help people who I can see need help. In fact, I have for years been helping members of my family from my own pocket. It’s my choice and I don’t want the government to even know about it, let alone interfere. But I don’t want my money to help people, living in my country, who I don’t think deserve my money. They can look after themselves or leave our country and find a life elsewhere for all I care. And most foreigners, who hate us should not be receiving taxpayers money. I give some money to Christians abroad because just about no one even considers them as being in need. But when muslims are killing them by the hundreds in many muslim countries, then that’s where I want my money to go. Not lining the pockets of delinquent muslim autocracies that would annhilate us without compunction, if they were given the opportunity.

  2. December 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Excellent article, Longrider, thank you. I drafted a piece last night for my own blog to appear at the end of the month and came to the same conclusions as you.

    Yes, there is a glimmer of hope — at long last. Now, we just need to try and undo the nanny state … and sort out our membership in the EU. 😐

    Still, it is good news.

  3. December 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I suppose I fall into the group of people who believe in the Victorian concept of ‘deserving poor’. If a member of our society is in financial straits because of events outside their control or through real disability then I am more than prepared to help finance a scheme to tide them over the problem or help them out. What I’m not prepared to do is let the world take advantage or subsidise those who can’t be bothered to be self supporting.
    I suspect this is afairly mainstream view, except nobody dares promote it nowadays.

    • December 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      Precisely, Woodsy — and that is as it should be. People take care of their own, not every Tom, Dick and Harry. This is no doubt how fraternal organisations developed.

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:58 am

      “I suppose I fall into the group of people who believe in the Victorian concept of ‘deserving poor’.”

      Me too.

  4. December 8, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    “That we don’t like the idea of rampant state theft does not make us selfish, nor does it mean that we do not care for those less fortunate.”

    Exactly – in spite of everything, most people are still fundamentally generous and don’t make an issue of it either.

  5. December 9, 2011 at 3:49 am

    This has been fairly widely quoted and I expect some round here have already seen it, but it’s apposite so I’ll chuck it in anyway.

    “It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.
    People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”


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