Politics and Hedgehog sit together as comfortably as a sadistic cat* and a feisty hamster, as ably proven by my previous bluster on politicians and their arrogance. And yet after a mere five minute immersion into the 24 hours news pool, I find myself again arguing passionately for a benevolent dictatorship.
The problem I have with yet more indirect taxation is that it comes with a smug veneer of social policy attached. And by doing so, perpetuates the myth that by taxing great swathes of the population, actual changes are going to be made in the way people live their lives.
And that is total bollocks.
It isn’t going to stop people drinking or smoking. It’s not going to fix the health problem of the middle class trudging home – after the longest working hours in europe – and downing a bottle of supermarket wine. Granted, it may divert the tiny disposable income of those in very low paid families away from useful stuff like food. But it won’t stop anyone who can afford eighty grand of sports car driving it away because there is an additional£1000 of tax, and yet it may keep older, more polluting cars on the road while the rest of us baulk at the ever increasing tax burden of buying new.
This kind of indirect taxation is nothing short of licensed theft. And it’s not fair because when it’s imposed on stuff 45 million people consume, it is almost completely biased against those on lower incomes. It doesn’t achieve anything except to shore up a level of financial incompetence, that could better manage the public finances by stuffing the tax receipts in a sock.
So I have an idea – let’s assume that these latest increases price most of us out of the market. So now we do exactly what the government is promoting – we abandon our nicatine habit, we drink water instead of beer, we make our own wine from nettles or shuttle cheap booze from French supermarkets. We don’t drive anywhere, everyone rides a bike or a donkey and we bloody well break the link between pious populism and actual economics.
Wouldn’t it be great to see the blood drain from the faces of those stuffed shirts when we actually do what they tell us? Then they’d be faced with the very real prospect of having to stop fighting other people’s wars, abandon fattening up their bloated departments with policies no one cars about, and get back to distributing wealth from the rich to the poor, and making the bloody trains run on time.
I’ve given myself dislexia by proxy irritation writing this**. Therefore all I can suggest is we allow this wave of impotant anger to wash over us and remain clam.
* How that failed to trigger the tautology filter I do no know.
** I have also turned into my Dad apparently.