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The Tax Code Must Die

By Sara Scarlett
January 27th, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Comments Off on The Tax Code Must Die | Posted in Tax

This article on The Poke did make me chuckle:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 16.42.41

It does, however, raise the point as to why what companies have to pay in Corporation Tax is open to interpretation. The Tax Code is a convoluted mess; it’s how the UK hides it’s corruption. What a company has to pay can be argued up or down – so naturally companies hire accountants to argue their tax bills down. Why not? I would.

The whole Tax Code needs to be ripped up and written again. The simpler, flatter, more transparent, and lower taxes are, the less they will be evaded.

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My Year As Tory Scum

By Sara Scarlett
December 26th, 2015 at 12:48 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Conservatives, Liberal Democrats

After years of being told to ‘join the Tories,’ last year, I did! Here are a few thoughts…

I am still glad that Cameron is still Prime Minister despite his cowardice and “wetness.” I would rather have him in charge than any of the other Party Leaders who were around on May 2015 and any of the Leaders who are in charge now. Tim Farron strikes me as a nice man but ultimately he’s a charisma-free zone. Whilst I will admit the same could be said of Cameron, the Liberal Democrats need someone really special to decontaminate their brand and I don’t think Farron’s up to it. Cameron to his credit did decontaminate the Tory party brand.

The Labour party appears to have elected the cross between the President of a Polytechnic student union and a tramp. UKIP would be in a really strong position right now if they had changed their Leader and Douglas Carswell knows it… But the talent in UKIP may simply not be there. It could easily be the case that Farage is the best they’ve got. There are also other parties, I believe.

I’ve always been disappointed with Conservative party policy, a feeling shared by most of the classical liberals in the Tories, and I still feel disappointed with a great deal of it. Cameron hasn’t really brought in anything resembling sweeping reforms. To deal with the big issues like the deficit, health care, education, welfare, pensions and housing, there needs to be big structural change and if I have to make a predictation, I would confidently bet that the type of reform that’s needed is not going to happen under Cameron. He’s an okay caretaker but someone else is going to have to fix inherent problems in the system. Issues like a shortage of school places could be very easily with things like vouchers and profit…

I find myself, however, less angry at the Tories than the LibDems. The Conservatives are not Liberals and that’s okay because they’ve never claimed to be, or called themselves, liberal/Liberal. Conservatism as an ideology has always struck me as rather thin and unengaging but then someone in the LibDems will advocate sending smokers to prison and it will enrage me.

Unlike the left, the Conservatives are good when it comes to self-awareness. They are less good at framing the debate on their terms largely because the ‘unelected state’ – e.g. the BBC, the Arts, Academia – have a heafty left-wing bias and often define the terms of the debate before any political party gets a look in. Compassion should not be defined by how much money you throw at public services regardless of their effectiveness and outcomes. The Foreign Aid budget is a perfect example of this.

The LibDems are in bigger trouble than they realise. They’re not well placed to deal with a moderate Tory government. A lot of LibDem policy is surprisingly under-developed considering how long they’ve been around. The party caters almost exclusively to people working in the public sector and education with very little to offer those of us in the private sector.

More pertinently – I’ve also never heard a Tory say to anyone: “Why don’t you go join the Labour party?” Not ever. Not even once. The Tories will take your direct debit and cooly welcome you to tea and biscuits with the local council. There’s something inherently superior about about a political party that doesn’t alienate the very people who are giving it the money it needs to survive. What defines a Tory is whether or not you’re a member of the Conservative party not some arbritrary purity test. Despite finding myself drinking with a small subset of classical liberals and libertarians wondering why the party isn’t more into freedom – just like I did in the LibDems – the Tories are just so much more *together* with each other. The left-leaning Christian socialist wing of the party won’t try to expunge the neocons and vis-a-vis. In British politics broader churches are stronger churches and the LibDems inherent inability to manage that has been their downfall.

How many seats will the LibDems get next election? I’m going to go with four. Guesses in the comments section, please…

“Safe Spaces” Make Us Unsafe

By Sara Scarlett
December 5th, 2015 at 3:49 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

The defenders of so called “safe spaces” have reached a tedious impasse. So strident in their position that they should be spared being exposed to any views that they find mildly uncomfortable that some have gone so far as to threaten individuals who defy them with *actual* violence.

Not only do “safe spaces” render the whole point of Universities null and void but I doubt their effectiveness. I was brought up in the Middle East and in my early teens I was exposed to some very un-PC views in my mandatory Islamic Studies classes. I was a mild homophobe in my late teens and quite “small-c” conservative. Until University I had never met an openly gay person.

Yet as an adult I am neither a homophobe, a transphobe, a sexist, nor a racist. Being exposed to challenging view points and enlightenment values changed my mind. Until I was challenged I didn’t know that I was wrong. It didn’t take very long for that change to happen. Enlightenment values defeated the superstition and totalitarianism of feudalism and theocracy in Europe by consistently questioning the pre-existing orthodoxy.

To shut down the voices of those with un-PC views is a direct attack on Enlightenment principles. Enlightenment values are under sustained attack in overt ways all around the world. The fact that the “safe space” phenomenon is happening in supposed bastions of eduation and enlightenment, Universities and Schools, makes the situation even more disheartening.

What’s more worrying, however, is that this phenomenom may mean we are weaker against more overt attacks on Enlightenment values. “Safe spaces” may result in creating a generation of people who are less apt at challenging and defeating bigoted views. Ergo, if your goal is to rid the world of intolerance, ignorance and bigotry, so called “safe spaces” may create the very world you have sought to eradicate.

Bernard Woolley explains the Syria vote

By Editor
December 3rd, 2015 at 10:18 am | Comments Off on Bernard Woolley explains the Syria vote | Posted in Foreign Policy, Liberal Democrats

BW: Congratulations Prime Minister you have won the vote.

DC: Excellent were we united?

BW: It was a comprehensive vote in the affirmative Prime Minister.

DC: But were we united?

BW: The Conservative Party were completely united, except for the seven who were not. This included Julian Lewis, the Chair of the Defence Select Committee. He voted with Jeremy Corbyn and just over 150 Labour MPs. But not the Shadow Defence Minister Maria Eagle, who voted with you. She, along with over 60 others voted with the Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn. But John Baron, one of your MPs on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee voted the other way. You can then say that nearly all those who take decisions about defence and foreign affairs are for you, but many of those who think that they should be taking decisions about defence and foreign affairs are against. It is similar to the way the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence feel about each other.

The DUP, UUP, independent Unionist and UKIP MPs all supported you. The SNP, SDLP, Plaid Cmryu and Green MPs were against. So the nationalists who like internationalism voted against international action by this nation. The nationalists who dislike internationalism voted for international action in another nation. The Greens are nationalists on climate change, which they accept requires international action, but should be managed nationally, and internationalists on military matters in the hope that they may then never have to take a national decision on an international matter with national implications.

The Liberal Democrats Leader and six of his MPs supported you, two of his MPs did not. This is relatively simple. The Leader is a social liberal, a group that tends to oppose military action, but he has decided to be in favour. The main opponent is an economic liberal, a group that tends to support liberal interventionism, but he decided to be against. The anti-war liberals then are opposed to their Leader but in favour of the man they voted not to be Leader, who is in turn opposed by those who thought he should be Leader, and are now supporting the Leader they didn’t vote for.

DC: What?

BW: Compared to the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats your position is entirely coherent and united Prime Minister.

DC: Thank you, Bernard. I believe our enemy will be on the run by Christmas.

BW: Yes, Prime Minister, and ISIL.

DC: Thank you, Bernard.

Syria Redux:

By Editor
December 1st, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Comments Off on Syria Redux: | Posted in UK Politics

1) The Conservatives are largely united behind their Leader on the case for air strikes.

2) The Labour Leader is united behind most of his Party members on the case against.

3) The Labour MPs and Shadow Cabinet are divided between both.

4) The Liberal Democrat MPs are united against most of their Party members on the case for.

5) The SNP are united against action and wondering if they’re about to become the official Opposition.