Do we live in a compassionate society?


Author Reply
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
I was struck by this tweet from a mate:

#ivenevervotedtory because I'm not a selfish wanker who thinks lower taxes are more important than a compassionate society.


And whether it made sense to me. I know I'm a different person to who I was when Labour romped to victory in '97. I must be, as I voted for them then and vowed never again to subsequently. Heck, I'm even thinking of joining the tory party ;)

The promise of Nu Labour gave way to a nanny state where preschools can't discipline children for biting, they can only offer comfort to the victim, to tax hikes for middle income families who voted Labour in in the first place, to expensive and unjust wars, to a creeping burden of administration.

Tax's haven't just gone up, they've got way more complicated than they've ever been- the tax manual writing by Tolley's is actually twice as long as it used to be in 97 now.

I think Labour have shown that increased public spending doesn't necessarily correlate in an increase in quality of life for people- look at the billions wasted on public sector IT projects, or schemes that cost more to set up than they recover like the CSA.

Without a doubt Thatchers "me" decade made people more selfish but it seems to me that theres a general lack of care or responsibility thats been growing in recent years. I never used to have to wait for cars to stop on red before I crossed the road for example, and thats by far the least of the problems.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, other than to say its facile to say the tories have no compassion and hate the family, when its evident that Labour are no different.
#1 at 09:26:32 - 17/02/2010
HairyArse
Flag
Posts:6388
Comments:1774
Thread Kills:127(2%)
AATG Pts:350
Star Rating
Gold Medal
To be honest, I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to politics and I've never voted in my life.

On the one hand that's because I can't be arsed, but on the other hand, I don't want to give any party an uninformed vote because to me that's worse than not voting.

Also, a lot of the things that are wrong with this country, call me naive, but I don't necessarily put them down to the Goverment. I know they control a lot of things, but a lot of things have just been dictated by the current zeitgeist and I believe would occur naturally regardless of who's in power.

And for all labour's supposed failings, I can't say I'm too unhappy at the moment. I know that if I break a leg I can call am abulance and it will come pick me up and fix me for free. I feel safe in my street and it doesn't matter whether it's Labour or the Tories in charge, the recession was inevitable.
#2 at 10:05:44 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
That seems to be a fairly common approach, chap sitting next to me has just turned 40 and never voted in his life either.

I see stuff in my day to day life as an accountant that just makes me cringe- the tax manuals that tolley make have actually doubled in size in the last 13 years as Labour have gone around inventing new taxes left right and centre. But there never seems to be anything to show for it, which is mad. Perhaps we need some fundamental rethink on how public spending happens to get value for money out of it.
#3 at 10:13:26 - 17/02/2010
Syrok
Flag
Posts:3720
Comments:452
Thread Kills:81(2%)
AATG Pts:155
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Is this threat about compassion or the government responsibilities? :)

I would say that comparatively speaking the UK is more compassionate than say Germany. In general people in English speaking countries seem to be slightly more willing to help others.
#4 at 10:17:17 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
I don't know what its about really, I didn't understand the initial tweet I quoted :)
#5 at 10:26:54 - 17/02/2010
JimJam
Flag
Posts:2586
Comments:189
Thread Kills:162(6%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
billdoor said:I don't know what its about really, I didn't understand the initial tweet I quoted :)


I'm not surprised, seeing as it's a load of shit.

It turns out that 'New Labour' was just 'Moderate Tory' with a red tie on. Is this the same 'compassionate' government who is currently waging two pointless wars, and whose tax policies over the last 12 years seemed almost designed to hit the very people they used to represent, the working classes ?

It's not as if the higher taxes have benefitted anyone - I haven't seen any real improvement in public services or the health service over the last 12 years. Indeed, most of what I see is the scaling back of these services. All I've seen is several layers of middle management and red tape introduced which have cost a fortune and achieved very little.

Not saying the Tories are any better, or would have done any better, but this idea of Labour as some benevolent political party is laughable. We've got an unelected Prime Minister who completely fucked up our economy when he was chancellor as well. I don't agree that a different govenment would not have avoided the recession because economists were warning Brown for several years that his economic policies and the long leash he allowed the banks were going to bite us on the arse eventually.
#6 at 11:18:23 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
I know, there's so much that goes on thats bonkers.

My dad owns his £400k house outright, has a pension thats more than my take home but still qualifies for the winter fuel payment because its cheaper to give it to everyone than means test for it.

They really do just flush money down the shitter.
#7 at 11:33:05 - 17/02/2010
NewYork
Flag
Posts:5237
Comments:1481
Thread Kills:105(2%)
AATG Pts:330
Star Rating
Gold Medal
This is like a thread version of Noel Edmond's Bonkers Britain segment.

That you actually used the word "bonkers" was icing :)
#8 at 11:38:12 - 17/02/2010
HairyArse
Flag
Posts:6388
Comments:1774
Thread Kills:127(2%)
AATG Pts:350
Star Rating
Gold Medal
I don't agree that a different govenment would not have avoided the recession because economists were warning Brown for several years that his economic policies and the long leash he allowed the banks were going to bite us on the arse eventually.


My knowledge of this is sketchy to say the least but the economic downturn is global. How is that Labour's fault?
#9 at 11:43:25 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Talking of Noel Edmonds, if you've never read the Secret Diary of Noel Edmonds, you should. its utterly brilliant.
#10 at 11:44:27 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
HairyArse said:
My knowledge of this is sketchy to say the least but the economic downturn is global. How is that Labour's fault?


We've been hit harder and come out of recession later than any other main European country, which says we must have done something wrong.
#11 at 11:46:45 - 17/02/2010
JimJam
Flag
Posts:2586
Comments:189
Thread Kills:162(6%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
HairyArse said:
My knowledge of this is sketchy to say the least but the economic downturn is global. How is that Labour's fault?


What Bill said, Hairy. We've been hit far harder than most because we ignored the warnings. This latest report that we've come out of recession because of last quarter's 0.01% growth is not that encouraging when you realise it factors in the annual Christmas retail boom.
#12 at 11:56:13 - 17/02/2010
oneiros
Flag
Posts:1185
Comments:78
Thread Kills:41(3%)
AATG Pts:95
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
So do we think higher taxes under the Tories is inevitable? Will they just blame Labour for the current state of the economy and use that to justify any rises?
#13 at 12:02:52 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
It's difficult to know really. I doubt the overall tax burden could get much higher, it's more a case of how its distributed.

Currently plans are a foot to completely cripple small businesses by changing the way the owners can take money out and making it much more expensive. That needs to change for starters.
#14 at 12:15:46 - 17/02/2010
NewYork
Flag
Posts:5237
Comments:1481
Thread Kills:105(2%)
AATG Pts:330
Star Rating
Gold Medal
HairyArse said:To be honest, I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to politics and I've never voted in my life.

On the one hand that's because I can't be arsed, but on the other hand, I don't want to give any party an uninformed vote because to me that's worse than not voting.

I do think it's important to vote, especially considering that there are people in the world who can't, and there are people who brave danger to do so, and there's people in history who have fought for the right. For me not to take the time to walk a couple of blocks and tick a box is really a slap in the face to all those people :)
#15 at 13:53:54 - 17/02/2010
JimJam
Flag
Posts:2586
Comments:189
Thread Kills:162(6%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
oneiros said:So do we think higher taxes under the Tories is inevitable? Will they just blame Labour for the current state of the economy and use that to justify any rises?


I think you can generally take the rule of thumb that economic decisions take 2 or 3 years to come to light, so if the Tories get in they'll blame Labour for the entirety of their first term. There's strong indication that they're going to put VAT up to 20% for starters.

Bill - when you say they're changing how small-business owners can take money out of their companies, do you mean things like dividends ?

/takes dividends
#16 at 13:57:01 - 17/02/2010
Syrok
Flag
Posts:3720
Comments:452
Thread Kills:81(2%)
AATG Pts:155
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
billdoor said:
HairyArse said:
My knowledge of this is sketchy to say the least but the economic downturn is global. How is that Labour's fault?


We've been hit harder and come out of recession later than any other main European country, which says we must have done something wrong.

Yup, you never joined the EMU for one. (Maybe^^)

Isn't Britain's economy very much dependent on the banking and insurance sector? So I would think that could be a reason why the UK was hit harder.
#17 at 14:00:10 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
JimJam said:

Bill - when you say they're changing how small-business owners can take money out of their companies, do you mean things like dividends ?

/takes dividends


If you've got your business set up with your missus as a shareholder but she doesn't play an active part in the business, the outcome of the Arctic Systems case may lead to an investigation.

Two of the criteria are:

*Income transferred from the person making most of the profit to a friend or family member who pays tax at the lower rates.

*A main earner drawing a low salary leading to enhanced profits from which dividends can be paid to shareholders who are friends or other family members.

The key point of attack is "diverting" what HMRC thinks should be salary to dividends to make use of the lower tax on dividends and peoples tax allowance and basic rate.

It's always been assumed you can draw a salary to the eqivilant of your tax allowance and take the rest in dividend, seems HMRC might be interested in what salary you should earn if you were employed by a 3rd party.

If you're at all worried, just ask your accountant about Arctic Systems, unless he's been on a foreign planet, he'll have heard of it :)
#18 at 14:49:39 - 17/02/2010
Spin Dr Wolf
Flag
Posts:230
Comments:41
Thread Kills:14(6%)
AATG Pts:100
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
NewYork said:
HairyArse said:To be honest, I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to politics and I've never voted in my life.

On the one hand that's because I can't be arsed, but on the other hand, I don't want to give any party an uninformed vote because to me that's worse than not voting.

I do think it's important to vote, especially considering that there are people in the world who can't, and there are people who brave danger to do so, and there's people in history who have fought for the right. For me not to take the time to walk a couple of blocks and tick a box is really a slap in the face to all those people :)

Aye me too, and i feel pretty strongly about it. If you don't vote then you have absoluetly no right to complain about any public service, tax, schooling, state of the roads, immigrants stealing your job/benefits or whatever it is that pisses you off.

If you can't be arsed to take the one infrequent (and almost always very easy) opportunity to have an input into the system, why the fuck should anyone listen to you views on it ?

Although we are a democracy, in practice we are a democracy only one day ever 4 years or so.
#19 at 14:58:10 - 17/02/2010
HairyArse
Flag
Posts:6388
Comments:1774
Thread Kills:127(2%)
AATG Pts:350
Star Rating
Gold Medal
NewYork said:
HairyArse said:To be honest, I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to politics and I've never voted in my life.

On the one hand that's because I can't be arsed, but on the other hand, I don't want to give any party an uninformed vote because to me that's worse than not voting.

I do think it's important to vote, especially considering that there are people in the world who can't, and there are people who brave danger to do so, and there's people in history who have fought for the right. For me not to take the time to walk a couple of blocks and tick a box is really a slap in the face to all those people :)


I understand that but what if they made voting compulsory and all the fuckwits out there voted for one party just because it had the coolest adverts or fittest representative? Unless I know exactly what I'm voting for and why, then I won't bother.
#20 at 15:34:06 - 17/02/2010
JimJam
Flag
Posts:2586
Comments:189
Thread Kills:162(6%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Syrok said:
Yup, you never joined the EMU for one. (Maybe^^)

Isn't Britain's economy very much dependent on the banking and insurance sector? So I would think that could be a reason why the UK was hit harder.


We were in the precursor to the EMU, called the ERM. We had to pull out during our last recession in the early 90s because we had a currency crash. You're right about our banks being an important part of our economy. Unfortunately British banks jumped on the sub-prime bandwagon that most European banks were much more cautious about. To be fair, it's likely we would have been sucked into the recession anyway, but we've fallen much farther than most European countries.

I think I'm covered Bill - I don't have any other directors or salaried employees.
#21 at 16:07:04 - 17/02/2010
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Cool, you should be fine than JimJam. As long as you pay yourself some sort of salary as well :)
#22 at 16:21:51 - 17/02/2010
JimJam
Flag
Posts:2586
Comments:189
Thread Kills:162(6%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
billdoor said:Cool, you should be fine than JimJam. As long as you pay yourself some sort of salary as well :)


Yep, just about to go and pay myself now ! Cheers for the info Bill.
#23 at 18:16:40 - 17/02/2010
Micro_Explosion
Flag
Posts:3361
Comments:83
Thread Kills:129(4%)
AATG Pts:220
Star Rating
Silver Medal
In keeping with the meandering nature of the OP and thread... :P

I've never voted and I probably never will, at least as long as I'm living in an area that doesn't have any real problems. I have a number of reasons - I don't want to vote for any of the candidates and none of them go out of their way to tell me what they represent (as an individual), I don't believe the other people voting are doing so intelligently or with the right motivations (for most people, not all) and finally because I'm lazy.

It's great that I have the ability to vote when so many others don't but I also have the freedom to not vote. That doesn't diminish my ability to speak out on my views (as some would argue), and in some aspects it gives me greater freedom.

I accept taxes are needed and should exist, what I oppose is the use of the taxes. I'm less concerned about what they are spent on and more concerned with how much is wasted through the incompetence, stupidity and lack of respect for where that money has come from by a large governmental organisation.

Would that money be better to be left in my pocket to give to charities, schools, hospitals or whatever else? Certainly not but there is an efficiency in how that money is spent that I don't see in any government.

The recent focus on MPs expenses contributes or confirms my position in that they're talking a handful of millions in total (yes there's trust/abuse of position and other shite) but more than that will be wasted every single day on things that it shouldn't go to (and I could name several examples that total 100s of millions but I'm not allowed).

Am I a selfish person that is lacking in compassion? Absolutely but I put more effort into helping people than anyone I know in person, just don't ask me to give sympathy because I can't and won't.
#24 at 23:30:49 - 17/02/2010
Micro_Explosion
Flag
Posts:3361
Comments:83
Thread Kills:129(4%)
AATG Pts:220
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Summary version of above: people are stupid, I can't be a part of that.
#25 at 23:31:48 - 17/02/2010
Bremenacht
Flag
Posts:150
Comments:38
Thread Kills:7(5%)
AATG Pts:50
Star Rating
NewYork said:
Well, I'm with you there, d00d, I think ignorance is a valid reason not to vote (and I sure am ignorant so we're in the same boat, really), though you could argue that a person's duty to vote also includes a duty to be informed.

Another good reason not to vote is if this is an active statement that you have no preference, or that nobody represents you. But then I feel this should be represented with a symbolic blank vote, rather than 100% apathy.

If you pay your taxes, I feel you're entitled to not vote.
#26 at 20:57:25 - 21/02/2010
peej
Flag
Posts:14637
Comments:4691
Thread Kills:462(3%)
AATG Pts:400
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Political motivation and the strive to "do something about it" has fuck all to do with the lack of a compassionate society though like it or not, and no matter which side of the political fence you crouch behind - we're all growing up (or growing older) amidst the fallout resulting from Thatcherism. An extremely selfish society, lacking in compassion or even the most basic human traits of giving a flying fuck about anyone else on the planet except yourself, with no quick fix from any government-elect to solve even the simplest problems in society (let alone the most serious problems eroding the core of what everyone strives to make for themselves - enough money to get by, a home for their family, a job that doesn't get pissed up the wall because a fat-cat shareholder takes the money and runs when things go wibbly).

I never bothered to vote till I met my other half, and because I pretty much got nagged into it I just spoil all my votes (I think I voted for the Roman party in my last local elections and I'll vote for any lunatic fringe outsiders except extreme nationalist or racist parties in the upcoming general elections).

We can't fix things until politicians actually genuinely show that they're willing to address their fucking ridiculous spending (several of those "embarrased" by the Telegraph's expenses expose still hold office and show no signs of buggering off, at least till they're elected out of office), or at least until major parties stop lying through their teeth every time they draw breath.
#27 at 09:01:56 - 22/02/2010

home