Pontifications on a road less travelled. The cat that got all of the cream.

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There was a comment in the paper the other day. Here in the UK, clowns are starting to complain that politicians are being called clowns. The clowns point out that being a clown is damned hard work, demands considerable fitness, great timing and the ability to work closely with others as part of a well drilled team!
Another comment I saw was an MP pointing out that because he’d voted to reduce the legal aid bill, the reduction now meant that he wasn’t eligible to get legal aid. Yes, revel in the schadenfreude but stop and think about it a minute.

In this country at the moment, if your income is the same as the prime-minister, a cabinet minister or a shadow cabinet minister, then you’re in the top 1%. In simple terms, 99% of the population earn less than you do. Given that all our politicians have the ability to clock up a fair heap of expenses, get invited to travel to exotic foreign parts at somebody else’s expense (and we ask no more than they remember to declare the trip) I think we can safely assume that most MPs and similar are, if not actually in the magical 1%, at least in the top two or three percent.

So in this country legal costs have got so high, even people in the top two or three percent can no longer afford them and need legal aid, financial assistance from the taxpayer, before they can cope?
Now it’s long been a tactic by the wealthy, be they unscrupulous millionaires, or senior departmental civil servants, to use the almost infinite wealth at their command to crush those who get in their way. HM Revenue and Customs will regularly send out letters which mean (but don’t actually say,) ‘We think you own us x, but because you haven’t paid it, we want you to pay 2x. Or we can take you to court and bankrupt you whatever the court decided.’

But let’s take a look at this top two or three percent. Yes, everybody points the finger at the multi-millionaire businessman. Let’s look at Denise Coates. Her Grandfather started with a few betting shops. She’s the one who had the guts to take betting on-line, borrowed the money to do it and had she failed, she’d have been bankrupt. So now she’s making serious money and paying serious tax.

But in that 1% we have over 700 civil and public servants and those serving on quangos. Then you’ve got all those people who work for the BBC. The BBC had 214 staff earning more than the PM. That probably doesn’t include all those the BBC pushed onto into self-employment because the BBC didn’t want to have to pay their national insurance or pensions. But as a general rule, when a broadcaster interviews a politician, the broadcaster will be the one with the biggest income.

Now if you disapprove of Denise Coates, you can take immediate action. If you don’t bet with her company, you don’t contribute to her wealth. But if you feel the PM or the leader of the opposition is earning too much, tough, they’ll just siphon the money out of your pocket whatever you think. Same with the BBC, you disapprove? Tough, if you want to watch any TV at all, whether BBC or not, you’ve still got to contribute.

But what really hacks me off about those politicians and civil servants who are doing nicely as part of the top two or three percent is that they know the figures.

They have sat there and said, “This is exactly how much the state can screw out of our taxpayers. Obviously we need this much money set aside for us first, to reward us for being so utterly wonderful and efficient.”
Then they have to look at how to spend the rest. So when you meet the care worker on the minimum wage struggling to keep a patient with Alzheimer’s clean and dry, you know where the money has gone, you know just who to blame.

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Strangely enough I’ve never really had the urge to become obscenely rich, I just sort of rub along and get by. Also, in the interests of cheering people up I write a bit. So if you’re just hacked off with our masters and want to buy one of my books as a political gesture, or alternatively just fancy a good read, I’d encourage you to invest the magnificent sum of £0.99!

As the reviewer said, “Someone has tried to cheat Benor and his young ‘apprentice’ Mutt. They set out, with a little help, to redress the balance. Another in this series of Port Naain novellas that had me smiling. They are not belly-laugh stories but full of wry, clever and thoughtful humour. Often, it’s the way he tells them. I’m always up for more of these stories.”

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16 thoughts on “Pontifications on a road less travelled. The cat that got all of the cream.

  1. xantilor December 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm Reply

    These days the Government takes from the poor to give to the rich. It’ll be rather worse if Corbyn gets in. I’d add that our problem is that a nation of average earners is governed by people on multiples of the national average, people who nevertheless deem themselves underpaid.

    • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm Reply

      I think the rich culture of entitlement starts at the top and then percolates down 😦

  2. jenanita01 December 30, 2018 at 6:57 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.

    • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 7:20 pm Reply

      Most of my friends are obviously anarchists 🙂

  3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 30, 2018 at 7:01 pm Reply

    You don’t understand! They could be voted out any minute, and they need to lay up treasures for when they no longer have an income. Politicians suffer from wage instability.

    Public servants somewhat less. But you wouldn’t want your government to stop working, would you?

    • xantilor December 30, 2018 at 7:10 pm Reply

      I guess that’s why politicians love the EU – it’s a cushy place to work once your days as an MP are over. (I’m self-employed, so have zero sympathy with anyone earning a large income and whining about job insecurity.)

      • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 7:22 pm

        As somebody who’s only ever been self employed I confess that I do lack sympathy for them and job insecurity. I know plumbers and other tradesmen who might have no home if they were ill and couldn’t work for several months 😦

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        I hope I don’t have to use the /sarcasm on this blog!

      • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm

        no, but even in this country people are unaware of the severance deal for MPs and seem to thing they drop round to the foodbank the day after the general election, poor dears 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 31, 2018 at 5:07 pm

        I need to check out what ours get.

    • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 7:20 pm Reply

      If they lose an election they get a month’s salary for every year they served, up to six months
      They also get a resettlement grant
      Also their mates and the party will get them a nice cozy job somewhere. There aren’t many who have to get a proper job after losing their seat
      With regard the public sector, I’ve worked with them at a number of levels. We could certainly manage perfectly well with a lot fewer!

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        It’s hard to give up what you not only feel entitled to, but feel you should have continued getting except for the voters who don’t know what they’re doing.

        I don’t know how I would cope with that temptation; glad I don’t have to see how my personal ethics would survive.

      • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 7:43 pm

        We’ve had a lot of this with Brexit. Some people see the remain campaign as being spearheaded by a lot of rich and powerful people whose sense of entitlement is driving them
        Frankly I don’t think that is true. There may be some, but I’m perfectly willing to believe a lot have genuine reasons for wanting to stay just as others have genuine reasons for wanting to leave 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 31, 2018 at 5:08 pm

        The people who have genuine reasons are a minority – because that requires actually taking in information and forming an opinion.

  4. xantilor December 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm Reply

    When Cameron resigned after the ‘wrong’ referendum result, the first thing he did was to have dinner with Tony Blair to discuss how best to monetise being an ex-PM. Says it all, really.

    • jwebster2 December 30, 2018 at 8:17 pm Reply

      there are no words 😦

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