Osborne decimating the State will finally trigger the resistance

Osborne’s central objective, he would have you believe, is to cut the deficit.   He has failed: the deficit he predicted would be £40bn this year turns out to be £100bn and, worse still, it is actually now rising because of the fall in the government’s income (tax receipts) brought about by his own policy of squeezing wages.   His other key concern is holding down and reducing taxes.   In this he’s succeeded: such reduction in the deficit as there has been is almost exclusively the result of cutting public expenditure and benefits, the only exception being the rise in VAT which hits the poor far harder than the rich.   In Osborne’s parallel universe the State is the residual item: it has to make do with what the first two principles leave over.  Indeed I would argue that the shrinkage of the State as a result of the first two strictures is not just an unfortunate side-effect, but the real latent objective of the whole exercise.

But the State isn’t just an imposition on the body politic for the levying of taxes.   It’s an instrument for bringing into existence the vision of society that will inspire, enthuse and activate the members of that society.   The proper way to conduct government is the reverse of the Osborne method.   It should start with a trajectory of the vision to the desired income, including a strategic long-term programme of investment, and the merits of tax changes (including on whom they fall) against particular uses of public spending in pursuit of this objective would then have to be carefully weighed year after year.

It is truly remarkable, and alarming, that the consequences of Osborne’s latest mini-budget on the nature of the State, which can only be described as existential, were not even mentioned by him last Wednesday.   Either that is the result of Olympian insouciance or a determination to foist on Britain a kind of society so extreme (1930s style) that it will never win electoral consent, therefore best to keep mum about it.   So what would it look like?   The NHS, which all the experts believe is heading for a slow-motion car-crash, will collapse in its present form by 2020.    Further reductions in schools expenditure will short-change prospects for this and future young generations.   The welfare system will descend into the means-tested discretionary poor relief of the Victorian era.   Access to justice via legal aid will all but disappear, leaving enhanced and broadly unaccountable power in the hands of employers, landlords and the moneyed classes.   Trashing the environment will proceed apace, so long as it yields big profits (share oil and gas to the fore).

This is fundamentally what the next election should be about.


5 thoughts on “Osborne decimating the State will finally trigger the resistance

  1. What baffles me slightly is the continuing support the Tories get from newspapers like the Mail and Telegraph. Take for example the navy. Entirely reliant on very large amounts of money from the state, and already spread to thin to undertake it’s domestic and international duties. As the Tories shrink the state further the navy will shrink also despite the massive growth in commercial naval traffic since the 90s. So how can the Tory press moan about an underfunded navy whilst supporting the chancellor in whatever he does.
    Personally one of the things I would do to stimulate the economy and create real skilled jobs would be to start a 15 year, set in stone, Royal Navy ship building program based around all the UK’s shipyards.

  2. And this is what the Opposition leadership should be about – like, challenging all of this with real facts and new effective policies… No, still don’t hear anything. Except maybe from the Greens, who don’t much get to be heard.

    You don’t need an education in economics to see what should be obvious. When there’s less money from taxes from the lower wage end of society because they no longer earn enough, and less from the higher wage end because they are allowed every route to remove it from taxation, then there’s going to be an increasing deficit.

    Neither do you decrease benefit spending by pushing more people into poverty. So many nasty tricks to get people not to claim it or be disallowed, and still it spirals, because there’s so much even more need. While you can decrease it by stopping all of the big benefits to the wealthy.

    Stop workfare (or whatever other label it becomes), give people a fair wage so that they can afford to provide for themselves, do something about the way-out-of-control cost of housing, take on the energy companies and the rail companies, and the newspaper barons, and close all of those tax loopholes.

    And explain to the nation why greed isn’t at all a good thing, while caring for each other and sharing with each other is what really is of benefit to the growth of the nation.

  3. Should the Tories succeed in their plans (perish the thought!) this will no longer be a good country to live in; (after 5 years of their government it’s already very bad for very many people).

    What they don’t seem to have considered, is that by creating such a chasm between rich and poor, resentment will grow to the extent that life will also become unpleasant for the better off.

    On a cold, wet, dark, miserable winter’s day last year I got talking to a lady who said she’d come to live her from South Africa. I laughed, as I thought it crazy to leave such a lovely warm country to come and live here. However, she said the situation there was so bad, that people lived in gated communities, not going out as they were in fear of their lives. A friend went on holiday to another African country, where she and others were kept within a hotel complex, totally separate from the local population, so she saw nothing of the real country.

    Of course, all this has come about due to the extreme poverty and inequality there. So, do the Tories really want to replicate this over here!?

    At the moment, rich and poor mix quite well here, especially in London. People can live in nice houses without too much fear of being burgled, drive expensive cars without too much fear of them being vandalised, wear jewellery, use expensive gadgets without too much fear of having them stolen, etc.

    But how long will this be possible, and what would life be like when crime rates escalate due to envy, when people who have so very little come into contact with those who have so much more?

    The Tories are destroying our entire society and must be stopped.

  4. The sad part is that any crime/looting/anti-social behaviour always seem to exhibit itself within the lifeblood of the communities who stand united with the poor…If anyone is planning any insurection..do it quietly, give no warning and then hit the culprits where it hurts..in the City of London and The banksters!

  5. you forget they selling off the nhs to private companies who bung monies bacvk to them or they get jobs oh sorry they changed the law in 12 to do this so if crooks like this get away with their wicked deeds then its shamefull of the rest of you and making companies pay their rightfull tax is another yet those who have their pays paid into thesae offshore accounts get taxed before it leaves the country but the real fraidsters are in government and biggest their mates in companies waiting for that sell off to get their grubby hands into the public tax pot jeff3

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