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No you have not been out of the loop, nor is your memory failing you – the 2012 Lib Dem conference has been the usual blend of forgettable people and forgettable policies, save for those ones which are so brain-numbingly stupid that they leave one incredulous.

What has emerged out of the Lib Dem conference in Brighton is the Robin Hood rhetoric of easy/lazy policy making and demagogic politics, that is ‘take from the rich and give to the poor’. Cries like these, usually the stuff of the vacuous Ed Miliband to his ignorant tribal voters, are what one expects from sixth form or student politicians, not professionals. Quad erat demonstradum.

Mr Clegg made it quite clear that under his plans the wealthy top 10% of earners would be obliged to pay more to foot the bill for the feckless and for the poor decisions made by government. Thus, anyone earning over £50,500 would have the collection plate thrust at them with even greater eager righteousness than before by the Deputy PM and his league of crackpots.

Andrew Neil, quizzing the nature of this enterprise, pressed Jeremy Browne MP (yes, this man is an MP – a bag of boiling micturate has greater substance) on the point that the top earners already foot 55% of the UK’s income tax bill, asking in what way should the top 10% pay more? Browne, naturally, did not answer the question, instead deciding to deploy a dribbling, meandering response that puts one in mind of the drunken ramblings of a village idiot [1].

Today, Mr Clegg has more sensibly suggested that those pensioners with over £1 million in assets could probably do without the universal benefits afforded to OAPs. This announcement was probably made to take the sting out of his previous proposal, but it leads to an essential point missed by Mr Clegg and the politicians of big government: the wealthy should not be penalised for what they have earned, rather the government should better apportion, spend and invest the money it has at disposal. It is not the job of high earners to take care of or bail out the state because it is incapable of balancing the books.

It is a skewed understanding of ‘fairness’ that is preached by the Lib Dems and those operating on the left. The Lib Dems cannot talk of a fair(er) society since none of their policies connect with the real world that they are meant to serve. A fair society should no more penalize the wealthy for their money than they should the poor for their lack of the same.  For the Lib Dems, a fair society is finding any way they can to fund the realisation of their mandate, one which promises the ongoing ruination of the UK.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

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Daniel Hannan’s speech likening the EU to King Lear is a concise and damning attack on the EU that is unlikely to be put quite as eloquently by others within that institution, or by politicians in the UK. The Panopticon laments that such eloquence or displays of learning, as we see with Mr Hannan’s speech, are not only absent from politics in the UK, but that when they are exhibited, they are condemned as elitist. In 2 Henry VI, the leader of a peasants’ rebellion, Jack Cade, says of Lord Stafford ‘He can speak French; and therefore he is a traitor’ (4.2.161-2). Later, of Lord Say, he is no less unforgiving: ‘Away with him! Away with him! He speaks Latin’ (4.7.55). The Jack Cades of our own time practice a form of populist inverted snobbery which casts education as a vice, or displays of knowledge as somehow eccentric or removed.  It is little wonder then Mr Hannan works in Brussels, for he would receive short shrift for such displays in his own country , even if in the European Parliament he commands ‘the power of speech | To stir men’s blood.’ (Julius Ceaser, 3.2.223-4)