People in Guildford don’t vote BNP

Yesterday Ed Miliband made another step in reframing Labour's position on immigration. With Ukip surging in the polls and likely to come first in next year's European elections, and the media already beginning their racist attacks on Bulgarians and Romanians, Labour has a choice. They can follow the Conservatives in drifting to the right in the hope of choking off Ukip support or they can offer a positive, more progressive alternative that deals with concerns over immigration but in a wider context.

Nick Lowles is the founder of HOPE not hate

Yesterday Ed Miliband made another step in reframing Labour’s position on immigration.

Admitting Labour got it wrong in allowing too many unskilled migrants into the UK during its time in office, he also sought to focus on unscrupulous employers and lax and unenforced laws.

In this, he was trying to walk a very thin tightrope between being seen to be tough on immigration while protecting the vulnerable.

I understand what Ed was trying to do, just as I understand the difficult position he finds himself in. There are a lot of people in Britain who are nervous about immigration, the impact on their economic well-being and the changing face of the country.

Some of these people are clearly racist and will object to any non-white immigration at all. Others are not racist and their concerns have to be understood.

In 2011, HOPE not hate conducted a survey of attitudes to race, immigration and identity.

With more then 5,000 people asked over 90 questions, the Fear and HOPE report was one of the largest surveys on this issue. It found that 23 per cent of the population were bitterly opposed to immigration and multiculturalism.

It found an even bigger number, 28 per cent, were more relaxed about immigration and multiculturalism but concerned over future immigration for economic reasons. We called this group ‘Identity Ambivalents’ and it consisted of mainly Labour voters, public sector workers and the majority of Britain’s BME population.

My concern about Ed’s new video is not that he is talking about immigration or even trying to address people’s concerns, but rather that he is answering the wrong questions.

Labour now admits that too many unskilled migrants entered the country over the last ten years but could a Labour government really limit the numbers? Most of the unskilled migrants come from A8 countries so there is actually nothing Labour could have done about this.

They could have possibly blocked their arrival for another year or two, but given our membership of the EU this would only have been a temporary measure.

Ed quite rightly talks about enforcing the minimum wage and improving the rights of workers, and it is one of the huge failings of Labour in government that they created such a flexible and unregulated labour market that migrants and non-migrants alike could be exploited so easily.

But by linking improvements in working conditions so obviously to reducing immigration it both frames the debate as immigrants are a problem and undermines a wider, and much more positive, case for better conditions for all.

Our Fear and HOPE report found that economic pessimism was the key driver for fear. The less people saw a future for themselves and their children the more they resented newcomers.

This economic pessimism, reinforced with the sense that they are losers in this globalised world, quickly develops a cultural narrative and racist scapegoating emerges. It is no coincidence that the bulk of areas that saw strong BNP votes were those one-industry towns and communities which were on the decline.

Labour is never going to win an immigration debate by focusing solely on immigration and talk of numbers.

Firstly, after record numbers of immigrants during thirteen years in office they are not going to be believed.

Secondly, they end up making unachievable promises and so this will only reinforces distrust in them.

Thirdly, talking up the problem of immigration will alienate many of their own voters, including the more progressive Liberal Democrats who have switched party allegiance since 2010 and who Labour need if it is to win the next election.

Finally, and most importantly, they risk answering the wrong question.

If economic pessimism is the key driver, intertwined as it is with cultural anxieties of a changing world, then the answer is convincing the electorate that Labour can offer a better tomorrow for all the people of Britain, especially those who feel they are losing out from globalisation and deindustrialisation.

The immigration debate is going to become even more toxic over the next eighteen months.

With Ukip surging in the polls and likely to come first in next year’s European elections, and the media already beginning their racist attacks on Bulgarians and Romanians, Labour has a choice.

Do they follow the Conservatives in drifting to the right in the hope of choking off Ukip support or do they offer a positive, more progressive alternative that deals with concerns over immigration but in a much wider context than they are doing currently?

A wider context that involves a better economic future, restoring faith and trust in politicians and making democracy work for and involve people.

People in Guildford don’t vote BNP. The people in communities where hope is lost did.

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29 Responses to “People in Guildford don’t vote BNP”

  1. LB

    Admitting Labour got it wrong in allowing too many unskilled migrants into the UK during its time in office, he also sought to focus on unscrupulous employers and lax and unenforced laws.

    ==========

    So what’s Ed’s proposal for fixing his mess?

    Er not a word. He’s going to allow the mess to remain.

    Time to change the rules. If you are a migrant, you can stay if you pay more than 11K a year in tax [level of government spending] Otherwise you have to go.

  2. Gareth Millward

    What a delightfully reductionist view of economics. I’d love to live in your world.

  3. LB

    It would be a nice world.

    1.You would get to invest your own pension money.

    For a 26K a year worker, they would have 560,000 pounds for their retirement not a state pension costing 130K.

    2. For those that couldn’t save, we guarantee them a state pension when and only if they run out of money.

    3. We don’t leave future generations with a 7,000 bn debt.

    4. We don’t subsidize people we don’t need to. That’s low skilled migrants and Tim Yeo.

    5. We would have half the house of Lords in jails for their attendance frauds.

  4. LB

    Oh, and one where the NHS doesn’t slaughter 40,000 people. (Avoidable deaths)

    The number maimed is still under wraps.

  5. Anon

    You spelt Guildford wrong. And what has Guildford got to with anything? Not really relevant to the point to just unfairly target one place like that.

  6. Gareth Millward

    What happens if people get 1) wrong? Can the average citizen be expected to know enough about investments (a specialised skill) to get this right? Isn’t a certain level of state control and/or bailout necessary to protect people?

    Wouldn’t 2) give absolutely no incentive to save for your own pension, or leave the level of the pension so low it would force additional poverty upon those who were too poor to save?

    If we get the economy growing, isn’t 3) irrelevant? Growth and steady, managed inflation gets rid of debts pretty easily.

    I’m going to regret saying this, but do you have figures to back up your assertion on 4) that take into account the overall benefits as well as costs to the economy of investing in migrant workers?

    And as for 5), well, that’s something that (if proved) should be done by any legal system and is completely irrelevant to whichever parties are in power.

    I’m such a naive soul, I know.

  7. Peter Garner

    That should be “People in Guildford don’t vote BNP – yet” I think the current incumbents are so useless (and there’s little opposition from the other parties – including Labour – that the BNP or UKIP stand a good chance of making an impact.

  8. Raging Leftie

    Well, I guess this is a start – but the issue now is where are they going with it? Will they lurch one way or the other? I guess we will just have to wait and see and just hope for the best. Twiddling thumbs ……

  9. Ash

    “Labour now admits that too many unskilled migrants entered the country over the last ten years but could a Labour government really limit the numbers? Most of the unskilled migrants come from A8 countries so there is actually nothing Labour could have done about this.”

    The case they’re making, surely, is that if low-skilled workers’ wages and working conditions were better protected, the market forces driving those high levels of immigration would cease to operate. (No option to take advantage of foreign workers’ willingness to tolerate poor wages and conditions relative to domestic workers = less incentive to import foreign labour rather than hiring locally. Conversely, no abundance of ‘opportunities’ to get work in the UK by accepting poor pay and conditions = less incentive to come here looking for work.)

    “Ed quite rightly talks about enforcing the minimum wage and improving the rights of workers, and it is one of the huge failings of Labour in government that they created such a flexible and unregulated labour market that migrants and non-migrants alike could be exploited so easily.”

    Quite. Miliband is joining the dots – recognising that it was precisely this labour market that was driving high rates of immigration.

    “But by linking improvements in working conditions so obviously to reducing immigration it both frames the debate as immigrants are a problem”

    I don’t think so. It puts the focus where it belongs, on unscrupulous employers, and makes it clear that migrant workers are the victims of exploitation.

  10. LB

    I’m afraid its you who are naive about risk.

    Which is the risky asset?

    a) The asset that generates 130K after 40 years from a provider that is bankrupt

    b) 560K of assets

    2). It’s NI that goes into the fund So you’ve got no choice. However, since you own the assets, is valuable.

    So back to question one? Do you go with the provider that gives you 130K, or one that ends up with 560K?

    Getting the economy going? You’re in cuckoo land.

    1. Deficit = spending – taxation

    Where’s the growth in that? Growth doesn’t affect the deficit. It’s only changed by spending less, or taking more money from people.

    Reducing the debt. So lets assume by growth you mean growth in tax revenues. You’ve missed off the last bit. Does growth pay down the debts?

    No. 2% growth, doesn’t pay off any debt. The deficit is 30%. Even with a spending freeze, not like the current increases, its going to be ages before it gets the deficit to zero.

    On top of that, you’ve got the pension debts. Between 2005 and 2010 according to the ONS those off the book debts went up by 736 billion a year (Note, a year)

    4) A dumb question. It’s akin to the old racist statement. We’ve got muslim terrorists so all muslims must be terrorists. We’ve some migrants who are a benefit so all migrants are a benefit. It’s you’re argument in a nut shell.

    Why not get rid of the ones that are a burden, and leave the ones who aren’t?

    On 5, the problem is that they make their attendance a state secret. Michael Pownall who was responsible for handing out the money, deemed made it a state secret. ie. Covered up his own handling of you and my money.

  11. cameronisanutcase

    Miliband is a liar and the British people will not fall for their lies again, stop all immigration

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41492

    ALMOST 83,000 SIGNATURES

  12. henrytinsley

    Oh that figure again.

  13. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep talking about the far too few avoidable deaths for you, since poor people can get treatment.

  14. Newsbot9

    That’s right, purge the kids and women. Gotta trash the economy, through not understanding the benefits of trade. Immigration itself has been cost-neutral.

  15. Newsbot9

    And of course the average UK worker would get 6p an hour.

  16. Newsbot9

    b. Because it’s not 560k, its a far smaller value. And it has fees. It’s 84k. At best. Fraud, as ever.

    You’re trying to steal pensions. Again.

    Keep claiming that you can only rob the poor to pat you debts, banker.
    And of course you think people and business will stay here when you begin mass deportation of kids.

  17. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep trying to trash the economy, as you speak for your few fanatics..

    Keeps spamming!

  18. Newsbot9

    Yes, the far right do indeed tend to leave impact marks on their victims when their thugs are out and about, but what does that have to do with politics?

  19. Mick

    Labour are absolutely disgusting; verminous, if you will. They think by saying sorry over the immigration timebomb they are wiping the slate clean. But they’ll bluff their way back to power and keep the same old status quo.

    Labour people engineered a huge coolie labour explosion, complete with total demographic change, to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity’ and create a new Labour-voting fanbase. Disgusting, especially as Labour bank on the ignorance of newcomers. (There’s a sharp rise in anti immigration sentiment amongst second-generationers.) And that’s not to even mention widespread immigration’s incubation of fundamentalist Islam, which is far far more common than Leftists dare admit.

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/65404-lunatics-new-labour-state-5.html#post1058562167

    Labour people have called folks racist just for discussing immigration, whilst saying only non-European immigration can now be controlled is rather racist anyway. Surprise.

    Public Wacist: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252926/Chris-Grayling-criticised-Labours-Phil-Woolas-secret-immigration-plans.html

    People have actually felt hope by voting BNP recently than they did voting Labour. And taking the BNP in proportion, they were successful – they forced Labour to reduce ‘dispersal’ to BNP areas, spend more on white estates and made politicians address immigration again.

    Not Labour… the BNP.

  20. bnp london organiser

    Don’t be afraid, political change is coming,people are starting to vote along ethnic lines thats what happens when homogenous societies are broken up. google “labour 25”

  21. Gertrude Pelletier

    Awesome article! This is so informative. Thanks for sharing! Two thumbs up for this!

    SurveyAndBallotSystems.com

  22. Ash

    “Labour people engineered a huge coolie labour explosion”

    ‘Engineering’ doesn’t come into it. The operation of a free market in labour means migrant workers, especially from countries where work opportunities are poor, will naturally flow into rich countries with growing economies. That free market in labour was largely engineered by right-wingers for right-wing reasons (i.e. in order to keep wages low and profits high) long before New Labour got anywhere near Number 10. They just happened to preside over a period of EU expansion. (Yes, they could and should have taken steps to re-shape the free market model of labour movement they inherited – as Miliband is now arguing – but they didn’t ‘engineer’ it.)

    “Labour people have called folks racist just for discussing immigration”

    In which case it’s a good thing that Miliband is now trying to reframe the debate, isn’t it?

    “whilst saying only non-European immigration can now be controlled is rather racist anyway”

    How so? That’s just an acknowledgement of EU rules on the free movement of labour.

    Miliband is trying to clear up a confusion in left-wing thinking – how does opposing xenophobia and racism fit in with opposing an under-regulated, sometimes exploitative, labour market that drives high levels of low-skilled immigration? He risks alienating some of his own supporters, but he knows this discussion is overdue. Good luck to him.

    Do you see David Cameron or anyone else on the Right trying to clear up the corresponding confusion in their own thinking – how does opposing high levels of immigration fit in with an ideological commitment to a free and flexible labour market, as demanded by business leaders? Er, no. That fundamental tension between the Tories’ social conservatism and their economic liberalism is something they just hope we don’t notice.

  23. Gareth Millward

    1 + 2) I genuinely don’t see where you’re getting these 560k vs 130k figures from. Treat my like the idiot you obviously think I am, and explain it to me. My point is that if an individual is expected to save on her own for her own retirement, what happens if the bank she saves with or the pension provider she uses goes bankrupt or misuses her money? Won’t the state have to bail her out? Or are we just going to use the “personal responsibility” card and swan off with her money? Money which will have been taken by other investors with no care about what happens to her pension pot.

    The provider who MIGHT give you more money can fail. The state can’t (though it can obviously, if it mismanages the fund, put the risk on the taxpayer, and this is the political hurdle to overcome). When we’re talking about people’s livelihoods in old age, I worry about handing this over to businesses whose first incentive is profit, not the safety of pensioners. I’m not saying people shouldn’t have a choice as to where they invest. I’m saying the state should be an optional provider.

    2) You’re mixing up structural deficits with deficit. If I borrow £20k, and through the economic growth I get through investing that money tax revenues rise by 30k, my debt is effectively paid off by the growth. The country can easily support constant debt (and has done historically) without too much of a problem. The STRUCTURAL DEFICIT is the debt that will never be paid off because we’re borrowing more than growth. If the economy doesn’t grow at all, it will take forever to pay off the debt. Therefore RESPONSIBLE borrowing aimed at encouraging growth is not a bad thing in itself. The key is RESPONSIBLE.

    This is EXACTLY what every mortgage holder in the country does. They borrow against the house based on the assumption that their future earnings will cover the debt and leave them with more in the future. They can then borrow for a second house, invest it in a business, or whatever.

    That’s basic economics that even a dunce like me can understand. It’s the STRUCTURAL DEFICIT which the government must tackle. Not the deficit per se. Equating the two is a trick that Osborne was warned about almost as soon as he took office.

    4) As for 4, no investment is never even. You make some losses whenever you take risks, but you absorb them because without taking risks you can’t make money. That, again, is basic economics. Yes, many immigrants make a net loss for the economy. But by being open and taking more risks, we end up with a far more immigrants who make net gains, That to me seems pretty logical. The political question is how much risk you take relative to the gains. That’s where we can debate immigration policy. It’s why, for instance, we usually ask non-EU migrants to bring a skill and to have a job waiting for them. I don’t see, personally, why this needs to be tightened much further, but I’m willing to listen to rational debate.

    5) And on 5, yes, clearly that needs to change. I have no problem with that. But that’s not a left versus right issue, that’s a common sense issue. I’m not going to argue there. I just was puzzled why you think somehow the left would be happy with people embezzling state funds. That’s not how most sane people operate. Every wing of every faction has bad apples.

  24. LB

    130K is the cost of the state pension from a profit making pension company. What it would cost to buy an equivalent annuity.

    The 560K is what a 26K a year worker (median wage) would have had in a fund if their NI had gone in to the FTSE. So 40 years ago median wage was 700. Put in NI into the FTSE. Make or lose, plus some dividends. Next year adjust the wages by wage inflation (up or down). Now add the NI into the FTSE. Then make or lose on the capital, get the dividends. Repeat for 40 years.

    So it shows that the state give shit value for NI. Even taking off JSA (available for 6 months) its awful value.

    =========
    My point is that if an individual is expected to save on her own for her own retirement, what happens if the bank she saves with or the pension provider she uses goes bankrupt or misuses her money?
    =========

    Like the state. Take all the money and give it away or spend it on other people. So how much does the state owe for its pensions promises? Just the promises where people have already paid in? It’s not on the books, but the ONS have published an estimate. 2 years ago it was 5,010 billion. Now that is over 5,300 bn.

    So why shouldn’t your arguments apply to the state? They have done everything you’ve said is the danger with a private company and worse. At least with a fund in your name, regulated properly, you’ve got the assets.

    =========
    You’re mixing up structural deficits with deficit. If I borrow £20k, and through the economic growth I get through investing that money tax revenues rise by 30k, my debt is effectively paid off by the growth

    ===========

    So lets put some more accurate figures to it.

    Spending 700 bn.
    Taxes 550 bn
    Deficit 150 bn.

    28% overspend.

    So far for 4 years of 150 bn of borrow and spend, the growth has been? Er, not 150% for your numbers but 1-2%.

    Borrowing 30% to get less than 1% growth. Does that make sense?

    ==========
    This is EXACTLY what every mortgage holder in the country does.

    ==========

    No it isn’t. If you buy a house, you put down a deposit. You have the debt, but also the asset. Given the mortgage is less than the asset value, you have net assets.

    The state however, takes the money, creating the liability, but then blows the asset. It’s in negative equity to the extent it can’t pay.

    Now for the future cashflows will cover it. According to your statement, there’s no issue with how much you borrow. So long as you have some income, you can borrow as much as you want. Doesn’t matter if you earn 55K a year, spend 70K on food, holidays etc, you can buy a 700K house on credit, and sell the house without telling the bank. After all, you’ve got an income so you can pay any debt. That’s clearly bonkers, but its what the state has done.

    It’s not the deficit stupid. It’s the debts. Doh!

  25. Gareth Millward

    On the first point, you could get back £560k. You could get back far less. The state at least has an obligation to pay money if it fucks up. Yes, it’s fucked up. But there’s a safety net. Would there be for private investors?

    You’ve accurately showed how the structural deficit has worked, congratulations. You’ve shown how Labour got it wrong, congratulations. Again, though, you haven’t proved that borrowing is always bad. You’ve shown that irresponsible borrowing is. And you’ve shown that if the economy stagnates things get worse. You’ve not shown that by pulling money out of the economy and getting it to stagnate that things will improve.

    If you don’t like the mortgage analogy (and if the state is investing in building schools and hospitals it IS acquiring assets), you can surely see the business analogy? You borrow to make money. That’s pretty logical. It’s what the state does and can do well. There is a historical track record of doing so. Things go wrong when borrowing rises above economic growth. This is the situation which we need to fix now.

    The difference between a state versus a homeowner or a business is that it won’t die. We can pass debts hundreds of years down the line if necessary on the capitalist model. It can live in perpetual debt providing it can cover its monthly payments. You can earn £55k and spend £70k in one year PROVIDING you make more than £55k the year after and start paying off the debt. It’s when you borrow £70k every year that we have a problem. This was what happened, and Labour is to blame, absolutely. But that doesn’t mean the solution is to borrow nothing at all, reduce taxes for the rich, fuck the poor and let the economy stagnate.

    In short, the rules are different for an immortal entity that can borrow trillions versus an individual who can only borrow a few hundred thousand.

    Providing the growth in debt remains below the growth in the economy, the state can stay permanently in debt without a problem. The issue is ensuring that past debts continue to be paid off so that tax rates don’t have to rise to pay for it. The state should borrow money to invest, so that the economy grows and the loan pays for itself.

  26. LB

    So you think 130K is compared to 560K isn’t a fuck up?

    The state is looking at screwing people over for what it does owe. e.g Raising the state retirement age – a default. CPI not RPI – a default. Raising contributions – a default

    ==========
    Again, though, you haven’t proved that borrowing is always bad.

    ==========

    I’ve never said that was the case. You claimed via your numbers that borrowing could be good. I’ve pointed out that you scenario doesn’t apply to the state at the moment. It’s spending and borrowing but not getting growth. The reason is that its screwing people with tax, and just using borrowing to fund spending not any investments.

    An investment needs to cover the borrowing costs, either by generating more cash, or by generating more savings. Which bit of the 700 bn spend does that?

    =========

    If you don’t like the mortgage analogy.

    =========

    I do like it. Apply it to the state.

    So when you buy a house, you end up with an asset. Either that produces savings in spending, no rent, or you sell it, or you rent it out generating a cashflow. Perfectly good.

    Now the state owes 5,300 bn for its pensions. Of the assets it has bought, how is it going to pay the cashflows?

    1. Sell the assets. Hmm whose going to buy a hospital or a school or a nuclear sub?

    2. Cashflows. Which assets generate the cash flow to pay the assets? Or are you going to go down the we’re all slaves of the state route?

    3.Savings. OK, what spending gets cut?

    ========
    It can live in perpetual debt providing it can cover its monthly payments

    ========

    So going forward, show that the state can cover its debts?

    First you need to list the debts?

    1,200 borrowing

    5,300 pension

    400 PFI

    Nuclear decommissioning, guarantees, …

    It’s above the 7,000 bn mark.

    So how can it afford it?

    Income 550 bn, spending 700 bn?

    ========
    Providing the growth in debt remains below the growth in the economy, the state can stay permanently in debt without a problem

    ========
    OK, prove that is the case.

    2005-2010, the pensions debt went up by 736 bn a year, according to the ONS.

    You’re waffling because you aren’t putting hard numbers to you’re analysis. You’re living in the same la la land as MPs as a consequence. You analysis is correct, if your conditions hold. But you haven’t checked that your conditions hold. They don’t.

    eg. Debts increase at huge percentages of GDP each year. Many many times the level of growth.

    So on the basis of that, they are bust.

  27. Gareth Millward

    I don’t argue with your figures which show we are in a structural deficit. I’m arguing with the idea that the way to solve it is to pull support away from poorer people.

    I don’t have the figures to hand, but by the same token I’m not going to pull figures out of context to skew the debate in my favour. I concede that this can make my point weaker, but I am equally unconvinced that you are necessarily using relevant figures in your analysis too. You’ve consistently picked on areas of state expenditure which you don’t like to serve your fundamental agenda which appears to be for lower taxes for yourself on the assumption (right or wrong) that poor people are poor through their own errors and not the structural inequalities in society.

    All you are showing is how the state got things wrong over the past 10 years by borrowing instead of curbing expenditure or raising taxes. I don’t really think you’ve shown how private investment would have done better. People rely on the state. It cannot fail. People who are reliant on private businesses starve when they fail if there is no backup. This is a fundamental political point.

    To try and explain a little further some of the key points:

    1) the United States has been in permanent debt, and has done OK over the years, I think you’ll agree.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/the-long-story-of-us-debt-from-1790-to-2011-in-1-little-chart/265185/

    2) You’re basic sums of £700bn debt versus £550bn income can be combated two-fold. a) Is £550bn enough to cover the interest on the debts and begin to start paying it off? In which case, economic growth over the next few years will allow us to start to breathe. And b) would raising tax revenues not make that £550bn bigger? In which case we need the economy to grow, or we need to raise taxes. Cutting spending is just ONE option, and the only one many seem to be willing to stomach. Why might that be?

    3) Related to 2), if the economy isn’t growing, we have a problem. So we need some policy to get things growing again. One option is to borrow to invest. Going back to the Atlantic article, the New Deal would be an obvious example. But even if you don’t like that idea, we always have the option of spending without borrowing by getting higher tax revenues.

    Then we can go back to some real fundamentals and show that unemployment and inequality are necessary and integral parts of capitalism. I’m a capitalist and can live with that; but I must also acknowledge that my relatively nice live is built upon the poverty of others. And maybe, as a collective, we should do something to address this by providing services and an infrastructure which genuinely allows those with talent to flourish. We’re all wealth creators; it’s time we all paid and were paid our fair share.

  28. LB

    1. US is irrelevant to the UK government’s mess.

    2 The USD is currently the worlds reserve currency, and that enables them to do things the UK government can’t.

    3. “I don’t have the figures to hand”.

    Well how can you conclude anything unless you point some numbers to it?

    4. “People rely on the state. It cannot fail.”

    Yet another assumption. I’m stating based on the evidence of the debt numbers it will fail. You effectively saying something different, which is I hope it doesn’t fail. There’s a big difference between the two statements, and its only by ponying up the debts, all of them, and comparing it to the tax revenues that you can plainly see they will fail.

    Where I expect we’re in total agreement is that consequence is dire.

    5 “Your basic sums of £700bn debt versus £550bn income can be combated two-fold. a) Is £550bn enough to cover the interest on the debts and begin to start paying it off? In which case, economic growth over the next few years will allow us to start to breathe.”

    No, its 7,000 bn debt. 700 is the spending.

    6. And b) would raising tax revenues not make that £550bn bigger?

    Depends. If you screw people out of taxes, you take money from them What effect do you think that has? You imply for poor people its low growth. I add to that. It screws the middle class and the rich. It’s these people who do make the investments. The state doesn’t.

    7. “Cutting spending is just ONE option, and the only one many seem to be willing to stomach.”

    There are only two options. Cutting spending. Taking more money from people.

    However, as the 7,000 bn debt falls due (its back end loaded), they are going to be forced into cutting spending. That spending is pensions. Or you could say, we’re going to pay civil servants their pensions, but we’re going to axe the fire service as an example. Do you think tax payers are prepared to pay all the tax, and get no services?

  29. LB

    And maybe, as a collective, we should do something to address this by providing services and an infrastructure which genuinely allows those with talent to flourish. We’re all wealth creators; it’s time we all paid and were paid our fair share.

    ============

    Unfortunately, you’ve taken a short term view.

    It’s all well and good, but if you spend other people’s retirement money, diddling them out of 430K in the process, then default on the remainder. you’ve caused a problem that is far far worse. Dire in my books,

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