Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Utter Failure of Government

The closeness of the relationship between Westminster, Whitehall and the big oligopolies was perfectly illustrated by HMRC's relationship with Vodafone. "Don't bother filling in a tax return" said HMRC "Just let us know what you're comfortable with paying." and of course the same relationship subsists with all the other mega-nationals. Likewise QE; "Look, just take the cash - we won't ask you to account for it" said the Bank, and the results were utterly predictable, as Simon Jenkins writes in the Guardian this morning;
In Britain the only growth the Treasury has recognised so far has been to turn to the banks. It is like asking the mafia to promote honesty in local government. Ministers pleaded with bankers to lend more to real people, and even printed the money for them to lend. The banks simply carted the loot from the mint and used it to pay off their gambling debts. There is no evidence that one penny of the hundreds of billions of pounds made available "leaked" into the productive economy.
Some 'Growth Strategy'. 

Fiddling with the Lords, abolishing the County regiments altogether, running the Town Hall from Whitehall, a National Police Service, IDS's nightmare Soviet Welfare System and Planning changes that will further destroy the High Street are all at the heart of the Government's anti-Localist agenda. They're set on destroying the last strongholds of Burke's 'little platoons' - the local and intermediate institutions that glue neighbourhoods and communities together. In their place, hand in glove with the political class, the homogenous, suffocating hand of Oligopoly. In place of the Suffolk Regiment we will have the 4056th G4S Infantry Battalion. Where once the stone castles of feudal lords rose above our town and cities now the steel and glass towers of  KPMG, PwC and Ernst and Young dominate, and to the same effect. 

Big Business and Big Government are symbiotic. Neither act in the interests of the nation, both are focused on increasing their own power and strength. Both are anti-democratic. And as they stand together, so must they fall together.   


Anonymous said...

Too big to fail............. .

Haven't you heard? Bankers and banks still run the economy, run the politicians, run the EU and therefore run and are still masters of the Universe,, lets hope the euro goes west soon.

Anonymous said...

Tony is coming back apparently, with his big tent for the big players. What could ever go wrong

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I'm not sure the things you describe are really failures.

From the point of view of the political class, everything's going swimmingly: their friends are all in power, there's no opposition, the people are happy with their bread and circuses and show no real signs of questioning what's going on, the great EU project is still on track, and the Green fascists are still having it all their way on any pragmatic measure.

What's not to like, for them?

G. Tingey said...

Can someone please chack the factoid...
Political party membership is less than 1% of the population?

I.E. LESS common than NOT having a TV?

A self-selecting elite indeed!

Umbongo said...

I hold no brief for Vodafone or HMRC but in that case Vodafone happened not to owe the billions you imply. There was not a sweetheart deal.

Unfortunately for your position vis a vis the corporatism rife in this country - the gist of which I agree with - the facts of the Vodafone case do not support your contention. Vodafone provided around £4 billion to pay a tax bill if the Controlled Foreign Company legislation (under which such tax would become payable) was found to be sound. It wasn't. So HMRC took the reasonable decision not to spend a whole lot more of the taxpayers' money and its time pursuing a taxpayer for money it didn't owe.

These facts have been known since 2011 but people like you - who really ought to know better - are still banging on about Vodafone getting away with something - and HMRC colluding to help it. There are plenty of examples of corporatism at work: the Vodafone case is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't the non-issue Vodafone tax thang been rather done to death? It wasn't true in the first place, and it's not true now. Ian Hislop along with the lefty hordes has a lot to answer for; it's a great example of urban myth becoming urban fact. A bit like global warming, in fact.

Likewise, QE wasn't about filling the banks' helicopters with cash to be booted out the door. It was about recapitalising banks (getting cash onto the balance sheet) so they could lend to the creditworthy from their normal sources without breaching the capital adequacy requirements of the BASEL agreements. The QE "money" wasn't intended to slush round the economy because that would have us in a state of stagflation; a particularly nasty place to be.

non mouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anon 2 said...

Anon @9:24 said: lets hope the euro goes west soon....
ummm -- meself, I'd rather it went east :)

G. Tingey said...

Do you mean that the "myth" of |GW as pushed by the big Oil companies and the Koch's is false -as it is.
Or are you one of the gullibles still believeing in some non-existent "conspiracy" by scientists?

Please be clear on this?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

G. Tingey, clearly you are one of the gullibles still believing in some non-existent conspiracy by some mythical entity knownas "Big Oil".

And that's all the troll-feeding I'm doing today.

G. Tingey said...

I refer you to the posts over at "Longrider" on this subject.

I used to be a trained scientist and Engineer.
Exxon are part of Big Oil and they ARE funding anti-GW propaganda.