miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
miss_s_b ([personal profile] miss_s_b) wrote2011-02-07 09:29 am
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Death and taxes

Yesterday I learned that one of my regular customers at work had passed away when I was off sick. Geoff was in his nineties, but very fit. He would come in every sunday, on his bike; a little unsteady on his pins when walking, but fully at home and at speed when cycling. He was one of the few customers who would get automatic hugs when he was leaving, and I shall miss him.

The other death of note is, of course, gary moore. I'm composing this on my phone, so embedding a load of you tube videos is difficult, but imagine at least Rosin Dubh, Out in the Fields, and Parisienne Walkways here.

And so to taxes... Top of this week's Pravda Golden Dozen is a post by someone earning three times what my entire family does complaining about how he is part of the squeezed middle and being adversely affected by coalition policy. I do actually have some sympathy for him, which is why I'm not linking to the post, but I think he was foolish to post without more consideration of how high his income actually is. The reason I mention his post is that it's a perfect illustration of something which we, as politicians, should bear in mind a hell of a lot more often: most people genuinely believe that they are normal. Thus people who are earning more than 90% of us do can genuinely believe themselves to be part of the squeezed middle, and people who are actually poor will vote for parties who would hammer them. As a liberal, my instinct is to educate so that people are more informed and hopefully this effect will be lessened, rather than exploiting it as, labour and tory do, but as a cynic I'm not sure how effective that would be... And of course, our glorious leader's cack-handed alarm clock britain bollocks was an attempt to exploit this very phenomenon, so perhaps I'm alone in wanting to cure people of misconceptions.

(composed on my n8 with swype keypad, so coding is non-existent, and typos may be rife).
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[identity profile] andrewhickey.info 2011-02-07 10:19 am (UTC)(link)
What really annoyed me about that post was that this was the sticking point at which he stopped supporting the coalition - not the libraries closing, the control order fudge, the tuition fees cock-up, Cameron's race-baiting this weekend, the NHS reorg, the removal of mobility allowance from people with disabilities... you know, stuff that's *actually bad*.
Instead he's decided to piss and moan because he's going to be a few quid a week worse off personally, when by any reasonable standards (compared to other people in the country, or in the world, or to the bulk of humanity throughout history) he's astonishingly well-off, and that few quid is going to help people who actually need it.
I'm on much less than him (but much more than you - pretty close to the *actual* middle in fact) and can safely say that even on my wage you're not going to really struggle - since I started this job we've never gone hungry, we've never missed a rent payment, and we've only struggled for luxuries like trips for Holly to see her family (which we consider a necessity, but is still a luxury by most standards). Even with a kid, he's not struggling.
So it's just... well, putting greed ahead of principles. Which is just nasty.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

[personal profile] matgb 2011-02-07 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Exactly. There's loads of stuff that've annoyed, angered or frustrated me that actually matter and are actual liberal issues, instead he's fed up because our headline tax policy is being implemented but the method of paying for it is being changed.
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[identity profile] andrewhickey.info 2011-02-07 03:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Incidentally, just to clarify, I wasn't saying the NHS reorg is necessarily bad by putting it in that list - I have no idea if it'll make things better or worse (I suspect worse) but am giving it a chance. But it's something I could easily see being someone's breaking point in a way I just can't see this being.

(Anonymous) 2011-02-07 10:56 am (UTC)(link)
Ah yes, very sad news about Gary Moore, a fine and versatile guitarist and one who never quite seemed to receive the level of acclaim that his talent deserved.

Re Taxes etc. Yes, I was a little surprised at *that* blog post, and my reaction was similar to others. Your point is correct, that most people believe that they are 'in the middle', even when they are not. As someone bringing up three kids whose current income is about spot on the median, he didn't garnermuch sympathy from me!

Liberal Neil.
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[personal profile] sashajwolf 2011-02-07 11:32 am (UTC)(link)
On the plus side, "most popular" on the Golden Dozen just means most clickthroughs, and in his case most of the people who clicked seemed to disagree with him quite strongly. I don't think you're alone in wanting to educate people - most of his commenters certainly seemed to think a bit of education on the concept of privilege wouldn't go amiss.
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[personal profile] haggis 2011-02-08 07:58 pm (UTC)(link)
There was general whinging at my work a few months back about how "you'll never get rich as an engineer", which is such bollocks since they are mostly more senior than me, therefore earning more and I am comfortably above the average salary (and well above the average for my gender).