Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The hardest cut? (updated)

Last week I delved into the actual figures announced in the June emergency budget to separate fact from fiction in the debate about cuts. As we saw, even at the reduced pace of spending proposed by the coalition government (which still sees nominal spending rising year on year) our national debt is set to double from £900bn this year, to £1.3 trillion in five years time. Furthermore we saw how currently the UK is running the second highest budget deficit behind Ireland, how our debt has grown faster over the past five years than any other country bar Iceland, and how the actual size of that public debt is now nudging towards that of Italy and Japan. Under these circumstances I see little realistic alternative to the spending slowdown proposed by the coalition government.

However, the reaction to the Chancellor's announcement yesterday that Child Benefit (£20.30 per week for the eldest child and £13.40 per week for each subsequent child) would be withdrawn from 2013 onwards for all families where one parent earns more than about £44,000 p.a. shows just how difficult the task actually is. On the face of it ceasing the payment of benefits to people who are earning enough in theory to not need it should be an easy sell -- but the outrage of the media proved otherwise, and of course the whole policy was not helped by the revelation that as the Revenue's tax computer's don't know who is married to who (or living together, etc) a single mother earning £45K would lose her child benefit, while a couple both earning £43K would still receive it.

The worrying thing is that this is just the first 'cut' to be clearly outlined. Many, many more will be announced at the Comprehensive Spending Review on the 20th October. If we as a country -- despite the direness of our financial situation -- cannot accept the removal of benefits for those earning in the top 20 percent of the population, what hope is there that we will accept the much more serious cuts? 

As a percentage of GDP our public debt (not to mention private and corporate debt) is amongst the highest in the world; if we continue to put off paying it back we will be spending ever more in servicing the interest of that debt (currently £43bn per year, rising to £66bn by 2016) and over time it will impair our country's ability to deliver essential services and pay out even the most needed benefits. We already pay more on debt internest than we do on the Armed Forces -- at a time when our servicemen have been losing life and limb in Afghanistan because of lack of equipment. The sad fact is that the longer we put it off, the more likely that higher taxes and/or higher interest rates will result, which would present even more problems for our private businesses on which we need to rely for growth. Whichever way we look at it, the longer we leave it, the more painful and prolonged it will be.

UPDATE 19:45: The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who left the note saying "I'm afraid there is no money left", has now written an article attacking the coalition for cutting benefits for high earners. I would laugh if I wan't already crying so hard.

UPDATE 22:15: It looks like the Media might have badly misjudged the public's reaction to the move to end child benefit for higher earners:


A further 86 percent agree with the £500 a week limit on Benefit payments too. More here.

46 comments:

The Great Councillini said...

I'm not a Tory (by any means!), but it is certainly true to say that cuts, however they are formulated, are urgently needed.

The cut in Child Benefit is curious, because the media are out in force about 'middle Britain' being under attack. I've heard nothing so far - other than, admirably, from Cameron himself - about the huge numbers in the UK living on substantially less than £43k a year. In that regard, the 'furore' seems to be very much a Londoncentric banshee scream than anything else. I suspect most people in Britain must be watching the telly, wishing they earned that much and wondering what all the fuss about a small cut in benefits is.

But, yes, a media storm there is. It's immediately apparent how much more difficult it will be to bring in other cuts when so much time, bluster and venom is already being spent on what must by any assessment be a justified cut-back on child benefit. Let's just hope the Revenue can sort their act out to means-test everyone so that the unfair single/couple problem is overcome.

The Red Flag said...

The Child Benefit thing has been appalinglly handled and has shown Osborne up to be a clown.

It needs means testing. Answer given? to expensive.

It's unfair in the way it works in that two parents earning 40K will get it, family where only one parent works and is ion 50K won't. Answer given? To expensive.

Balls. Absorb it into the Family Tax Credits. That's already means tested, the system is already in pace and it can cope with a working couple, a working single and the sel;f-employed.

Announcing thios supposed 26K cap on total benefit receipts for a family. That is absolutely ompossible to achieve unless you make all rents equal across the UK and also peg them equal to mortgage tax relief for a buklding the same size. A piece of waffle designed to placate Daily Mail/Express readers that will never get off the drawing board.

New Tories are starting to look as false as New Labour did.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Red Flag - your comments on rolling the Child Benefit into Family Tax Credits are very interesting.

"That is absolutely ompossible to achieve unless you make all rents equal across the UK and also peg them equal to mortgage tax relief for a buklding the same size."

If we look at it from the other side of the equation -- those who work and receive the average wage would anyway need to move to accommodation they can afford. Why should those who receive in excess of £26K in benefits be helped by taxpayers to continue living in an expensive area?

On a slight tangent, what about all the young folk who are forced to leave Anglesey to seek work? Is it not unfair on them and their families that they are forced to live so far away for work reasons? This I understand is the exact argument being made for those on benefits being forced to move away from their 'homes' in expensive areas.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line - get rid of the benefit altogether. It is your decision to have children, if you do have children then it is entirely your responsibility and not the state's to sustain them. The state will educate them but that is where the line should be drawn. If you stopped child benefit tomorrow we would halve single-mother pregnancies overnight. In the words of our friend Alksander, Seemples!

TGC said...

"Why should those who receive in excess of £26K in benefits be helped by taxpayers to continue living in an expensive area?"

Hmm, warning: in danger of limiting personal freedoms. Anglesey was once a place where housing was cheap. You could call it one of your 'not expensive areas'. Now, hardly any first-time buying young folk can afford to buy their own home, thanks to the general population's greed for what they think is profit from their property.

Once you start throwing stones, they have a nasty habit of bouncing back on the thrower...

The Red Flag said...

Druid - "those who receive in excess of £26K in benefits be helped by taxpayers to continue living in an expensive area?"

This '26K' is based on a family of 2-3 kids and includes 'invisibles' such as housing benefits (or mortgage relief) council tax rebates and free school dinners etc. So if you lose your job and have a family and go on benefits and have a mortgage you think that you should be forced to another part of the country? This is where the tories are playing a false game. they are allowing people to equate tyhis with [professional benefit scroungers when it fact it will be applied to all benefits recipients - including redundees. 26K may sound a lot for a family, but ask yourself how much tax credits they will get for being in a normal Anglesey-paid job if they had 2-3 kids? Is it acceptable that people are buying houses on the strength of tax credits?

Anon 12:18 If you stopped child benefit tomorrow we would halve single-mother pregnancies overnight. I very much doubt it and that's actually a stupid statement. My mother was marrioed at 16 and myself and my forst sister were born before she was 20. She counts as a teenage mother. You don't mean teenage mothers at all, what you mean is extreml;y young mothers having children outside of a stable relationship. The causes of that are not child benefit. If anything they are a social spin-off of a consumer-driven economy. What do you suggest? Find out what's causing it and address it? Or chuck them on the streets?

Toast for Tea said...

"If anything they are a social spin-off of a consumer-driven economy."

I agree. It's much easier to beat 'other' groups of people over the head than carefully work towards solutions to social problems. That is government in general - smoke and populist mirrors instead of long-term, sensible policies.

Avatar said...

I think this is a poorly thought out policy; in effect it punishes those above a certain wage for having children. Children are expensive and the universal child benefit in no way covers all the cost.

Some say that those earning £44,000 or above wont miss the child benefit payments. But if you follow that argument you could also say that everyone on £44,000 or above could also afford to do without a similar amount.

In other words rather than punishing those with children, why not spread the load evenly and raise the income tax for high earners instead.

Anonymous said...

There is a furore in the media purely because to a man they all earn that much and are therefore affected. Arseholes that they are.

As for this thing about the unfairness of a family on 44K living next door to a family on 2x40K.
Tell me this. Who pays the most in income tax out of the two.

Family 1: Couple, two kids, he earns 44K

Family 2: Couple, two kids, both adults earn 40K.

Both families use, have access to, exactly the same provisions. Yet family two will be paying a substantial amount more in tax.

Hence why they are not being hit.

By this particular one at least.

Anonymous said...

Every thread on every blog regarding any cuts should, like a packet of fags, have stamped on it a message.

"This is happening because of the criminal way that Labour have exposed this country to bankruptcy. Yet again"


It is galling to listen to their Top Team (ha!) waxing lyrically about the evil tories and their lackeys the LibDems without being remined that it is ALL their fault.They were ALL there. Emily Band their new leader knows it hence the distancing from the more than useless Brown and the 'new generation' theme.

Herr Cwt said...

"in effect it punishes those above a certain wage for having children. "

I don't think it does. The benefit should be for those who genuinely need it. Even as a youngster, earning a reasonable salary, I always thought being given a handout for having a child was a bit silly; it helped, yes, but there's always someone more needy than us.

It's a strange thing that 'middle Britain' is always coiled to knock those 'attached' to benefits at the lower end of the social spectrum, whilst they themselves now bleat about the loss of a few quid a week. Does anyone smell the hypocrisy here? I would say that everyone - £43k earners and the rest - have grown to see benefits as 'rights'.

Universality is also a weak argument; you don't need to be given handouts to a higher tax band earner for them to understand they live in a society and all that means.

The Red Flag said...

The public will continue to go ballistic about cuts until Osborne grows testicles and stops the obscenities of the City who have announced this years bonuses wil be just over £6BN.

Everytime he and/or Cameron open their mouths about 'fair' people become more unhappy and disillusioned and rightly so.

Apart from getting ready to give them even more of our money than they got last time round, what exactly is being done to bring the banks and the City to heel?

Fair my ar$e

Anonymous said...

Will they come to heel.

Or will they simply pack up and go?


Remind me again on how much of the countrys wealth is produced by the financial sector and explain to me exactly how it can be immediately replaced.
Heh. WV is commu. You should have had that one!

Temple of Poseidon said...

"Or will they simply pack up and go?"

No, they won't. That threat is so old and tired and discredited that it's amazing it still gets trotted-out so often.

And where would the world be, exactly, with less greedy banks? Not in the present state, perhaps. Heck, we own the majority of many of them, anyhow, so who calls the shots now?

Anonymous said...

Discredited. Care to back it up?

Own most of them. Care to provide a list of all banks and all the we 'own'?

And as for being greedy. How did that come about. Who was in charge of regulating them. Who was in charge in America when legisltation was passed which forced banks on pain of severe penalties to give credit to people that were not in any sense of the word creditworthy?

Wouldn't happen to be the darlings of the left Brown and Clinton would it?

Old Mona said...

I suspect that the 'uproar' in the media regarding the cuts in child benefits is because most of those in tne 'media'are going to be affected and the child benefit helps towards their nanny's wages!I suspect that there is going to be a lot more people upset over the coming weeks but the country cannot afford the cost of these overall benefits. I suspect the next one to go will be the Winter fuel allowance, a good benefit to those that need it but why give it to everyone over 60?

A letter some months ago in the Telegraph from some joker who said that he can fill the tank of his Bentley once a year courtesy of the taxpayer!

Anonymous said...

I know some people that are outraged that their free bus pass may be taken off them. They are a two car couple with an income of about 40,000 and go on a bus about once a month.


They're not bankers though.So they aren't greedy.

Anonymous said...

The bank bonuses payable this year is around £7.1 billion, however as reported by the BBC, the government will take £4.1 billion of this amount.

See

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11473352

The Druid of Anglesey said...

TGC - I would be grateful if you could expand on "Hmm, warning: in danger of limiting personal freedoms". Regarding the rise in house prices -- I could write a whole thesis on the topic, particularly on the knock-on problems caused by overheated house prices.

Red Flag - " So if you lose your job and have a family and go on benefits and have a mortgage you think that you should be forced to another part of the country?" - I understand there is a government scheme started by G.Brown to help homeowners obtain government loans to keep possession of their homes. I haven't heard that the scheme has been scrapped - and as the money involved is a loan would presumably not count in a putative total benefits bill. However its possible to put together any number of hypothetical or real cases where it seems 'unfair' to limit benefits at £26K, but as far as I can see the principle of making work more attractive than living on benefits has to be correct.

"Is it acceptable that people are buying houses on the strength of tax credits?"

I would say only that we should cut our coats according to our cloth.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Avatar - "I think this is a poorly thought out policy; in effect it punishes those above a certain wage for having children."

'Punishes'? That statement would only hold true if the same people felt incentivised to have children because of child benefit -- which I very much doubt. As Herr Cwt says, in these straightened times "the benefit should be for those who genuinely need it".

"In other words rather than punishing those with children, why not spread the load evenly and raise the income tax for high earners instead."

At what point do you define someone is a high-earner? I'm afraid that people will always vote for higher taxes if they believe that people other than themselves will pay them. I believe that the universality of tax (for all except those at the very bottom) is an important principle to keep us all honest in our demands on the Govt.

Red Flag - "The public will continue to go ballistic about cuts until Osborne grows testicles and stops the obscenities of the City who have announced this years bonuses wil be just over £6BN."

Personally I don't believe in any kind of wage controls. Having said that I do believe that the shareholders of banks should look very carefully at how the bonus cultures of banks incentivise bankers to act on very short-term objectives only, at the expense of future profitability. Furthermore, believe it or not, not all banks are equally guilty in causing the credit crunch. Northern Rock, RBS and HBOS were all over-extended in mortgages; Poor Lloyds was doing fine until pressurised into 'rescuing' HBOS by G.Brown.

Anonymous said...

Re the update regarding the Sky Poll.

The other 17% is made up of Media Luvvies and hypocritical Labour Politicians.

There's too many of both kinds.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that we are encouraging the lowlife to have kids whereas it should be the other way around.

With fewer wars, we need less chavs so why do we reward them?

TGC said...

"I suspect most people in Britain must be watching the telly, wishing they earned that much and wondering what all the fuss about a small cut in benefits is."

"83% of voters support the cuts"

Told you so!

Anonymous said...

Kind of obvious, really. If 85% of people won't be affected by the cuts, you'd expect a similar number to be in favour of them.

Question is: why did we see such a frenzy of media hype yesterday? Does it reveal something fundamentally biased in reporting?

Groundhog Day said...

Someone made the comment that Osborne needs to grow some balls. Well I personally believe he has all the balls needed to tackle the defecit; just give hime time. It was not the Coalition that oversaw the cockups with the banks and as for the obscene bonuses in the financial sector, well the spineless Brown Darling and Byrne had enough time before the election to draw up legislation to limit those bonuses. It's no use people like Red Flag (apt title notwithstanding the attachment to a football club) bitching that Osborne should have done something in the short time the new govt has been in power, I am sure that once he has sorted out the benefit cheats and parasites in society who feel that life owes them a living off other peoples' backs, he will get around to sorting out the City slickers. Both of my grown up children earn above the £44k and will lose their child benefits but I am proud to hear them both tell me that they feel lucky to be earning as much and are prepared to accept the loss. Now let us applaud and back up Osborne for being prepared to grasp the nettle and go for unpopular but necessary policiies to get this country out of the mess left by the Labour govt.

Anonymous said...

I watched Newsnight and Paxman roll out the whole "these cuts are a disaster" routine last night. In the very last minute of the program Michael Crick revealed that according to Yougov the public overwhelmingly supported the cuts.... silence, roll credits.

The Red Flag said...

A further 86 percent agree with the £500 a week limit on Benefit payments too

A further 86% would but that's because you would be hard pushed to find 50% who even understand the implications. As soon as either they as a family or families they know start losing their jobs next year you'll soon hear them sing a different song.

I bet if you asked people if they though all wages should be capped at 100K a year that a resounding majority would say yes. Like wise restricting people to only owning one house or bringing in statutory rent controls on Landlords.

The Red Flag said...

Druid - but as far as I can see the principle of making work more attractive than living on benefits has to be correct.

Therefore you must have in your mind a figure that you think is the minimum an adult should earn for a full time week, based on what you consider to be reasonable living standard for a worker otherwise that statement is meaningless. So what is it please? How much do you think a full time working adult needs to live a reasonable life? Personally, I think anyone paying an adult full time worker less than £7 an hour in this day and age needs taking round the back and slapping for exploitation.

The danger here is that rather than raising wages to a realistic level and using that as the incentive to work, we are lowering benefits.

"Is it acceptable that people are buying houses on the strength of tax credits?"

I would say only that we should cut our coats according to our cloth.

That is a meaningless answer. It is a simple yes or no is all that's required, not something that is entirely non-committal. You aren't John Major by any chance are you?

Personally I don't believe in any kind of wage controls.

A fair point and one I wholeheartedly agree with so long as you are fair and also believe in no form of Union controls so as to balance it. I also believe pay-bargaining should be at local level not national level.

Anon00:03 - It seems to me that we are encouraging the lowlife to have kids whereas it should be the other way around.

You could equally argue that the poor don't die young enough. Or that the middleclass are basically selfish and do not pay enough tax.

Avatar said...

When it comes to cuts that are needed, what is important is that you can show that they are fair. As others argue, if a family with one person with an annual income above £44,000 could do without the child benefit, isn’t that the same for families with combined incomes of £44,000.

Some say you cannot pick and choose which universal benefit to cut, is it fair that rich pensioners get free bus passes, a free TV licence or winter fuel payments they ask.

Logic and politics are never easy bedfellows, and while cutting child benefit for high earners, is seen by some as logical, to others the political cost of implementing a poor policy that was not after all included in the manifesto may be too high.

You say that they are not been punished for having children, but it is interesting therefore that there is talk of compensating them for the loss of child benefits.

Don’t forget the key demographic voter here, the middle class woman, including those who choose to stay at home whilst hubby earns the money. And never underestimate their wrath, even when to you the decision taken was sensible.

Anonymous said...

Druid - I understand there is a government scheme started by G.Brown to help homeowners obtain government loans to keep possession of their homes.

The scheme to which you refer was little better than propoganda and the qualification for it made it impossible for the vast bulk of claimants with mortgages to get.

The normal allowance is after 13 weeks (used to be 39), known as SMI. This is calculated at the flat rate of 6.08% (soon to be lowered I think) of the first 200K of the mortgage and nothing after. If there is a shortfall (which there often is on mortgages at a higher rate or endowment linked mortgages) the claimant has to either get the mortgage company to agree to lower payments or make the shortfall good themselves somehow. If you are on any form of mortgage that requires re-financing and the due date is while you are unemployed then the claimant is responsible for all fees involved (provided the mortgage company agrees to roll it over which at the moment they will only do provided you re-borrow at today's vale and make good the shortfall from the previous loan at the time). It is also dependent in some part and whether you qualify for contributions-based JSA and on the level of contributions you have made and for how long. The rules are different for mortgages taken out before 1994. They also differ slightly for claimants of Income Support.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.09

"Don’t forget the key demographic voter here, the middle class woman, including those who choose to stay at home whilst hubby earns the money."


And Anglesey is jam packed full of such people whose hubbies earn over 44K.


Yet another day with the media luvvies going on about this and trotting out that chesnut about the family on 2x40K versus the family on 44K.

No one explains that the first one pay twice as much for their 'services'.

They wouldn't because it completely demolishes their whinge.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Red Flag - "Therefore you must have in your mind a figure that you think is the minimum an adult should earn for a full time week, based on what you consider to be reasonable living standard for a worker otherwise that statement is meaningless."

I don't have a figure in my head, and neither would I advocate allowing some government department to set one arbitrarily either (that would push us down the "road to serfdom", if I recall correctly). The market sets its own average wage which is easily calculable - there is no reason why such a figure cannot be our guide; and equally no reason why my statement about making work more attractive than benefits should be meaningless unless I want to set an arbitrary figure.

"The danger here is that rather than raising wages to a realistic level and using that as the incentive to work, we are lowering benefits."

Well, the government is not capable of 'raising wages' (outside of the public sector anyway). As you go on to say that you agree with me that wage controls are not welcome then I wonder how you believe a government could 'raise wages'?

"A fair point and one I wholeheartedly agree with so long as you are fair and also believe in no form of Union controls so as to balance it."

I don't believe I have ever advocated on this blog greater Union controls than the ones that currently exist.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Avatar - "When it comes to cuts that are needed, what is important is that you can show that they are fair. As others argue, if a family with one person with an annual income above £44,000 could do without the child benefit, isn’t that the same for families with combined incomes of £44,000."

I agree with you, and wish it was otherwise. But the problem is plainly the capacity of the Revenue. The big tax computers don't know who is married to who, or who is raising a child in an unmarried relationship with who.

The Red Flag said...

Druid -
the "road to serfdom", The Road To Serfdom was the introduction and maintainance of the NMW at too low a rate. It has become used as a 'benchmark' in pay calculations from which all other grades are then calculated. No matter which way anyone tries to dress things up, wage levels in this country are too low. More than 70% of the children on this Isle where their parents are actually in work, rely on tax credits. That's not a Labour achievement it's an absolute disgrace.

Well, the government is not capable of 'raising wages'

Being as the NMW is used as a benchmark and the government sets the rate of NMW I think that qualifies as them being more than capable of 'raising wages' on the rounds they are already doing it by setting the floor.

I don't believe I have ever advocated on this blog greater Union controls than the ones that currently exist.

In which case, so long as you don't support employers having more leeway then it's fine as it is but the loosening of one must be balanced by the loosening of the other.

Old Mona said...

A vast majority of the people that voted Conservative at the last election, including myself did so because they were certain that the Conservatives would do something about reducing the deficit inherited from 13 years of disastrous Government by Brown/Blair. I also believe that people will still support the Government even though they personally will be hit by the decisions the Govt make. The deficit left by Labour was horrendous and if nothing is done then the debt will have to repaid by future generations. What really pisses me off is that the hundreds of billions spent by Labour achieved bugger all. There is nothing to show for it.

Anonymous said...

A vast majority of the people that voted Conservative at the last election

A vast majority of the people that voted conservative at the last election did so at the one before and the one before that etc etc.

Avatar said...

What did Labour achieve answer a lot, I’d list many but no doubt people would disagree with me on many of them, however here is just a small selection:

Independence for the Bank of England
Devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Achieving with others; not forgetting the essential role of John Major, peace in Northern Ireland.
Providing free prescription in Wales.
Minimum Wage
Humans Rights Act, as much quoted recently on this blog by some.
Record number of Police Officers, low crime rates.

Yes, there was a lot done wrong, yes they allowed the budgets to grow to quickly without having regard to the state of the economy. But to say glibly “What really pisses me off is that the hundreds of billions spent by Labour achieved bugger all. There is nothing to show for it.” - is plainly wrong.

Old Mona said...

Avatar says: 'Yes, there was a lot done wrong, yes they allowed the budgets to grow too quickly without having regard to the state of the economy'

That surely is the point, we and future generations will be paying off this debt foreever unless something is done about it now and not some time in the future. Emily Bland and his party would still be spending and borrowing money that we don't have in the mistaken belief that is going to get the country moving.

Some very hard decisions are going to be made at Westminster to get the economy turned round in the next few year so that new generations can benefit from a prosperous Britain. Similar decisions will have to be made in Cardiff if they have the balls for it, I won't hold my breath.

His small list of Labour's achievements except for, the Northern Ireland Agreement and the Independence of the Bank of England
are debatable and small beer compared with problems we face now

Avatar said...

To say that had Labour been elected would have resulted in spending and borrowing money that we do not have in the mistaken belief that is going to get the country moving, is not exactly correct.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8570775.stm

Public spending needs to increase year on year, it has too to reflect inflation, increased wages, cost of food, medicine etc. What politicians hope is that the economy grows at the same rate, or otherwise you will be in deficit (a recession). What they really hope is that the economy grows sufficiently for them to give election grabbing headline policies.

Even taking into account the reduction in spending by the coalition government, we will (as explained by the Druid) still see an increase in the Countries overall debt. In a recession, what you aim for is a reduction in the difference between public spending and public income, so that the deficit is judged manageable.

Remember not all debt is bad; it is a question of whether it is sustainable and its measured over a financial cycle. Economic growth in some ways depends on the disposable income available to the consumer, it’s a balancing act between raising taxes to increase government income, or reducing taxes to give them additional disposable income to spend and hopefully give a boast to the economy and as a result increase government income (vat, company profits etc).

You pay off the overall debt when the economy is strong; you reduce the deficit when the economy is weak, it is a debate about, by how much and how quickly you achieve the deficit reduction.

Anonymous said...

Avatar

Trying to justify anything Labour did/does/will do by linking to something that their propaganda mouthpiece the biased BBC has to say on the matter doesn't really wear.

A bit like Myra Hindley refering to Ian Brady to back up her innocence.

Avaar said...

Anon 21:39 that's the BBC, HM Treasury and the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Abuse as they say is the sign of a weak argument, never mind I forgive you.

Anonymous said...

Shouting racist at anyone who dares opine, however mildly or logically, about immigration is also a sign of a weak argument.

Smear and jeer tactics is also a sign of a weak argument.


You may be the forgiving type.I'm not so pschycholgically flawed.

Anonymous said...

You may be the forgiving type.I'm not so pschycholgically flawed.

Actually not being able to forgive is recognised as a major psychological flaw and also a cause of clinical stress. Apart from the fact that forgiveness is a cornerstone of Christianity.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11 27.

You are of course right in what you say regarding the Christian bit and as a matter of fact I came back on reflection to put on an apology to Avatar for the slight, which I now do.

However when I think of Blair/Brown/Whelan/Campell/McBride/Brown the Whip(ex) et al and the closing down of valid arguments let alone the deaths of principled scientist and hundreds of thousand of innocent civialns due to some or all of the above I am not inclined to be so forgiving as one of their supporters seems to want to be now that they are of course out of power.
I should have put it over better in the first case.

Prometheuswrites said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11496089

The Wales Audit Office (WAO) has uncovered a black hole in its accounts of more than £1m.

"WAO, which ensures billions of public money in Wales is spent properly, also admitted it had been breaching financial rules since 2005".


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Prometheuswrites said...

" ... there are some very strong questions we need to ask about the people who are being paid by the Welsh assembly to audit the Wales Audit Office's own accounts.

"We will be getting the external auditors in front of us because we are the ones who pay them to do this job and they will be coming to the Public Accounts Committee and answering some very searching questions."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11499651

Does this confirm what Mr Gwynfor Pierce has been telling us for some while now?