I'm a right-winger, and proud of it. I stand for small government, low taxes and a free market economy. This is not because it produces the best growth statistics or the best living conditions (although it helps), but because it offers the most freedom to succeed or fail to all individuals.
Having said that, I do not stand for a society where people are left to fend for themselves if they're not able to find employment, or they're disabled, or they're really struggling despite trying.
It is completely understandable that many people presume that the Rally Against Debt is a movement of self-interested. "Cut the services, cut our taxes, fuck the poor". Fortunately, that's not what it's about at all.
I'd like to speak to you about your message, your method and your aims. So, I'm going to take your mission statement (or, what I perceive to be a summary of it -- you don't have a mission statement) from your website and put it here:
We are told that the only way to reduce the deficit is to cut public services. This is certainly not the case. There are alternatives, but the government chooses to ignore them, highlighting the fact that the cuts are based on ideology, not necessity.
- One alternative is to clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and the rich, estimated to cost the state £95bn a year
- Another is to make the banks pay for a crisis they created: last year they paid out over £7bn in bonuses and just four banks made £24bn in profit
The tax avoided and evaded in a single year could pay for the £81bn, four-year cuts programme.
Let's ignore the banks for now, and concentrate on UKUncut's mission against corporate tax avoidance, because certainly if we can just increase tax yield by £95 billion a year, it's well worth looking at.
First of all, we need to distinguish tax evasion, which is the illegal non-payment of tax via false accounting or other methods, from tax avoidance, which is finding legal loopholes in order to pay less tax than is required.
It is a fact that some businesses do use tax loopholes to avoid taxation which they should pay. It is also true that some businesses which UKUncut have targetted are in fact only guilty of not paying tax twice on the same profits.
I'm always hearing about wage slavery from the left, which is their definition for people who are forced to work. Taking a deeper look at the definition of slave, we see that it refers to a person "whose person and services are wholly under the control of another".
Well, this doesn't sound much like a working contract, which is the product of an agreement between two people. The fallacious argument that people are forced to work, in a country where it's entirely possible to live on benefits, does not make working for a wage sound anything like slavery.
But what about taxes? Taxes, essentially, are working for another person. This alone doesn't qualify taxes as slavery, because there can be consent, but as services offered and taxes taken increase, surely that consent is more likely to come into question.
When you're interested in politics, one of the first things you hear about is the left-right scale (left-wingers and right-wingers). This originally comes from the French Revolution in the late 18th century, when the supporters of the King would sit to the president's right, and those who supported the revolution sat to his left.
Originally, as such, the right-wingers were seen to be those interested in the wellbeing of the middle and upper classes, defenders of capitalism and private property. The left-wingers were seen to the those interested in the wellbeing of the lower/working classes, and they defended social justice.
Unfortunately, this is about where the scale stops being useful when determining political positions, because it only allows for general broad definitions, and worse still, it forces people into very polarised positions.
I was originally going to post this as a response on James's blog about the Rally Against Debt, but unfortunately his blog doesn't accept comments over 4,096 characters. I'll post the link on the blog as a comment and invite James to reply to me here or upon his own blog.
Ahh, the infamous vitriol of the left comes piling onto those who happen to have a differing opinion to the union machine. The propaganda covered here is incredibly shrill, and really does make you look like a bit of a laughing stock.
"The “Rally Against Debt” is being organised by the Taxpayers Alliance and has attracted celebrity-backing in the form of Toby Young. Annabelle Fuller, a former adviser to the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, is also a leading organiser."
Well, good start. Unfortunately this is about as much fact as you've managed to cram into your blog.
I'm not sure how many of you have heard of the Rally Against Debt, but it's going to be a small peaceful gathering for the silent majority to air their concerns about the delusions which are being spread in the mainstream that our level of borrowing is reasonable.
The national debt is not a partisan issue -- whether you prefer great public services or business-friendly taxes, everybody should understand that running sustained deficits is an issue; so people of all political persuasions are welcome to come to the rally and show their support.