"People constantly speak of 'the government' doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men." H.L. MenckenSo passes yet another Budget day beginning with the Chancellor posing at the door of No11 with his Red Box, then proceeding to the House of Commons where he reads out a speech containing what amounts to a pack of lies, where upon the Opposition then get their attempt to also spout lies in rebuttal. During this entire process the remainder of the House of Commons behaves like a pack of kindergarten schoolchildren, requiring the obligatory admonishment from their headmaster. This is politics? For heavens sake, we could stick a load of monkeys in a cage and get the same result for far less cost.............. Oh, wait....................
I do not propose to comment on the Budget detail; there are far better qualified than I who can do that, however the Mail seems to have picked up a few salient points which are worth reading. Likewise Open Europe blogs on a little noticed fact in the Budget of a massive discrepancy for the UK’s net contribution to the EU, compared to the figures produced in the pre-budget report back in November. While I have to admit having missed the first 20 minutes of Osborne's speech however I do not recall any mention of that nugget, nor can I spot any mention on Hansard.
Why do we allow ourselves to be put through this charade? Why do we allow politicians the power to extract money from our pocket time and time again, then complain about the fact on each and every occasion? I am now going to take extracts of a speech given by Enoch Powell on 11th May 1968, at Chippenham, when he spoke against yet another Prices and Incomes Bill. Powell believed that Bill had been mislabelled and his suggested replacement title is just as applicable to Budget speeches by Chancellors of the Exchequer; namely that of the heading to this post.
"We live in an age of conspiracies. They are far more successful and well-managed conspiracies than the conspiracies of history. Perhaps the improvement in efficiency is one of the benefits which we owe to the technological revolution. At any rate, the age of the old-fashioned conspirator is no more. He no longer gathers with his fellows in tiny groups, admitted by password to huddle round a dark lantern in a dingy garret. Today the conspirators sit in the seats of the mighty, at the desks of Ministers and editors; they live in the blaze of continual publicity; their weapons are the organs of opinion themselves. The politics of the last few years have been little more than a series of conspiracies conducted by the politicians and the Press against the common sense of the public. They have for the most part been brilliantly, audaciously successful. Opposition, criticism, questioning have been beaten into the ground, not by force but by something much more efficacious: by tacit agreement on the part of those who speak and write to speak and write the same kind of nonsense, year in year out, until ordinary men and women no longer dare trust their own wits but give up the struggle and deliver themselves passively to the guidance and domination of their betters. The Higher Nonsense is a mightier instrument of mass repression than machine-guns, grapeshot and cavalry charges ever were. The success has been so complete that we fail not only to be astonished at it, but even to perceive it........
..........Inflation with all its attendant evils, comes about for one reason and one reason only: the Government causes it. To say anything as plain as that is to arouse a chorus of imprecation. All the clever people start talking at once in a loud voice about ‘cost push’, ‘demand pull’, and ‘monopoly power’. But look who is doing the talking. If it is true that governments cause inflation and that the citizens are the innocent victims, who has the vested interest in denying it? Answer: governments themselves, and all those who thrive on an increase in the power and expenditure of governments. Governments, and their attendant host of commentators and propagandists, have executed what is perhaps the greatest confidence trick of all time, a confidence trick on a gigantic scale: they have caused inflation year after year, and at the same time persuaded everyone that somebody else was to blame. It is equivalent to stealing a man’s wallet and then getting him locked up for theft. The achievement is all the more remarkable because the facts are so blatant."Enoch Powell provides an impressive, coherent and cogent argument for the introduction of Direct Democracy coupled with the element of 'Referism' (not, I hasten to add, he would have agreed). Have we not suffered enough from the actions of incompetent individuals who believe they know everything, but in fact know nothing? Has our country not been brought to its knees on more than one occasion by these incompetent individuals only for them to be saved by the efforts of the people they have misled? Has the time not come when we, the people, must inform these incompetent individuals:
Enough is enough. We will no longer waste time denouncing you, you are dismissed forthwith as yet another sad, bizarre chapter in our history and we vow never, ever, to allow your like to be reborn.
Update: Richard North, EU Referendum who appears to think the same as I do.