Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saving the World...

Much merriment in the Commons, as Gordon Brown meaning to say "the government has led the world in saving the banks" said by mistake "we saved the world..."

It's funny, but also sweet and oldfashioned. Not many politicians go into politics these days aspiring to save the world. Certainly the derision from Conservative benches, together with their resistance to temporary tax cuts, resistance to recapitalising the banks, resistance to all government efforts, combined with their belief that "recessions can be good for us" shows that the Conservatives arn't even interested in saving Britain. What are they interested in? Raising the inheritance tax threshold to £2 million, so that the shadow cabinet can leave their money without the Treasury touching it - that's why they've gone into politics.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to save the world. In trying much good is done. Those who refuse to try, achieve nothing of worth at all.

It must be chilling for voters to see how palpably Conservatives wish things would get worse, how gleeful they are when people lose their homes and jobs, and how cynically they deride those on the Labour side trying to ameliorate the downturn. The voter is probably thinking, what have I done that the Conservatives wish me ill and take such pleasure in misery in this way?


Anonymous said...

Problem is that Brown's so screwed up he actually believes his own spin.
Meanwhile as per the article in Newsweek the German finance minister thinks Brown's VAT reduction is..............crap.

Anonymous said...

He used the past tense. He didn't say he wants to save the would, but he DID save the world. A freudian slip? Hubris (normally followed by nemisis)?

It is your typical smug veiwpoint that only Labour wants to help people, Tories want to hurt them. I don't believe anyone goes into politics with bad intentions, but some have wrong ideas about what will help.

Brown may have good intentions, but then the road to hell is paved with them.

snowflake5 said...

Devonchap - I think Brown was simply quoting Paul Krugman who said "has Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, saved the world"

People have such short memories! Think back to October, when the world markets went into meltdown following the Lehman brothers collapse. It wasn't till Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling acted, that things stabalised, and other countries followed suit. The history books will record that Gord Did Good, and his legacy rests on that, even if he does nothing else.

Also, I would point out that he said "We", not "I". Labour people definitely go into politics because they want to improve variously, their city, their country, the world (that's why we are keen on aid to Africa for instance). Why do Tories go into politics? Usually for petty material gain - Hague to help get him speaking engagements that wouldn't come his way if he was not in parliament, the shadow cabinet to get the IHT threshold raised, that will personally benefit them, and not many other people. It's the key defining difference between the two parties. One believes in "society" and includes the world in it's meaning. The other is all about "me, me, me" and to hell with everyone else!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that there seems to be a split devolping in the EU with the well managed economies like Germany,Holland,Denmark and Sweden all coming out against the Brown plan with the Club Med high spenders like Italy in support.

Even the French have rejected the VAT reduction as a 'bad idea' and basically adopted very similar proposals to Cameron's,no health charges for new employees in 09,bringing forward public investment projects and tax breaks for research.

snowflake5 said...

broncodelsey - the Germans are NOT in a good fiscal position. Their government debt was 65% of GDP in 2007 (and 2007 was a good year), and this will certainly rise (they went into recession before us, and they've scared their population into not spending, by saying that the government will do nothing to help).

As for France, most of their stimulus is down to public spending via state owned entities like EDF (which would not even exist in Britain under the Tories, because of course the Tories would have privatised it long ago). As for Cameron's plans - his whole plan is to Do Nothing and make speeches saying how he is dead against temporary tax cuts for the hoi polloi (the only people Cameron believes should benefit from tax cuts are millionaires - in this he is following Thatcher, who increased VAT from 8% to 15% to pay for a tax cut on the very rich).

Anonymous said...

One, it was the royal we, just like Maggie used. Two, this wasn't a quote, this was a Freudian slip. And anyway Krugman was posing a question, not stating as fact Brown HAD saved the world.

Again with the holier than thou stuff. You go on saying Hague only went into politics for the money. That's actionable. Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion hat Tories are only in politics for themselves? No, because like much of what you say it is patently untrue blinkered rubbish.

snowflake5 said...

LOL Devonchap. Since you claim to understand the Tories much better than me, why do they go into politics?

Judging from the baracking yesterday, it can't be because they want to save the world or even save Britain. Indeed they all acted as though it was the worst thing in the world to want to save the world and Britain! So why do they go into politics? If it's not down to altruism (which they themselves clearly reject), then it must be for mercenary reasons. What other reason is there?

Anonymous said...

Ok, first point. The Tories laughed at Brown not because he wants to prevent a recession, but his personalization of it and the overblown claim to have "saved the world", not just saved the banks. I could very well claim that Labour MPs clearly didn't go into politics to help the poor given the barracking they gave Nick Clegg when he brought up the case of a single mother on tax credits.
If you look at the background of Tories MPs most have come from jobs that are paid more highly than that of an MP, or even a Cabinet Minister. So clearly it isn’t mercenary facts that brought them to the Commons. In fact most Labour MPs come from jobs were they get paid less than MPs do so you could argue they are the mercenary ones.
You only see two reasons to go into politics, altruism or greed and claim that the only outlet for altruism is via the Labour Party. On that basis most people aren’t altruistic given that the Labour Party has not gained 50% of the votes in any general election ever.
How about duty to ones fellow man as a reason to go into politics? Tories want to serve the people within society, it is just they don’t equate society with the state and they don’t think just spending money is the solution to everything. They sincerely think that rather than saving Britain, Brown is destroying it.
Politics is a thankless task. MPs work long hours away from their families with very little recognition. Almost no-one goes in to it for personal gain. Those that do are spread across all main parties. There is a political truism; Tory scandals are about sex, and Labour’s are about money.
There are many reasons not linked to monetary gain as to why people go into politics They might truly think that they can help the poorest in society by lowering taxes and removing the dead hand of the state from society; or they might have an inflated ego that only they can save the world and they want to be remembered as a great hero. I don’t doubt the sincerity of Labour, Tory or Lib Dem politicians, I just doubt the policies.
You are prejudiced in your views and can not see the humanity of your political opponents. To demonstrate that replace the word Tory with Jew in your rants; “Why do Jews go into politics? Usually for petty material gain”.

snowflake5 said...

"If you look at the background of Tories MPs most have come from jobs that are paid more highly than that of an MP, or even a Cabinet Minister."

Such as? Not Cameron or Osborne (Osborne was a researcher and Cameron was made redundant by On-Digital)

"In fact most Labour MPs come from jobs were they get paid less than MPs do so you could argue they are the mercenary ones."

More generalisations about Labour MPs. Tsk Tsk. Many gave up highly paid positions to become MPs (Nick Palmer for instance, and Blair)

"Tory scandals are about sex, and Labour’s are about money."

Another generalisation. Give examples of Labour and money for personal gain. None! But there are plenty of Tory ones - Caroline Spelman (millionairess) bilking the taxpayer. Derek Conway, ditto. Giles Chichester, ditto (£440,000 nicked from the taxpayer). Den Dover, ditto (£500,000 work of stealing from the taxpayer).

The Labour "scandals" haven't been for personal gain at all. Wendy Alexander didn't realise her campaign shouldn't have accepted a mere £70 from the Channel Islands. Donations to Hain's campaign were not properly reported (as indeed were donations to George Osborne's offices).

But no Labour "scandal" involved personal enrichment, whereas a surprising amount of Tory ones do. Still think Tories believe that politics isn't a potential moneyspinner?

Anonymous said...

Snowflake, are you some kind of neophyte having never heard the adage that Tories scandals are about sex, Labour’s are about money?

Now your argument is confused. In many previous posts you have gone on about how well off George Osborne is, coming from the Osborne Little wallpaper family. Now to suit your argument you say he was only a poorly paid researcher. Which is it?

Also you to try to tar Cameron with being made redundant by On-Digital. Well it collapsed, everyone who worked for it was made redundant. So you would say a till operator at Woolies is at fault for being laid off?

Of course I was clearly making generalisations about the background of MPs, that is what a average is. I'd have thought with love of statistics you would understand that (though I'm not surprised you don't). Of course some Labour MPs earn less as MPs, and some Tory ones earn more. But if you cared to do any research and you check over the full list of current Tory and Labour MPs you would find ON AVERGE that the Tories came from careers that earn more, Labour less than the wage plus expenses of an MP.

You want a Labour scandal about personal gain. How about Peter Mandelson’s mortgage fraud? He didn’t need a bigger house but he lied to a bank to get one.

I’m not saying that there are not rotten apples in every party. My point is that most politicians, of whatever party, are decent hard working people, driven by a desire to make the country better. They may disagree on how to do that but to doubt their honesty suggest you are a very blinkered individual, and one clearly who has little experience of the real world beyond a computer screen. You typical of a type of Labour supporter who claim to like people as a group but don’t understand humanity, which is why so many of Labour’s top down policies fail.

snowflake5 said...

Devonchap, George Osborne's father might have achieved something in his life, but the son only ever got a job as a political researcher - I don't know what he was paid, it might have been a fortune for all I know! But it wasn't as though he was giving up anything important to become an MP, indeed becoming an MP was a step up for him.

I note that you don't address any of the scandals I noted, but instead mentioned Peter Mandelson's mortgage. Mandelson's scandal was that he simply didn't tell the mortgage company that he had another loan from Geoffery Robinson - he didn't steal any money, he borrowed it from both Robinson and the building society, and then paid it back with interest.

Similarly the other Labour "scandals" involve the politicians concerned not monitoring their fund-raising staff closely enougha to tick the correct disclosure boxes. No tax-payers money involved, and no money stolen.

But the Tory scandals listed involve straightforward THEFT from the taxpayer. The Chichester and Dover cases together represent almost a million pounds stolen from the taxpayer, and who knows how much Derek Conway swindled the taxpayer for.

It's no good repeating old cliches - in the last three parliaments, the only incidence of theft (from the taxpayer or elsewhere) has come from the Tory side.