97 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Kevin Hollinrake: Time... · 1 reply · +1 points

"Meanwhile welfare should be just 5k per person up to 10k max per household, in-work benefits phased out."

This kind of moderation is an essential first step to any meaningful tax reform. The system of so-called 'tax credits' is particularly damaging and should be ended immediately.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Kevin Hollinrake: Time... · 1 reply · +1 points

"I don’t see any political appetite for meaningful cuts in public spending."

This is astonishingly out-of-touch. First the media managed to convince MPs that the north of England voted Conservative because they wanted Labour policies, now it has managed to convince them that the public actually support having more of their money taken for handouts to their fellow citizens who work illicitly and claim UC, etc.

The current level of taxation is widely resented, and welfare spending is most hated by the working classes, who see the recipients first-hand - unlike the naïve middle classes who see them only through the fairytale lens of media and think-tank reports.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Macdonald: Are th... · 1 reply · +1 points

So at this end of this thirty-eight year libertarian revolution Britain was a "free market" utopia.

I don't recall that personally, much as I don't recall the NHS operating like a business, or the universities ever having been nationalised in the first place. I think it's well over a century now since the state became pre-eminent in the UK economy and we've all become poorer as a consequence.

Perhaps some consider the condition that has presided in the UK for the past few decades - the condition of taxation funding redistribution through welfare, omnipresent regulation via the quangos and legal activism - as the "free market".

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Macdonald: Are th... · 3 replies · +1 points

When was the "free market model" ever tried in Britain? This is a country of destructive levels of taxation and welfare spending, not free markets.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Universal Credit U... · 0 replies · +1 points

Nobody 'relies' on UC, because the recipients overwhelmingly continue to work illicitly.

They work in friends' shops, they childmind, they walk dogs, they sell online, they do hair and nails, they garden, they work on doors, etc, etc.

And their illicit income plus UC is often more than that of the honest workers who are forced to pay the taxes their UC comes from!

UC is simply a gift from the government to anyone who works in the illicit economy that the naïve middle classes aren't even aware of. It is no coincidence that the massive expansion of welfare in the past two decades has been accompanied by a massive increase in the amount of crime - people are literally being payed to be dishonest.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Universal Credit U... · 1 reply · +1 points

On the contrary, it is very "easy out",

It was a mistake to have ever introduced such a "temporary" handout - if indeed that was the honest intention - but it is very easy to rectify that mistake by stopping it immediately and not bothering to look at the following day's Guardian headline.

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Elliot Colburn: This p... · 1 reply · +1 points

The article overlooks entirely the alternative option whereby 'social care' is not provided by the state.

Why is more involvement in social issues the default policy rather than the last resort?

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John O'Connell: Presid... · 4 replies · +1 points

Pleasing to see a discussion of the national scandal that is the massive over-taxation of the British public.

People know that police, prisons, and hospitals all cost money and few object to the clear social benefits that such institutions bring when well-managed.

But much of the problem with taxation is that money is being taken from some people to simply be given to other people. This is always unjustifiable, and damages the taxpayer, the recipient, and society as a whole.

A good start to addressing the urgent problem of excessive taxation would be to end the so-called 'tax credit' system. It's a subsidy paid to people for no reason, from the earnings of other people who need the money just as much.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Paul Ratner: My obsess... · 0 replies · +1 points

The debate that I proposed, in the final paragraph of my post above, does not 'denigrate' or 'exclude' anyone.
It is a process of identifying the set of symptoms attributable to an underlying disease, and is quite indifferent to people's 'feelings' and/or perceived victimhood status.

The alternative to a rigorous examination of the validity of these concepts is for an ever-growing list of popular beliefs and theories which are popularly lumped together under the banner of "mental health" to automatically assume validity in clinical practice, and to divert resources from genuine diseases which can be treated by medical intervention.

I certainly do assert the idea that "others are better at evaluating other people's condition". Self-reporting of symptoms, physical or psychological, is notoriously vague. This is why we have experts. What I propose is that policy on "mental health" issues should be informed by their expertise, rather than the present circumstance in which the topic is dominated by journalists, celebrities, the 'therapy' industry, 'healing-crystal' merchants, and the self-diagnosed.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Paul Ratner: My obsess... · 4 replies · +1 points

'Mental health' is such an ill-defined and nebulous concept that it seems to be attributed to many types of behaviour and attitude that are part of people's normal personalities, rather than any pathology.

At the moment, unhappiness at the death of a pet, media-driven 'wellbeing' concerns, and poorly-behaved/ADHD children are placed in the same category as those with chronic schizophrenia.

There needs to be a debate lead by practitioners with rigorous psychiatric experience to identify which of the increasing number of 'mental health' beliefs are genuine pathologies and which are fashionable memes before there can be any government policy towards this area.