Thursday, 31 March 2011

Rally Against Debt

So far the only game in town, rhetorically speaking opposing the coalition programme has been the various groups of "students" chucking rocks at police because someone took their weed money away, "students" chucking rocks at police becauce someone suggested they might actually PAY for services used (unless they can't....), "anarchists" (in practice the same people as the "students") who just love to chuck rocks at the police, and the TUC who are screaming that their public sector workers might have to work for thier obscene salaries at the public expense instead of going sick for 20 years before retiring on a full tax-payer funded pension. Allied to these is the anti-business UK Uncut, who think that companies pay tax (rather than people) and these routinely aviod tax, and should be extorted into paying more than they owe.

These people are ignorant, stupid, selfish, nihilistic cunts.

A majority of people in the UK disagree with the mouthbreathers described above and are persuaded that whilst the UK COULD continue to fund diversity outreach coordinators' ethnic lesbian dance & spirituality workshops for Somalian single mothers, by continuing to borrow money, we'd be fucking stupid to do so. Instead it is proposed by the coalition to bring spending down to the (still extravagent) 2007/8 levels and take 5 years to do so.

There are people, of whom I am one, who think the coalition's programme goes nowhere near far or fast enough. Unlike the the assorted window-lickers in the NUS, UKUncut and the TUC, most of us are polite, reasonable and non-violent. (shut up, I said MOST). So, the aim of the Rally against debt is to point out that the Left-wing extremists do not represent "the people", who think (broadly) saddling our grandchildren not yet born with thousands of pounds of debt is immoral and unjust, and that taxes and state spending are already far too high.
A well mannered, polite rally for civilised people who don't wish to see their hard earned money being spent on pointless government initiatives and instead would like government spending to actually fall and our national debt to be cut. It's a facebook event, and the likely date is 14th May, 11am, in central London.

We don't think that it's fair for us to continue borrowing money to live a lifestyle that we simply can't afford - burdening our children with unnecessary debt that they will have to pay back.

Any visits to Fortnum and Mason's by protestors will only be to marvel at their selection of quality goods and perhaps make the occasional purchase.

Bonfires will be strictly forbidden: it's out of season anyway

Trips to see Vodafone and other high street chains will result in congratulations to the company for providing jobs and growth in the UK.

This is only a planning group at the moment and all subject to change.

Offical hashtag #RallyAgainstDebt or #RAD
So there you have it. The productive, tax-paying section of society's response to UK Uncut. Let's be polite, leave no litter and charm the socks off everyone. I however am a realistic bastard. Mr Osborne! Instead of forcing Vodafone, Topshop or Boots to fire productive, tax-contributing people in order to pay taxes they don't owe, we'd like a tax-cut, please. Fire some of the 200,000 civil servant tax-sponges hired unnecessarily by Labour for whom I've been paying for 10 years.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Update from the Libyan front

At the time of writing my first post, Qaddafi's forces were massed outside Benghazi, ready to take the city, and the world was deciding whether or not to stop him. Thankfully, they did decide to stop him, which means that all those who thought we shouldn't, started imposing unreasonable expectations on both the international coalition manning the air campaign to explain their aims, and the rebels on the ground to turn themselves into an army. My second post was written as the world rained bombs down on Qaddafi's tanks and artillery the world stood transfixed as it usually does when given a display of military hardware in action.

Some of the criticism of the allies' motives and objectives are valid, most are not.

What are we trying to achieve? Well this is clear but unstated. Regime change. The criticism that the coalitions' aims are vague is nonsense. It's simply maintaining a diplomatic and legal fiction that this is primarily humanitarian. Of course, the main reason Qaddafi must go is humanitarian - he must not be allowed to butcher (as he has clearly threatened) his own people. Remember, just like the only other equivalently murderous leader in the Middle-East/North Africa was Saddam Hussein, so the west is not as many people believe, being inconsistent. You need to be both a recalcitrant git with a WMD habit AND a murderous bastard (10s of 000s) to get bombed into the stone-age by NATO. To my mind this sets the bar appropriately high for intervention in another country's affairs. Lessons from the Iraq debacle have been learned. Western Ground forces will not be deployed.

This also deals with the nay-sayers' whataboutery. Bharain's Government has shot dead a few dozen protesters. Awful, disgusting behaviour, but sending an army into a hostile city it is not. The fact that the US fifth fleet is based there gives the US leverage it would immediately lose were it to start sabre-rattling against the Al-Khalifas. Likewise Yemen. Like it or not, only a fool would intervene in Yemen, a mountainous, tribal country where Al Quaeda holds sway and where the Government's writ does not run to the whole country (ahem Afghanistan ahem). These countries' current leaders are not quite as Ghastly as the capricious clown in Tripoli, and they behave themselves, at least as far as western Policy is concerned. We'd be mad to go after them. Ditto China, Zimbabwe and all the other nutty suggestions I've seen floating around place.

Many of the opponents of intervention believe themselves to be "realists" who demand to know the outcome before the event. By which time the window of opportunity to act has usually been lost.

Back to Libya. Who are the rebels? opponents of the intervention often ask. Well they're a mixture of Qaddafi's army whose deserted and young men from the east of the country with guns. There is a 33-man council, not all of whom are named, as some are from Tripoli. Some of the Council have served with Qaddafi in Government. So the criticism that the Council lacks credibility or experience is harsh. Given that the best-organised resistance to the Military strongmen in much of ME/NA has been Islamic of one form or another, I'd be surprised and wary if they were not represented. There are guys on there who know what they're doing sufficiently well to be recognised as the legitimate government of Libya by (so far) the Libyan UN delegation, France & Qatar. Finally, any putative Government of Libya would have to be pretty bad to be worse than the existing one. If you're clinging to Nurse for fear of Worse, and that nurse is Muammar Qaddafi, you're a dick.

The intervention had the desired effect, in the short term at least. Qaddafi withdrew from outside Benghazi, which appears safe for the time being, and the rebels "took" several towns along the coast. However, it now appears that far from Qaddafi's forces "collapsing" and "in headlong retreat" they sensibly decided to react to the allied air onslaught by shortening their supply lines and holding more defensible ground. They have subsequently resumed the advance, having halted the rebels just outside Surt.

Caution is the watchword. Wars are always risky, and Qaddafi is a wily, ruthless old fox. Western Journalists, in love with footage of Aircraft taking off from carriers (few of which are being used in this operation, the RAF is using bases in Cyprus and Italy) think that allied bombing is the key to winning wars, perhaps schooled in the wars of the 20th century in which Air power dominated WWII, Gulf War 1. However in asymmetric war - Vietnam or in support of troops insufficiently skilled to use close air support, like Libya now, air power is of less use.

The real use of Air Power in this campaign is to reduce Qaddafi's freedom of movement, degrade his forces' heavy weapons but above all to give the rebels heart that they are not alone. Napoleon Bonaparte remarked "in war, the Moral is the Physical as three is to one". However recent reports suggest many of the rebels are not fighting very hard. There certainly appears to be no great desire to dig in, defend a build up area and seek a decisive battle. Perhaps they are not yet ready, and they are harassing until they are. That would suggest a level of sophisticated strategy for which there's no evidence. It certainly suggests a total lack of effective small-unit leadership. Indeed all the reports suggest that rebel command and control is extremely rudimentary.

So, what can we expect from the next few weeks? Well the lines will ebb and flow. Towns will "fall" or "be taken" as one side flees, or advances. Journalists on the ground will continue to be mystified and spout words like "strategically important" as if they knew what was going on. Every rebel retreat will be a "disaster" every town taken by them will be a "triumph". Meanwhile, command and control structures, manning, equipment and training, no doubt facilitated and co-ordinated by special forces from western powers and possibly Egypt, will steadily improve. To imagine that the rebels could have held a determined Qaddafi two weeks ago is Naive. The Allied air offensive has bought time.

If, and this is a big "if" the rebels can learn and learn quickly how to defend a built-up area, and hold ground in the face of a determined assault, they will win. At the moment they're running up the front line, expending ammunition in the general direction of the enemy and running away at the first hint of resistance, assuming the rebels' military effectiveness continues to improve, Qaddafi will lose. He is hemorrhaging authority, and at some point, his army will look at the forces ranged against them and think "you know what? fuck this for a game of soldiers" and change sides while they still can, as will his senior commanders and Qaddafi will be left with a few family and Loyalists in a bunker 'till he's dragged out and strung up.

There are 4 possible outcomes:

  1. Collapse of the Qaddafi Regime, interim council take over and elections happen 12 months later.
  2. Stalemate: Tripolitania and Cyrenaica split (as they have always historically been). The oil's mostly in the Eastern half, run by people we supported. This is probably still a win for the west.
  3. Qaddafi wins back control of the country. We're back the the status quo ante Blair with a hostile Qaddafi at the helm of a weak, isolated and broken nation, at no great cost to ourselves. This, and mass murder on an epic scale in Benghazi, is what would have happend had the west not intervened. This result represents no gain for the west's expenditure of military hardware and diplomatic capital.
  4. Total collapse of the country into Somalia-style anarchy. This is the only (and most unlikely) scenario which could be a major problem to the west.
If 1 or 2 happen, or possibly even 3, then the west has, at the behest of Libyans and the Arab league gone to war in support of a popular Arab uprising. The Islamist narrative of the west as a boogeyman for Muslims is significantly weakened. It is this, I suspect, which is the major driving force behind the intervention, not oil. Most of the right wing objections (the left-wing anti-war mongs can be ignored - most of them are traitors anyway) are about ceding 3 in order to avoid 4 at any cost, and then hoping the resulting genocide in Benghazi doesn't trouble their news. The supporters of intervention believe the risk of 4. and the potential military cost is small enough to justify the possibility of obtaining 1. or 2. That's all it is: a risk/reward, cost/benefit analysis. The difference is the cynicism and pessimism of those who think we can't and the rebel's cause isn't worth helping.

There are major strategic wins possible for the west, even if Qaddafi remains in control of some of the country and whether he remains so is up to the fighters on the ground in the western suburbs of Benghazi and points West. Can they? We shall see. But the risks to the west, assuming our leaders are not totally stupid and leave the boots on Ground in sandy bits of the world which aren't Libya, remain small. Surely preventing a genocide in Cyrenaica is worth the risk we might not succeed?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Osborne's Budget

Of all the announcements, the merging of NI and Income tax is potentially the most significant. Other than that, the budget contained mostly steady-as-she-goes measures, with the political necessity of meeting a stupid election promise - the fuel price stabiliser.

Let's deal with the Brownian crap first. Rating benefits and tax allowances to CPI instead of RPI is a stealth tax of some import. In time that will significantly erode their real-terms value. As far as the UK is concerned, CPI has NO basis in most people's cost of living. You might as well index such things to Rick Astley's download statistics.

The Fuel price stabiliser: no duty escalator if the Oil price is over $75 (subject to consultation) paid for by a really good, hard dry fisting of the North Sea Oil companies is politically sensible, though economically less so. For those holding stocks in North sea oil co's, though, it just seemed vindictive. For a practical, micro-level demonstration of how the Laffer curve works, read this post from Capitalists at Work. Politically, Osborne needed to do something to meet the truly daft idea from the election (which when they thought about it for 5 minutes I'm sure they hoped would just go away...) and did so with as little damage as possible. Though why they couldn't have just cut a meaningful amount from duty to AT LEAST cover the recent VAT rise is beyond me, but the manifesto commitment was met and the papers appeased. Or most of them at least.

Osborne boasted of removing 100 pages from the tax code, which is a start, it's a sticking plaster on the gunshot wound which is Gordon Brown's near quadrupling of its length. Why no action on tax credits for example?

But that's carping, the cut in corporation taxes are welcome - signalling that the Government doesn't HATE businesses like Gordon Brown did, but I don't understand the point of corporate taxes: People end up paying it; either the Owners of capital get lower returns, employees lower wages or customers higher prices, some cuts in corporation taxes will be regained by taxes on these: most evidence suggests that with returns on capital being pretty level across countries, corporation taxes fall mainly on customers and workers.

The best news, though is the imminent end to NI, which has long been a fiction to enable what became under Gordon Brown the most complicated and confiscatory tax regime in the world. Thanks to misalignments between the rates of NI and Income Tax, there are two narrow bands where the marginal rate of tax is an eye-watering 62%, and even those on low incomes are taxed at a disgusting 32%. The only remaining function of NI is to hide from the British People the tax they pay. This should have been done decades ago, along with ending the capricious contributory requirement for pensions: it's tough on women especially, forces people onto means-tested benefits and ends up saving the country very little, if anything. And what is the point of the Employers' contribution? Why split payroll taxes except to hide from the people how hard they're being raped by the government?

If Britain's eye-watering taxes are to be cut, the British People, especially those who are net contributors but believe they aren't, must have their noses rubbed in how much they actually pay so they start focusing on that rather than the rather spurious "benefits" of most of that money. Put it like this. If you had a 30% pay-rise, you could go on holiday somewhere better than Skegness, save a bit AND save up for Junior to be educated properly. If it weren't for the complete bureaucratic capture of the Labour party and the public sector, a 30% cost cut could be achieved without affecting "front-line" services, by firing 00's of '000's of the unnecessary extra whitehall pen-pushers hired since 1997 (a forlorn hope).

A small mention in the budget, though is bigger news. It's the beginning of the end for Labour's '47 settlement. The doctors are getting the health service back, in effect destroying the disastrous and soon to be unlamented NHS (though the name will live on, as it's the British religion). On welfare, NI, long a fiction is on the way out, and benefits will be simplified. Taxes will become flatter, and lower. Capital and profit will be taxed less and as a result the country will be richer as a result. The budget goes nowhere near far enough in cutting the thicket of allowances and gimmicks, nor does it reduce the enormous burden in any meaningful way, but it sets out a plan which MIGHT lead to these things. As such it's probably as good as we're going to get, given the disastrous state in which Labour left the country.

A Handy 3-minute guide to the Budget can be found here.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

No-Fly-Zones & the "Wisdom" of Cowards.

There's no point setting up a No-Fly-Zone in Libya because the killing is going on, on the ground; and because in any case, by the time it's set up, All of libya will be Gadaffi's once more. I think I have summarised the position of Thinking Strategically.

1) An international No-Fly-Zone would have limited, but still some military value to the insurgents. However its main benefit would be to send a powerful signal to the young men facing tanks armed with just .50 calibres on the back of Toyotas, that they were not alone. Never under estimate the importance of such things to fighting men.

2) It ain't over. Gadaffi may have all the toys but is he powerful enough to subdue a hostile city, one which may be recieving material from outside? The insurgents are deploying a handful of tanks, and some artillery. No doubt their command and control are improving daily. The battle for Libya may last a year or more.

3) How popular is Gadaffi? Will young men coming from the Benghazi front in body-bags cause the people supplying the troops to turn against him? If he's using mercenaries, how will he pay them?

Now chuck the might of NATO plus assorted Arab airforces into the mix, especially if as the US seemed to be hinting today, the planes in question might be doing more than a No-Fly-Zone.

Is it pointless to intervene in Libya?

What about the risks? We lose a plane? Meh (...if we rescue the pilot...). A pilot down, worse, but they're trained in desert survival, and if they can't take a joke, they shouldn't be in the cockpit. Besides if there's a NFZ, we can get a chopper to them quicker than Gadaffi's thugs without too much problem. War has risks, which are accepted by the men and women who fight it.

I fail to see how this represents a greater risk than the opportunity to get rid of a dangerously capricious clown whose goons are responsible for 1) the greatest act of mass-murder on British soil 2) consistent support for anti-western terrorists, including the IRA. 3) the murder of a Policewoman and 4) serial and serious crimes against fashion.

We should have RAF jets over libya now. Tomorrow at the latest, last Thursday if possible.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Japanese Tsunami & Broken Windows

No first world country has ever experienced a natural disaster of the destructiveness of the Japanese earthquake, and only the Boxing day Tsunami in 2005 exceeds it for sheer human tragedy. The following is not to belittle the suffering of the Japanese people, but they are the citizens of an effective state, which will be able to help better than perhaps any on the planet. The US pacific fleet is also on the way and tens of thousands of US troops are already there as are search and rescue teams from a many nations (including, I am pleased to say 200 or so from the UK), so anything that can be done to mitigate the humanitarian disaster, is being done. Unfortunately, this disaster has so far been short of the uplifting tales of the triumph of the Human spirit when people are pulled alive from the rubble after days trapped. Perhaps the reporting is concentrating on the Fukushima reactor, perhaps because there just aren't many survivors.

In light of this dearth of good news, is it in bad taste to search for a silver lining? Perhaps this is the event that will finally get the Japanese economy moving following a 20-year deflationary spiral?

Most of you will be aware of Bastiat's Broken Window parable, money spent repairing damage doesn't stimulate the economy because the money spent would have been spent, not at the Glazier, but at the Bookshop or Cobbler or whatever who are deprived of business by the Glazier's fees. But if the money would have instead been squirreled away by a parsimonious population, into JGBs, at ever lower yields then this broken window on an awful scale forces the Japanese to spend on new houses, cars, furniture to rebuild their lives and communities.

If there is anything in the idea of Government stimulus (the Japanese experience is that monetary & fiscal stimulus in the form of Quantitative easing, deficit spending and zero interest rates has emphatically NOT worked so far), then this is what it takes. Just as the stimulus of WWII was of the scale needed to kick-start the US economy after the depression.

Oh and one more thing. Japan's public debt is 200% of GDP (ours is around 80% depending on how you calculate it, up from 34% when Labour abandoned fiscal sanity reality-based spending Tory spending plans in 2000). Do you think this helps, or hinders the ability of the Japanese Government to raise the necessary money to rebuild? What happens when interest rates rise in response to more enthusiastic economic activity? Ed Balls.... Ed.... Mr Balls...?

Friday, 11 March 2011

International "Law", the UN & Libya.

Let's face it, the only country which COULD help the Libyan insurgents in any meaningful way is the USA. But Obama won't go without a UN resolution, Which Russia will veto, and he's shown precious little interest in the issue. Britain & France could conceivably mount a half-arsed no fly zone. We could impose some form of trade embargo against the Libyan regime using the handful of remaining Jets or brace of warships our countries still possess, or arm the Rebels & provide some covert military support: sending the SAS and the Foreign Legion into the North-African desert where they were both born. But they won't do even that without a UN resolution. And do you honestly think Barak Obama will support Britain & France, former colonial powers, taking action in Africa? France is absolutely correct to recognise the insurgents council as the legitimate Government of Libya, but this demonstrates another truth. France only chooses the morally right side, when they are about to lose, horribly.

To wage war without a UN resolution is "illegal", and therefore we have outsourced out foreign policy, our ability to make timely war on tyrants, to the lawyers. International law is now a joke - with the vile totalitarianism of China & the amoral, oligarchic Russia sitting in the colon of the security council like an impacted turd preventing any coalition of democracies from taking action to support an uprising against dictators, anywhere in the world. Giving nasty totalitarians a veto over the actions of democracies is constipating our efforts to spread democracy, or indeed do the right thing, anywhere, ever.

Meanwhile, Qadhafi demonstrates to tyrants, including those in Moscow & Beijing that exemplary violence against insurgents will go unpunished and that the west is powerless. Hamstrung by a legal regime based on a corrupt, flawed organisation which can never reach agreement in this multi polar world. The window of opportunity to get rid of this capricious clown in Tripoli is closing, fast and is now measured in hours and days, not the weeks it takes to get a UN resolution.

If you are an "international lawyer", or think that there is some higher court than the electorate to which the leaders of sovereign democracies are subject, the blood of Libyan insurgents is on your hands. You may bleat about 'Iraq' but it's Colin Powell's fear of "international law" which prevented the coalition supporting the Marsh Arabs (who now basically no longer exist as a people) when they rose up against Saddam Hussein. Iraq II may have demonstrated the futility of imposing democracy un-asked-for, but that is NOT what happened in Southern Iraq in 1991 and it is NOT what is happening now in Libya.

War is risky, but it is the right of sovereign democracies to wage it against tyranny, and the job, it seems of international lawyers to prevent it & thereby support the self-serving (even more amoral and self-serving than ours) foreign policy of Russia & China which is to actively support vile dictators (with whom it's easier to do business than businesses operating under the rule of law) and loot their countries of resources. Supporters of international Law give, in effect, a Chinese & Russian veto on Western foreign policy. Russia and China are NOT so encumbered, knowing that the west are not going to go to war in support of, say Gerogia. Supporters of international law, and the Chinese/Russian veto, are every bit as responsible for what is going to happen to the people of Benghazi when it falls to the regime as the Libyan soldiers pulling the trigger. Indeed, more so. Most Libyan soldiers don't really have a choice.

The Libyan insurgents are crying out, begging for our help, yet the Lawyers are saying "Russia says no, so we can't go". If the idea of a free Libya is going to be killed, let it at least take the bloodstained UN and the idea that "international law" is in any way binding, with it. I hope the cameras are rolling when Qadhafi's tanks roll in, so those Lawyers can see clearly happening what the west COULD have prevented. Not that those cold-blooded reptiles will give a shit.

In the mean-time all I can do is hang my head in shame at what my country has become & weep for the lost opportunity for the Libyan people for whom this is not 1989, it's 1956.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Poison to Political Discourse.

Predictably, there's a "campaign", more like one lonely, inadequate woman, whose child is 'special' who are demanding that a councillor be fired for describing the public Gallery as "retards". Not the nicest thing to say about your electorate, but probably not wildly inaccurate either. Let's see what happens to him at the ballot box shall we? However the humourless bint in question has filed an official complaint saying

"One of my children has a severe learning disability and if I was aware that this word was used about her I would consider it a hate crime."
Apparently, this was said out loud, and without hyperbole, as the councillor described, not as the allegation implies the handful of disabled people there, but a UK Uncut protest as "retards". Given the extreme economic illiteracy and wanton stupidity on display from UK Uncut, I think the description of them as "retards" is generous, as it removes the mens rea from their extreme cuntularity.

In a separate incident, which arose later (and is in NO WAY part of a politically motivated campaign) he is also alleged to have used the world "wonk" to describe a council worker, used in political circles to describe one rather too interested in policy, specifically a think-tanker without real-world experience, and as such is marginally less pejorative than "nerd". It is not "offensive and humiliating" though referring to the same person, a danish council worker as "woman" and "Foreigner" are a little less polite, I've been called worse, and shouldn't get the sack for such behaviour. With this complaint I hear the faint sounds of a barrel being scraped by UK Uncut retards.

I am not suggesting John Fareham is a good councillor, or that he is right to say such things. I don't know the detail & care less. But the professional offence-taking, and the passive aggressive demands that someone be fired for being merely rude, is getting out of hand.

This isn't about whether someone was offended. It is simply using the excessive laws defining "hate speech" to silence one's political opponents. Labour, with it's thought crime legislation is now out of power, but the aim is now clear. It is not to protect minorities from persecution. It is to outlaw a conservative view, especially when robustly expressed by an amateur politician. This is unacceptable & poison to the robust political discourse needed in a healthy democracy.

And if you're really offended, here's an idea. Don't vote for the bastard, and campaign for the other guy. If you want to circumvent democracy and have him fired, basically for having a different world-view to you, fuck off and die, you hateful, miserable, humourless bunch of anti-democratic twats. If you're shocked and horrified by the word "retard", you need to get out more. There's shocking and horrific things going on in Libya or Afghanistan at the moment. Perhaps the UK Uncut retards, would like to join the Army to go and have a look. Or perhaps they should listen to their mother, who no doubt like mine said "sticks & stones (or roadside bombs) may break your bones, but names will never hurt me".

Grow up and get a life.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Dude talks to UK Uncut on Twitter.

are @ disonest or stupid? Barclays this time. which didn't need a bail-out and which pays a lot of tax.

the entire banking system would have collapsed if it wan't for the bail. And no they don't pay a lot of tax.
Question: does the laffer curve mean anything to you. Is there a point at which you stop regarding "business" as a piggy bank?
2007/2008 Financial sector collapse knocked 6% out of GDP, caused a 1 trillion black hole which we are paying the price
Barclays didn't take the Bail-out. It went to shareholders. Are you dishonest or ignorant?
I didn't say they did, I said the entire banking industry exists because of the tax payer.
all business exist "because of the tax-payer" because he's also a consumer. Barclays didn't take bail-out, so why picket them?
just shows how concentrated wealth is in this country. not right that we should be so dependent on a tiny groups of people
Question: Do you pay more tax than you legally owe? if not you're a rancid hypocrite.
waaaa! someone has more than me! waaaaaa! You're a child.
No i pay the tax that is taken out of my pay. I don't employ a small army of accountants to try and get me out of it.
So you think that Barclays, a major international retail & investment bank should just PAYE without using accountants?
I think Barclays should not have an entire division in their HQ coming up with elaborate means to pay less and less tax
You do agree businesses which make a loss should be able to set that loss against future year's tax on profits don't you?
I think the law can be changed to stop the Banks avoiding tax, especially as they have a debt to the public sector
they're not "avoiding tax". Barclays is carrying forward losses, something ALL grown-up tax regimes allow.
no this should be changed for the banks. They have a debt to society, they do avoid tax, they have an entire division to do it, with hundreds of subsidiaries in tax havens.
You really are ignorant, aren't you. How is retrospective taxation different from theft?
because the entire banking industry is being support with 1 trillion of our money and I want it back
with plans to start selling off the RBS stake, you will, soon.
you fail to remember in 2009 that secret papers we leaked to the press showing Barclays secret division.
You mean a big international bank seeks to minimise taxes, and you're expecting me to be 1) surprised & 2) outraged? Meh...
well we are, you arn't. We have differing concerns. Which is why this conversation is utterly pointless.
You didn't answer the question: Do you think business should be allowed to bring forward losses. If not, why not?
I did, you didn't read it. No the banks should not be able to because they have a 1 trillion debt to society
The Government BOUGHT a stake + loans, which will be paid back on (ha!) Privatisation of Lloyds & RBS (which you support? No?)
but other banks like Barclays benefited through that bail-out so need to pay up too. We will never agree!
Yes. There is a bankers' put. Which needs to be adressed by regulation, but confiscatory, retrospective taxation is not the answer. Do you even know what 'Bankers' put' means?
there is just no point arguing with those who misunderstand the basics. Sorry.

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