Tuesday, 22 January 2013

"Tough Choices"

Pinched from Tom Powdrill:

From Tony Judt's Ill Fares The Land:

When imposing welfare cuts on the poor... legislators in the US and UK alike have taken a singular pride in the 'hard choices' they have had to make.

The poor vote in much smaller numbers than anyone else. So there is little political risk in penalising them: just how 'hard' are such choices? These days we take pride in being tough enough to inflict pain on others. If an older usage were still in force, whereby being tough consisted of enduring pain rather than imposing it on others, we should perhaps think twice before so callously valuing efficiency over compassion.
Applied to our government, it would have been hard for Dave to have kept the 50p tax, not give away more corporation tax cuts, and provide a proper plan for jobs and growth. But he didn't. He has taken the easy way out by kicking the poor and making working people pay for a crisis not of their making.


Just me (for now) said...

The poor vote in smaller numbers than anyone else, says Tony Judt. I can understand that the poor vote in lower percentages than anyone else but there are a lot more poor people than millionaires so how can they vote in smaller numbers than the rich?

Phil said...

It's not the rich per se, but more affluent voters generally and those that see themselves as such. Together they make up a sizable (but fragmenting) voter block. Beacsue, as a rule, the affluent tend to turn out more for elections political strategies are disproportionately skewed in their direction.

Chris said...

You are correct, the Tories are taking the easiest way out, they will have people using spreadsheets to work out what % of the population is affected by this policy or that.

And if we factor in that they will not stick it to those at the top because that would go against their entire ideology, who else but the very poor is left?

None of it will work though and eventually the ultra rich will have nowhere to hide.

Phil said...

The thing is Chris is this lot are so sectional that they cannot see beyond the end of their noses. Bashing the poor may make them feel like they're administering "tough love" or "compassion with a hard edge", but ultimately they are driving down the purchasing power of those their mates in business ultimately depend on and thereby, in the long run, hurt themselves.

Such is the illogical logic of capital.

Anonymous said...

I can recall Blair\Straw etc, constantly talking about 'tough choices.' It invariably meant regressive fiscal measures, pritiziaton, and war. The same policies continue, now with a chauvanist spin. The boys at JP Morgan must be laughing down their sleeves. They made a mint under Darling, and now they're coining even more under Osborne - our entire political class operates on a narrow consensus: left, right, left, right....