Sunday, 27 February 2011

Abolish the Corporation Tax!!

I'm a little late putting this one on the blog, but here is my latest article in "The Grapevine" - this time it is on the corporation tax, and how it shouldn't be kept as it is, or reduced, but abolished entirely!

I get annoyed with the corporation tax for a number of reasons - in part because it is a tax that reeks of that annoying student mentality that thinks itself urban and trendy because it buys crap coffee from the local FairTrade stall as opposed to one of those evil Starbucks things with their good coffee and nice places to sit!  However, this article attempts to present the argument against the corporation tax on the basis of honesty and who it actually taxes.  It also takes on the idea that tax avoidance (as opposed to tax evasion) is a bad thing.

"Last week’s protests by UK Uncut at Barclays brought up the old chestnut of corporations and their supposed “duty” to jump various hurdles and pay certain taxes designed especially for them.
Groups such as UK Uncut believe that tax avoidance, practiced by corporations such as Barclays, is immoral. Accompanying that view is usually the opinion that the rate of corporation tax is too low. Both views are incorrect.
First, there is nothing immoral about avoiding tax. Tax evasion – that is the deliberate non-payment of tax legally owed – is of course illegal, and no-one is defending illegality even if one may criticise the law. Tax avoidance however, is not only legal, it also a natural and even a wise practice for any person or business to engage in. Tax avoidance is merely an attempt to limit the amount of tax that one needs to pay.
This may sound controversial but in reality it is not. Did the UKUncut crowd judge those shoppers who packed out stores in late December in order to avoid the VAT hike? Are they planning to blockade the coach and trucking companies that fill their tanks up abroad in order to pay less for petrol? If I am in America and choose to purchase a product in Texas instead of England due to the fact that there is no sales tax in Texas, should I be then subjected to a dishevelled crowd of students with poorly constructed signs blocking the entrance to my home?..."
The rest of the piece can be found here.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Left Have Slowed Down Gaddafi's Departure

First, apologies for not having blogged for a few days - I decided to take a week off to clear my head from politics, but I am back now!

It looks like the Gaddafi regime in Libya may finally be over.  Although he is clinging to power, it looks unlikely that Gaddafi will last the week in the face of enormous riots and protests at his tyrannical regime.  This is marvellous news.  Unlike Egypt, where the jury is still out on what the result is going to be, and whether it will be better or worse than Mubarak, in Libya it really can't be any worse than Gaddafi.  He is one of the most toxic and evil dictators in history, is extremely anti-Western (but pro-Obama!) and is responsible for the Lockerbie bombing - the worst terrorist attack in history on British soil.

Recent pro-democracy protests in the Middle East have not helped the left-wing, especially their argument of "Ohh, people in the Middle East don't want democracy, that's a Western concept!"  Recent events have shown this argument once again to be condescending, wrong-headed, and just plain incorrect.  However, the ousting of Gaddafi causes some other rather uncomfortable problems for the British left.

You see, before Obama there was Blair.  The American left should be aware that all this "let's all get along, even if you are a nutball dictator" is not a new Obama concept - it has been tried before.  This is especially the case in Britain where it has been tried from Chamberlain to Blair.

Just before he ceased to be Prime Minister, Tony Blair (in what was an effort to make his left-wing base more comfortable after going along with the invasion of Iraq - a surprisingly right-wing move) stretched out his hand to Gaddafi, kissed and made up about what went on in the past, secured the release of the Lockerbie bomber (unknown to the public at the time), and came back with some pretty hefty oil contracts.  The moral justification of this was that Gaddafi was set to be dictator for the long term future and that we should come to terms with it.  Instead of trying to oust Gaddafi, we should try to "dialogue" with him, which would moderate him and therefore be good for both countries.

So now Gaddafi has been proven to be oust-able, it makes Britain look like a collaborator in keeping him in power for as long as he has been.  International figures have already started to comment on this, the most notable being Louis Susman - the US ambassador to London - who has blamed the British policy for keeping Gaddafi in power and giving him international legitimacy.

Susman for once is absolutely right.  The silence from the Labour party on Libya over the last week is very telling - they know that their policy on this matter was wrong, and they have egg on their faces.  They took a gamble, both morally and economically, and it has failed.  Britain's moral standing has taken a hit, and the oil deals that have been gambled upon could fall through the floor.  Libyans who have seen Britain collaborate with their now hated leader will not forget their betrayal by what is supposed to be one of the leaders of the free world.  It will make any relations with Libya an a post-Gaddafi Libya very difficult indeed for Great Britain.

Once again, under the banner of "peace", "dialogue" and "realism", the left-wing have collaborated with evil tyrants and dictators, and this time it has backfired.  It will take a long time to undo the damage that has been done, both to Libya and to Britain, by the British left.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Do Tories Really Hate Books and Trees?

My latest column for "The Grapevine" is up, and focuses on the current debates in the UK about libraries and forests, and the relative defunding of each.  The article seeks to respond to the horror that the idea of privatisation has triggered in the minds of so many of the British public.  It argues that privatisation is not a terrible thing that destroys those goods and services that we love, but improves them and makes them better.

Of course, the fact that such an argument needs to be made, and is seen as rocking the boat, indicates just how far left British society has moved in the last ten years or so.

"One of the more worrying aspects of the political atmosphere in the so-called “austerity era” is that it is becoming clear just how much the public at large has bought into the left-wing concept that supporting something means throwing government money at it, and therefore taking money away from it means that someone must be against the project or scheme in question.
We have seen this in the last week with both libraries and forests. The prospect of cuts and sell-offs in both these areas has been met by howls of anguish by the political left and special interests who have concluded that this means that Tories hate libraries, books, trees and fluffy bunnies. From recent polls, it seems that the public has been swayed by this argument.
The logic is clear: if you like forests and libraries, then you must unquestioningly pump billions into nationalised libraries and subsidised forests, and if you so much as squeak in objection then you will be condemned as someone who hates greenery and poor people being able to access books.
Of course, this is complete nonsense when stated out loud, and yet it is an assumption that so many make. Yet there are many ways of supporting and preserving something through the private sector..."
The rest of the article can be found here.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

President Mitch Daniels?

What do you think?  Does President Mitch Daniels work? It has a pretty good ring to it I think!

I have just finished watching Mitch Daniel's speech to CPAC in its entirety (an extract can be found here), and I am extremely impressed.  His speech was hard hitting, yet jocular when it needed to be, and it labelled the US debt crisis as the new "red menace" which I thought was media savvey, and also very accurate, considering the scope of US debt.  There are a great many people saying that this guy could be an outsider for a 2012 Presidential run, and from that speech, it doesn't necessarily sound like a bad call to make!

I have said for a while that the problem with the current crop of potential Republican nominees is that they are either not conservative enough, or if they are, that they would (through no fault of their own necessarily) make the election about them, and not about the Obama agenda.

For instance, I love Sarah Palin, but if she were to be made the Republican nominee, the election would become all about Sarah Palin and whether she was "fit for office" as opposed to focusing on why Obamunism has been a complete and utter disaster.  The media would pick her apart like in 2008, it would quickly become about personality politics, and that is unfortunately always somewhere where the Democrats win - not because they have particularly great personalities, but because they can draw on their Hollywood resources to make said candidate look like a movie star.  Look at Obama, no personality, but everyone still seems to think he is a really nice, cool kinda guy.

This is why we need someone who has good solid conservative credentials, and has the ability to make sure that the election will be about Obama and American principles, and not silly personality politics.  Mitch Daniels seems to be a possibility for the nomination from this conclusion, even though he is very much on the outskirts at this point.  For me, he seems quiet yet funny, urgent but not ranty, clear but not condescending, and as someone who is very very likeable.  Plus, from a brief glance at his bio, and from what he has said in his speech, he seems to have solid conservative credentials.  He could be the candidate we have been looking for.

Am I sure about this yet?  Of course not!  I would need to see a lot more before I was ready to say "Yup, this is the guy!"  But I think at this point, conservative commentators need to be saying, "You know what?  Let's look at this guy a little closer and see what he is like under a bit of scrutiny."  Instead of engaging in constant debate about Romney and Mormonism, it is time to take a stronger and more intense look at some of the outsiders in the race.  It may be among the outsiders that we find our diamond in the rough!

I genuinely believe that if we can get out of the "Your choice is Palin or Romney or Paul and that's it" then we can have a really interesting primary season that will ultimately pick the very best candidate, and one who can beat Obama's lot in 2012.  That candidate may be someone who comes out of nowhere - like a Mitch Daniels - or it might be someone we have heard of for a while - like a Palin or a Romney.  But it is time to make sure that we do not get focused upon a select cadre of pre-selected candidates, and start looking for what we really want from a potential President.

I do think the right candidate is out there, but I am not sure if we have found them yet.  However, if Mitch Daniels can keep going in the same vein in which he made his CPAC speech, then it is possible that we may have just found the future President of the United States of America.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Cameron's Conservatives Must Fight or Die

From this week I will be writing a weekly column for "The Grapevine".  It is a website that brings together many authors from all over the political spectrum, and I will (of course) be offering a conservative/libertarian perspective to proceedings.

My first column is now up, entitled "Cameron's Conservatives Must Fight or Die".

David Cameron’s announcement last week that there will be no tax cuts in the near future will dismay those of us on the conservative right who are becoming increasingly dismayed at the betrayal of conservative principles, and the lack of conservative arguments coming from the Tory party.
Any conservative who advocates small government, low tax, Friedman economics will tell you that slashing taxes across the board will stimulate the private sector, create employment, attract prosperity from abroad, and will therefore increase the tax revenue. Therefore, for Mr Cameron to state that we “cannot afford” tax cuts is worrying, and indicates that he has bought into the left-wing narrative being spun by big government socialists such as Miliband, Balls and Cable that a tax cut is a gift given to the richest at the expense of the country at large. It also means that if there are no positive effects in decreasing taxes, then there are no negative effects increasing them either, and our left-wing friends are correct to want to keep income taxes high.
Additionally, any actual conservative policies that the Coalition have pushed have not been supported by the typical conservative arguments. The Tories have allowed the meagre 3% spending cuts to be presented by the left as “harsh” and “painful” instead of being welcomed as the necessary beginning to the dismantling of the freedom guzzling state apparatus set up by the previous Labour government....

The rest of the column can be found here.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Britain - Tax, Tax, Tax, Tax....

So far, the Coalition government in Britain has been an enormous failure when it has come to issues of taxation.  After a promising start where the income tax threshold was raised from £7,500 to £10,000, it was then announced that in order to "make up" for the loss in taxes, the middle class and the rich would predictably get soaked some more in order to compensate for it.  They then raised the already high VAT (or sales tax) from 17.5% to 20%.

While this wouldn't be a disaster in a normal country, in socialist Britain where everywhere one turns there is another large tax waiting for you, it is yet more theft from those who work hard to provide for themselves and for their families, and who have dared to have the audacity to be successful.  Iain Martin has written an incredible article on this, and I fully recommend that anyone interested in this subject takes the time to read this article, as it sums up brilliantly the current state of taxation in Britain and the Coalition's decision to make it worse.

In addition to a now 20% sales tax in Britain, from this year those earning over £35,000 (approximately $50,000) will be hit with a 40% income tax.  Even when one considers the raising of the threshold, this is still an unbearable tax burden.  Add into this things such as the high corporation tax that affects those working in business, inheritance taxes, National Insurance taxes and enormously high fuel prices, and the result is a Britain that is not an easy place in which to work or do business.

We have known this for a while, but for the predominantly conservative Coalition to be making this worse and not better, is a real scandal.  It needs Brits to begin putting pressure on their government to ease the tax burden, just like Americans have been doing through organisations such as the Tea Party, as it seems like all of our political parties have one thing in common - they want to tax us more!

Monday, 7 February 2011

The British Left's Betrayal of America

Here is my latest article for The American Thinker, published late last week. It covers the Wikileaks revelations that reveal that Britain collaborated with Libya in order to get the Lockerbie Bomber released on compassionate grounds.  I am of course not happy at this news.  The article can be found in its entirety here.

Since then however, another story has come along and blown it out of the water - it appears that under the START treaty, President Obama has agreed to disclose British nuclear secrets to the Russians.  Again - shocking, but not surprising.  Obama has never hidden his hatred of Britain, and so for him to throw us Brits under the bus for political expediency should surprise no-one.

In many years to come, when people write the history of the Anglo-American relationship, surely they will look at this and see the lowest moment.  I cannot see how the UK-US relationship can sink any lower right about now.  With the most anti-British President in the White House, and an anti-American nut job as Deputy Prime Minister in Britain, those of us who care about the relationship between Britain and America can only look to the future and hope that things will get better in a couple of years.

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Vote on Obamacare Repeal Shows America's Vibrant Democracy

This week the US Senate held its vote on the Obamacare repeal bill that was passed overwhelmingly in the House.  The bill failed in the Senate as it was expected to.

This is precisely what was expected to happen - there was no way the Democrat dominated Senate was going to vote against Obamacare, and then even if it did there was no way it was going to be signed by Obama.  This had led a number of commentators to condemn this move as a political stunt.

Those commentators are incorrect.  What this move shows is how incredibly vibrant and responsive America's democracy is to the will of the people.  So many people believe that a democracy is really just an elected dictatorship and this vote shows that, in America at least, such a thing is not the case.

Obama was elected in 2008, and the response to his agenda has been overwhelmingly negative.  Although his personal approval remains stubbornly in the 40's, approval of his agenda is enormously low, and it is clear that most people want Obamacare repealed.  Within two years, the Senate and House of Representatives had been cleared of those who were enforcing the Obama agenda and replaced with those who wish to begin rolling it back.

Although the government cannot immediately repeal what has happened over the last few years, American democracy has allowed the people to slam the brakes on the Obama agenda. The House controls the purse strings, and so the unpopular spending policies of Obama have been stopped within the space of two years.  If the American people wish it to be so, in another two years they can begin actively overturning the damage done between 2009 and 2010 by electing a Republican President and Senate.  For now, they can at least stop it from going any further, and that is precisely what they have done.

In Britain, the electorate will usually have to wait up to 5 years before even being allowed to use their vote to stop the agenda being driven through Parliament.  Americans have to wait less than two years to stop the agenda, and begin putting pressure on for the agenda to be reversed.  While some may be dismayed that they are not able to repeal Obamacare and the rest of the Obama agenda just yet, the fact that the American people have been able to stop this destructive agenda in its tracks and start working to reverse it, all within two years of Obama's election, does great credit to the American system of democracy, and it is something that we in Britain can learn from.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Gordon Brown's Betrayal of America

The latest revelations by Wikileaks that the British government not only sought the "compassionate release" of the Lockerbie bomber, but also advised Libya on how best to secure that release, is devastating news for the Anglo-American relationship, as well as Britain as a whole.

This revelation shows even more just how morally bankrupt the Labour government was by the time it was approaching its end.  Most normal people, whether American or British, were disgusted at the fact that a known terrorist who had murdered hundreds of innocent people in the worst terror attack on British soil could be even considered for release on "compassionate grounds".

Yet to watch the man not only be released, but then to be greeted by a hero's welcome and much celebration at his arrival back in Libya should have made anyone feel physically sick.  It was clear then that the Labour government had capitulated on both its principles, and its American allies for the sake of some short term goal.  This can only be fully explained by looking at the anti-Americanism that pervades the British left.  One cannot possibly imagine a Labour government daring to offend our European colleagues in such a way!  Can you imagine Labour ever going against anything the European Union tells us to do?  Yet, because it is the Americans - who the left believe to be evil, and responsible for all the suffering in the world - the "compassionate release" was not so hard for Labour to contemplate.

Therefore it is beyond scandalous to discover today that the government was advising Libya on how to go about it from within a week of Megrahi's diagnosis of terminal cancer.  It shows not only a rejection of any principle of justice, morality, or true compassion from Brown's government, as well as an ambivalence to the families of those killed, but also it is a slap in the face of our American allies who lost significantly more of their citizen's in the terrorist attack than we Brits did.

As I have written many times before, the Anglo-American relationship is under severe strain, with an extremely anti-British President in office, and so this revelation could destroy the special relationship.  Hopefully, David Cameron can apologise on behalf of the former government, explain that the new government opposed the policy of "compassionate release" at the time, and does so today.  Maybe this can limit the fallout from this disgraceful revelation.

However, I fear that the chill in Anglo-American relations is about to turn into a deep freeze.  That is, unless we can get someone like Sarah Palin into the White House.

The Anglo-American Debate is Taking Part in Sarah Palin February!

In response to Dana Milbank's idiotic suggestion that everyone try and ignore Sarah Palin for as long as possible, and not speak about her at all, the Daily Telegraph Blogs here in the UK have wisely decided to rebel against this idea.

Sarah Palin is one of the bright lights of the conservative movement, and there are many Brits (myself included) who only wish that we could have an honest, fun, down to earth, and most of all conservative figure such as Palin in British politics.

Rightly spotting how supporting Milbank's suggestion would fall right into the trap of the snobby, anti-Palin left who are only seeking to silence Mrs Palin for their own political agendas, the Telegraph Blogs have declared February to be "Sarah Palin Month" which means that as well as having plenty of posts about the former Alaskan governor, many of their bloggers will be seeking to crowbar in a mention of Sarah Palin into every blogpost that they publish throughout the month of February.

As a Palin loving Brit who fully supports such a move, I have decided to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Telegraph blogs on their noble venture, and have chosen to incorporate this into the Anglo-American Debate for the month of February!  Let Sarah Palin February commence!