Daily Archives: September 9, 2021

Tory Tax Hike. What Does It Mean?

There all all sorts of snags, inequalities and lack of detail about the long awaited fix for social care and linked boost to NHS coffers, to cope with the aftermath of the pandemic. Having promised a plan Boris has come up with quite an eye catching one, which he promotes with enthusiasm. How much of the detail he himself understands is not clear. But it is likely to be not much. Boris is a broad brush person, not a details freak. Without becoming entangled in the political wrangling or the sums of the pundits cluttering the media, I just have this to say.

For decades the Tory party has been a low tax low spend party. If money is needed it is met by borrowing and cuts. Cuts described as efficiency savings. Over the last ten years cuts have meant starvation of resource to every public service , except perhaps the border force. Tories have a thing about borders.

Boris’s Tory party is however different. It spends big. Fighting the pandemic was, like a war, without regard to cost. So borrowing soared to mega levels unknown for a couple of generations, although the true net figure is far lower because nearly half the debt is owed by the government to itself via quantitative easing.

In the past a Tory Chancellor would have initiated cuts to ‘get the public finances in order’. But not now. This latest development signals a major shift. Stuff will be paid for by raising taxes. Cuts to public services are out. It will be interesting to see if the Party has the guts to stay the course. The political shift is clear. Labour is in danger of ending up to the right of the Tories. That will certainly please Boris’s new red wall friends. But it could drive the blue wall faithful into the arms of the Lib Dems, the Greens and Labour’s growing southern appeal.

Politics has at last become interesting again.

Afghanistan: Many Questions

How is it possible, after all the investment in money and lives creating a modern democracy on broadly western Christian principles, supported by large and very well trained and equipped defence and police forces, for the entire structure of state to collapse in days, allowing control of the whole country to fall to the Taliban?

Why are tens of thousands of Afghans fleeing or trying to flee from their own country and countrymen, who they say will kill them?

Why were repeated warnings ignored by NATO politicians over the years from US and UK commanders on the ground thatĀ  the structure that the west was building in its own image was out of step with local tradition, over focussed on the metropolitan elite of Kabul and making little to no difference to the mass of the rural Afghan population?

Why were warnings from the same commanders, to the same politicians, that the whole government organisation including the civil service, armed forces and police was utterly corrupt at every level, also ignored?

How many of these corrupt officials and politicians have been rescued and given sanctuary in the west?

Have we at last learned that the misplaced idea of nation re-modelling in our own image does not and cannot work?

These tragedies of Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan are not military defeats. They are political disasters of an historic magnitude brought about by our arrogance and conceitĀ  and a failure to empathise with any ideas not our own.