Friday, 26 April 2013

A ban on external accountants working inside government

BBC News reports:

A ban on external accountants working inside government, to stop them telling clients about tax loopholes they have found, has been urged by MPs.

To Labour MPs it seems that wherever there's a problem, a ban is the answer.

As usual, their scheme is not only illiberal and heavy-handed, but doomed to failure. As long as there are loopholes, accountants will find them and assist their clients in exploiting them.

The obvious answer is to simplify the tax code to the point that nobody needs tax accountants.

Abolishing corporation tax would be a good start.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Margaret: Death of a Revolutionary

Last night I watched Martin Durkin's excellent documentary 'Margaret: Death of a Revolutionary'. The whole thing is well worth watching. If you're short on time, an article on Martin's site lays out his thesis:

The reason the Left hates Thatcher so much is that she stole the working class from them. And she was able to do this because she understood and shared their aspirations.

Behind the bluster about her death this week are two very different visions of the working class. According to the Left, the proles are oppressed, and the source of that oppression is economic freedom. The Left wants the working class living in state housing, travelling on state transport, working in state-controlled jobs, receiving a state education. The Left fights not to change, but to preserve working practices and “working class communities”, as it offensively calls them.

Mrs Thatcher had a sneaking suspicion that people wanted to own their own home, perhaps in a leafy suburb rather than a council estate. She had the idea that “working class” people wanted the things she wanted – to leave money to their children, to own a few shares, maybe start a little company, go on foreign holidays, own a car – maybe even two cars! She was right. They did want this, which is why ordinary working people voted for her in huge numbers.

Brilliant stuff.

Monday, 8 April 2013


I heard of Margaret Thatcher's death through Tom Paine's post at The Last Ditch.

Sadly, he first heard from a jubilant lefty:

My tour of my local brewery is rather spoiled by our tour guide punching the air with glee at the news of Margaret Thatcher's end. What kind of human glories in another's death?

I felt compelled to reply:

To be fair, I probably would have celebrated the deaths of Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin.

The real question is how people can possibly view Thatcher that way.

The sad fact is that far too many of my compatriots are misguided or downright malevolent. Blinded by tribalism, indoctrination or self-interest, they can't see all the good that Thatcher did for Britain.

To my surprise, and to their credit, the BBC's documentary 'Margaret Thatcher: Prime Minister' was really quite respectful.

DK's brief obituary is worth quoting in full, as it nicely sums up my own view:

No, Mrs Thatcher was not a libertarian. But she at least understood that the money that governments' spend is sweated from the toil of the individuals who earn it.

And no, Mrs Thatcher was no infallible goddess. But compared to what came before and (most especially) after, she may as well have been.

And no, Mrs Thatcher did not do everything right: but she had a vision that rose above that of merely lining her own pockets, and she had the balls to see it through.