Monday, February 20, 2006

Toward a Third World Britain

Taxes and Bills beyond the poor

The above link leads to The Times where they have conducted a survey of local tax increases. They are rising at over double the rate of inflation and have more than doubled since the Blair government came to power.

This comes in concert with rises in domestic energy costs which are also well beyond the scale of inflation by which our standard of living is measured. In London, an additional flat burden of increases by the mayor to pay for olypmic develoipment and infractsture changes to transport and the like adds insult to injury. The latter doesn't even take personal wealth into account since it is a contribution unrelated to property prices.

Pensioners and other recipients of fixed incomes receive yearly increases amounting to mere pennies - calculated by the rate of inflation which includes luxury goods they cannot afford anyway. Proportionately to the income of the still-working population this means that in real terms their standard of living falls annually.

The new cost of energy and local taxes will now cripple all low income sectors of our population. They will not receive anything like the welfare or minimum wage increases needed to cover this expense. Nor are they equipped to make personal cutbacks - it is a breadline existence already.

As the unthinking Blair administration continue to pursue their ideal of a totalitarian surveillance state, they remain blind to the consequences of their actions. The kind of poverty that forces people to fight for their survival is at the root of increasing social unrest and a disregard for laws and etiquette that become unacceptable in the face of desperation. Ironically, it is this disenfranchised part of the population whose lack of economic clout prevents them subscribing to the consumerist "norms" - so, as such, they exist outside the mainstream of general society.

A large part of the surveillance state depends on the ability of government and its corporate paymasters to "hookwink" us into paying for the technological trinkets by which it is to be enforced. Those unable to subscribe to the consumerist masquerade may end up being those who escape the Orwellian nightmare longest, de-stabilising the civil infrastructure in the process. The gap between rich and poor widens to the extremes that were the very thing the original Labour party sought to oppose. Blair's cosmetic repackaging of the worst aspects of Thatcherism is a betrayal of his party's legacy and his own legacy is more than likely to be that of sowing the seeds for disruption to come.

Trade unions are stirring, religions and ethnic cultures are becoming ever more polarised, a flu pandemic looks more likely then ever and power cuts are predicted. Maybe that disruption will come sooner rather than later. Time will tell.


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