Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Listening to Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in the past two weeks one would be obliged to think they’d left the Tories to start a Neo-Bolshevik British revolution. They do this by inserting the words can or could into phrases designed to imply they support all manner of policies which they have de-facto always opposed.
If we leave the EU we could put more money into the NHS.
If we leave the EU we can increase farming subsidies.
“The government should use some of the billions saved from leaving the EU to give at least a £100m per week cash transfusion to the NHS.”
Fascinating. This from members of a party which has ruthlessly presided over some of the most dramatic cuts of the past 40 years. Cuts to tax credits for the working poor, bedroom taxes, cuts for aids and appliances for the disabled; not to mention the junior doctors debacle.
And while Gove pointed the finger at “European Elites” he failed to mention that “The Financial Secrecy Index shows that the United Kingdom is the most important global player in the financial secrecy world. While the UK itself ranks only in 21st place, it supports and partly controls a web of secrecy jurisdictions around the world, from the Cayman Islands and Bermuda to Jersey and Gibraltar. Had the entire British network been aggregated it would easily top the index, far above Switzerland.” These are the networks that allow companies like Google, Amazon and Starbucks to pay risible taxes.
Starbucks, for example, had sales of £400m in the UK in 2012, but paid no corporation tax at all. And Google’s UK branch paid £6m in 2011 on a UK turnover of £395m. Amazon, which had sales in the UK of £3.35bn in 2011, only paid £1.8m. Under the watchful eye of the Tory government in 2014 that number was raised to £11.9m despite UK sales of £5.3bn.
All this whilst Mr. Gove and Mr. Johnson’s own party is in power with a majority in parliament. Are we really supposed to believe they’ve had an awakening and intend to take their party in a whole new direction? And if they do, don’t they have to first stand for election? First to control the party and then to win a public vote?