Thursday, April 22, 2010

Minority self-interest groups

My previous post has prompted a couple of commenters to accuse me of "socialism".

First of all, I have never denied that there are elements of my politics which some would clearly label as socialist - so what? The idea of a state owned monopoly is "socialist" but I still think that the only way to provide such a service as a universal postal service is through a state run monopoly - and so did many great conservative leaders. Does that make them "socialists"?

Secondly, the previous post was aimed at the vast amount of attention that the relatively few Britons stuck abroad were receiving from the media and the government in comparison to the lack of interest shown in the millions of "abandoned" Britons at home that are never given a second thought.

My personal political philosophy has always been a mixture of left and right - I am a social conservative. My over riding belief is that the principle job of a national government is to manage the country to the benefit and with the least inconvenience to the majority of the nation's people.

My main complaint about progressive liberal governments and the media that supports them is that they do not do this. Instead they manage the country to the benefit of various minority self-interest groups at the expense of and with the most inconvenience to the majority - and this flight ban episode has demonstrated this all too well.

What else can you call 150,000 people stuck in foreign airports because their flights back from their very expensive Easter holiday (one of the most expensive times to fly) have been cancelled but a minority self-interest group?

If you believe these people deserve special attention from the government and the media then you accept the principle that other minority self-interest groups also deserve such special attention.

I do not.


Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

"the lack of interest shown in the millions of "abandoned" Britons at home that are never given a second thought"

Perhaps you could elaborate on who these people are?

Larry said...


What about the girl who just killed herself today because she couldn't get a job in the 3 years since leaving school. There are countless other examples of disenfranchised Brits, who aren't given a second thought, and who's lives have been blighted by successive governments obsessed with immigration and political correctness.

Stan said...

I have elaborated in the comments to the previous post, Brian.

TheFatBigot said...

I loved the comment to you previous post accusing you of being a "knee-jerk leftie" (or "lefty"). The commenter obviously has little knowledge of your opinions.

The point you raise is a very interesting one. I can understand calls for help for people stuck abroad without sufficient funds because they planned their holiday on a tight(ish) budget. There is good reason to provide them with a modest loan to cover their additional costs but there is no reason for it to be anything other than a loan. They all still have a contractual right to carriage back to the UK with their airline, so it is only hotel and food costs that are involved.

The point you make goes further. You illustrate that ordinary everyday life for many is harsh and could be eased by suitable government action. Not the kind of government action that results in hand-outs, but the kind that gives real rewards for those prepared to get off their arses and use the talents they have.

It would be so much easier if politicians arranged matters so that work was rewarded rather than creating a dependent class with a view to them being tame lobby fodder.

Stan said...

Welcome back, FB - I'm glad somebody understands because my points!

Basically, what I'm saying is that there are millions of Britons who don't want special help or handouts - they just want the government to do what they are supposed to do but currently aren't.

And I'm trying to point out that those Britons stranded abroad and the attention they've received from the media and the government are representative of the problem that blights our country as a whole and prevents us having a national government which governs in the interest of the nation as a whole - i.e. that certain minority self-interest groups get more media and government attention than they deserve to the detriment of the rest of us.

As I am someone who frequently criticises the amount of attention which the media and government grant to minority self-interest groups such as the race, gender and sexual orientation lobbies I can not support a similar minority self-interest group getting that support and attention - even if they are predominantly people like me (white "middle" class).

If there was some national interest to be served by this or if they were stranded in a war zone then I'd be quite happy to see them get help - but there isn't and they aren't.

Jeez - a hundred years ago there weren't any aeroplanes criss crossing the skies, but people managed to travel all over the world without expecting the government to bring them home. Are we really so pathetic as a people now? The fact that so many have managed to get home without help suggest we aren't, but the expectation of help reveals a dependency culture that goes far deeper than just those on welfare.

Worse still, it reveals the deep seated nature of the belief that government is always the answer. If people are truly serious about a smaller state they need to understand that this means a national government that concentrates on getting the primary responsibilities of government sorted before branching out into secondary areas.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

"politicians arranged matters so that work was rewarded rather than creating a dependent class"

There is an intrinsic difficulty with this; namely that the ordinary working family doesn't pay as much in taxes as it receives in benefits. The consequence is that almost everyone is trying to live at the expense of others. Some are just more blatant about it, that's all. For the past few years we've decided we can live at the expense of our children; now we've run out of their money.

Stan said...

"Some are just more blatant about it, that's all. For the past few years we've decided we can live at the expense of our children; now we've run out of their money."

Exactly - but do you know where all their money has gone?

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Fuktifino, Stan.

Stan said...

China, Brian - it's all gone to China. And our kids generation and our grandkids generation will be paying for our generations stupidity and rampant addiction to debt for the next century - and unless someone works out that you can't keep pouring wealth out of the country faster than you can create it, it will get worse.

Every year we lose more wealth through the trade deficit than we "create" by growing GDP. Our current trade deficit is running at more than 5% of GDP and our growth rate is a paltry 0.2%.

Add on the structural deficit and inflation and you're talking about a net loss of around 15-20% GDP.

I don't care what the economists say - this is not a healthy state of affairs for our economy.

Lightf00t said...

We're totally screwed, basically. And I don't think the Tories will be able to unscrew us, even if they do get in.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Don't quite agree, Stan. The trade deficit is caused by us buying the things we want.

Stan said...

I never said it wasn't, Brian - when you buy the things you want at home does the money remain in your bank account?

No, it goes to someone else's and in Britain's case that means some other country - usually China.

And if you have £300 of disposable income each month, but you spend £350 buying the "things you want" are you getting wealthier or poorer?

We're deluding ourselves. Because we have lots of "things we want" we think we're wealthy - but we have £2,000,000,000,000 of national debt and another £2,000,000,000,000 of personal debt in this country and every year we're spending another £75,000,000,000 on the "things we want".

That is wealth leaving the country - never to be seen again. It's like you earning £150,000 a year but spending £7,500 more each year than you earn - and your expensive home is mortgaged to a value more than it is worth, your expensive car on the drive is on the never never and your credit cards are permanently on the limit.

And all you've got to look forward to is a 2% pay rise which will be eaten up by the 3% inflation.

There is only one place someone in that situation can end up - bankrupt.