Bizarrely, it seems that Boris Johnson, the bien pensant left from various parties and the Scots Nats all share the same political philosophy. To quote Boris:
“My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it.”
I see this all the time, because I’m a standard middle class professional, who pays a huge whack in taxes, and I work in the public sector, where I’m fairly well paid. The thing is, I’m not complaining.
I have various colleagues – not as many as you might think, as NHS surgeons tend to be realists, not fantasists – who bang on about Thatcher (stepped down twenty five years ago), Tories (I am not one, by the way) and ‘unfairness’. Oddly enough none of them actually claim the NHS is being privatised, because it’s manifestly not.
All these people, and many many more, including some of my relatives, rant on about Michael Gove (the most polite bogeyman ever), Osborne and Cameron as if they’re devils incarnate. Strangely, rich middle class politicians like the politically late Vince Cable, Ed Balls, even the monstrous hypocrite Alex Salmond, get a free pass. Same for hacks like the ridiculous and wealthy Polly Toynbee, Will Hutton, James Naughtie and the rest of the BBC cosa nostra.
My theory is that in the privacy of the polling booth, quite a few of these people probably voted Tory. There was an interesting breaking of lefty ranks when the mansion tax absurdity looked like it might become reality, and various dopey showbiz types realised that Ed Balls actually did intend to rob their bank accounts, if given the chance. I’m pretty sure that the Guardian editorial conference finds someone like Dave far more congenial than they would ever admit to in print. However, none of these people would ever relinquish their right to complain in public but benefit in private.
You have to be nearly my age to remember the benefits that Thatcher provided for all of us, not just Tory voters. No-one would ever go back. The Guardian and the Mirror rapidly copied Murdoch’s new production techniques that lead to the famous Wapping strike. Everyone takes easy access to communications for granted – phone, post offices etc – believe me, it wasn’t like that in the 70’s. There are hundreds of practical, everyday examples.
The SNP are possibly the most hypocritical of them all. Here is the incisive Iain Martin, who understands the Nat psyche far better than most of the other London based hacks, on ‘Full Fiscal Autonomy‘:
If the Nationalists complained about getting such a deal, with full fiscal autonomy, because the collapse in the oil price will leave a massive black-hole in Scotland’s finances, there would then be the beautiful spectacle of the SNP complaining about the Westminster Tory-led government wanting to give the Scottish parliament too much power. In such circumstances, God help Scottish taxpayers.
It goes further. At every election/referendum there are always a few public figures so far up their own backsides that they issue proclamations about leaving the country if they don’t like the outcome. The most delicious of these is naturally Paul O’Grady.
This is a professional Scouser of limited talent, who made a fortune by playing a professional Scouser drag queen whilst tapping into the anti-Thatcher zeitgeist from 1978 onwards. He now doesn’t wear a dress, but the act is the same, and naturally, given he’s on the BBC a lot, he’s a publicly funded multimillionaire. As Paul said:
“I can’t live under this bloody Government any more. I am going to get a house on the Lido in Venice. I have paid a fortune in tax and I will say ‘you can have that mate’. What I am going to do in a house on the Lido in Venice when I can’t speak Italian and hate pasta, God only knows. But I can’t live under this Conservative Government, this Coalition. That is why we have to vote Labour, we have to get Ed in, we have to make changes.”
At the time of writing, he seems to still be here.
Similarly, as everyone knows, if you genuinely want to pay more tax, as opposed to lofty declarations about the desirability of such a course of action, then HMRC will gladly accept your cheque. I’m making enquiries, but it seems that the anticipated flow of money from North London to the Treasury has yet to start.
Really, all these idiots should publicly thank all the voters who stopped Miliband et al getting in, because they are the major beneficiaries. And in their heart of hearts, they know it.