John Rees-Evans, former leadership candidate, has started a direct democracy forum where members can sign up and suggest new UKIP policies, or changes to existing ones. There is a fledgling proposal that UKIP should adopt a policy of re nationalising key state infrastructure.
We pay our taxes to support vital state infrastructure such as utilities, transport networks, councils etc. These are not expected to turn a profit and nor should they be. An excellent programme on the Beeching rail cuts by Ian Hislop (Private Eye) showed how public services should be about public services and the community infrastructure and that not even rail services in this country – supposedly private now – run at a profit. The government still subsidises the private companies like Virgin.
Successive governments have been taking our taxes under false pretences because they are not delivering the infrastructure or services we pay them to provide. In fact they are taking our taxes and selling off the family silver, thus providing the hard working residents of this country with ever less for their tax contributions.
This is absolutely the right time for these discussions to take place. People are extremely angry. Had you not noticed how much the Tories have been selling off? A £700 million pound contract for NHS services, with which Richard Branson was bidding for, has just gone out. And this is only one of such NHS contracts sneaked out by the back door. You just haven’t seen this reflected in payment for your services – yet.
The government has just sold off a 61% stake in the National Grid gas network which is now majority owned by a foreign consortium, mainly for Qatari and Chinese investors. How long before we are held to ransom? It also sold off Kielder water many years ago built with British money and supplied by Northumberland rainfall (thanks, Norman Fox). Councils are hugely underfunded while £9 billion a year goes in foreign aid and Tory vanity projects like the white elephant which is the HS2 rail link.
If we are paying ever more in tax and not getting these vital services and infrastructure provided, then we have various options:
- Everyone stops paying taxes and rates en masse to make a point over an extended period of time
- Emigrate to somewhere cheaper to live – on the grounds that if we aren’t going to get what we pay for we might as well be paying a lot less council tax and have cheaper housing, power etc
- Sell our houses and businesses and live frugally in camper vans with solar panels so we pay as little tax as possible.
- Move all businesses into offshore businesses – it can be done relatively easily if you know who to ask and the structures to establish, such that no tax is paid on any income earned in the UK.
The argument is:
If the government isn’t going to look after us, then we should stop looking after them.
If the government stopped wasting billions on the EU, foreign aid and the HS2 rail link, to name just 3 money sucking projects with zero return for most of the UK population, it should be able to deliver better infrastructure for all. It will however take a long time to get back to where we were once upon a time. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try. It’s taken 40 years for our governments to sell us into the position where we are effectively just tenants of our own country.
As for the arguments that nationalised industries were run badly – well yes they were. But the privatised industries aren’t run any better judging by their appalling customer service (e.g. not answering phone calls and interminable call centre queues for anything).
Plus we are paying our taxes to fund their shareholder profits.
There is no reason why nationalised infrastructure should be badly run. Other countries manage to run nationalised industries and services well. The reason nationalised industries were badly run is that every single successive government failed to ensure the people running them badly were penalised, fined and sacked. It requires WORK on the government’s part, WORK which they simply don’t want to do. But it was WORK we were paying them to do on our behalf.
(Note : John Rees-Evans forum isn’t working properly yet but when it is, you will be informed on how to sign up and get involved.)