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Bring back slavery!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Roger Hicks, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I do recall, in Belgium, being told that if you were unemployed and receiving benefit, then if you refused a job offered by the Office, you lost your benefit.

    Now, slavery can appear in many guises. Was this one?
    peterba likes this.
  2. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    This is true for probably every country in western europe - it's called 'gentle persuasion'.

    peterba likes this.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    We had that rule in the UK...
  4. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Quite right, Steve! The rise in inflation of that period started with the oil embargo of late 1973, as the graph of inflation for the 1970s clearly shows. The effect started under Heath's government, and continued through Labour's tenure - falling away gradually towards 1979, and rising again in late 1979 under the Thatcher government. The whole thing was effectively outwith the control of the UK government - of either stripe. The international political situation (specifically, the Middle East) had a far greater effect on inflation than any UK government action.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  5. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Price of oil?
    A friend who is doing a 3 month stint in Penang just filled up his car with petrol. Total price? £8

    Who exactly is to blame for the price here?
  6. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Except that's it's not so gentle... :(
    Zou and Catriona like this.
  7. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I don't know what the current price of petrol is, but according to the government site, petrol duty is 57.95 per litre and you pay VAT at 20% on top of that.
    Catriona likes this.
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kate,

    Obviously the Wicked Evil EU!


    peterba and Catriona like this.
  9. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    And our Government still doesn't manage to get by on the amounts it gains. Whoever would think we are an oil producing nation.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  10. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I do wonder what will become of VAT when we leave?

    Some might have forgotten this:

    VAT was originally a French idea, started in the 1950s. Britain introduced it as part of its condition of joining the European Economic Community. All countries joining the EEC had to replace their indirect taxes with the VAT. It replaced the Purchase Tax, which was a fairly complex system that had many different rates.

    In the early days it was a relatively low level of no more than 10 per cent, with the exception of petrol and – briefly – electrical appliances, which were deemed in the days before Britain struck North Sea oil to be luxuries. They were subject to a 25 per cent rate.

    Forgive me for the source! I'm presuming it is factually correct.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kate,

    Aye, weel, speak for yoursel'!


    Catriona likes this.
  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    That got me wondering about how heavily taxed we are. Did you know that in terms of tax as a proportion of GDP we're the 12th most lightly taxed developed country in the world? That's according to the OECD and refers to 2015. We're the 4th most lightly taxed country in the EU after Ireland, Latvia and Slovakia. Just thought I'd mention it. :cool:
  13. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Errmm - I suspect that we might be. If we hadn't made a habit, since 1979, of voting so often for the party that offers income tax cuts (viz. bribes), the Exchequer wouldn't be deprived of funds. To put some perspective on this, the basic rate of income tax has dropped from 33% in 1974, to the current rate of 20% - with an even larger reduction in higher rates. Since we all (seemingly:rolleyes:) want to maintain our public services, the shortfall has to be made up by other types of (indirect) taxation - one of which is taxation on fuel.

    Perhaps if we voted for parties that would increase progressive direct taxation, we could all pay less of the inherently less-fair indirect taxation on many things - including fuel. In this way, the wealthy would pay proportionately more - but, of course, the Tories don't want to upset the wealthy (i.e. themselves and their pals).

    Unfortunately, we (collectively) seem wedded to the idea that low direct taxation is desirable. I beg to differ, but unfortunately, not enough people agree with me......... yet? Perhaps the potential collapse of the NHS and other essential services will jolt some into realising that we can only have decent public services if we pay for them. However, I don't think it would be advisable for anyone to hold their breath, waiting for such a change of opinion. /Rant over - and apologies for droning on... ;)
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Free capitalism fails. But free capitalism no longer exists. Free capitalism is constrained by government to make it decent to those people who are not in the elite. That constraint has been inadequte in recent months. Total socialism which is proposed by Comrade Corbyn and Comrade Roger is administered by bureaucrats of government. How can government limit itself? I am convinced that capitalism constrained by good government is of far more benefit to our whole population than any form of socialism.
    So who can give us good government? Not Corbyn, not Boris, not really May. Following the last election campagne May should already be history but she is probably the best that we have. What a disaster. Don't panic.
    SqueamishOssifrage likes this.
  15. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Not even remotely true.

    Captitalism is a scavenger which is, of necessity, propped up by public education, healthcare, social services, housing and benefits payments from the public purse, to benefit everyone including and especially the elites who get a healthy, educated workforce able to increase the wealthy elites' incomes. Who pays for this social prop? Why, it's everyone and those outside the "elites" bear the hardest burden.

    In fact the "elite" are the real benefit scroungers in our society
  16. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    How about capitalism could be constrained by government?
    I would still argue that socialism is worse because there is nothing to constrain it. Try Orwell's animal farm to see how socialism works. If you don't get the politics then at least it is a nice kids' story about animals.
  17. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Orwell was, himself, a democratic socialist - a political stance very far removed from Stalin's totalitarian communism, which was his target in Animal Farm.

    I have often wondered why so many people appear to see no association between Conservative politics and Right-wing extremism, yet constantly treat socialism and communism as interchangeable terms. o_O:(
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  18. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    At least you make a sensible reply (apart from the 'smileys'.). The difficulty with socialism is that nothing constrains it and it drifts into Stalin's totallitarism.
  19. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The differences in both these cases exist, the boundaries can end up becoming blurred. I wonder though what the practical differences are for most people living under extreme regimes of any apparent colour, freedoms are limited in similar ways by an unelected ruling body.

    Communism and Socialism are indeed different concepts, again the boundaries can become imprecise.
  20. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Really? Got examples of elected socialist governments which have "drifted into Stalin's totalitarianism"?

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