Saturday, March 13, 2010

Polly Toynbee

Bring on the Robin Hood tax

Everyone but the rich is outraged by the financiers' billowing wealth. At the budget, Labour can tip the balance back to the people

Posted by devo @ 09:29 AM (1312 views)
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12 thoughts on “Polly Toynbee

  • presidio:

    Why did labour bail out the bankers ? Why did they not instead bail out the depositors and let the bankers go bust ?

    Now the bankers have all the money and their debt has been transferred to the taxpayers. The bankers are still selling their vast amounts of toxic derivatives, worth almost nothing, at full value to the Bank Of England which is printing money to take the derivatives off the banks’ hands. The taxpayer is footing the bill. The bankers turn around and lend that money to the govt for an easy trade. Far easier than lending the money to risky business. The tax take declines as businesses go bust while the govt debt balloons.,

    This govt is taking the country to ruin. They are beyond incompetent. The tories and libdems would be no better. The bankers obviously own them all.

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  • It’s come to something when Polly Toynbee talks of class war.But she’s right! Its always the rich that start it.

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  • A very solid article from Polly Toynbee – as well expressed as any I’ve read. I can hardly believe this country has been so dominated by a self-serving collection of ultra-rich, whose disingenuous excuses about talent and wealth creation have long echoed hollow. The idea that we should correct the deficit by cutting public spending (other than bailout money) when so much public money (the value created by ordinary people that is siphoned into the coffers of the rich) is waiting to be returned to whom it belongs through taxation – it is medieval.

    But this is what the Tories have said they’ll do (always the party of the rich). As for Labour, I don’t know what they’ll do. Libdems? They are more likely to change things but their only chance will be via a hung parliament.

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  • vacuouspolitician says:

    A good article. Hopefully this sort of attitude will continue to gather momentum.
    Two fingers to the City…

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  • “The tories and libdems would be no better. The bankers obviously own them all.”
    Exactly. Unless comprised of Jesus clones, a central authority is coercible and corruptible – it’s a flawed concept. Discussing anything based on that structure is a waste of time.

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  • And no doubt Toynbee has done very nicely, thank you, from 13 years of ZanuLiebor profligacy.

    Socialist hypocrisy, do as I say, not as I do.

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  • “The chancellor should be listening to the group of 80 MPs and economists calling for another fiscal stimulus to keep the economy afloat: Britain is one of only two G20 countries withdrawing the stimulus this year”

    Not a very sensible plan if you ask me. As far as a Robin Hood Tax itself I am not sure it will serve the required purpose. The banks will simply find some was to pass it on to their customers and so again, it will be the taxpayer who is bailing out the banks.

    “General De Gaulle sent troops to surround Monaco over hiding tax fraud, and cut off its water”

    I am all for that type of heavy weight action against the banks. Surround their houses and cut off the services of everyone who served on the boards of directors in the last 10 years. They either die of starvation (as do 25,000 people a day in our great world) or sell everything they possess and give it to the government for redistribution. Then they can be made to walk the plank, if they can swim then I will let them go to any other country that will have them. If not I will drink a beer and say adios.

    Of course as always, the root of the problem is central banks which need to have their charters removed and currency issuance put back into the hands of the people with sadistic control over the regulation of that issuance. Almost everything I see proposed is useless IMO, it still leaves the bankers in control to play boom and bust economics. It is like putting a sticking plaster on a beheaded man.

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  • charlie brooker says:

    The Robin Hood tax is concept over simplified.

    The investment banks claim to invest but to every man and his dog it their activities look awfully like gambling.

    When Goldman Sachs deploys a program to trade assets buying and selling in miiliseconds that is not most people’s idea of investing- they are abusing technology.

    If a Robin Hood tax is to be implemented one way to makje the likes of the Giant Vampire Squid think twice is to charge tax inversely proportional to the duration the asset was held.

    The Robin Hood Tax as it stands is to me – ill-informed as I am – just another meaningless token gesture to soothe the anger felt by the general public.

    Perhaps it would be better to call it the King John Tax.

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  • charlie b
    Perhaps the tax as described – really only very generally – could be discussed in greater detail, but the idea that an industry that is concerned so much with funnelling funds into its vaults should be taxed is a good one; the money the banks earn, after all, is out of all proportion to their wealth creation (in truth wealth destruction in recent years).

    mr g
    Now you are just being silly. You appear to have a visceral hatred for something indeterminate that you have chosen to call “socialism”. Besides, the Guardian newspaper is a private company.

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  • [email protected]

    I personally believe that socialism, is a flawed concept but genuinely respect the right of other people to express their point of view.

    What I find distasteful or even immoral is the socialist tendency to adopt a holier than thou and do as I say, not as I do attitude.

    This is exemplified by the number of Labour politicians who have been educated at private or grammar schools, send their own children to similar schools yet preach to Joe Public that such schools are elitist.

    Polly Toynbee is a scion of a privileged family and to quote Wikipedia:

    “She is a social democrat and broadly supports the Labour Party, while urging it in many areas to be more left-wing.”

    “After 18 months at Oxford, she dropped out, finding work in a factory and a burger bar and hoping to write in her spare time and turned her eight months of experience in manual work (along with “undercover” stints as a nurse and an Army recruit) into the book A Working Life”

    I’m afraid that someone who has 8 months experience of manual work has no qualifications to preach to me and the millions of others from ordinary working class backgrounds who aspire to social mobility and something better than a socialist utopia.

    You haven’t the time to dream when you work on the factory floor, you just have to get on with life and do the best you can for yourself and your family without doing the dirty on other people or seeking help from the nanny state.

    As I said at the outset, I respect other people’s views but I cannot take seriously, lectures from people who have next to no experience of the lives of most ordinary people.

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  • mr g
    Well, I take your point about hypocritical people, but then we are all capable of a little hypocrisy are we not? The majority of politicians are from fairly privileged backgrounds, the occasional one aside such as John Prescott, but even so that does not cancel out their determination to bring about a fairer society. It does stick in the craw when a politician sends their kids to private schools (Harriet Harman, Tony Blair), but on the other hand a parent will do what they think is best for their child regardless of political ideology. Nonetheless, that they do this does not negate the fairness of what they say, namely that privilege should not be a prerequisite for a good education, a good diet and a decent opportunity. You can’t dismiss someone’s views solely because of their background.

    PT and others are not preaching a utopia (they know such a thing does not exist). They are just attempting to get a fairer society, one in which a banker, for example, does not pay less tax than the factory worker getting on with it. There is a deep injustice there, and these injustices are harming our society. If you saw the programme on TV last night about Detroit, you will have seen what the US system does to its society, and we are becoming more like the US each year.

    I would ask you to ignore the backgrounds of those who campaign for a more equal society and consider instead the justice of what they say. Personally I am more suspicious of the backgrounds of the current Cons leadership, who are very privileged and are members of a party that traditionally seek to conserve the position of those like them.

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  • LTF, I must say that I agree with most of your comments and forgot to say earlier that I have an equal distaste for privilege in the shape of Cameron and Osborne. However, I’ll agree to differ on your view of the Conservative party as I see Labour as a party that is in thrall to the unions which may claim to represent the working man or woman but in my personal experience nothing could be further from the truth.

    Strange as this may sound after my earlier comments I have some sympathy with the concept of a “Robin Hood” tax on bankers and their ilk. I believe in social fairness and these people are simply rubbing our noses in the dirt.

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