Yesterday’s leader is right: there is a very good case for higher public spending funded by higher and fairer taxes. However, there is a major obstacle to this: the old adage that the electorate gets the governments they deserve can be reversed – politicians get the electorate they deserve.
In the modern era, Margaret Thatcher initiated the notion that taxation was a bad thing. By extension this means the same applies to public spending. Consequently, no politician dares to propose increasing taxes to improve public services for the simple reason that they can be fairly confident that it will be a vote loser.
The trouble is that because of the approach of politicians of all hues, the public actually believes that there is a “magic money tree”. On Saturday, Boris Johnson, in one of his manoeuvres for Tory Party leadership, implored the Chancellor to cut taxes. When the man who rejoices in the notion of having his cake and eating it comes out with statements like this, it’s no wonder the general public think they can have high quality hospitals, schools, police, armed forces and social services without putting their hands in their pockets. Even Corbyn’s Labour Party suggest that sufficient funds can be raised by just taxing the wealthiest ten percent of the population.
The British need educating on the economic reality of financing high calibre public services in a modern state. Is there a political party brave enough to start the process?
So Boris Johnson has repeated his NHS funding nonsense as a part of his Prime Ministerial ambition fantasy.
In truth, the best contribution that Boris Johnson could probably make to the NHS would be by putting his name on the organ donor register – although I doubt either his heart or his brain would be of very much use.
To borrow an old epigram addressed to Caroline, errant wife of George IV: “Oh Johnson dear, we thee implore to go away and fib no more. But if that effort be too great, to go away at any rate.”
To tackle terrorism, we must begin by solving the Israel-Palestine conflict
The Parsons Green attack has demonstrated that the terrorist threat still lingers and that we cannot delude ourselves into believing that we can tackle it on our own, without addressing its underlying causes.
The fight to eradicate this global scourge requires a holistic perspective that takes into consideration its political, social, cultural, historical and ethical dimensions. Terrorists often use a perverted version of Islam in their bid to drive a wedge between cultures and polarise societies.
The vast majority of victims are Muslims as witnessed in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Burma. However, no injustice has borne more intolerance and bitterness than the failure to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian imbroglio based on the Arab peace initiative, the two-state solution and the international humanitarian law.
The international community must leave no stone unturned in its determination to find a just settlement of this festering conflict that remains a hotbed of radicalism and terrorism.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
The Government must also respect the laws it imposes on its citizens
The case of Samim Bigzad reveals the wretched state of respect for law in this country by its own lawmakers.
Our Government expects its citizens to be law abiding and not to flout “due” process in this country. For example, when demonstrators act illegally, or when public workers go on strike, we hear Government representatives telling us these people must follow proper judicial action and not break the law or go on strike.
Yet the case of Samim Bigzad reveals the utter contempt our leaders have for the law when it applies to them. When such leaders are so devoid of moral authority, it undermines a country’s sense of wellbeing.
Now, more than ever, our Government must show its respect for the people living in its country, and obey the laws that apply to it as much as it applies to us. How can we pride ourselves on being a fair and just society when our judicial system is treated with withering scorn by our leaders?
There cannot be balance between the US and North Korea
So Kim Jong-un wants North Korea to be in a military “equilibrium” with Trump’s US. This invokes an image of two fat children on a see-saw but this time both are carrying massive weights and all we end up with is a broken see-saw. It’s hard to find balance when you have two such unbalanced sides.