Do you know what? I am sick and tired of doing articles like this. In fact, don’t bother reading you tax dodging evasive right winger. Don’t bother. Well you passed my ‘anti-tory’ test if you made it past the first few syllables of that, brownie points …

Do you know what? I am sick and tired of doing articles like this. In fact, don’t bother reading you tax dodging evasive right winger. Don’t bother.

Well you passed my ‘anti-tory’ test if you made it past the first few syllables of that, brownie points for making it this far, goodie points for reading the full thing. I’m not calling you a tax avoider, although you might be without realising it. The crazy world we live in regrettably means we are all guilty, even if we buy a pint of milk.

Up until recently I was in full time employment, a worker that helped those ‘official’ statistics of unemployment. ‘You’re not one of the 2 million unemployed’ the media comforted me, like a patronising invitation to the club of the employed. I’m not a part of that anymore. For 12 years I have been in continuous work, I’ve paid my taxes; it’s one of our civic duties (https://usilive.org/european-younion). We go to work, we pay our income tax and in the UK at least we also pay our National Insurance. I can imagine a lot of our overseas readers finding the idea of a ‘national insurance’ like something from ET – The Extra Terrestrial. Don’t worry; I’m not claiming a UK Roswell…

Firstly let me say this, the flag waving for the commemoration of ‘the anniversary of’ [insert appropriate war] has recently taken place, we all believe we understand the reasons why these wars took place. Of course I’m referring to, at least in the western hemisphere, the idea of the first and second world wars (I consider it a hundred year war…another article maybe?). I have listened  in the past few weeks the mainstream media refer to ‘our brave veteran’s’, without any explanation as to what they were fighting against – Fascism. Fascism in my view is the primacy of the state, obsessive nationalism and populism, something that waves the flag and kills those it claims to protect against – ‘foreigners’. I can type this article freely because I do not live under such a regime. I have our grandparent’s generation to thank for this.

I have often been quoted as saying that ‘we defeated the axis powers, but not fascism’, those that fought, rescued us on the left from a future of never ending ‘Reichstag fire’s’, we should be thankful for that. A continuation of my quote is that, ‘War is often a failure of democracy, appeasement a sign of defeatism. The fact that in the UK in 1945, those ‘veterans’ expressed this view when they came to vote in the general election , they got rid of one valiant war leader and replaced him with one of us.  I’m a psephologist; I get off on this stuff.

Imagine, you have just returned from war, from a war of chess playing monarchs or a war for existence, the person that has encouraged you to fight has promised you more of the same when you get back from the front, yet ‘another party’ is offering you something different. Full employment after the war, a universal welfare and healthcare system, a nationalised public transport and energy system and a guaranteed pension on retirement –  As I would put it, ‘F**k me tinker bell, where do I shake? Other party, you have my vote.’ Yeah I know, we in our ‘austerity psyched’ decade, we laugh at this idea as something we could not possibly afford. I’ve check behind the sofa, look what I found…

graph1

Am I the only person to note that the welfare state costs less now than when it was set up? That ‘other party’ seems to have paid off! The US in comparison…

graph2

A hero of mine says that ‘statistics should be used as a drunk uses a lamppost, for support not illumination’, Jim is right. We think more of statistics than we do each other. Can we afford a house, a baby, the basics of human survival? The answer should be, yes and if not the state should not let you down. Sod immigration worries, these are the areas we should be focussing on, living wage, full employment, ‘the spirit of ‘45’ that veterans established, a society for the future for the people, on behalf of the people. The public and business payed a ‘national insurance’ to pay for this, it would secure you in retirement, in lifelong health care and unemployment – This was called the post war consensus. The problem is this – Business played ball until lately.

You’re avoiding tax as I said before, you might not even realise it. I’m not going to go in to Plutonomies (https://usilive.org/shutdown-time-to-reboot-2/?wpmp_switcher=mobile) but something is clearly at odds when the online shop, local pharmacy or supermarket has its headquarters in the Federated States of Micronesia – A lovely place to visit, but for business strictly for tax purposes only. When Aneurin Bevan said the NHS would only last whilst ‘people fought for it’, he wasn’t wrong. The era of social media has meant that the symbol of a bird associates our memory with twitter, the letter ‘F’, Facebook, the letters ‘NHS’ a brand to be sold. We on the left fought for it in its time of need. Then again, if not, I must be one of those that interrupt your tube journey? Yeah, that post-war consensus, now a business opportunity to the vultures of privatisation.

I have to close by saying this, employed or not. If you shop at Amazon, Vodafone, Boots, Tesco you’re a tax avoider. I’m sure you have been taxed on your income (though ESA tax is a crime IMO), those business aren’t paying for that post war consensus, any surprise our services are strapped for cash? Look – our welfare state will only exist whilst ‘we’ fight for it’ and when businesses fork up their stake – they have profited from our work after all! We can’t have a post-war consensus, that land built for heroes, when those that fought actually fought for their nation to be privatised piecemeal. In short, stop avoiding tax – shop wisely, start avoiding inactivity and get out and fight for those rights our class fought for, after all, the elite are.

Another danger is represented by those who pay lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.” – Henry Wallace, Democratic Convention, 1944


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James Martin

Socialist. @UnitetheUNION National Tutor. Historian, Psephologist and Astrophysicist. Regular contributor to @USiLive.

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