Reform, not words, spending or empty gestures, please!

July 16, 2008 11:33 AM

Madness is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  The government, I can therefore announce, is bonkers.  It’s the one who flew over the cuckoo’s nest, one it built with taxpayer’s money.


So that poses the question - how long is this country going to allow it to be mugged by a government throwing money at problems that a bit of reform and common-sense thinking could easily solve?  And don’t sit there fuming, they’ve won three elections and each time your money has gone up in flames as a result.  They’ve been using your money for 11 years to throw at problems that still persist.  Quite literally, it is madness.


That isn’t to say, however, that the alternatives have been much better, either.  The debacle over MPs expenses demonstrates how the rot stretches across parliament and parties.  But this nation, sooner or later, must stand up and say that their money can’t be thrown at problems expecting it to be some sort of panacea.


Take the story on immigration in the Express today.  A cross-party parliamentary panel found that the government’s immigration policy has produced troubling community tensions.  And the government’s response?  You got it; they simply stated there was a £50 million ‘cohesion fund’ to ‘tackle’ the problem.  So what?  What does that even mean apart from the fact the government is taking more of your money to throw at a problem you and I know money simply can’t solve. 


The same goes for education, crime, health and every other policy area that has seen 11 years of soaring spending.  Are there still problems in all of these areas - you bet.  But where reform could have been brought in, for instance allowing patients to top up healthcare and permitting education funding to follow pupils instead of NUT instructions, the political establishment has flinched.  Refreshingly, the Conservatives have proposed policies to allow funding to follow pupils into independent schools parents and community groups can set up - but sadly Cameron won’t allow these schools to make a profit, thus denying these schools any greater private investment they could potentially achieve. 


As Nigel Holder has written and proven today on our site, the ideas for reform are out there but the principle for any future government must be for the government to take less from the taxpayer and return power – even wealth – back to those who create it for the government.  If the driving principle for a government is to end the year having taken less from the people, then it will be a taxpayer’s government because reform will trump any government's blind faith in the miracle of ever-increasing spending.  As our long-standing activist Tony Flynn states to me time and time again: “it’s the people’s money” and the government should start treating it as our money that we earn, we want to use more of and know how to spend better than any bureaucrat ever could.

Madness is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  The government, I can therefore announce, is bonkers.  It’s the one who flew over the cuckoo’s nest, one it built with taxpayer’s money.


So that poses the question - how long is this country going to allow it to be mugged by a government throwing money at problems that a bit of reform and common-sense thinking could easily solve?  And don’t sit there fuming, they’ve won three elections and each time your money has gone up in flames as a result.  They’ve been using your money for 11 years to throw at problems that still persist.  Quite literally, it is madness.


That isn’t to say, however, that the alternatives have been much better, either.  The debacle over MPs expenses demonstrates how the rot stretches across parliament and parties.  But this nation, sooner or later, must stand up and say that their money can’t be thrown at problems expecting it to be some sort of panacea.


Take the story on immigration in the Express today.  A cross-party parliamentary panel found that the government’s immigration policy has produced troubling community tensions.  And the government’s response?  You got it; they simply stated there was a £50 million ‘cohesion fund’ to ‘tackle’ the problem.  So what?  What does that even mean apart from the fact the government is taking more of your money to throw at a problem you and I know money simply can’t solve. 


The same goes for education, crime, health and every other policy area that has seen 11 years of soaring spending.  Are there still problems in all of these areas - you bet.  But where reform could have been brought in, for instance allowing patients to top up healthcare and permitting education funding to follow pupils instead of NUT instructions, the political establishment has flinched.  Refreshingly, the Conservatives have proposed policies to allow funding to follow pupils into independent schools parents and community groups can set up - but sadly Cameron won’t allow these schools to make a profit, thus denying these schools any greater private investment they could potentially achieve. 


As Nigel Holder has written and proven today on our site, the ideas for reform are out there but the principle for any future government must be for the government to take less from the taxpayer and return power – even wealth – back to those who create it for the government.  If the driving principle for a government is to end the year having taken less from the people, then it will be a taxpayer’s government because reform will trump any government's blind faith in the miracle of ever-increasing spending.  As our long-standing activist Tony Flynn states to me time and time again: “it’s the people’s money” and the government should start treating it as our money that we earn, we want to use more of and know how to spend better than any bureaucrat ever could.

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