"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Stop! Stop! STOP!

Do you remember before the 2010 election when no one was talking about what the Tories were going to do with our NHS? Remember that? Do you remember what people were obsessed with at the time? The storm-in-a-teacup that was MP expenses. (What has happened about MP expenses? That's right, sod-all, but it served its purpose to stop us knowing before the election what the Tories really wanted to do after the election.)

Now what is happening? People are starting to get obsessed with MP's personal tax. This is yet another storm-in-a-teacup. I do not care how much tax politicians are paying. I don't. I do care whether HMRC is effective, I do care whether they have enough resources, and enough skilled staff to ensure that people are paying the tax they owe, but I frankly couldn't care less the absolute amount of tax a politician is paying. If the HMRC are effective, they will make sure that people - even politicians - are paying tax.

But the media are obsessed with this storm-in-a-teacup. It means, of course, that we will have months of the media distracted from looking at government policy. And this means that the government will get off the hook and can do whatever they like without proper scrutiny.

I have only one thing to say to anyone who thinks this new obsession is a good idea:


1 comment:

  1. I am not sure it will work out like that. Agree the expenses thing was a MASSIVE distraction, but it was one that suited corporate interests (ie mainstream media) to shout about, because there was never any danger of anyone having the right to see their CEOs expense account details. Tax is a bit different in my view. Anything that wakes ordinary people up to the extent of tax evasion practiced by the top 10% (including politicians and journalists) is likely to be seen as a bit dangerous. But they will of course try and bombard us with pasties, jerry cans, grannies, wars, and booze crusades, to distract us from the real issues. Interesting that BBC is taking flak from the Daily Mail about their failure to coverage NHS! Obviously the Mail likes to Beeb-bash but I really hope the pressure will tell on BBC. Hope they get tons of complaints escalated to their Board.