Friday, July 20, 2007


What annoys me

What annoys me is when journalists and pollsters analyse the response of survey respondants to the question:

Would you be willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund better public services?

as though it had something to do with the way politics works. Which of course it doesn't. A question that would better reflect the way politics works would be:

Would you be willing for other people to pay higher taxes in order to fund better public services?

There's no reason for a left-wing political party seeking improved funding of public services etc. to appeal to altruism, or even public-spiritedness and egalitarianism on the part of those it seeks to represent. It could, after all, come up with some scheme likely to benefit, say, the bottom 60% of society against the top 40% (or whatever it may be).

In Ireland, where the main left-wing party would dissolve into paroxysms of heavenly delight if were to break the 15% mark, these reflections seem particularly apt.

(OK achieving support for left-wing politics maybe isn't as easy as I make it sound, but I think there's a legitimate point somewhere here. If you find it let me know!)

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