‘We are not all born equal.’ – Paul Atherton FRSA on the Conservative party conference

In his latest piece, Paul reflects on the recent Conservative party conference and the idea that we are, in fact, not all born equal.

 

Audio Transcript

If you’ve been following the conservative party conference this week, you are probably in as much shock and awe as I am. I’ve been around for a while and I’ve been around party politics for a little bit in actual person, being the PR representative of an MP in Cardiff when I was a student there. But I’d never, ever witnessed anything as insane as the past week. We have Therese Coffey, the Head of the Department of Work and Pensions, the person that actually is responsible for the Universal Credit uplift being cut this week, just before winter, when costs are rising, inflation is going to go through the roof. Gas prices have gone up 40%. And she’s dancing on stage and singing about having her best life. That’s insane. 

That wasn’t the worst bit. The worst bit was Sajid Javid saying, don’t expect the state to do anything for you. Get on with it yourselves and expect your family and friends to pick up the bill. These people have no understanding of their role. And in truth, that’s our fault, as the electorate because we’ve let them get away with that. We’ve let them believe that the state isn’t us. The whole purpose of government is to redistribute money. That’s it. To make laws to appease society and redistribute money. Our money, not theirs. The state isn’t some ephemeral thing that creates wealth and then hands it out. The state collects money from us and redistribute it to us. 

So when Sajid Javid is saying, oh, you don’t want to be dependent on the state. What he’s saying is, you don’t want the money that you put in back. Are you mad? Of course, we want that money back, we as a society said, hey, what a brilliant country. We’re a cohesive country, we’re a society that believes everybody should have equal opportunity. To do that, it means we have to balance things out. Because we’re not all born equal. Some are born with disabilities, some are born into poverty. Some are born into circumstances beyond any of our control.

We are not all born equal. But what we we, as a society said is that everyone should have equal opportunity. 

So we created a government, we said, hey, we’re going to have this thing called National Insurance. That means we all pay in, but only some people take out. That is not state intervention. That is state distribution. So when he’s talking about don’t rely on the state, then why have a government? Why do you have a job? Why are we paying you money? If the state isn’t there to intervene, to support us. And again, I reiterate, this is our money. The government doesn’t raise money in any other means than taxation. So it’s our money, their salaries are paid by our money. That building is maintained with our money, the government does not make money for itself. So when he tells you, hey, you go and pay for your carers and you go and sort things out and you support each other and have friends get to do the things that they… he’s in essence telling you, you are mugs, we’ve caught you to pay into your insurance scheme and we’re never paying out. This is just money for our salaries. 

Do you know how hard it is to live on £82,000 pounds a year, with £1000 a day expenses, you have no idea how difficult that is, none, no. Those people who are homeless, those people who are on Universal Credit, you don’t understand how difficult it is to live on £82,000 a year. I mean, seriously, I mean, I have no idea how you expect us to do that. Well, actually, what we expect you to do is work for free. If you want to be ruling the country, you mustn’t be there because we’re giving you money as employment, you must be there because it is a calling and the right thing to do. We should give you a house, a menial one. And travel expenses, which actually will just give you a London Transport card, and a travel card for those travelling to London. And that’s it really. And food parcels, we should give you food parcels. But you don’t need to have lavish lunches or drinks or spend 40 quid on a breakfast. You don’t need any of that to run the country. Thank you very much. 

And the audacity, the audacity of Javid to make that speech. Should tell everybody in this country that these people are not fit to govern, they do not understand the operation that they are in charge of. Universal Credit took 5 billion pounds out of our economy. Now when you give money to people, I say give when you circulate money to people, the people that you most want to circulate it to if you’re going to buy into capitalism and the idea of an economic system, our poor people. Why? Because they spend it all. The last people that you ever want to give money to are rich people. Why? Because they’re rich, they don’t spend money, therefore, they are not a contributor to society, therefore they have no purpose in getting taxpayers money. 

Yet for some reason, Universal Credit is paying people to be in work. People that are working for companies that are earning trillions in the case of Amazon, who could easily pay all their staff 25 pounds an hour and still be making billions in profit. But now much better than you, or all of us, the taxpayers, whether that’s paying tax on income or paying tax on purchases, the taxpayers are subsidising Jeff Bezos, his company by paying his employees, yet Javid gives no support for people who need it. Just support for billionaires. Are you seriously going to tell me anybody in Britain is going to vote for that? The sad reflection, I know is that there will be, but there shouldn’t be. 

But to top it off, Boris Johnson goes house buying, house buying is the most important thing, buy your home. Yes, own your home. Well, no, that is an economy that is destined to failure. House prices are insane. And the reason that they’re insane has nothing to do with supply and demand. It is to do with the way our properties are now owned by corporations and hedge funds. And it is in their interest and their company’s interest. The prices go up, prices go up so share prices go up, and shares are the only thing companies are interested in. 

And again, truly across, think about the fact that we now have local authorities giving rental holidays of 4.5 million pounds to a company called WeWork. WeWork in its entire existence has never made a profit. Nor indeed has Uber or Netflix. We now live in a world where companies are looking to be monopolies. And on that proviso, shareholders are happy to sustain them at losses whilst the shares go up in value. That’s an insane world. That is not a world where you’re free to choose anything. Any politician suggesting you’re living in a free market is insane. You are living in a monopolised market. You were living under banking rule that taxpayers paid for in just under a trillion pounds to bail out banks that, under capitalism, would have gone. 

So when Javid is talking about help yourselves. Help yourselves, get rid of this government. Get rid of all governments, change the way we do things in society and let’s bring Britain back to being great.

 

Related links:

Therese Coffey laughing at a starving, freezing, dying public. – https://news.sky.com/story/conservative-party-conference-therese-coffey-under-fire-for-singing-time-of-my-life-as-universal-credit-uplift-ends-12427214

While Gas Prices go up 40% to a record high – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/gas-prices-surge-to-record-high-3jrsql3w6

Sajid Javid totally misunderstanding Government’s role in society – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/sajid-javid-health-nhs-family-b1932886.html

MP complaints about £82,000 per year salary – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-mp-salary-peter-bottomley-b1933668.html

MPs Can Claim Breakfast as part of Hotel Expenses of up to £150 per night – https://fullfact.org/online/how-much-can-MPs-claim-for-breakfast/

The economy loses £5bn from Poor People who no longer have it – https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2021/07/why-cutting-universal-credit-even-worse-you-think

Boris Johnson peddling buy your home propaganda. Affordable housing is only for the rich. We propped up the property market from the taxes of hard working families who can’t get on the property ladder. – https://hqnetwork.co.uk/news/johnson-promotes-home-ownership-in-conservative-party-conference-speech-4013/

The failure of using a Housing Market as economic growth – https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/01/16/home-ownership-is-the-wests-biggest-economic-policy-mistake

While those on Universal Credit expected to get on with it – https://theconversation.com/universal-credit-uplift-was-a-lifeline-during-the-pandemic-our-research-shows-cutting-it-will-leave-families-with-impossible-decisions-169195

Local Authority gives WeWork £4.5 Million Rental Holiday from Tax Payers Money – https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2020-06-25/spelthorne-council-gives-wework-4.5m-rent-holiday-as-covid-crunch-hits

While WeWork Has Never Made a profit – https://www.businessinsider.com/wework-not-close-to-profitable-loses-hundreds-thousands-every-hour-2019-7?r=US&IR=T

Tax Payers underwrite Banking up to over a £1 Trillion – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2011/sep/12/reality-check-banking-bailout