Parliamentary republic vote here. I’m against the monarchy, not so much because of the people themselves, but the effect it perpetuates throughout British society. Tied up with the monarchy is the house of Lords and the whole class based system. Although in practice the house of Lords does a lot of good work, it is also open to huge abuse. Peter mandelson can only be bought back (nobody would vote for this idiot) because we allow ANYONE (even convicted criminals like jeffrey archer) to be a lord, and they can then become government ministers.
I don’t like the idea that people are born rich and privileged, and I think it’s ultimately very destructive for a society. I much prefer the American ideal of “anyone can make it” and the idea that people are measured by their achievements rather than their family tree and how much land they inherited. I’m one of the few people in the UK who really really believes in inheritance tax (Even though I’d inherit my parents house).
The only benefit the monarchy has is it allows the PM to get on with government whilst someone else shakes hands and eats meals with foreign visitors
I can certainly see why one might be republican for these reasons, however you are looking at the modern party political lords here where the majority of the Lord’s have political or fincancial ties. Before the Parliament Act of 1911; the Lord’s was largely a neutral place, where, as an Upper Chamber; its members over see the proposals of the Elected chamber. Consider reviewing UKIP’s policy on the House of Lords; they wish it to be reformed into the ‘House of Lords and Senators’ which will result in the Lords eventually being made up of dignitaries who will serve for a specific term, Lords Spiritual (however will be reduced to only 6), and a number of land owning Aristocrats (similar to now).
If one is honest; do the societies of the modern European Constitutional Monarchies look desroyed/in destruction?
You’ll find this is not a uniquley ‘American’ ideal. In fact, many would go so far as to argue that true aristocracy is based on this principal; the rule of the best. The cliche fantastical view of Monarchy is that it helps to enforce the social class structure while marginalising minority communities with its pompous ceremonies of British-White regalia. Quite an inaccurate assumption of such a long standing and ever-reforming institution. Monarchy does not prepresent stiff-nostalgic-imperial white cocktail parties for the rich, or anything of the like; what it is however is an institution which, by heretditary legitimacy, seperates itself from political dimensions in order to reach out ot people of all political affiliations, race, religion etc etc Our Monarch is not elected, he/she is descended from a popular and hard working European family whom have emerged from centuries of constitutional, as well as philosophical evolutions in order to maintain our healthy political system. As I am sure you are aware, we are a society build on honours and rewards, from being rewarded by the highest line of our country to the lowest Newsagents manager of employee of the month reward, so we are not an exclusivist country, nor are we an elitist society in the general definition of the word. C.S. Lewis quite rightly described Monarchy as the only possible way of justifying Government, because ALL government, whether American Federal Constitutional Republic, Dutch informal limited monarchy or Saudi absolute divine royalty; build elite, social boundries. His argument was that Monarchy is the only way human natural desire to do better can be put into the form of a traditional, ceremonial, popular and apolitical institution. He said “…However, Monarchy can easily be debunked, but watch the faces, mark well the debunkers.” For every society, has to have a touch of imperfection in order to be at least the little bit perfect, as is all life.
If you don’t like the House of Lords, vote for parties which seek to reform it, but don’t blame our Popular Family for the European Union’s Cabinet meddling (refering to Mandleson).
I always say: the smaller the Government, the freer the people… so they can keep their hands off my family’s money, whether it is £1 or £1 Billion. For it is not rightly anyone’s other than who it is granted to at the dicresion of its possesor.
You have captured it’s non-political, non-discriminatory intention beautifully.
the problem I have with inheritance is it can lead to huge income inequality over generations, with a wealthy ‘landed gentry’ class who own everything but have no need to work, and a huge underclass with no way of climbing out of where they are, similar to the (until recently) huge divide in the UK between homeowners and people who couldn’t get on the property ladder.
That gap is bad for everyone because you can only encourage entrepreneurship if everyone really believes they can fight their way up. If its not possible to be born poor and become rich, what incentive to do you have to work hard?
Whether this is relevent to the Monarchy or not I will still give you my opinion on inheritance; that is, inheritance of any kind, whether Title, money, property, reputation or any other possible hand-me-down conceivable.
Firstly, I think anyone in their right mind today agrees to/supports equal oppertunity. But what my point is, is that there is equal oppertunity in our nation and the Monarchy effects it neither ideologically nor practically. Inheritance: As I put before “is granted to at the dicresion of its possesor.”
True, but if my parents are poor, I will work the first thirty years of my working life trying to pay off a house. if I know I’ll inherit a house, I can take that same money and start my own business, or invest it in the stock market. I’m not starting from the same baseline as anyone else.
Inheritance magnifies over time. Many people in the UK are wealthy not because tey achieved or contributed anything, but because their parents grandparents worked hard and invested in property that was then inherited. There is no equality between me and them, they were born with everything they need.
On the subject of inheritance tax, I strongly oppose it. Surely anything we acquire through our hard work we should be able to do what we wish with? If I came to you, Cliff, and started telling you what to do with your proceeds from the sale of Kudos 2, I don’t think you would be too impressed. If I started saying “you must not spend any of the money on computer games” or “you must not spend any of the money on Sky TV subscription” or whatever, you would ask what right I had to start telling you what to do with your money. You worked hard for it, as you say, and it’s your right to enjoy the fruits of that money however you wish.
Do you give people birthday/Christmas presents? How about if I told you that you could not do that? If I said that you could only spend your money on things for yourself and you couldn’t help anyone else out with it? Again, you would probably say that it was your money that you had worked hard for and if you want to spend it on buying gifts for others you should be able to. What about if you took your parents to a restaurant for their anniversary? You think that you will pay the bill as a treat, but then the restaurant staff refuse to allow you to, and say that you may only pay for your own share and not spend anything on anyone else?
What about if you’re parents desperately needed £1,000 to pay an urgent bill. Would you apply the rule that you may only spend your money on yourself and refuse? What about if you were selling your car and your parents wanted to buy it but couldn’t quite afford it? Would you insist on full market value or otherwise refuse to sell the car to them?
The point I’m getting at is this. You work hard for your money. Isn’t it up to you what you do with it? If you want to spend it on yourself, great. If you want to give some of it to someone else, through whatever means, shouldn’t you be able to do that as well? Inheritance tax says you shouldn’t. It says that you should only be able to spend your money on yourself. If you choose to give anything away you will be “fined” almost half of it. If you earn £10,000 on Kudos 2 and decide to give £5,000 away to a friend, the Government will take away £2,000 of that, even though it was your hard work that generated that money.
Now of course inheritance tax only applies to what you give away on death or within seven years before your death, but of course you don’t know when you are going to die. Therefore every gift you make (that does not come under one of the exceptions) is potentially liable to inheritance tax. Also, if you agree that you should be able to make gifts during your life, why should it be any different on your death? Why should you not be able to benefit a loved one by transferring some of the benefit of your hard work to them when you can no longer make use of it?
Finally, if you don’t agree with my arguments above, do you not agree that inheritance tax is an especially callous imposition on those who have suffered a loss? Is it not bad enough that people have lost a close relative that you then go and in some cases force them to sell the family home in which they shared so many happy memories? As inheritance tax applies to gifts given up to seven years before death, this also means that people who have been given gifts years before the donor dies, not even contemplating that the gifts could become subject to inheritance tax, who may well have spent some or all of the money, could suddenly be made liable for massive amounts of inheritance tax on the death of a close relative. If a close relative gives you a gift of £50,000 and dies two years later, the last thing you want is to suddenly end up with a bill of £20,000 on your doormat as a result of their death.
(There is a threshold of £312,000 under which no inheritance tax is payable, but the principle of my objections to inheritance tax is the same whether you have £1 or £1 million).
I understand what you are saying, but it isn’t really ethical to force people to start off with an equal amount of wealth, that is called Communism. However you still have the equal oppertunity to be as rich , if not richer than those who already have a nice comfortable wealth due to inheritance.
Like I said before; the Smaller the Government, the freer the people… it applies to inheritance tax to. The less they take of your family’s money, the freer you are to use it.
inheritance tax is not communism. You could have a rabid free market economy with 100% inheritance tax. Thats perfectly understandable. You might not agree with it, but there is no conflict there.
And I do not have an equal opportunity to be rich if I grow up in a council estate with a rough, poor performing local state school, with my parents in debt all their lives, no computer at home, not much in the way of books at home, ect.
Compare that with someone whose parents were born rich, who has private tuition, goes to an exclusive school, has a laptop at home, and all the associated advantages academically with living in a wealthy neighbourhood.
This is not equality. And you very rapidly head towards that without inheritance tax because simply put, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
In 19th century England, Mr Darcys children would spend their lives rich and with no incentive to work, whereas the stable-boys kids would never in their wildest dreams ever hope to achieve the same status as Mr Darcy. I think this is an undesirable state of affairs.
I’m sounding like a rabid socialist, which I most definitely am not, but I do believe inheritance tax is fair. It might not seem fair to people who are well off, or who have well-off parents, but if you applied a ‘blind test’ to it (in other words you had to decide how you felt about it without knowing your own circumstances) I think people would see how fair it is. What taxes would you raise in order to cut inheritance tax?
Oh no I was saying that forcing people to have equalty financially is Communist.
But now that we live in a Liberal Democracy like we do, there is always the oppertunity to become as rich as you like (respectively). You can get a simple semi-managerial job in a bank, this could soon turn into a managerial possition, then so on and so on. In a society like our, there is always euqality of oppertunity but not equality of outcome. If I live off my parents inheritance and have no insentive to work (which is rare, since people rarely inherit such an amount that they have no need to work at any point), then you will be the one who eventually earns more than my quickly running out inheritance. While you work in your senior managerial bank careers earning more and more as you build experience and skill, I spend more and more on expensive wines and meats, with me spending more than my inheritence is gaining interest. Correct, people often have advantages because their family has wealth already, but this is still earned from somewhere, but it is not the Government’s place to remove these wealths. If you strip it bare, inheritance tax is just another scam of the governments, reeling peoples money in through twisted archaic socialist-logic.
While some may have advantages via family links, it doesn’t matter who you are, you can always do something. History shows us this; Jesus of Nazareth, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Terisa etc, all nothings in their society, but when they applied themselves they shifted nations.
While inheritence tax is, in essence; a socialist ideal/concept. I don’t think you sound hostile enough to be called a rabid socialist, maybe just angry one. but beware, anger is the fisrt symptom of rabbies
If we apply the ‘blind test’ to inheritance tax, I can see how it is fair to those who ‘start off’, so to speak, with dissadvantaged households/backgrounds… but when we apply common ethics, you cannot force somebody to make a good act, it must come from within themselves. If you have looked at the Genesis myth, this is speaking of this moral. Do we force people to hand over their cash to help the poor? Or do we alow them to give it out of charity? If they choose not to when given the charity option (which most do by the way), then we live in a selfish society. But it could be no other way when speaking ethically.
Anyways!, Monarchy is the key issue here, and while it is linked, the true debate of monarchy is what is suppose to be taking place here. In our Constitutional Monarchy of today, I think we would be a far closer and united society (yet still powerfully and most importantly, individual) if we all accepted Her Majesty as our unifying Head of State. She may be white, Anglican and (respectfully) wealthy; but the woman she is does not define her unifying role. It is her possition as the apolitical neutral Head of the Commonwealth family, Defender of [the] Faith and ‘Deacon’ of the Church which is interwoven with our state, Sovereign of our Nation-state, Holder and bearer of the Democratic Institutions of the Crown (both Parliament and the Courts are institutions of the Crown, essentially performing on her Majesty’s behalf and thus on behalf of the people). She is our Fount of Justice, keeper of peace in times of political misscomfort. She walkes the streets and greets her citizens as Her Government and Governments beyond the Crown, strife over issues of war and economic down-turn. While this almost inhuman, arguably Divine, possition may not be upheld by someone who is essentially like everybody; the family of which succeed this possition are a mixture of European races and peoples of which have resided in our United Kingdoms for centuries and not only call it home, but make it home.
The tale of Elizabeth Alexandra Windsor is another matter altogether.
I like to take C. S. Lewis’ view here (as quoted eariler); “Monarchy is easily debunked (shown to be errored) but, watch the faces, mark well the debunkers!” This is because the removal of a Monarchy like ours is potentially fatal to our countries identity and not only this, but our function and its processes. The debunkers will fill the vaccum.
So not God save the Queen, but let her people do it for her.
One thing I’ve learnt from playing your game, Cliff, is that only Income Tax, Corporation Tax and Sales Tax bring in significant amounts of money. Even adding up all the other taxes together, the amount raised from them is negligible. I wouldn’t consider Inheritance Tax to be a “revenue raising” tax - yes, of course it does raise some funds for the Government, but the main thrust behind is it to promote equality, rather than to raise money. In the grand scheme of things, especially considering how this Government spends money like confetti, scrapping Inheritance Tax wouldn’t make the slightest real difference to the budget.
Also, most of those who are wealthy enough to be liable to Inheritance Tax are wealthy enough to afford good lawyers and accounts to make sure that they pay very little of it. Those who suffer from it are generally those who aren’t what would traditionally be regarded as “wealthy”, but have come over the threshold due to the rise in house prices. This is the middle group - just rich enough to have to pay Inheritance Tax, but not rich enough to afford to have top lawyers and accountants at their beck and call.
Well, not to encourage the side-tracked debate; but withdrawing from the political union with Europe would benefits our economy by around £5 billion a year. Encouraging further Commonwealth-wide and Worldwide trade would also benefit us more. Corporation tax could be lowered as we would be paying less towards funding some of the EU’s ridiculous schemes 9of which even the Conservative Party have condemned).
we definitely need lower corporation tax, especially for small businesses. In this internet age, I have every incentive to emigrate and take my business with me, and no incentive to stay in the UK to fund ID cards, The Olympics and other wastes of money.