Simon Walker, the director general of the Institute of Directors, got into my good books. Alas, he chose not to stay there for long.
First, Mr Walker took issue with the Chancellor, who in his last budget scrapped child benefit for households where one member earns over £60,000.
Mr Walker spotted with his eagle eye that as a result such a family would be effectively hit with a 73-percent marginal tax rate.
That is, HMG would take 73p out of the next pound such an overachiever earned, which, Mr Walker correctly surmised, would rather dampen his ardour to earn that next pound.
My new friend Simon then doubled the size of type in which his name appears in my good books by claiming affection for a flat tax rate. There was a man after my own heart.
But then he had to go and nip our burgeoning friendship in the bud. “You should never pay more than 50p on the pound you bring in,” said Mr Walker. “If you are doing that you are doing something that is wrong and that degrades the motivation to work.”
The state extorting half of what we earn is all right then. No degraded motivation anywhere in sight. We work for the government until the end of June, then start working for ourselves. What can be fairer?
By transferring all their sovereignty to the political elite in the capital, the people make its power truly absolute. All those Edwards and Henrys are turning green with envy in heaven, or wherever they are.
A government voted in by a third of the electorate (at best) presumes to have a mandate to do as it wishes: taking as much of the people’s money as the spirit moves it, debauching the rest by increasing the money supply ad infinitum, creating or importing a huge underclass for the sake of which such outrages are necessary.
All this is accompanied by incessant brainwashing, subtler than Goebbels’s but more effective in the long term. As a result people assume that this travesty of democracy is richly covered with the patina of time.
It isn’t. The shift to this total, not to say totalitarian, democracy is relatively recent. For example, Freedom House, a Washington think tank, claims that not a single democracy existed in 1900. By 2007, according to the same source, we had been blessed with 123. If true, this is a revolution to rival the French and Russian versions.
The parallel extends naturally. Those two revolutions first exterminated whomever they had revolted against. Then, however, came the turn of the revolutionaries themselves. The French and Russian firebrands were massacred by the guillotine and the TT pistol respectively.
In the same vein the democratic revolution was perpetrated by the middle classes. To begin with they watched gleefully as the upper classes were being put to the metaphorical sword. By the time they realised they would be next it was too late.
The government confiscating half of their earnings (in effect much more, if we consider the inheritance tax, VAT and other less visible duties) by itself would be sufficient to shorten the lifespan of the erstwhile bedrock of our society.
But it’s not by itself. The last 50 years of the twentieth century saw an inflation of 2,000 percent as as opposed to a mere 10 percent in the last 50 years of the nineteenth.
All of it was perfectly democratic, but the people still were aghast. Their money falling victim to institutionalised promiscuity, they rushed to put whatever was left into property.
As a result, asset inflation outstrips money inflation by a factor of 10. Putting this into everyday language, before long a family house, that presumed entitlement of the middle class, will cease to exist ass no one will be able to afford it.
Another essential asset of the middle classes was the decent education they could give their children. That too was taken away by the double whammy of creating idiot-spewing comprehensives and destroying grammar schools.
If you can afford to remain middle class, congratulations. If you can’t, you can console yourself by living in a democracy.