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Sunday, June 11, 2006


On Sunday AM this morning one of the guests was Ming Campbell there to sell the LD's tax cutting proposals. Andrew Marr pointed out that the cost of the income tax cuts (£20 billion) were to come from increases in environmental taxes (£8 billion) & taxes on the very rich (£12 billion). After asking what would happen if Green taxes worked & people cut down on tholidaysdys by air, imported bananas etc being taxed, as we normally assume happens when prices go up & getting no real answer let it drop.

He then moved on to taxes on the rich whom he said was no more than 250,000 & Ming did not disagree. Since this will not include spice, children, dependent grannies etc we are probably talking about a million people all told so Andrew's figures of super rich are probably not to large. He then calculated that this would be £40-50,000 annually per person (actually £12 billion/250,000 = £48,000 so he was being generous). In reply Mingspecificallyificly that it would be possible to raise "£20 billion" from the rich this way, not 12. Now it was a Sunday morning & he wasn't reading from a brief but this is supposed to be a very serious matter - £20 billion is not a small amount & he should know, to his bones, what these figures are.

Marr didn't call him on this & once again it appears that Ming's reputation as a wise patrician elder statesman exists to a large extent because interviewers treat him as such & aren't impertinent enough to push on difficult questions.

Compare & contrast, for example, the way that Galloway was treated when he said, quite properly in my view, that Bliar personally is at least as much a legitimate target as our squaddies in Iraq with the unquestioning support for Ming's pompous rebuke that "violence is never justified" - this from the man who got up in Parliament to support bombing civilians to help our Nazi KLA friends commit genocide.

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