Thursday, 26 January 2012

Oh Ye Of Little Faith

There has been a fine old row about the House of Lords, led by a pack of rabid Bishops, striking down the Governments proposal to limit benefits to be about the level of the alleged average earnings of someone who works for a living.

Perhaps I should stay out of this one being an RIP (retired idle parasite) getting my own share of public largesse and even the BBC free of charge. There are times when I feel I should be paid to watch it, but that is another story.

One of the many paradoxes in this business is an unelected quasi-aristocratic body representing crony government at its most blatant is being lauded by all those on the Left as being the true representatives of the workers or in the case of benefits, a lot of non-workers.

Inevitably, it has raised the question again of just who should be in the House of Lords, on what basis and with what powers. On Wednesday, 10 June 2009 in “The End of the Peerage Show” I said my piece on all this and time has moved on.

Another paradox is that an elected government, up to a point, trying to tackle the very serious problems of the extent of misuse of the benefits system and the danger of the inherent failures sending it out of control are being stymied by people who want those on benefits to be better off than most of those paying tax.

Yet those who are instrumental in this are claiming to be on the side of the poor. In fact with housing benefit they are throwing huge sums of money at the very rich, few of whom pay much tax at all.

In London and the South East you have to be well off to afford property now and really rich to have a property portfolio. If you are in this class it is probable that you will have taken the steps necessary to avoid undue taxes.

Additionally, you may well have located the ownership of the relevant property assets off shore to gain the advantages of privacy, this has become common. Michael Meacher claims that in two London boroughs alone some £80 plus billion worth of property has had its ownership located in secrecy jurisdictions.

So not only is the benefits system as it stands together with other rules and regulations helping to push up rentals to very high levels enabling the rich investors a high rate of return but the income from most of those rents is going straight out of the country doing our balance of payments no good at all.

In short the Bishops and their running dogs in the House of Lords have done all in their power to shower the richest amongst us with vast sums from the public purse.

In effect they are granting them vast subsidies from taxes largely drawn from the middling and lower paid working classes whose real incomes are less than many of those on benefits who in turn become trapped in welfare dependency.

In the old days the House of Lords existed to serve its own interests and control the House of Commons. Isn’t the Church of England a major property owner?


  1. Dear Lord, the very idea of the oldest democracy in the world, the cradle of the industrial revolution and essentially the birther of the USA having a body that is not even elected yet has real power - well, just ludicrous. And I read a post recently about how their is a budget to give them iPADs!

  2. The Lords worked okay when it was populated by just that-Lords, not kicked out pols given a sinecure. It was cheaper as well.

    The reason it worked was because it had been given a hiding in 1911 and since then understood it was not there to defeat the Commons but merely as a revising chamber.

    The ex-pols still want to be on the national stage.