The new Compass paper: In pursuit of egalitarianism


Particular thanks to Professor Ruth Lister, Dr
Alan Finlayson andMelissa Benn for their invaluable
feedback and suggestions on an earlier
discussion paper. I am also indebted to Neal

Melissa Benn and Neal Lawson eh? My God this is going to be terrible, isn\’t it?

Inequality curtails freedom.To be sufficiently
free we must be sufficiently equal,
but too many people simply do not have
the resources to make free choices,

That\’s just the opening lines. And yes, my God this is awful. For no one has sufficient resources to make free choices: all of us are constrained.

Introduce a living wage, a minimum wage based on an analysis of the actual income required for an
adequate standard of living, bringing more people out of poverty, reducing dependence on in-work benefits
and helping to ensure that work always pays.

Yes, it is total crap for we already have this. The Joseph Rowntree thing said that you need around £13,500 to not be living in poverty. But that\’s a pre tax number. Post tax that\’s around £11,500 and if you work full time full year on hte current minimum wage then you make, pre-tax, around £11,500.

So, the minimum wage is a living wage: if only the State weren\’t knicking 20% of it to spend as the State wishes.

7 thoughts on “The new Compass paper: In pursuit of egalitarianism”

  1. Shouldn’t the title be “In Pursuit of Equality” rather than “In Pursuit Of Egalitarianism”?

    I mean the latter is like “In Pursuit of the Pursuit Of Equality”.

  2. I think you miss the point of these Compass pronouncements. They are in fact pornography.

    Only instead of promising endless sexual fulfilment without commitment or consequences, they promise some sort of endless boundless wealth and happiness for all and ignore the fact that the much higher taxes and much stricter regulations they want to impose have quite significant negative consequences for all.

    BTW, although the State knicks thirty or forty per cent of that £11,500 in taxes, plus as much again in benefits withdrawal, it does give most of what is has knicked back again in Tax Kcredits and other bits and pieces.

  3. It is a classic leftist error to conflate freedom with the ability to do something. A disabled personk, by their definition, is less “free” than an able one.

    We all operate under constraints; my freedom to do what I want is limited by the property that other people have over themselves and material resources. If they are entitled to those things and have acquired them without violence, then to say that my “freedom” will be increased by say, grabbing some of that property and so on is an abuse of language.

    Yes, Tim, your instincts on the sheer awfulness of such a paper we well-founded.

  4. Like the Wadsworth porn analogy , self and Mr. Croydonian used to refer to porn for the staff common room ….

    Inequality curtails freedom.To be sufficiently
    free we must be sufficiently equal,
    but too many people simply do not have
    the resources to make free choices,

    This is an unremarkable observation and obviously true . The problem is that “True” does not equal useful. It is not primarily resources that provide the grit to slow down social mobility , it is that infinitely more elusive thing “ The cultural milieu “. Further more, problems arise in deciding who precisely should be giving up whatever surplus they may feel they have earnt in order to assist the very people they wished to escape ….. The devil is not so much in the detail guarding a bloody great gate called “ Finkin a bit about it”

    Inequality is a concern I do not accept there is nothing the State can do about it but if that something’s increasing progressive taxation then it is what we used to call the politics of envy or what was earlier feared as the use of votes for theft.
    There may be a place for Party of the underclass but it will never be in government and as long as New Labour set themselves against ordinary working people, I look on with glee

  5. Anything with the imprimatur of Neal Lawson upon it is a priori wrong. He is as reliable a reverse barometer as Moonbat or Bunting or Milne or Toynbee.

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