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Yes, it’s foreign peoples’ QE for Gay Paree now

Richard Murphy, the tax justice campaigner credited with devising Corbynomics this summer, hit back angrily against the calls. Writing on his Tax Research UK blog, Mr Murphy aimed his fire at Mr Danczuk: “The economic illiteracy that underpins the crassness and even callousness of his comment is what angers me.
“The economic illiteracy that I refer to is Danczuk’s obvious belief that we have a choice of either doing overseas development aid or flood relief . . . It is very obvious that we do have the resources to undertake all necessary flood defence works, and we can at the same time fund overseas aid.”


The actual problem is nothing to do with money anyway. It’s the EU’s insane insistence that we shouldn’t be dredging rivers at all which is.

28 thoughts on “Yes, it’s foreign peoples’ QE for Gay Paree now”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    It is very obvious that we do have the resources to undertake all necessary flood defence works, and we can at the same time fund overseas aid.”

    It depends on what he means by that – because he may have half a point. Yes, obviously a government that takes over 40% of the GDP of these Bless’d Isles has the cash to do anything it wants. Flood works and foreign aid both. What it can’t do is everything it wants as demands for cash, especially unearned and undeserving cash, grows faster than tax revenue can increase. So the government always has to make choices and draw up priorities.

    This is something Western governments are very bad at. They want to give money to everyone and so have none left over. They are especially bad at picking priorities. They tend to give money to the loudest complainers which means that when the silent majority is prompted into action they are not getting the services the government is there to provide. Like flood defences.

    Although I expect what he means is that the government has a magical money tree and it can spend all the cash it likes which will make us all the richer. Why break the habit of a life time by being half right now?

  2. Anyone looked into what our foreign aid budget goes on and whether it achieves any of its goals, if it has such goals?

    I remember some of it went on India which has its own space programme….

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Rob Harries – “Anyone looked into what our foreign aid budget goes on and whether it achieves any of its goals, if it has such goals?”

    It keeps a lot of well meaning nice Upper Middle Class girls called things like Jacinta in paid employment.

    The people who vote for such budgets as well as draw them up are, one suspects, their fathers in the main.

  4. The EU’s insane insistence or the UK’s knuckle-headed implementation of EU rules to some higher standard than the rules themselves necessarily require? I don’t know the answer, but it’s usually worth asking the question, as the UK has a long history of self-harm in response to, but not caused or ordered by, EU rules.

  5. It keeps a lot of well meaning nice Upper Middle Class girls called things like Jacinta in paid employment.

    Surely they can be re employed building flood defences?

  6. Add in about £12bn subsidising the ‘Arts’, a few million spent employing Marxists to harass us in “Public Health”…I’m sure we can all find lots of money which is deliberately misspent, not as a result of a fuck up but actual policy.

    It isn’t lack of money, it’s idiot policies. Or Government, in other words.

    Plus of course the Environment Agency is about the worst organisation in Britain you would want right now to handle this. Incompetence and ideology.

    The Arts Council could probably do a better job. They’d be incompetent but wouldn’t have the ideological baggage.

  7. Dredging rivers can help but it can also increase the flood risk down stream. It is not a silver bullet solution. It also kills what ever lives on the river bed which was one of the reasons we stopped doing it.

    At the end of the day we would need to do some dredging but other things as well. Building some Dutch style hones of stilts would be good provided you could get them past the plannersame and the nimbys.

    As for Ritchie….

    The magical money tree is just a modern version of the Greek myth of the golden fleece. Some one just needs to tell Ritchie that for his brand of economics to work he needs to go and look for the Golden Fleece which was last seen along the border of Turkey and Syria.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Rob – “Surely they can be re employed building flood defences?”

    They probably all have a pair of sensible trousers and some wellies. As well as lots of energy and a willingness to muck in.

    So I don’t see why not.

    Flooding is one of these great things where the government is clearly lost. They have a lot of choices but they do not know which one they should pick. Should they try to preserve the “natural” river and stop dredging? A powerful Green lobby says so. That means flooding. Should they allow building on flood plains? A powerful housing lobby says so. There is no pain-free answer. So they dither.

  9. Salamander is right ,also Julia M.What’s with this obsession with dredging?You are going to drag gunk out of the river and pile it twenty feet high on the banks of historic town centres like York? All road bridges would have their access blocked.
    I’m afraid George Monbiot’s right: upstream land use requires a great deal of tree planting and the Government to get out of the pocket of the country’s biggest union: the NFU.(The European authorities tried to cap benefits and subsidies going to farmers : our government sternly resisted the cuts and soil inspections envisaged,on behalf of the big farmers, while pressurising people in hospitals to get back to work).
    You wanted Social Class Government: you got it.But there are things that your rigid belief system doesn’t cover: climate change for one, which right -wing prattlemongers still deny, even as the flood water rises.

  10. @ DBC Reed
    Unite the Union claims to have 1.42 million members, almost exactly treble the toital number of workers (including part-time) working in UK Agriculture.

  11. Had we only just cut the trees down from upland areas in the last 20 years Monbiot and DBC and he other crazies might have a point. But we didn’t, so it’s bollocks.
    We have, however, stopped dredging.

  12. I am still struck by Ritchie’s increasing confidence and transparency. Those who disagree with him can now be “shut up” until they complete a process that seems remarkably like re-education.

  13. A large part of the problem is the fact that the Environment Agency was set up to defend the environment from humans rather than the other way round.

    This is similar to the idea that the Westminster government should spend our resources pretending to save the planet rather than trying to make life a little more comfortable for it’s constituents.

    As for the idea that we should compromise flood defences for the sake of a few fish and frogs; bollocks.

    Fuck the fish. Let them adapt to our needs rather than us adapting to theirs.

    Oh, and as for building on flood plains; if you invite the entire european population west of the Urals to come and live here on benefits – not to mention any young chap in the Levant who is fed up with life in his home country along with all the mothers, cousins, nephews, nieces and tribal elders of any one from the sub-continent who has already got their feet under the table – well you might have to build a few houses and if you’re going to build them then make sure their defended against flooding. And fuck the fishes.

  14. What are the heirs of Thatcher doing, running round in wellingtons declaring (again) that the Government will spend whatever to deal with flooding?This is sheer Statist heresy: they all know that the mighty private sector is just ready to work its magic.The State is just standing in the way!!

  15. DBC Reed

    You really are a dull dog.

    You can’t grasp that the consensus view here seems to be that the “State” is, as usual, just making a thorough-going mess of things.

    But no: blah, blah, Thatcher, blah blah, Private Sector, blah, blah, blah, over and over again.

  16. Has he never heard of “opportunity cost”?

    Or does he honestly believe state spending has zero opportunity costs?

  17. If we dredge the river in York, I reckon we could carry the dredged silt away rather than just dump it in the town.

    We have the technology.

  18. @ DBC Reed
    That is a fair description of the Somerset floods. DEFRA under Blair (“heir of Thatcher”)’s New Labour forbade the farmers to continue their flood prevention practices which had worked pretty successfully for a hundred years or so.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    Simon Danczuk MP (there’s a clue there) is quite entitled to call for a way we spend money to re-prioritised, he has been elected to look after his constituents and the rest of us and its fuck all to do with whether of not he understands economics.

    And what’s this about: “A “complete rethink” of the UK’s flood defences is required following widespread flooding across northern England, the Environment Agency says.”

    Isn’t that their job? And if its going to get worse over the years, as they keep telling us, why haven’t the already completed it?

  20. Rob

    The Tax Justice Campaigner used to be called ‘Tax Expert’. The mocking of that delusional misnomer, particularly on this blog, seems to have changed that.

  21. “Mostly, ‘flood defences’ of the sort demanded by York just shift the danger to another area”

    Exactly what they used to do – shift the danger to another place, open fields instead of build-up towns and cities.

    “Building some Dutch style hones of stilts would be good provided you could get them past the plannersame and the nimbys.”

    But then what happens is the ninnies start using the space under the stilts as part of the habitation and complain when it gets flooded – like many people did a few years ago in the last big floods.

  22. There is rather a clever idea of building two-storey houses on concrete pontoons that are guided by enormous posts up and down flood water as demonstrated at Maasbommel (see Net).But this is the Netherlands and our prat ruling-class knows that people in that part of the World have little experience with technology to cope with large and variable flows of water.

  23. @ DBC Reed
    Concrete pontoons are possible. Guiding them down flood water is possible. I have my doubts about guiding them *up* flood waters with anything less powerful than a Soviet ice-breaker.
    The cost, however, is ridiculous. It would be far too high even without the up stream guidance. Concrete doesn’t float with massive buoyancy aids.
    What we have in this country is wooden barges converted into homes that float quite happily.

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