Azara Blog: April 2010 archive complete

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Date published: 2010/04/11

The Conservatives hate people who are not married (permanent blog link)

The BBC says:

The Conservatives are proposing to give four million married couples and civil partners an annual £150 tax break.

It would apply to basic rate taxpayers earning under £44,000 where one partner does not use their full personal tax-free income allowance.

The £550m a year cost would be funded by a levy on banks. Labour said other families would lose out.

The last Tory government waged a war on single mothers. The next Tory government has obviously decided to spread the hate wider, to all people who are not married. It is unfortunate that the Tories have this ridiculous belief that married people are somehow more moral or better citizens. They are not.

The amount of money they are going to waste on this tax break happens to be around the same amount of money that is being reduced from university expenditure. The Tory priorities are not what they should be. And sticking two fingers up to people who are not married is hardly a way to engender good feeling in the nation towards the coming government.

Further, it is odd that someone who earns 43999 pounds deserve this tax break but not someone who earns 44001. Another example of the stupidity of the policy.

Date published: 2010/04/05

The Lib Dems hate drivers (permanent blog link)

The BBC says:

The Liberal Democrats have set out plans to reopen thousands of miles of railway tracks and stations.

The scheme would be funded by cutting capital spending on roads by £3bn.

Its new Rail Expansion Fund would lead to the biggest expansion of the rail network since the Victorian era, the party claims.

Research group the RAC Foundation said it would be a waste of taxpayers' money when only 7% of UK journeys were made by train, compared to 90% by car.
The Lib Dems would cut the government's major roads project for the years up to 2013/14 by 90% and divert almost £3.5bn to rail, according to Mr Baker.

Some £480m - currently intended for projects like motorway widening and hard shoulders - would go towards the Lib Dems' existing policy of cutting rail fares.

The remaining £2.95bn would go into the Rail Expansion Fund. RAC Foundation Prof Stephen Glaister said: "To start cutting the roads budget to expand rail services is unlikely to be the best use of scarce taxpayers' money either in financial terms or by way of serving the vast majority of the population.

"The public liability does not just end once new lines are constructed. Rail services are heavily subsidised by the Exchequer."

Drivers are the only people in the UK who pay for the full (direct and indirect) cost of the service they use. Train passengers do not even come close, and the Lib Dems have decided to give them a huge increase in subsidy. They fail to understand that rail is in fact not a "sustainable" form of transport, because it needs a whacking great government subsidy in order to be sustained. Train passengers have successfully externalised a huge cost onto the rest of society, almost uniquely as a group. And the Lib Dems have apparently also vastly underestimated the cost of doing what they claim they want to do. It's complete madness, but the Lib Dems have never been very good at Economics 101 or Environmentalism 101.

The Tories hate gay people (permanent blog link)

The BBC says:

A key Conservative has been recorded suggesting people who run bed and breakfasts in their homes should have the right to reject homosexual guests.

But shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said hotels should not be allowed to discriminate in that way.

Labour and the Lib Dems said the Tories would allow discrimination "to thrive".

Mr Grayling later said he was looking at being "sensitive to the genuinely held principles of faith groups" but was not seeking a change in the law.

It's possible that Grayling might have meant that B&B owners should be allowed to discriminate against anyone, not just gay people. And that would be more logical a position to take. So if someone doesn't like gay people, or black people, or white people, or Christians, or Muslims, then allow them not to accept customers who fall into those groups. It's a bit ridiculous, but at least it's consistent. On the other hand, if B&B owners want to be bigots in this way, they should be forced not only to mention which groups they disallow in all their advertising, but they should also have to confirm at the time of booking that this is the case. The immediate problem that led to this discussion was that some B&B owner decided to bar someone after they had arrived at the premises, which is rather ridiculous.

Conservationists want to play God (permanent blog link)

The BBC says:

A number of non-native mammal species are damaging the UK countryside by eating crops and threatening wildlife, a conservation charity has warned.

A report by the People's Trust for Endangered Species identified 14 problem species including rats, American mink and muntjac deer.

The trust said some of the creatures have been in the UK for so long, they are thought of as indigenous.

It said it was important to stop the extinction of native species.

So-called conservationists unfortunately have taken it upon themselves to play God and decide which species they will try and exterminate and which they will not. They are the equivalent in the non-human world of rabid nationalists (racists) in the human world. All species are not "native" if you go far enough back in time, it just so happens that these people are using recent human history as a guide, because they have a narrow and simplistic partisan view.

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