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Breaking down
October 15, 2012

I am very political this week. Yes really. This arises from a piece of research that came my way from the Centre for Policy Studies. It finds that in the UK today, a significant majority of the population now received more in benefits from the state – defined broadly to include health and education but also of course benefit payments than pays in taxation. This is appears to be a quite recent development and of course means that there is now no meaningful political restraint on the size of the state – least of all from our representatives in Parliament. There capacity to decide on the overall size of the state and thereby the level of taxation has been corroded and eroded over many years. But surely this represents a tipping point?

What we perhaps forget is that the origins of Parliamentary democracy was to keep the executive (ie the Crown) in check. No taxation without representation – remember? Charles I lost his head in this battle against the people and surely this lay close to the heart of the American War of Independence. And what has been pointed out (in a new book by Douglas Carswell MP) is that this worked pretty well until surprisingly recently. That even in the 1930s, when government did grow in response to the Depression, democracies kept some restraint in comparison to the dictatorships of that time – the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy.

It seems to me that now there is virtually no restraint on the power of the modern over mighty executive. And just as monarchs in a previous age could argue and probably believed that their interests was identical to the nation, so now of course do governments, civil servants, Quangos, the EU and all the rest of the paraphernalia of our over bearing state.

But, do we really believe them all?

best wishes

Andrew Richardson
Feelbetter Counselling East London

94 Malford Grove, London E18 2DQ

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg

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