Sunday, 26 July 2009

Beware populist policies

I like inheritance tax, not because I don't want to accept what anyone wants to leave me, but because it is a tax on the dead. They aren't going to complain. If anyone is going to complain it would be the relatives. Now if you bring up your children with a knowledge of how to run their finances then they don't need any inheritance. Conversely if they need the money then it is just as likely that they would need more money a few years after receiving any inheritance.

We have stopped calling them tabloids because broadsheet newspapers are often tabloid size. There is still a tabloid mentality that means that their stories are driven by popularity. After all, the purpose of owning a newspaper is to sell newspapers. This is why I have written in previous blogs about sensationalist stories.

The problem with sensational stories, apart from the hurt that they cause to individuals and groups (notably the entire city of Liverpool) is that you get populist policies that are not necessarily the best policies, and this leads to further popularityof those policies. In politics this leads to policy by newspaper. Our justice system does it's best to avoid trial by tabloid press but influence is almost inevitable in both the justice system and in politics.

If you are a government and you have to raise funds then if you highlight those policies then you don't win votes. We have to have honesty in politics. We need our politicians to say where they will spend the money and where they will raise it, but let's beware populist policies.

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