24 February 2010

PM apologises!

I could hardly believe my eyes a few minutes ago when I saw the words 'PM apologises' on a BBC website headline - until I saw that they were followed by the words 'to child migrants'.

Am I alone in being irritated by the sight and sound of him apologising so piously for a policy for which he had no responsibility whatsoever (the barmy child migration scheme) when it never occurs to him to apologise for the damage done by policies that definitely were conceived and implemented by him?

As regular readers may already have guessed, I'm referring to the ruthless raid on pension funds that left so many of us with massively reduced life savings, triggered the end of final salary pension schemes and discouraged those younger than us from saving as much as they should be doing - for a more extended rant on which, see Time for Gordon Brown to say sorry to savers.


Anonymous said...

I don't know about being alone, but I certainly think that you're being unbelievably petty. He's a sitting prime minister running for reelection - of course he's not going to apologise for his past record.

To deny an apology and an acknowledgement of guilt to thousands of people who had their lives ruined by the horrific practice of shipping them to Australia is, frankly, pathetic. They were abused, maltreated and condemned to a childhood of effective servitude. And it was our fault. They're still alive, so it's bloody right that we should apologise while we still can.

Max Atkinson said...

It may seem petty to you but, if you're a regular visitor, you'll know that this recurring grumble of mine is one of the few exceptions to the usual 'non-aligned' ethos of this blog. And I didn't say, as you seem to imply, that the victims of this particular policy don't deserve an apology.

But this isn't the first time Brown has apologised for something. The last time (see link on this post) was his apology for the 'emailgate' affair last April which, interestingly, was also someone else's fault.

More generally, the thing that annoys me most about Brown is the way he continually bangs on about 'fairness' when, as Chancellor, one of his most significant innovations was to introduce one thoroughly unfair stealth tax after another (of which the pensions raid was merely one of many). These then enabled him to boast about not having raised income tax - even though income tax is by far the fairest and most transparent type of tax there is - while enabling him to spend the newly acquired billions and carry on with the pretence of being a 'prudent' Chancellor.

So now, regardless of their income, everyone has to pay tax on essential payments like insuring their homes and cars. And many, I suspect, don't realise and/or have forgotten that a proportion of these payments goes straight to the government.

I can only assume that the reason the opposition parties aren't making more of this in the run-up to the election is that they know that, if and when they get into power, they won't be able to afford to scrap Brown's stealth taxes without increasing income tax. And none of them has so far shown any sign of being willing to risk that, however much they may be competing to be seen as 'the fairest of them all'.