Gordon Brown - a reminder

Our unelected Prime Minister is not going to give up without a fight. Day after day, he tells us how he saved the economy, how he's a safe paid of hands with our finances, how he's going to 'keep on going', 'getting on with the job'.

Let's just have a look back at some of the ways in which the monocular mentalist has 'helped' us all, shall we?

Taxing dividend payments: Before 1997, dividends issued by UK companies and paid to pension funds were tax-free. Not any more, decided Brown. Pension funds holding the cash that we all plan to use for our retirement have lost around £100 billion over the last 12 years. Now that's a stealth tax.

Tax credits: Millions of low-income families have had to pay back the Treasury after receiving too much money in tax credits, putting them under huge financial and emotional strain. Meanwhile, 40 per cent of workers and families who deserved tax credits left billions of pounds unclaimed in the 2008-09 tax year for fear of being chased for the cash later on.

The £10,000 corporation tax threshold: In 2002, Gordon Brown introduced a new tax regime to help small businesses. He announced a new zero per cent rate of corporation tax on profits below £10,000. It was designed to boost the ability of small businesses to grow and prosper. It didn't quite work out this way. It became advantageous for sole traders such as taxi drivers or plumbers to turn themselves into limited companies to take advantage of the new rules. A Treasury Minister later commented that "the Government did not realise how many people would engage in abusive tax avoidance", despite the fact that it was "blindingly obvious" to tax experts "within 5 seconds" of the budget announcement that this would happen.

Abolition of the 10p tax rate: Accountants calculated that the scrapping of the 10 per cent tax rate, coupled with the increase in the proportion of tax credits withdrawn from higher earners, would leave 1.8 million workers earning between £6,500 and £15,000 paying an effective tax rate of up to 70 per cent.

50 per cent tax rate: Robert Chote, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has said the tax hike which heralded the end the new Labour may actually end up losing the Government money. "If you look at what happened when higher rates were last changed in the 1980s, that might lead you to suggest that such a move might actually lose you revenue, rather than gain it, as people actually declare less income for tax," he said.

Cutting VAT: "It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious," said a tax accountant when asked about the Brown-Darling brainwave to cut VAT by 2.5 percentage points. As a nation of shoppers, rather than shopkeepers, a chopped down sales tax sounds like a good idea, providing a vital boost to hard-pressed families at a time of financial hardship. There were two problems. It costs £12.5 billion a year and it has made little discernable difference to those hard-pressed families because it is shopkeepers, rather than shoppers, who have pocketed much of the benefit.

And, of course, the grand finale, the piece of resistance:

Selling our gold: In May 1999 Gordon Brown had a plan to sell some gold. There were two problems with this, which concerned his economic advisers deeply. The price of gold had slumped after a decade of stagnation, but was likely to increase in the proceeding years. Added to this, the announcement of a major sell-off would - duh! - drive the price down further. Never mind, said Broon. Experts believe that the poorly timed decision to flog our national treasure has cost us all around £3 billion.

And that little lot is just a selection, picked from a much, much longer list of gaffes. For fuck's sake.

We might get rid of him - please? - soon, but the hangover will take years to get over.



Anonymous said...

This list is endless and we will probably never know the full extent of wasted taxes this cretin has poured down the drain.
Just listen to the continuous Government adverts on radio/tv, that alone goes into millions.

JuliaM said...

It's like he has a Big Book of Government No-Noes and is methodically going through every page, isn't it?

Captain Haddock said...

Who called the Prime minister a cunt ? ...

Who called the cunt a Prime Minister ? ...

Jill said...

FFS will you STOP saying unelected. Do you WANT a president, or what?

opinion prole said...

I read somewhere that the national debt run up by Brown in 13 years is more than the entire cumulative debts of all governments since the Bank of England started in 1640. That can't be right can it? Somebody tell me it was just a bad dream. Brown can't be monumentally, stupendously, outrageously, gold-medal winningly, Nobel-prize worthily totally and utterly incompetent with money. Can he?

Captain Haddock said...

I do understand what you're saying Jill ..

But in effect Brown is unelected ..

He achieved and maintains his present position by default & by underhanded & bullying tactics, rather than by being elected by either his Party or by winning a General Election .. He has no mandate from anyone ..

Which makes him nothing more, or less than an unelected Dictator ..

Jill said...

Hey Captain.

I cannot STAND Gordon Brown. I probably actually hate him more than you do! I detest the entire NuLab project, and I feel rather sorry for the Tories, as they seem to be employing it 15 years too late currently. Their project won't last past Cameron any more than NuLab's lasted past T Blair.

But the fact remains that we don't elect Prime Ministers, we elect political parties, and they can choose whomsoever they like to lead them.

If we don't want fake leadership elections within political parties, we shouldn't elect parties ruled by a bullying clique. I mean, after this upcoming election, is CF going to start ranting that Osborne doesn't have a mandate to be Chancellor? Because he doesn't, does he? The electorate don't like him, the City don't like him, and he's only there because he's Gordon to Dave's Tony.

There is so much genuine mud to throw at Gordon, it just really pisses me off when everyone centres on the mud that isn't true.

Anonymous said...

I detest Brown, and wish him a slow and painful death.

But, it's a measure of useless the Tories are that Cameron isn't absolutely *miles* ahead.

Does anyone think if David Davies were leading the Tories, they wouldn't be miles ahead? They blew it, as they so often do when choosing a leader.

Captain Haddock said...

Fair points Jill .. and all taken on board ..

However, without wishing to get into semantics .. Labour didn't in fact "choose" Brown .. He bullied his way in & continues to bully and to employ bullies to remain Party Leader .. the fact that the rest of the Party lack the collective spine to oust him doesn't alter that fact ..

I have no pity & much contempt for the Tories under Cameron .. and so long as he remains Leader, they can whistle for my vote ..

I hate & detest the Left, in all its forms .. in a way which is difficult to put into words .. And that includes the "pinko" LimpDems & the "left" of the Tory party ..

Bristol Dave said...


You're right in that we elect the party and not the leader, but the point is that the party is supposed to elect the leader.

With Brown this did not happen, his leadership was sealed allegedly in a restaurant and all other credible leadership bids were stopped, so his leadership was guaranteed. Thus the party didn't get to elect him, and therefore it is fair to say that even under our non-presidential system, is unelected.

I expect there are a lot on the Labour benches who weren't happy with him as PM.

Captain Haddock said...

Anon @ 1115 ...

I agree completely .. David Davies, now there's a man I can respect ..

Not from the traditional mould of Tory "Grandees" .. a man who had the courage & integrity to resign over his beliefs & then stand for re-election ..

He is precisely the kind of man the Tories need to lead them .. but they're probably all frightened of him, which explains why he's not Party leader now ..

Furor Teutonicus said...

Now that's a stealth tax.

My Granny used to demand to know what I had spent my pocket money on, and if the answer was unsatisfactory, I used to have a VERY close encounter with her bloody MASSIVE wedding ring accross the side of my head.

Pitty my Grandmother is no longer here to ask Captain Queeg Brown the same question.

I am SURE the result would be the same.

Jill said...

Dave: I take what you say on board, but I still say it's not the point. I knew, you knew, the media knew, the Labour Party knew, EVERYBODY knew about the Blair-Brown pact, that Blair was going to be standing down some time after the last election, and that Brown was going to 'succeed' him rather than stand in a competitive party election.

Yes, it sucks. But the electorate voted in the last election with that knowledge. Brown has as much a mandate as any other Prime Minister who hadn't fought a general election, and we've had quite a few.

The sound and fury this issue throws up is very dangerous, IMHO. We've already gone too far down the road of personality politics, I think, and we already have huge swathes of the electorate who don't actually understand the structure of Parliament. Throwing about inaccurate slurs that misrepresent our political system can only make it worse.

And it's not as if there aren't accurate slurs we could all happily make!

banned said...

Tax credits are just a scam to overtax the poor while trapping most of them into false dependency and gratitude for getting some of it back, if they can be arsed to complete swathes of paperwork.