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If Mr. Brown now argues that Britain’s system of taxing foreigners must be reformed because it is an international anomaly, he had better acknowledge that Britain’s international financial dominance is an unstable anomaly, too….Britain’s unique tax system and its success as a financial center are two sides of the same coin.br> The new Treasury Minister Alistair Darling — like Gordon Brown and several other cabinet members he is Scottish; and for some reason Scotland receives far more per capita from the Treasury than England does — has been hearing about other unintended consequences. Kaletsky added: br>
The Greek shipping industry is planning to move en masse back to Athens; pharmaceutical companies are preparing to shift expansion plans to Switzerland and New Jersey; aerospace engineers are moving back to France, Germany and Italy, and the museum world is facing demands for the return of artworks loaned by non-doms. Even Moscow is expected to benefit from the exodus as Russian businessmen wind down their offshore operations and de-list their companies from the London Stock Exchange.br> If Gordon Brown continues yielding to pressure from the left, he probably won’t win the next election. I would say he certainly won’t, except that the Tories under their new leader David Cameron seem driven by a single idea: Do nothing to merit accusations of mean-spiritedness toward the poor. As an old Etonian, he is susceptible to such pressure. Lamely, the Conservatives have sought to reassure opinion leaders at the BBC and elsewhere that on no account will they do anything irresponsible, such as promising to cut taxes if they come to power. They will maintain social spending levels, too.
So the truth is that the forces of political competition in Britain have largely been neutralized — by the Tories themselves.
THE SAME CULTURE WAR that is being waged in the United States is already much further advanced in Britain. Over there, the forces of resistance are negligible, so the cultural revolution has almost completely triumphed. Here there is still a real contest.
The ruling-class embrace of semi-capitalism has brought about the rise in prosperity, but this has been accompanied by mounting social chaos. One of the main indicators is the rise of family breakdown (or non-formation) and out-of-wedlock childbearing. The key enabler of this change has been the transfer of tens of billions of pounds to fatherless households. Only a society wealthy enough to collect and redistribute revenue on this scale can sustain widespread illegitimacy. Without the tolerance of wealth-creation, redistribution on this scale would not have been possible. Traditional families and moral standards were undermined in consequence.
Melanie Phillips, a Daily Mail columnist and a refugee from the left (formerly she was with the Guardian newspaper), wrote recently that the “overclass” has “deliberately and wickedly created over the years a legal and welfare engine of mass fatherlessness and child abandonment, resulting in a degraded and dependent underclass and a lengthening toll of human wreckage.”
A couple of sensational crime stories were in the headlines when I was there, illuminating this “welfare engine of mass fatherlessness.” The rot beneath the surface became conspicuous.
One involved a 15-year-old girl named Scarlett whose hippie mother had taken her to the drug infested beaches of Goa, a former Portuguese colony on the coast of India. The mother then headed off to other Indian beaches with her other children, leaving Scarlett behind. A few days later the young girl was raped and murdered on the Goan beach.
The amazing part of the story was that the mother had nine children by five men, lives in two trailers in Devon, and receives government “benefit” (welfare) for each child, adding up to about $50,000 a year. Having saved about $14,000, she was able to take eight of her children on a six-month holiday to India, and return, sadly, with seven of them.
The mother was shocked to find that the Goan police seemed to be protecting the guilty parties, but then (when the tabloids got hold of the story and ran with it) was even more shocked to find that, instead of being regarded sympathetically, a few residual bluenoses and moralists in England viewed her conduct with some opprobrium.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online