Chris Mounsey: raising taxes is like kicking Pakis!!


by Sunny
28th December, 2009 at 9:25 pm    

There’s a hilariously dumb-headed post at Devil’s Kitchen called ‘Sunny Hundal: condoning class war. Would he be so keen on a race war?‘ – which basically boils down to libertarian idiot Chris Mounsey equating raising taxes on rich people to kicking the crap out of someone for being black or white.

OK. So, my class must be defined by my parents; Sunny’s race is defined by his parents. I can no more help the income of my parents than Sunny can affect the race of his.

So, there is an equivalence: yes?

Where do you even start with such stupidity? I suppose the concept of progressive taxation – advanced by Adam Smith himself – must be a form of discrimination against rich people because they can’t help their income. Perhaps they should complain to EHRC! Rights for rich people! Stop the discrimination!

I actually pointed out what Class War strategy meant not long ago here:

The ‘class war’ is narrowly defined as being about bankers’ bonuses and higher taxes. Labour needs to expand this to include: Tories increasing IHT, deploring fairer taxes on the super-rich, their privileged backgrounds, the £250,000 “chicken-feed”, MPs “forced to live on rations”, Cameron not knowing how many houses he owned. In fact top Tory gaffes reek of how out of touch they are. Re-framing the debate would allow them to talk about wider issues than just bankers’ bonuses.

I also pointed out that rather being seen as against aspiration, New Labour should re-frame the debate as being for the deserving rich and hard-working small businesses rather than fat-cat bankers who get big bonuses for screwing up the economy.

All that has clearly gone over the head of the new leader of the Libertarian Party who just wants another excuse to swear like he has tourettes. I’m sure he will lead the party to great heights.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Chris Mounsey: raising taxes is like kicking Pakis!! http://bit.ly/6NzlEI


  2. pickles

    @devilskitchen replied to your hilarious stupidity here: http://bit.ly/6NzlEI


  3. Tim Phillips-White

    RT @pickledpolitics: @devilskitchen replied to your hilarious stupidity here: http://bit.ly/6NzlEI


  4. Leon Green

    RT @pickledpolitics Blog post:: Chris Mounsey: raising taxes is like kicking Pakis!! http://bit.ly/6NzlEI


  5. Kim

    Example of how personal insults taint what could have been a solid debate: http://bit.ly/6NzlEI @pickledpolitics @devilskitchen


  6. John Pol

    Pickled Politics » Chris Mounsey: raising taxes is like kicking … http://bit.ly/8Memf7




  1. Ben — on 28th December, 2009 at 9:51 pm  

    ..well DK (Mounsey) is funny, energetic and makes a strong argument, but you, Sunny, are gloomy, boring and cliched…take your pick!

  2. Sunny — on 28th December, 2009 at 10:04 pm  

    hey, I’d take boring than being so ugly any day!

  3. MiriamBinder — on 28th December, 2009 at 10:07 pm  

    @ Ben – Are you claiming then that bankers who still want their bonuses despite the mess they have made of the institutions they have run should be regarded like hard working businessmen and women?

  4. MaidMarian — on 28th December, 2009 at 10:17 pm  

    How about this?

    It is not about class, it is not about race, it’s not about identity politics. It’s about not rewarding failure.

    There are issues where class and race are red-herrings and the internet warriors can kindly go away.

  5. bella gerens — on 28th December, 2009 at 11:42 pm  

    Sunny –

    I’d take boring than being so ugly any day!

    That kind of riposte belongs on the playground, not in the world of adults. I should think you would have more decency than to make childish, inaccurate cracks about other people’s looks.

  6. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:03 am  

    That kind of riposte belongs on the playground, not in the world of adults.

    That much is true bella. Although I’m not sure, given the wrong-headed stupidity of the post and the language Chris Mounsey applies in making a point, why you’re not making that point to him before.

    Anyway – it was a throwaway remark to some libertarian loon. My argument above stands on its own feet.

  7. Ian — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:05 am  

    It’s foolish to equate race to riches, but he’s certainly right on one thing. It’s a crappy way to go if you have to make it all about the other sides parents.

  8. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:16 am  

    I have just demolished your “argument” above, Sunny.

    DK

  9. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:22 am  

    To be honest, since I haven’t read Smith, I have no idea what he said about progressive taxation—and I don’t really care. I like to read around subjects and make up my own mind, personally, rather than parrot the opinions of others.

    that pretty much sums you up Mounsey.

    As for “blogging conventions” – you really are a joke. On the LPUK website it clearly states you write at DK blog and you’ve mentioned it several times on your own blog.

    Only a complete dimwit couldn’t figure out your name if they read your blog. So stop whining.

    Secondly, Pickled Politics isn’t my “race based vehicle” – it’s where I write about identity politics. It’s a place where we consistently condemn racism.

    You are the one who commented about my “asian features” in the past remember?

    You’re the one obsessed by my race. You’re the one who thinks having a forum where you write about Asian issues is racist because you fundamentally don’t even get the meaning of the word ‘racist’. for example, I’d wonder if you’d denounce the Jewish Chronicle as a ‘racist’ paper too and demand it be shut down.

    Like I said: I’m pleased they elected you to lead LPUK. It’ll die even faster.

  10. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:25 am  

    Sunny, I don’t really see what difference DK’s choice of language makes. Or are you implying that since he’s childish, it’s perfectly fine for you to be childish too? That if he calls you an arse, a sh*t, and a c*nt, it’s totally within bounds to call him an idiot, stupid, and ugly?

    If you object to the tone of his debate, don’t sink to the same depths yourself. Calling someone ugly is the most ridiculous of all taunts. Especially since you’ve never met the man or even seen him in the flesh.

  11. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:27 am  

    Especially since you’ve never met the man or even seen him in the flesh.

    Unfortunately I have been subjected to that displeasure.

    Or are you implying that since he’s childish, it’s perfectly fine for you to be childish too?

    Point taken.

  12. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:31 am  

    It’s a crappy way to go if you have to make it all about the other sides parents.

    If you read above what I refer to as the boundaries of the ‘class war’, then its never been about parents.

    When newspapers scream ‘class war’ when the govt raises taxes on the rich – I thought it was obvious what it referred to.

  13. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:35 am  

    Although I’m not sure, given the wrong-headed stupidity of the post and the language Chris Mounsey applies in making a point, why you’re not making that point to him before

    Chris described you as an unpleasant little arse, a point you conclusively proved by accusing him of being ugly. You utter child.

  14. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:35 am  

    Unfortunately I have been subjected to that displeasure.

    Really? I don’t remember meeting you.

    Strange…

    DK

  15. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:41 am  

    Sunny,

    Only a complete dimwit couldn’t figure out your name if they read your blog.

    That isn’t the point, Sunny, and you know it—not least because I have explained it to you at length.

    Secondly, Pickled Politics isn’t my “race based vehicle” – it’s where I write about identity politics. It’s a place where we consistently condemn racism.

    You can have a race-based vehicle (or an identity-based vehicle) and not condone racism. Pickled Politics is, as you say, “about identity politics”: it is about assigning identities to sections of society.

    If, of course, you maintain that Pickled Politics is about negating such identities, it is somewhat hypocritical for you to paint others with such identities, e.g. being of a particular class.

    for example, I’d wonder if you’d denounce the Jewish Chronicle as a ‘racist’ paper too and demand it be shut down.

    I don’t know: I haven’t read it. But, if it deals exclusively with Jewish matters then it is a race-based publication, yes.

    But I wouldn’t insist that it be shut down because, you see, I believe in free speech.

    DK

  16. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:48 am  

    But, if it deals exclusively with Jewish matters then it is a race-based publication, yes.

    Oh god not this again. Listen up, both of you. JUDAISM IS NOT A COCKING RACE. There are black Jews, white Jews, Chinese Jews, Arab Jews, Persian Jews, Japanese Jews. There are Caribbean Jews and African Jews, there are Indian Jews, there are Scandinavian Jews. The Jews are a people bound by a common religion and culture and family-like ties, but they are not a race.

  17. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:53 am  

    Pickled Politics is, as you say, “about identity politics”: it is about assigning identities to sections of society.

    I feel like I’m explaining things to a five year old.

    People have multiple identities according to their backgrounds, religion, other habits (feminism, vegetarianism, libertarianism) – i.e. they ‘identify’ with certain subcultures or ideologies. This could even be people who are into goth culture or love rock music.

    The problem is when people are solely judged by those identities and grouped together (as in, all ‘white people behave the same’, ‘all Jews are the same’) or only seen through the prism of that one identity (assuming all Muslims behave the same), or discriminate against someone because of their race, sex, disability etc.

    Do you get it now? That’s racism? Simply talking about the BNP or Asian history doesn’t make me any more history than for you to talk about British history means you’re a white supremacist.

    But I wouldn’t insist that it be shut down because, you see, I believe in free speech.

    That’s nice of you. So why don’t you get a bit clued up on identity issues a bit before you make yourself look even more foolish.

    I clearly defined ‘class’ along economic lines, and that is how the right-wing media see it as. You deliberately chose to conflate that just so you could launch another immature, foul-mouthed attack on me.

    But that’s what you libertarians do – scream and shout hysterically first, think much late (if at all).

  18. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:53 am  

    Katy,

    Believe it or not, I was going to add in…

    (Although I am not sure that Jews are a race. After all, you can convert to Judaism, but you can’t convert to being black.)

    … but I was unsure whether there is a distinction drawn between Jews and followers of Judaism.

    DK

  19. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:56 am  

    a point you conclusively proved by accusing him of being ugly. You utter child.

    Oh dear. I really didn’t realise so many people would be getting so defensive consoling him because Mounsey gets so distraught over a little jibe.

  20. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 12:57 am  

    Sunny,

    I clearly defined ‘class’ along economic lines…

    No, you didn’t. You did not link to your definition in the post and you did not clearly define ‘class’ along economic lines at all.

    DK

    P.S. Point taken about PP, and I shall post an addendum.

  21. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:00 am  

    … because Mounsey gets so distraught over a little jibe.

    Please don’t project, Sunny: I didn’t get distraught and I don’t care. I may well be ugly to you: to be honest, that doesn’t bother me.

    Everyone is different and everyone is attracted to different people (or should that be “identities”). Not being gay or in any way attracted to you—mentally or physically—I couldn’t care less whether you think I’m ugly or not.

    DK

  22. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:01 am  

    You did not link to your definition in the post and you did not clearly define ‘class’ along economic lines at all.

    That’s the mistake you make by jumping in and making assumptions without reading what I’m getting at in earlier posts about the same topic. I really don’t want to have to link to everything to explain everything just so people like yourself who come in with all guns blazing are enlightened.

    Alternatively you could have simply asked on that thread how I defined class.

    Since I’m here offering you reading material, here’s one I wrote earlier:

    Why I like identity politics
    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5190

  23. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:02 am  

    I shouldn’t think Chris gives a fuck what you think of his looks. It’s not about consoling him. It’s about you, and the way you seem to define your levels of behaviour purely by reference to other people’s. I’ve been called fat and ugly before by people who, like you, think it’s funny. I have never thought it was funny or clever to say that to anyone regardless of the provocation and I have never, ever said it to anyone in my life, regardless of what they have said to me. Why? Because I have standards even if they don’t. I pride myself on not falling below those standards regardless of where other people set theirs. That’s how adults ought to live. It is not acceptable to speak that way to people even if they speak that way to you. If you want people to take you seriously you should lead by example, not justify your bad behaviour by reference to other people’s.

  24. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:03 am  

    I couldn’t care less whether you think I’m ugly or not.

    Funny, you spent a lot of words talking about it on your blog for a person who doesn’t apparently care.

    Perhaps it would have been apt if I referred to your ‘Caucasian features’? Oh wait…

  25. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:05 am  

    I mean, seriously, if that’s how you’re going to live, what’s the point in you telling people not to be racist? Nick Griffin’s racist, why shouldn’t everyone be? Let’s just call him the lowest common denominator and have done with it, shall we?

  26. Devil's Kitchen — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:19 am  

    Funny, you spent a lot of words talking about it on your blog for a person who doesn’t apparently care.

    I thought that it was amusing to point out such a childish jibe. It made you look stupid and pathetic to my readers, you see.

    Perhaps it would have been apt if I referred to your ‘Caucasian features’?

    Perhaps it would, Sunny. I am, after all, Caucasian. Oh, and need I point out that I’m not ashamed of being so…?

    That’s the mistake you make by jumping in and making assumptions without reading what I’m getting at in earlier posts about the same topic.

    You cannot seriously assume that everyone reads everything that you write? I don’t, which is why I link to earlier pieces on the same subject.

    It’s a courtesy to readers who may not have come to your blog before, you see.

    Why I like identity politics…

    Some good points raised there, to be fair. But, as a libertarian, I don’t believe in basing political decisions—which are, ultimately, incorporated as legal instruments—on people’s identities.

    I believe that everyone should be equal under the law and you cannot do that when you are making law based on religion, race, class, etc.

    I take it that you disagree on this point?

    DK

  27. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:25 am  

    “equating raising taxes on rich people to kicking the crap out of someone for being black or white. ”
    In no way was DK doing that, if he’d been equating kicking the crap out of rich people for being rich or taxing someone for being black or white then you might be getting slightly closer to comprehending what he was saying. But you didnt, you simply appealed to emotion for one while not for the other in order to further your own views.

  28. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:29 am  

    I thought that it was amusing to point out such a childish jibe. It made you look stupid and pathetic to my readers

    Only your readers wouldn’t see the irony of someone so childish and pathetic trying to point that out in someone else.

    Oh, and need I point out that I’m not ashamed of being so…?

    Oh I’m not afraid of being Asian at all. I just don’t see why someone would need to point it out when they’re referring to my politics which may at times have nothing to do with my race. See?

    It’s a courtesy to readers who may not have come to your blog before, you see.

    As I said, you could have always asked for an explanation. I don’t always link – it’s not required for me to do so.

    I don’t believe in basing political decisions—which are, ultimately, incorporated as legal instruments—on people’s identities.

    Yes you do, because you vote according to how you feel as a smoker, as a drinker and as someone who hates the EU.

    In the same vein – if I was confronted with one party that had a slogan: ‘if you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour’ and the other marginally more tolerant, then I know who I would choose. If you think that sort of decision making isn’t on, then I think you’re being naive. We all make decisions based on issues that matter to us. Sometimes it’s the way that a certain party behaves towards people of your background/religion, other times it may be how it acts towards your habits (food, smoking etc), and other times it may be whether it considers redistribution of wealth a sufficiently important issue or not. All, arguably, are facets of your identity (hence people refer to themselves as ‘smokers’, ‘drinkers’ etc if its sufficiently under attack or an important part of their lives).

    I’m also against identity based legal instruments you see.
    Which is why I’ve always been against discrimination when it comes to issues of immigration (citizens/EU/non-EU). Unlike many others I can think of.
    Oh and the same applies to issues like racial profiling by the police. Would you disagree on that point?

  29. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:33 am  

    Sunny –

    I really didn’t realise so many people would be getting so defensive consoling him because Mounsey gets so distraught over a little jibe.

    Nobody is consoling him. We’re just pointing out that for somebody who takes such a high and mighty attitude about the giving of offence, you’re obviously not above immature personal insults. Call his arguments stupid, by all means, and tell us why you think so; but don’t then turn around and make yourself look supremely petty by suggesting that DK’s looks have anything to do with the quality of his argument. Especially when you employ such a ludicrously false insult.

    To the point of your post, however: it may well be true that the Conservatives are showing far more interest in helping those who don’t really need a lot of help. The problem is that Labour don’t appear to be doing much to help those who do – the people you identify as the deserving and hard-working. Most of us are not rich, whether deserving or otherwise; it would be tremendously pleasant if Labour would allow us to (a) keep more of the minimal wages we all work so hard to earn, and (b) enjoy the traditional civil liberties that once made Britain the home of freedom and justice.

    Labour would win far more votes if they stopped blathering on about how dreadful the Tories are and instead promised to reduce taxes for lower earners and reverse the restrictions they’ve imposed on civil rights. It wouldn’t make them perfect, but it would be a much more popular electoral strategy than the negative, mean-spirited political attacks you seem to be urging them to employ.

  30. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:48 am  

    Sunny stop using ad hominem attacks on DK. You try to criticise him for non existant hypocrisy with regard to whether he votes based on his smoking or drinking etc. When he votes to remove laws about where you are allowed to smoke or drink he isn’t participating in identity politics rather he is trying to destroy them.

    You are against identity based legal instruments? don’t you advocate progressive taxation?(

  31. Paul Pinfield — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:50 am  

    Sunny, you have been comprehensively beaten tonight. Time to pull your trousers up, open the curtains, and move on.

    Obviously, you won’t, but you should…

  32. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:53 am  

    We’re just pointing out that for somebody who takes such a high and mighty attitude about the giving of offence

    I’m sorry but I’ve never actually done that. I don’t swear at people when I blog about them, nor do I advocate killing or maiming people when talking about them – but I’ve always been fairly blunt in my blogging when referring to people as idiots. I believe that is far better behaved than someone who does the above (and you haven’t called out on that I see)… the one thing I don’t do is get into hysterics about being offended. People diss me on blogs all the time. Water off a duck’s back.

    The problem is that Labour don’t appear to be doing much to help those who do

    Not enough, but more than the Tories. At this point the only thing I’m hoping for is a small Tory majority – I don’t see Labour winning.

    But I didn’t realise making left-wing points (about raising taxes on the rich) was so controversial when coming from a leftie.

    it would be tremendously pleasant if Labour would allow us to (a) keep more of the minimal wages we all work so hard to earn, and (b) enjoy the traditional civil liberties that once made Britain the home of freedom and justice.

    I agree on both. And I’ve always made those points. In fact the only time I advocated voting tory on this blog was when I was thoroughly disgusted over the 42 days vote. So you can’t accuse me of hypocrisy. Labour doesn’t go far enough but then which party does?

    It wouldn’t make them perfect, but it would be a much more popular electoral strategy than the negative, mean-spirited political attacks you seem to be urging them to employ.

    That’s your opinion, you’re welcome to it. But I didn’t say they shouldn’t do anything about the situation as it is. I believe in holding spending, in cutting VAT, cutting NI, taking the BBC license fee out of general taxation, and raising taxes on the rich to close deficit. That would have a huge impact on poorer people compared to Tory policies.

  33. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:54 am  

    Sorry Paul, but who made you the ref?

    Mounsey has shot himself in the foot-a leader of a political party who has not read Adam Smith? I would have kept that quiet.

  34. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:57 am  

    Mounsey has shot himself in the foot-a leader of a political party who has not read Adam Smith? I would have kept that quiet.

    hah! Good point, I forgot about that. It really is quite funny isn’t it. Perhaps his little minions are coming here to stop DK getting a bit more educated and realise the folly of his silly ideas.

  35. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:01 am  

    Isn’t the work of Adam Smith like really really old. Yes old ideas have value and can be true. but not knowing exactly what some economist advocates doesn’t really count for lack of economic expertise?

  36. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:03 am  

    Isn’t the work of Adam Smith like really really old.

    I love libertarians. This quote shall be treasured forever.

  37. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:04 am  

    fuck you that was so ridiculously out of context

  38. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:07 am  

    Sunny –

    I believe that is far better behaved than someone who does the above (and you haven’t called out on that I see)…

    How do you know whether I’ve called him out on that?

    But I didn’t realise making left-wing points (about raising taxes on the rich) was so controversial when coming from a leftie.

    I didn’t say it was controversial, or even that I disagreed with you. Not everything is an attack, you know. As a matter of fact, I was being quite sympathetic to your point about the Tories. I also never implied that you hadn’t made the points about lowering taxes on the working poor and civil liberties. I know you’ve made those points. That’s why I find it puzzling that you’re advocating a different electoral strategy, one that’s far more negative and, I would think, far less likely to show Labour in a positive, progressive light.

    I’m not electoral expert, but I would think people prefer to hear about a party’s good and just plans rather than about the opposition’s poor policies. That seems to me the equivalent of saying, ‘Well, yeah, we’re not that great, but the other guys are worse! So vote for us!’ That’s not really the sort of choice the modern, jaded voter is in a hurry to make. Obama, for example, that master of campaign strategy, did not spend a lot of time complaining about how lousy the Republicans were. Instead, he focused on all the marvellous things he intended to do as president. I recognise that he was in a better position than Labour, of course, because he could promise to reverse a lot of Bush’s nonsense.

    But it seems very silly to me for Labour to emphasise that they plan to help the poor indirectly (by taxing the rich more), rather than formulating and publicising policy to help the poor directly (by taxing the poor less).

  39. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:09 am  

    Leo: Adam Smith is considered the founder of modern economic thought. Consider it ecomomics 101.

  40. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:11 am  

    Sunny

    I love the way instead of actually replying to peoples arguments in full. You instead take quotes out of context in order to justify your position.

  41. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:14 am  

    “Isn’t the work of Adam Smith really really old” is an argument- your not Mounsey’s deputy are you?

  42. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:15 am  

    David
    Yes I know who Adam Smith is. I was merely remarking that it is not the text but the ideas which are important, thus reading Adam Smith himself is not necessarily a prerequisite to economic expertise.

  43. Paul Pinfield — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:15 am  

    @David O’Keefe

    It’s not difficult David. Read the various posts, read the comments, and then come to a decision. No need to say sorry, BTW.

    @Sunny

    I was intrigued by what DK, Mrs Dale and others had said about you. Having made the trek over here, apart from your inability to maintain a logical argument without moving the goal posts, I am aghast by your arrogance. You have comprehensively hidden any redeeming character traits you may have. Impressive.

    If you are the best the left has to offer, the Tories are home and dry…

  44. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:18 am  

    Your splitting hairs Leo and I think that every economics department in the land would take issue with your views expressed at 41. Reading the wealth of nations is a prerequisite for any student of economics except for those at the University of LPUK.

  45. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:22 am  

    Leo, if you want I’m happy to treasure this bit forever too: but not knowing exactly what some economist [Adam Smith] advocates doesn’t really count for lack of economic expertise?

    At least now I know the sort of people who read DK’s blog too.

    That’s why I find it puzzling that you’re advocating a different electoral strategy, one that’s far more negative and, I would think, far less likely to show Labour in a positive, progressive light.

    I’m happy to elaborate on this point further tomorrow.

    I think Labour should be pushing a good narrative but Gordon Brown is absolutely useless at communication. The only option they have is to point out the differences between them and the Tories on the economy. The ‘class war’ frame (albeit in a more sophisticated manner) is the only way to do that, and get their own voters to come out (a real problem right now).

    Does negative politics always not work? Well, Cameron’s strategy has been “Broken Britain” for 2 years and he hasn’t done so bad in the polls. Negativity (for example, scaremongering about the economy) can work too. But it shouldn’t be the only strategy (and I haven’t said it should).

    Obama, for example, that master of campaign strategy, did not spend a lot of time complaining about how lousy the Republicans were. Instead, he focused on all the marvellous things he intended to do as president.

    Obama was a master orator and he had a coherent narrative from the start. This govt wouldn’t know electoral strategy if it shot them in the face.

    Though Obama spent roughly a third of his narrative (incl attack ads) talking down Republicans

    The major differences is that America is far more partisan, and that Labour has a problem getting its core vote out, and that Labour needs a coherent narrative to show the difference between them and the Tories. Otherwise they lose massively purely on the basis of an anti-Labour mood.

    But it seems very silly to me for Labour to emphasise that they plan to help the poor indirectly (by taxing the rich more), rather than formulating and publicising policy to help the poor directly (by taxing the poor less).

    I advocate higher taxes merely to hold spending on public services. But I agree they should reduce taxes on poor people. My income, incidentally, is pitiful, so I’m not exactly a fan of Labour taxation policy. I much prefer Libdems on that.

  46. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:23 am  

    I’m splitting hairs? no that’s not true I was merely clearing up your confusion about my point.

    Isnt that more because they have to study the history of economic thought than because it is the best text to learn economics from?

  47. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:23 am  

    Paul, I skimmed the posts and had to check to see if I read Mounsey correctly re: Adam Smith. Hundal didn’t win the debate, but Mounsey has shot himself in the foot and exposed himself and the LPUK to a great deal of ridicule.

    I won’t be apologising because sometimes winning doesn’t always matter-not making an arse of yourself does.

  48. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:24 am  

    bella: To clarify, I’m not a diehard Labour supporter. My reading is they’re going to lose. I would rather they didn’t lose massively, which is why I’m thinking aloud on what is a good electoral strategy.

  49. TrenchFoot — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:24 am  

    People have multiple identities according to their backgrounds, religion, other habits (feminism, vegetarianism, libertarianism) – i.e. they ‘identify’ with certain subcultures or ideologies. This could even be people who are into goth culture or love rock music.

    The problem is when people are solely judged by those identities and grouped together (as in, all ‘white people behave the same’, ‘all Jews are the same’)

    But that’s what you libertarians do – scream and shout hysterically first, think much late (if at all).

    Prize for the most contradictory and hypocritical single post today goes to… Sunny!

  50. Paul Pinfield — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:28 am  

    This is more fun than bear baiting. I must come here more often.

  51. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:29 am  

    Paul:If you were any thicker-you would set.

  52. Paul Pinfield — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:30 am  

    @David O’Keefe
    Epic. Keep trying sunshine. Keep trying…

  53. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:31 am  

    Sunny

    Economics is valueless, it is a science. It tells you (or tries to) which action to take in order to achieve an objective. Which is why as Adam Smith’s advocacy of progressive taxation is value based, knowledge of whether or not he supported it is unnecessary for economic expertise.

  54. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:32 am  

    David –

    Why in the world would DK’s not having read Adam Smith expose LPUK to ridicule? Plenty of other people in the party have done so. It is not the function of a party leader to be an expert on economics, or even vaguely well-read in the subject. It may be the function of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be such things, but that didn’t stop anyone letting Gordon Brown do the job. Mote, beam, etc.

  55. Leo Shine — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:35 am  

    so what just because it logically makes no sense that him not having read Adam Smith makes LPUK an incompetent party, doesnt mean that they aren’t now exposed to ridicule. Ridicule need not be rational

  56. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:37 am  

    Sorry, Leo, I was rather banking on people at least attempting to be rational. Thanks for illustrating my mistake so perfectly…

  57. David O'Keefe — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:53 am  

    If Mounsey wants to argue against progressive taxation; should he not know the arguments for progressive taxation? Or does it not matter that he is arguing from a position of ignorance providing that you agree with him?

    If your entering a debate on anything, you should make an attempt no matter how small to inform yourself.

  58. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 3:38 am  

    David –

    I was not aware they were arguing about the merits (or not) of progressive taxation; rather, the issue of contention was whether or not progressive taxation discriminates against the rich. Since I am fairly certain Adam Smith does not approach the idea of discrimination in the same way we 21st-century types do, it is rather pointless to include his views on the matter.

    Unless, of course, you want to demonstrate (like Sunny) that your views on taxation are shared by economists far more illustrious than yourself, with whom you assume libertarians will agree on every point. In fact, Adam Smith is not the holy incarnation of the Spiritus Economicus, nor does anyone, libertarian or not, actually think he is.

    I might also point out that if arguing about progressive taxation required one not just to know, as you point out, but also to have read all the works pro and contra, nobody would ever be permitted to make a single value judgment about the matter, save a tiny handful of heavily-degreed experts.

    Please develop a sense of perspective. One does not have to have studied economics to understand economic ideas or have good ideas of one’s own. And it would be a far more productive use of DK’s time to read modern works on economics by those who have studied Adam Smith and can present the advantages and disadvantages of his views within a modern context. Perhaps you can suggest something of the sort.

  59. MiriamBinder — on 29th December, 2009 at 3:52 am  

    Good lords above … what a piece of a to-do …

  60. Rumbold — on 29th December, 2009 at 10:13 am  

    Might I summarise the arguments. DK made some good points about class war, but missed some of the purpose of Sunny’s argument. Sunny made some good points about DK’s reply, but missed some of the purpose of DK’s argument. There was a lot of abuse and name-calling, which lowered the tone considerably.

    Have I missed anything out?

  61. douglas clark — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Well, there is this:

    Devils Kitchen: As usual, Sunny Hundal breaks blogging conventions (by using my real name, not my blogging identity) 28/12/09

    Strange that. Here is what Bella Gerens quoted on her own blog, as of the 3/12/09.

    So Chris Mounsey’s election to leader of the Libertarian Party is fantastic news for fellow “evil nerds”, but can Chris reach out to a more broad audience? Chris runs the infamous and fantastically sweary Devil’s Kitchen blog, and because he’s one of the naughtiest geeks (second only to the incredibly, incredibly naughty Guido Fawkes) he’s right at the top of the evil dork hierarchy.

    And there is something, oh, I don’t know, contradictory maybe, by Devils Kitchen, in the Comments thread of that very post:

    The point of the Friendly Societies was, in any case, that they did not rely on private charity: they relied on people realising that they might be incapable of working at some point in their lives and taking out insurance against that.

    As such, Friendly Societies pooled risk by appealing to self-interest—all very Adam Smith.

    DK

    P.S. Charlotte: no offence taken or anything. And the wife is right: we should meet one of these days…”

    My highlighting.

    I gather from that that Bella Gerens and Chris Mousey are married to each other, and I wish them both all the best for the future. Perhaps not in politics, right enough.

  62. Sean — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:07 pm  

    Sunny,

    You are being very childish. If the polling indicates that a class war is the most popular means to winning elections then New Labour would never have been invented in the first place and Thatcher would never have won an election.

    In addition, Chris merely points out that you cannot blame the children who are born into affluent families and seek to punish them via class wars any more than you can punish people for the colour of their skin or their parents religion.

    It is about not walking around with a chip on your shoulder.

  63. Rumbold — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:09 pm  

    Douglas:

    They are married to each other. I would stick to blogging conventions when it comes to names, though Devil’s Kitchen has put his name out in the public domain so I don’t think what Sunny did was terrible.

    Why did you highlight the Adam Smith bit?

  64. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:49 pm  

    Douglas –

    There is a world of difference between breaking blogging convention with permission and doing it without permission. Perhaps that passed you by.

    Perhaps it also passed you by that one can know some of Adam Smith’s views without having read any Adam Smith – if, for instance, one’s wife and many of one’s friends have done so and relayed the pertinent information.

    I might also point out that, while DK hasn’t read any Smith, at least he’s familiar with Smith’s ideas and agrees with most of his conclusions. The rest of the political class, however, of course all have read Wealth of Nations but think Smith was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    So either Smith’s ideas are valuable, and the political class who’ve read them are being really hypocritical by ignoring them; or Smith’s ideas are not valuable (as evidenced by the political class’s disdain) and DK shouldn’t waste his time. I honestly don’t see what the fuss is about. Do you think every politician in this country has read the Smith oeuvre? Do you think it’s necessary? After all, wasn’t division of labour one of Smith’s big ideas?

  65. douglas clark — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Two points.

    It is really difficult to see how blogging conventions apply when you have casually outed yourself, as DK did in the exchange I illustrated. I also have a serious problem with any party political leader that is naive enough to imagine that all their personas will not become the subject of due process if they get within a light year of political credibility. It is perhaps as well that Devils Kitchen faces up to that now rather than later.

    Secondly, DK drops Adam Smith into a web comment of 3/12/09 with a casual familiarity that suggests at least some knowledge of his ideas.

    As such, Friendly Societies pooled risk by appealing to self-interest—all very Adam Smith.

    .

    It is, in its’ own way, an appeal to authority, is it not?

    This is somewhat at odds with what he had to say here, in this comment of 28/12/09, on his own web site:

    Ah—the appeal to authority! Always a sign of someone losing an argument. To be honest, since I haven’t read Smith, I have no idea what he said about progressive taxation—and I don’t really care. I like to read around subjects and make up my own mind, personally, rather than parrot the opinions of others.

  66. Ben — on 29th December, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

    Hoy, Hundal! You tosser:

    “…it was a throwaway remark to some libertarian loon..”

    I am that person, and my point:

    “..well DK (Mounsey) is funny, energetic and makes a strong argument, but you, Sunny, are gloomy, boring and cliched…take your pick!”…remains accurate.

    ‘libertarian’ is obviously an insult in your world, but I’m not a member of any party, a mate of DK etc, just a voter, with a view. That view has been nicely confirmed by your response to me and others.

  67. Rumbold — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    Douglas:

    I sometimes drop Adam Smith into things, and can discuss some of his concepts like specialisation and self interest, but it was a long time ago that I read it so I couldn’t discuss all the concepts.

  68. douglas clark — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

    bella gerens @ 63,

    You do know that when you publish something on an open internet forum that anyone can read it, and reach their own conclusions? You do know that, don’t you? How long, exactly, did the man you hope will be the next Prime Minister wish to keep this a secret? And why would he?

    I couldn’t care less one way or the other whether DK has a casual or intimate understanding of Adam Smith. But it is a bit off to use him as an authority when you later admit you have “no idea what he said about progressive taxation – and I don’t really care.”

    It is about consistency bella, knowt else.

  69. Sunny — on 29th December, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

    Sunny made some good points about DK’s reply, but missed some of the purpose of DK’s argument

    I didn’t miss the purpose of his response – it just didn’t apply to me in this case. As usual CM shoots first talks later

  70. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    Douglas –

    It’s not a question of secrecy, it’s a question of respecting etiquette. As I pointed out originally when I made the distinction between permission and lack thereof. If you hadn’t been in such a hurry to make falsely sarcastic suggestions about my intelligence (You do know that, don’t you?), you might have found the time to read what I actually wrote.

    Honestly – the political left go on and on about how everybody else lowers the tone of debate, yet here on this one post, the left display that they too are childish, rude, frustrated, impatient, arrogant, and incredibly nosy. At no point have I written anything that deserves your snide insinuations regarding my grasp on reality.

    Grow up.

  71. douglas clark — on 29th December, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

    bella gerens,

    I read what you actually wrote. Did you bother to read what I actually wrote?

    Probably not. I see no reason why someone who has outed themselves as both Devils’ Kitchen and Chris Mounsey on an open forum like your own blog should expect or indeed want the public to be unaware of that.

    Why would that be bella? Forget the etiquette for a moment. Why do you think that that is a tenable position?

    Honestly – the political left go on and on about how everybody else lowers the tone of debate, yet here on this one post, the left display that they too are childish, rude, frustrated, impatient, arrogant, and incredibly nosy. At no point have I written anything that deserves your snide insinuations regarding my grasp on reality.

    Grow up.

    As you clearly haven’t a clue how the internet works I’d humbly suggest to you that you are the one with some growing up to do.

  72. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 4:36 pm  

    Douglas –

    You persist in misconstruing the issue. DK has no problem with ‘the public’ being aware of his real name. As I have said twice now, it is not about secrecy.

    And hey, there you go again, telling me more stuff I don’t know. I’m humbled to be taught and corrected by you, in your ineffable wisdom.

  73. BenSix — on 29th December, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

    bella…

    Honestly – the political left go on and on about how everybody else lowers the tone of debate, yet here on this one post, the left display that they too are childish, rude, frustrated, impatient, arrogant, and incredibly nosy. At no point have I written anything that deserves your snide insinuations regarding my grasp on reality.

    I think you wrote a post once which, quite rightly, pointed out that drawing generalisations from the behaviour of one or two Libertarians was silly. I don’t think I’m being too much of a tosser to suggest that a similar rule applies here.

  74. bella gerens — on 29th December, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

    BenSix –

    You’re quite right. I amend my description to include only those who have been rude etc. in this particular discussion.

  75. Chris Baldwin — on 29th December, 2009 at 7:36 pm  

    “So, my class must be defined by my parents”

    Idiot. Any fool knows that class is defined by one’s occupation. Does a millionaire businessman who loses it all and becomes a shop assistant become working class? Yes he does.

  76. Leon — on 29th December, 2009 at 8:48 pm  

    Wow that obnoxious little cunt DK actually managed to get someone to marry him??! Jesus…

  77. Joseph Sanderson — on 31st December, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

    Leon, I rarely comment on other posters musings, in your case I will make an exception, if you think that using such abusive language to describe another blogger is perfectly acceptable, then perhaps you should be made aware of what the word “obnoxious” means:

    obnoxiousness – hatefulness: the quality of being hateful, which after reading your post describes your comment perfectly. person on this specific thread is YOU

    In fact this entire blog has turned into a forum for spouting infantile accusations against each other.

  78. Jontosthegreat — on 1st January, 2010 at 7:57 am  

    There are but two things in this world that I hate.

    First: racism

    Second: Asians

  79. John Booth — on 3rd January, 2010 at 6:01 pm  

    The issue is quite simple: the leader of a political party that bases its ideology on a distinct interpretation of modern economics, thinks it’s not a big deal that he hasn’t read the key text of the father of modern economics and has no idea what that text has to say about progressive taxation.

    What’s worse is that people are defending and even praising his lack of basic knowledge. For Bella to say “it’s okay to not have read Smith, you can hear about it from one’s wife and from others” is shocking.

    I think this pretty much sums up the whole bloggertarian movement. In fact, I’d say this quote from Chris Mounsey should be the epitaph on his political gravestone:

    “Since I haven’t read Smith, I have no idea what he said about progressive taxation—and I don’t really care.”

  80. bella gerens — on 3rd January, 2010 at 7:58 pm  

    John Booth (rather unfortunate name there, no?) –

    It’s really not that big a deal. Do you think Gordon Brown, for instance, knows what Adam Smith said about anything? Or that be believes Adam Smith was right? DK is a party leader, not an economist. Just like Gordon Brown, really. And seeing as DK has never been anywhere near directing the economic policy of the country, you might just give it a rest.

  81. bernard — on 3rd January, 2010 at 8:17 pm  

    You know what Bella, in a way I actually admire you. It can’t be easy having to trawl the internet apologising for someone whose incontinent posts make him such a deep embarassment.

    I’m sure in the marital home he is a dear sweet chap. But why would I give a flying fuck? I’m not voting for whether he’s a thoughtful, considerate husband but for whether his stances are coherent and his judgment is sound. So I judge based on his online statements, inasmuch as he hasn’t deleted them soon after posting. Which is why I’d never in a million years support the LURPAK.

  82. bernard — on 3rd January, 2010 at 8:18 pm  

    Also, your goalpost-moving and whataboutery are a sight to behold. Well done. I always wonder how libertarians manage it.

  83. bella gerens — on 4th January, 2010 at 1:00 am  

    bernard –

    I’m not apologising for him, nor am I campaigning. I’m just pointing out the silliness of the idea that all party leaders must be au fait with Adam Smith.

    ‘Goalpost-moving and whataboutery’? Okay, if you say so. At least I’m trying to keep it fairly impersonal. You can talk about my ‘marital home’ if you want; I’d rather keep the discussion on actual politics.

  84. bernard — on 4th January, 2010 at 10:11 am  

    Thanks for ignoring what I said. I’m saying that whatever Mounsey is like as a person, I don’t give a fuck, I’m just saying that nothing he has publicly said suggests he’d be anything other than a toatl disaster as a person.

    That’s why your fucking feeble “party” got 36 votes the last time it tried walking the walk.

  85. bella gerens — on 4th January, 2010 at 2:22 pm  

    bernard –

    How does responding to your comment constitute ignoring what you said? I read it quite carefully:

    whatever Mounsey is like as a person…nothing he has publicly said suggests he’d be anything other than a toatl disaster as a person

    And really, if you’re not going to make any sense, I can’t really be bothered to address the rest of your bitter remarks.

  86. bernard — on 4th January, 2010 at 3:03 pm  

    “A total disaster as a politician”, I meant- whatever.

    As for being bitter, I’m actually laughing uproariously. You see, I enjoy slagging people off and I don’t particularly mind if people do it to me. There’s a certain joy you can only get from berating someone- as a libertarian would surely know given what your blog chums tend to be like.

  87. Closet Libertarian — on 5th January, 2010 at 8:48 am  

    Fuck me Sunny, you really are a retarded, dreary cunt you know that? It’s thanks to stupid leftist pricks like you that we’re fucked.

    Well done lad.

  88. bella gerens — on 7th January, 2010 at 1:44 am  

    bernard –

    Yeah… I suppose there may be some satisfaction in slagging off complete strangers. I don’t know that my libertarian ‘blog chums’ derive all that much pleasure from being really angry all the time, but… *shrug* Maybe they do.

  89. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2010 at 2:47 am  

    bella gerens,

    I suppose there may be some satisfaction in slagging off complete strangers.

    Oh the fucking irony! Or the complete utter innocence.

    See your good mate, presumeably, Closet Libertarian, who expresses herself in a cute and vibrant fashion:

    Fuck me Sunny, you really are a retarded, dreary cunt you know that? It’s thanks to stupid leftist pricks like you that we’re fucked.

    What a hoot!

    What a sweary idiot, lacking a brain cell.

    Even liberals can use words like ‘cunt’ and not be too embarrassed about it. We tend not to, but that is a choice.

    If your hubby or your very good friend Closet Libertarian wants to get into a swearing competition, she or he’d lose.

    Guaranteed.

    Now stop pretending you are some sort of innocent around here……

    Devils Kitchen has made a ‘fucking’ living out of being a sweary wee ‘cunt’.

  90. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2010 at 3:02 am  

    bella gerens,

    Where is Chris standing in the General Election?

    If it were not for the likelyhood that postal votes are a form of fraud, I’d be willing to bet that he gets less than a thousand votes, anywhere….

  91. He's Spartacus — on 3rd April, 2010 at 7:37 am  

    That kind of riposte belongs on the playground, not in the world of adults.

    Hundal to a tee.

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