Sorry – it’s behind the Times’ paywall, but it deserves mentioning, because it demonstrates that, in Andrew Mitchell, we have a Tory minister who is, in fact, a redistributive socialist.
After a harrowing trip to meet flood victims in Pakistan, a cabinet minister has called on workers who receive bonuses to donate some of the money to charity.
Errr okay. After 13 years of Labour I’m hideously overtaxed, my pension and other investments have been repeatedly decimated by Gordon Brown’s government. And you think I’ve got spare money to pour into a bottomless pit?
And I’m not even going to bother rehearsing the arguments regarding donating money to Pakistan.*
The Tory socialist goes further.
“There are some companies who require people who are paid bonuses to give some of it away,” Mitchell said. “It is about accepting that we all have a part to play when it comes to giving aid.”
That’s an incredible statement from a Conservative MP, don’t you think?
Let me tell you that I’d play merry fucking hell if my company forced me to give a single penny of my hard earned pay over to any sort of charity. Yes I get a bonus, comprising elements related to personal performance and company performance. It’s not a massive sum, but it’s written into my contract of employment and it was one of the reasons I took the job in the first place.
Oh sure, they run a GiftAid scheme for those who choose to donate. They contract that out to some hokey outfit who have a list of about 40 charities you can give to. I ran through the list and identified that nearly 30 of those were fake charities according accounts filed with the Charities Commission.
What this implies is that I’ve already given involuntarily to those charities via taxes. So naturally I don’t give anything more to them. Not a red cent.
But to be forced to make donations? Fuck. That.
What’s that you say? I’ve already given money to Pakistan? Of course I have. Silly me.
Mitchell has just doubled the government’s contribution to the floods fund to more than £64m — so he can afford to take the moral high ground. However, the British public, while giving generously, are not digging as deep for this natural disaster as they have for others.
My share of that £64 million is already way more than I would be prepared to donate to the cause.
Perhaps my philanthropic aspect will become more prominent when the state stops taking my money with a gun to my head and giving it to causes – that more often than not I disagree with – on my behalf.
* If you’re quick, there was a surprisingly balanced debate on that matter on Any Questions on Friday night