The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
Cerebral_Narcissist
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

The Tories are cowardly scumbags

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,511 times Debate No: 12725
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (22)
Votes (7)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

The Tory-led Government wants to raise a few quid, so who do you think they approached? Was it:

A – Parasitic, tax-dodging aristocrats who have never done an honest day's work in their lives, but thanks to being born into privileged families, have more money than they know what to do with, or

B – Deprived and impoverished little kiddies with no way of defending themselves.

The obvious answer, from a moral point of view, would be A – that is: to ask the over-privileged, idle rich and other fabulously wealthy people if they wouldn't mind, you know, paying their fair share of tax.

But wealthy people are very influential and know powerful people in high places - many of these tax-dodging toffs went to the world's poshest school: Eton; and have Old Etonian friends who are ready to do favours for them - Old Etonians like David Cameron, the Tory Prime Minister, for example. [1,2]

So even though tax evasion by the rich costs Britain �15 billion a year - that's 15 times the cost of benefit fraud, by the way [3] - instead of cracking down on wealthy tax-dodgers, the Tory Health Minister Anne Milton decided to launch a viscous and cowardly attack on some of Britain's most vulnerable inhabitants by snatching the milk out of the hands of poor little children. [4]

Even the profoundly evil and mentally-deranged former dictator Margaret "the milk-snatcher" Thatcher didn't go that far when she robbed all but the youngest children of their free milk in the early seventies. [5]

Such was the public's disgust and revulsion at the plan, the spineless Tories hastily back-tracked on the idea, no doubt to plot some other despicable raid on another easy target.

The Tories are total, unmitigated scumbags, they really are, and the people who voted these cretinous Conservatives into to power should hang their heads in shame.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.mirror.co.uk...
[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[3] http://citywire.co.uk...
[4] http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk...
[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for posting such an interesting debate.

My opponent asks
"The Tory-led Government wants to raise a few quid, so who do you think they approached? Was it:

A – Parasitic, tax-dodging aristocrats who have never done an honest day's work in their lives, but thanks to being born into privileged families, have more money than they know what to do with, or

B – Deprived and impoverished little kiddies with no way of defending themselves."

I object to this question on the following grounds.

1: My opponent attacks tax-dodging aristocrats, he fails to state who these aristocrats are, and how they are avoiding paying their taxes. Though his link shows that tax fraud is a problem for the UK, it fails to lay the blame on the shoulders of this privileged elite.

2: My opponent assumes that these aristocrats and Etonians have never done a days work in their lives, however a number of them are CEO's, Company Directors and Captains of Industry. Such positions are indeed hard work, generate intense stress levels and can only be fulfilled by a minority of the population. Though 'high birth' may have eased the ascent of many into such lofty positions the private sector is not a charity and is not feudal, such people are there because they have the ability to be there. They command vast salaries due to the scarcity of people who are capable of fulfilling such roles, and the profits that they generate. The government generates from such people, income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and so forth. The companies that they lead hire people, those people pay their taxes, spend their money and add to the economy. The economic truth is that the rich do contribute.

3: My opponent refers to the plight of impoverished and defenceless children. The reality is that they are not being cruelly forced to bear the burden of Government finances. My opponent posts a link that simply suggests that the Prime Minister had decided to withdraw free milk for nursery school children, and then changed his mind. The reality of the situation is that,
a) The economy is weak,
b) Government coffers are empty,
c) Children will not suffer or die if they don't drink milk at nursery school,
d) Any family in the country can afford to buy their own milk, retailing as it does at approximately 40p a pint [1],
e) It is not the role of a resources strained Government to supply milk to children, unless they be wards of the state.
f) The Prime Minister is desperate for ideas to save money [2], and is under intense pressure to be seen to be doing something as the country is in imminent risk of financial collapse. [3]
g) The Prime Minister changed his mind.

Many of these points can also be extended to the general consideration that the Conversative led Government has given to the potential of cutting public services (I am sure my opponent has only fixated on the milk issue as an example and a 'homage' to Margaret Thatcher in order to establish a wider point).

My opponents conclusion,
"The obvious answer, from a moral point of view, would be A – that is: to ask the over-privileged, idle rich and other fabulously wealthy people if they wouldn't mind, you know, paying their fair share of tax."

Is therefore obviously flawed. The rich already pay tax. They also allow the middle class and working class to pay tax by creating the jobs from which they derive their salaries.

In addition what is moral is best judged on a consideration of intent, consequence and the greater good.

I will offer my opponent two scenarios and would like him to consider the most moral option.

1: A cash strapped Government during a time of economic woe can continue to provide unneccesary services that could be provided by the people themselves through punitive measures against the rich. Ultimately leading to debt, job losses, more people on the dole, higher prices in the shops, the loss of investment, resulting in economic collapse, mass poverty and greek style rioting.

or

2: A cash strapped Government during a time of economic woe can cut unneccesary services that could be provided by the people themselves and in doing so give the economy a chance to recover.

I am sure that it is obvious that option 2 is the more moral option, which in turn invalidates my opponents position that the tories are immoral or indeed 'scumbags' as they have attempted to take what is ultimately the only truly moral option.

Further Points
Such cost cutting measures would not have been required if the former Labour Government had not pursued a 'scorched earth policy' intended to obstruct the new Government. To play party politics at the cost of the national economy was an act of obscene party politics [4]. Which the former government gleefully admitted to [5].

[1] http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk...
[2] http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk...
[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
[4] http://www.timesonline.co.uk...
[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I am very pleased that Cerebral Narcissist chose to accept this debate and would like to respond as follows:

1 – Identity of the British aristocracy and their attitude to tax.

The landed gentry in Britain make up only 0.6% of the population yet own around 70% of the land and the vast great majority of these aristocrats are from the same families that owned the land in the 19th Century.

http://www.aristocracyuk.co.uk...

For example, the Duke of Westminster is the wealthiest British-born person in the country and has assets worth �6,750 million ($10,571 million) – that's enough to pay for the milk that the viscous, grasping Tories wanted to snatch off the kids for the next 135 years!

http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk...

Incidentally, the Duke of Westminster comes from a long line of tax-dodgers. When his father was prosecuted for tax evasion in the 1930's his defence was:

"Every man is entitled if he can to order his affairs so as that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure this result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax."

http://en.wikiquote.org...

All that money and he refused to pay his fair share of tax - or even apologise for not doing so – the dirty, cheating, over-privileged, Tory-supporting scumbag.

But this attitude towards tax is common in the aristocracy and the Country Landowners Association, which represents their interests, even offers aristocrats free advice on how to minimise their tax exposure.

http://www.cla.org.uk...

Indeed, reviewing the latest budget, they advised their members:

"A consultation will take place over the next few months on whether the Inheritance Tax on trusts should be brought within the disclosure regime (ie, under which avoidance schemes have to be notified). You have been warned!"

http://www.cla.org.uk...

2 – Aristocratic Old Etonians are wealth creators.

If you examine the list of today's notable Old Etonians you will discover that the list is overwhelmingly populated by Conservative politicians, royalty and also aristocrats who call hobbies their occupations: 'oarsman, equestrian, writer, actor, mountaineer, restaurant critic, etc. If these people weren't rich, their occupation would be described as 'unemployed'!

http://en.wikipedia.org...

3 – The burden of reducing the budget deficit.

It is true that the Government needs to pay off the budget deficit, which currently stands at �155bn ($243bn). This can be done two ways: either collect all the taxes that are due by closing the tax loopholes that the rich exploit, or make savage cuts to the vital public services that the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society rely upon.

Sadly, the spiteful, heartless Tories has chosen the latter option – even though collecting the �120bn ($188bn) that is owed in tax plus the �15bn ($23bn) in tax that the rich evade every year would mean the entire deficit could be paid off in less than 13 months.

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk...

But the Tories hate taxing the rich – indeed their aim is to reduce the amount of tax wealthy people pay, not increase it. For example, when she was shadow leader of the House of Commons, Theresa May said: "I am happy to confirm that our inheritance tax proposal will introduce a threshold of �1m per person (not per couple). This means that it would be possible for a married couple to enjoy a threshold of �2m."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

This fabulous tax break would only benefit the richest 3,000 families in the country and would have to be paid for by taxing those on low and middle incomes - but of course making the rich even richer at the expense of the poor is one of the Conservatives core beliefs.

My opponent then offered me a moral choice:

"1: A cash strapped Government during a time of economic woe can continue to provide unnecessary services that could be provided by the people themselves through punitive measures against the rich. Ultimately leading to debt, job losses, more people on the dole, higher prices in the shops, the loss of investment, resulting in economic collapse, mass poverty and greek style rioting.

Or,

2: A cash strapped Government during a time of economic woe can cut unneccesary services that could be provided by the people themselves and in doing so give the economy a chance to recover."

Very few public services are unnecessary if you have to rely upon them. Yes, you can reduce the numbers of police, doctors, teachers and other key workers as the Tories propose but if you become the victim of crime, or cannot get a hospital bed when you are injured or your children don't get a decent education, you might think that funding these services properly is necessary.

Furthermore, it is not the funding of these services that causes unemployment and civil unrest as my opponent claims –it is the opposite. Indeed 725,000 public sector jobs will be axed under the Tories' plans to cut government spending and thousands have already taken to the streets in protest.

http://www.personneltoday.com...

Finally my opponent repeated the Tory press' mantra of blaming the deficit on the previous Labour Government. I should remind him that the deficit was the result of the global, not British but global, economic crisis which was, in turn, caused by the greed and incompetence of investment bankers – very few of whom are Labour voters.

In conclusion, the fair way to reduce the budget deficit is to spread the pain over society as a whole by
cutting out any waste and excess in the public sector while gathering the taxes that the wealthy owe but currently aren't being collected.

However collecting taxes from the rich is easier said than done you might say. Well, the Government could use private rating firms such as Experian to monitor wealthy people's spending and share the information with the Government so they could go after them.

But surely this would amount to a gross infringement of civil liberties, you might say. Well, perhaps, but it is not my idea, it is the Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron's, except he's not going after wealthy tax evaders who can afford expensive lawyers and accountants, no, he's going after the poorest and most vulnerable people in society – those people claiming state benefits.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...

This despicable, spiteful policy was just announced today and is a perfect illustration of why I was right to label the Tories cowardly scumbags.

Thank you.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

Though he does elaborate on this definition of the Aristocracy, my opponent merely demonstrates that they are rich, not that are failing to pay a fair or sufficient amout of tax.

My opponent further argues that,
"the Duke of Westminster is the wealthiest British-born person in the country and has assets worth �6,750 million ($10,571 million) – that's enough to pay for the milk that the viscous, grasping Tories wanted to snatch off the kids for the next 135 years!"

My opponents link demonstrates that the Dukes vast wealth is at least partly tied up in his "Grosvenor Group" and therefore in legitimate and above board financial deals. As a result they are being taxed. My opponent has offered no suggestion that this taxation is too low, or that the Duke of Westminster has fiddled his accounts, nor that such fiddling is a characteristic of the aristocracy.

In addition I picked up a four pint bottle of semi-skimed milk from Iceland's yesterday, it cost me the reasonable sum of �1.10. Rounding up that is 28p a pint.

My opponents article states that the Dukes has earned by �250 million in the past year. Let us imagine that the Government took a mere 10% of that money (a low tax rate that prince or pauper alike would welcome). This would raise �25 million. If we imagine that each child consumes half a pint of milk per day at nursery (monday to friday) then ignoring holidays that child consumes 130 pints of milk per year. At 28p a pint (which ignores the fact that the Nursery could probably purchase it at a cheaper price) the bill for each child comes to roughly �36 per annum.

�25 million would pay for nearly 700,000 children and this is simply one lightly taxed Aristocrat.

I therefore suggest that such people are more than likely paying their fair share. In addition my opponent has failed to show why the parents themselves can not buy milk for their own children.

My opponent states that,
"Incidentally, the Duke of Westminster comes from a long line of tax-dodgers. When his father was prosecuted for tax evasion in the 1930's his defence was:"

"Every man is entitled if he can to order his affairs so as that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure this result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax."

However my opponent has mistakenly conflated tax fraud, with the legitimate legal attempt to structure your finances in a way that minimises your tax burden. It the latter to which the Lord referred and the Court agreed with him, his views entering into law as legal principle and precedent. It is for this reason that businessmen, possibly including my opponent hire accountants. [1]

http://smeplus.mercerhole.co.uk...

"But this attitude towards tax is common in the aristocracy and the Country Landowners Association, which represents their interests, even offers aristocrats free advice on how to minimise their tax exposure."

Which is entirely legal and proper, if a man is legally required to pay 30p in the pound, it is unfair if he finds himself paying 40p in the pound.

My opponent offers certain counter-arguments,

"If you examine the list of today's notable Old Etonians you will discover that the list is overwhelmingly populated by Conservative politicians, royalty and also aristocrats who call hobbies their occupations: 'oarsman, equestrian, writer, actor, mountaineer, restaurant critic, etc. If these people weren't rich, their occupation would be described as 'unemployed'!"

This does not seem to be a relevant counterpoint, such people are rich, they may be even idle rich. The onus is on my opponent to show how they have swindled and defrauded the system. Simply hiring accountants to ensure they are paying correct amounts of tax is not only their legal right, but also common sense. It is done by every business in the land, from white van man to grand country estates. In addition though they may be idle, their wealth is not. It is invested and keeps the economy afloat. By subjecting it to punitive measures you threaten the economy, and Government revenue, which is therefore counter-productive.

My opponent further argues,

"3 – The burden of reducing the budget deficit.
It is true that the Government needs to pay off the budget deficit, which currently stands at �155bn ($243bn). This can be done two ways: either collect all the taxes that are due by closing the tax loopholes that the rich exploit, or make savage cuts to the vital public services that the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society rely upon."

1: My opponent has not demonstrated that the rich are exploiting such loopholes.
2: My opponent has not recognised that even if there are such loopholes, closing them may harm the economy as many flows to tax shelters and such like.
3: My opponent has failed to demonstrate how the provision of milk to nursery school children is a vital service that only the Government can supply.

My opponent states that,
"Sadly, the spiteful, heartless Tories has chosen the latter option – even though collecting the �120bn ($188bn) that is owed in tax plus the �15bn ($23bn) in tax that the rich evade every year would mean the entire deficit could be paid off in less than 13 months."

And cites the socialist worker as support. This can not be considred a reliable source of economic wisdom. Back in the late 90's the socialist worker openly and proudly supported Mugabe's Stalinist policies against the white farmers, the result was hunger and hyper-inflation. The Socialist worker refers to itself as 'revolutionary', 'anti-capitalist' and would seek to forcibly collectivise key British firms. In short they are economically illiterate and even if their sums were correct they do not factor in the inevitable economic collapse that such policies would cause.

My opponent further complains that,
"I am happy to confirm that our inheritance tax proposal will introduce a threshold of �1m per person (not per couple). This means that it would be possible for a married couple to enjoy a threshold of �2m."

Which is excellent news, preserving as it does the long term wealth of the monied and wealth creating class, a vital step when the economy is on the verge of collapse.

"Very few public services are unnecessary if you have to rely upon them. Yes, you can reduce the numbers of police, doctors, teachers and other key workers as the Tories propose but if you become the victim of crime, or cannot get a hospital bed when you are injured or your children don't get a decent education, you might think that funding these services properly is necessary."

Surely it is better in terms of human welfare and therefore to reduce our standard of living, indeed create a few more unemployed people, in order to avert economic collapse. If there is an economic collapse the Government will have to axe more than a few police, doctors, teachers and so forth, and indeed will not be able to pay them welfare money.

"Finally my opponent repeated the Tory press' mantra of blaming the deficit on the previous Labour Government. I should remind him that the deficit was the result of the global, not British but global, economic crisis "

The boom and bust cycle of capitalism is not a new discovery, however the labour Government had no contingency against this and actively tried to make the crisis worse.

"In conclusion, the fair way to reduce the budget deficit is to spread the pain over society as a whole by
cutting out any waste and excess in the public sector while gathering the taxes that the wealthy owe but currently aren't being collected."

My opponent has failed to prove that the aristocracy are engaged in tax fraud. In conclusion thank you for a fine debate and vote con!
Debate Round No. 2
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
The title of this debate made me laugh so hard, no idea why. xD
Posted by NorthernShooter 6 years ago
NorthernShooter
Labor Liberals are cowardly scumbags.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Yvette... you are a dirty socialist and don't even try to deny it... *shakes fist*
Posted by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
How about "Tories are scummy cowards? "
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Brian debates what he wants to debate in a way that he enjoys, more than posting debates just to boost his win rate... but he still tends to win a lot!
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
I am aware I couldn't prove Tory-supporting aristocrats evade their taxes - if I could I'd take great pleasure in handing the evidence over to Her Majesty's Customs and Excise Department!
Posted by PARADIGM_L0ST 6 years ago
PARADIGM_L0ST
I saw a few problems with PRO's arguments

1. The entire thesis is subjective
2. Many of the sources were dripping with blatant bias
3. He failed to substantiate which Tories evaded taxes, although was asked several times, and opted instead to make sweeping allegations.
4. The argument was purely emotive.
5. And his scathing criticism was more a political and ideological rant than it was informative.
6. Did not meet his objectives

All I saw was the argument: You are rich, and other people are poor. That's not fair, so I'm going to slander you.
Posted by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
LaissezFaire
"In other words, he did not discharge his duty as a citizen - even though he could easily have afforded to - and as a result, people much poorer than him had to pay more tax to make up for the revenue the Government lost through his tax evasion schemes."

People taking advantage of tax loopholes only causes others to pay more taxes in the sense that a homeowner buying a security system to keep out burglars causes his neighbors to be more likely to be robbed instead of him. The person protecting themselves from theft isn't the bad person; the thief is.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
No hurry from my point of view as it's the last round anyway!
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
I should have my second round up tomorrow morning!
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