Monday, October 23, 2006

Man tries to get rich by writing about the evils of money

Remember how the Tories used to run our public services on the basis of anecdotes? Oliver James seems to come from the same school. You must know the technique; take a couple of extreme examples and use them to prove your pet theory.

It’s every barroom bore's stock-in-trade. The ‘I’ve met three West Indians who would love to return to Jamaica therefore all West Indians would love to return to Jamaica’ / ‘a few out of thousands of operations have had to be postponed therefore the NHS is in crisis’ type of approach to life's complexities.

Mr James’s astonishingly feeble piece in the Guardian is there presumably to advertise his new book. I don’t think he’s written it out of mere goodness of heart; I expect he wants to generate some cash.

Odd because he thinks that “placing of a high value on money” makes people miserable. Another good excuse to bash New Labour it seems. How dare they make people affluent?

The evidence he produces to support his loosely defined thesis is questionable to non existent. But no matter, he’s spoken to someone about someone else who might just fit his case so it must all be true...


At 17:32, Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

What an idiot. I may actually have to post (gasp!) about this myself!

At 10:03, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Thanks Andrew, but I see you went for "Why I joined" instead and froze B4L in the process!

At 11:51, Blogger politaholic said...

The idea of an "affluence virus" is a bit dubious. I seem to distantly recall CW Mills - many moons ago - ridiculing a similar idea (that shedloads of money makes people miserable). But I don't see how you can deny that New Labour's moguls are mesmermised by money: the Blair's clearly are; so was Peter Mandelson; and Tessa Jowell's alleged amnesia about her multiple mortgages are risible. I could go on and on... If anyone doesn't see a problem here, they're not looking.

At 21:12, Blogger Hughes Views said...

politaholic - thanks for the comment but, given the amount of potential income Tony Blair forfeited by giving up his potentially lucrative career at the Bar, it's laughable to suggest that he is mesmerised by money.

No one but a fool would go into politics for the money; there are easier and much richer pickings to be had for people of ability in boardrooms, legal chambers or the City to name but three, than there are at Westminster. And, whatever else they might be, the Blairs aren't fools.

At 08:24, Blogger politaholic said...

I take your point (that one can earn more money as a lawyer than as a humble MP). But isn’t that precisely why only one Blair entered politics? In any case, Tony - who has always complained about how little he earns - stands to make huge piles of moolah when he leaves office (the American lecture circuit, TV appearances, memoirs, numerous supernumerary positions on Boards of Directors, etc). And have you forgotten about the Bristol flats and Cherie’s various speaking engagements? On one occasion “she accepted £17,000 for speaking at an event which left an Australian charity out of pocket” (Guardian 16/11/05). That seems to me to show an unusual amount of interest in money. On another occasion she trousered £30,000 for a Washington speech on the difficulty of being the UK’s “First Lady” and indignant rejected the suggestion that money earned solely by virtue of being the Prime Minister’s wife should be donated to charity. Finally, by “money” I meant not just cash but “the moneyed” (perhaps I should have made that clear). And the Blairs – and New Labour as a whole - are most certainly mesmerised by the rich. Mandelson’s fawning on the rich is infamous: a mere glimpse of a millionaire is enough to make him swoon.

At 10:36, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Politaholic - In a meritocracy it is inevitable that some people will become rich and powerful. This is, I think, preferable to the ‘old Tory’ vision in which only ‘old money’ is respectable ie stuff handed down through the generations from some ancient robber baron or royal sycophant. Mankind has not yet devised a system of government that divides wealth equally and it never will. Even in the tiny Scandinavian countries, which seem to be the Last Great Hopes for socialist fantasists, huge differences exist.

And it’s inevitable that powerful politicians will find the company of powerful entrepreneurs more convivial and a better use of their time than the company of people like us who either lack the necessary skills and good luck or don’t want to become successful and wealthy achievers.

Now, given that the Libs, Tories and Labour all seem to have realised that, to keep the economy vibrant, there needs to be opportunities for individuals to get rich, if you want a return to an ‘old money’ is respectable, ‘new money isn’t’ country you’d better vote for UKIP...


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home