Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Worrying State of Affairs

There seems to be a culture change that is occurring among the political class. It begins with the campaign to cancel Third World debt. It's a policy I've always been opposed to - the biggest problem in Africa is corrupt governance that embexxles money away from the people and spends it on presidential palaces and weapons. That's why the loans weren't successful in the first place. And to me, there is something seriously wrong with allowing people who have entered into a serious agreement to back out of it. Would a court in this country allow someone to get out of repaying a bank loan because they later decided they couldn't afford repayments?

Unfortunately, the answer now appears to be yes. There's been a new addition to staple TV adverts recently. Alongside the ambulance-chasing lawyers, there are now adverts from companies like "DebtMatters" who claim to be able to help sort out financial crises - "using government legislation that allows you to freeze up to 75% of outstanding commitments". I don't know the nuts and bolts of all of this, but it seems like the government is legislating against people taking responsibility for their own affairs. Far from forcing people to face up to the fact they live beyond their means, instead the government seems to encourage profligacy.

Thus it shouldn't be a surprise that political parties are now trying to get the taxpayer to bail them out for their own financial mismanagement. It's not the fault of the public if the political parties can't engage the public enough to fork out some cash to pay for their activities. Political parties don't have a right to exist in and of themselves. It seems to me as if Labour have been living well beyond their means in an attempt to shore up their power - and if they can't back it up, then they should have to suffer the consequences. Not expect to find some convenient location for someone to write a blank cheque for their incompetence.