Whatever happened to patriotism?

I was just watching a TV discussion about the debate over dropping the 50p tax rate, and the attitude of the Tories seems very strange to me.

Firstly, the party of patriotism seems to be suggesting that Great British people should all prefer to leave these shores, rather than pay the current top rate, which doesn’t strike me as being very patriotic at all.

“Breathes there a man with soul so dead, he never to himself has said, ‘This is my own, my native land’,” – unless he has to pay the top tax rate, in which case he should scarper to foreign parts, apparently.

Also, this only emphasizes the fact that most of us are tax prisoners here; we can’t afford to up stumps and hightail it abroad, and many countries wouldn’t have us because we wouldn’t have unique skills that they’d want to employ.

Equally important is the fact that they seem to be saying a lower rate would encourage people to immigrate to the UK.

Aren’t they the people who are critical of immigration? Don’t their supporters want fewer foreigners coming to Blighty and taking advantage of the system? They might say it’s okay if they’re contributing, but they would be contributing less and benefiting just as much.

I was born in the UK; I live here and I expect to die here, paying the rate of tax set for my pay grade by the government. It’s one of many ways in which I contribute to my country – part of my patriotic duty as a citizen, if you like.

If the Conservatives are suggesting higher earners – who are more likely to support them – will do the unpatriotic thing if they are asked to do their bit, then they are not the party of patriotism.

Perhaps it’s time someone else took that mantle off them.