My brother phoned up to inform me that he has passed his PHd and is now a Doctor. This is a terrific achievement for a man who has been on incapacity benefits, of one form or another, for much of his adult life, and will open many doors for him.
During the conversation, he mentioned some very interesting facts.
Did you know that the fall of the Roman Empire began when its richest citizens decided not to pay their taxes anymore and withdrew to their private estates? Public services were divided up and sold off, and the bulk of the tax burden was placed on the poor, who were in no position to pay up.
Neither did I.
Isn’t that similar, though, to the situation in the UK right now? Never mind all the nonsense George Osborne and David Cameron have been talking about getting tough on tax avoidance; the fact is that the richest corporations – the multinationals and those with the ability to follow their example – have been paying far less than their due for many years, sequestering the rest of their money away in foreign tax havens, well away from prying tax inspectors’ eyes.
And David Cameron made it clear as early as 2011 that he wanted to sell of as much of Britain’s public services as he possibly could, retaining only justice and the security services (although we can see that justice is also being broken up, with plans to get lawyers to bid for the privilege of providing “adequate” service to defendants). The NHS is already being carved up; parts of some police forces have been privatised; we have some private prisons. Parts of the civil service are to be sold into private ownership. The list is growing.
The whole situation mirrors that of the Fall of Rome, and begs the question: Is David Cameron trying to engineer the end of British civilisation as we know it?
Just a thought.