Print Story I think I will have to vote Labour.
Diary
By Breaker (Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:54:40 AM EST) (all tags)
This may come as some surprise to many here, but I really think that the next government we elect in UKia should be Gordon Brown's Labour.


We have had delivery on crime, we have had 2.5 million now unemployed.

We've sacrificed 52 pubs a year  to enact the smoking ban, and sold our sovereignty to the EU  for them to crush our Anglo Saxon capitalism.  Meantime the former PM is off doing some capitalism himself.

We've had the judiciary setting out there is one law for them and another for us.  We have police harassing photographers, and our Royal Navy allowing pirates to kidnap British citizens.

The intrusion into our lives is not limited to stealing our children; stop smoking, stop eating salt, don't drink more than a beer a day.  State operatives are there to fine you at every possible opportunity.  We have 1% of the population of the world but 20% of CCTV cameras - 1 for every 14 people.  Despite this the police can shoot an innocent man and there be no resignations or sackings as a result, the CCTV evidence having gone walkies.

Our state education system has been shattered..  If you try and opt out of state education the government brands you a paedophile.  In the meantime the difference between the rich and poor grows.  Our hospitals are killing people.

By propping up our ruined economy by spending one borrowed pound for every four pounds HMG spends- we are now facing a Sovereign debt crises next year.

So, yes, in 2010 I shall put the nosepeg on and vote Labour.

Because in light of all the above, 29% of my fellow citizens will still vote Labour in 2010.

Until the evil that is Socialism in the UK has been shown to have comprehensively failed, we will continue electing the left.  It will run close to destroying the country, but we have a brighter future once the blight of Marxism is forever expunged from this green and pleasant land.

To do that, UKian living conditions must deteriorate under a Labour government until that 29% have abandoned them totally, completely and forever.

< Special Political Opinion Post | I should do a drunk diary sometime. >
I think I will have to vote Labour. | 112 comments (112 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Think, man by brokkr (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:04:35 AM EST
Those 29 % is the part of the population who thinks like you.
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

Heh by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:14:55 AM EST
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:16:30 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



Not as much as I should. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:28:06 AM EST
Could have gone on about twice as long.

That animated gif was giving me nightmares from last week.


[ Parent ]
Every time you link to the Daily Mail, by codemonkey uk (4.00 / 5) #5 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:46:11 AM EST
Dawkins kills a puppy.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
Simple solution by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 12:11:37 PM EST
Don't click on the links.

Why do you hate puppies?


[ Parent ]
To be fair he also by Phage (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 04:14:42 AM EST
Linked to The Times, The Guardian, The independent and even The Metro.

I have a new theory that The Daily Mail is just Godwin-lite.

[ Parent ]
In the US, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 12:49:53 PM EST
14% of people polled think fox news is biased to the left. So, there are daffy people everywhere.


Whatever the problem is by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 4) #8 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:14:57 PM EST
I cannot picture a situation where voting Tory is the answer.


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"Whatever the problem is" by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 04:11:01 AM EST
Did you even click on any of those links?


[ Parent ]
You just linked to the YouGov polls by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:10:56 PM EST
But the all polls page is interesting too.

The Tories seem to be panicking a bit much considering they still have a solid lead, although sitting goverments often gain once the campaign itself starts.

But what's interesting is that the Labour vote hasn't recovered much: it's still in the high twenties. But the Conservative vote seems to have shrunk from the low forties to high thirties, and the Lib Dems are pretty much where they were.

So if some voters are leaving the Tories, where are they going?

I'm wondering if now Cameron has dropped his Euro-referendum, they're going towards UKIP or the BNP.

Now if that's a trend not a blip, and Labour recover a bit in the campaign, I wonder if those parties could split the Conservative vote enough to let Labour in, or at least create a hung parliament.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

Hopefully! by gpig (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:11:42 PM EST
I wish I could vote for a hung parliament ....
---
(,   ,') -- eep
[ Parent ]
Do we have enough by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 04:20:06 AM EST
Piano wire?


[ Parent ]
Me too by priestess (4.00 / 1) #23 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:09:56 AM EST
I wonder if we could set up a website that people could go to in order to find out which party to vote for in order to maximize the chances of that?

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Oh I am sorry by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 04:55:10 AM EST
There weren't enough links in that diary for you!

Yep, Call Me Dave has completely alienated the Eurosceptic floaters.

Abhorrent as it may be, I do wonder if Parliament with a BNP MP in it might force the other parties to up their game.


[ Parent ]
Hrm by motty (4.00 / 2) #11 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:17:45 PM EST
I was following you until you mentioned 'socialism' and 'the left'.

At that point I lost your drift.

The Labour party has had nothing to do with either one of those things since John Smith died.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

Interesting point. by dmg (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:33:48 PM EST
He died rather suddenly, didn't he?

--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
As did Robin Cook by motty (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:50:42 PM EST
Politics is of course an extremely strenuous business.

The real tragedy is that full compulsory vegetarianism, teetotalism, non-smoking, physical jerks and so forth are as distant now as they have ever been.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
And David Kelly by dmg (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:04:08 PM EST
Although his death is somewhat suspicious.

--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
That's shocking and pernicious by motty (4.00 / 3) #15 Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:18:15 PM EST
It's completely normal and natural for men of a certain age to commit suicide by ingesting only a third of the fatal dose of coproxamol, then severing a wrist artery in weather cold enough to ensure vasoconstriction meant you wouldn't actually bleed too much and finally managing to successfully wipe their fingerprints off the knife before dying from a heart attack.

The only unusual thing is that he failed to also tie a rope around his neck, bind his hands and leave a gun lying around nearby, but as the Hutton Inquiry clearly found, he wasn't in his right mind at the time, owing to pressure of work.

This explains everything.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
Our MI5 lot by jump the ladder (4.00 / 2) #19 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 04:37:14 AM EST
Would never do anything like that. It's unpossible, I tell you.

Just read the authorised history and they seem like a decent bunch of coves just keeping a beady eye out for ne'er-do-wells.

[ Parent ]
You forgot by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #22 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:18:51 AM EST
Endless pursuance by one of the most evil PR operations ever known to UKia.  Alasteir CrowleyCampbell.

I am told he's back "in an advisory capacity".


[ Parent ]
Ooh I don't know by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #21 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:16:36 AM EST
Creeping stealth tax, authoritarian control, elevation of minorities - still looks like Labour, quacks like Labour and walks like Labour.

I'll agree they are no longer on the side of the common man, what with about 100 or so of their "hounourable members" having been to private schools.

But they are still Labour, they still espouse impoverishing the successful to subsidise the lazy.


[ Parent ]
Socialism by priestess (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:13:58 AM EST
Stealth taxes aren't socialist, proper up-front open progressive taxes are socialist,
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[ Parent ]
Weird. Why didn't that work? by priestess (4.00 / 1) #25 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:14:32 AM EST
Stealth taxes aren't socialist, proper up-front open progressive taxes are socialist, surely?

Authoritarianism isn't really socialist either, it's like the vertical axis on the political compass while socialism is more aligned with the horizontal axis. There's plenty of authoritarian right wingers and authoritarian left wingers. And plenty of anarcho-socialists like me.

That this government sucks balls though, I would certainly agree with. I won't be voting for 'em.

I won't be voting for the tories either though obviously. They're at least as bad.

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[ Parent ]
"Progressive" - what does that mean? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:25:26 AM EST
That taxes get progressively higher?

For what end?

Authoritarianism is the Socialists dirty hidden agenda.  Under Socialism the State is the main benefactor, the benign State.

FWIW I won't be voting Tory either.


[ Parent ]
Yes by priestess (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:30:57 AM EST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_tax

Mostly for practical reason: Richer people have more money to tax and if you tax poorer people the same as richer ones you tax them into starvation and death.

There are plenty of other reasons too: wealth redistribution. Which is a good thing, making society fairer.

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[ Parent ]
There is a tipping point though by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:43:29 AM EST
Where the taxed will not take it any more.

"Richer people" starts with the billionaires and ends with "those that earn more than me".

Why is "wealth redistribution" a good thing?


[ Parent ]
Jail tax evaders by priestess (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:48:39 AM EST
Of course there are optimum levels of taxation, nobody wants to see a 90% tax rate even on the second billion pounds a individual "earns".

Wealth redistribution is a good thing because having money makes it easier to make money. Money has a kind of gravity to it, cash attracts cash in proportion to it's mass.

This means it's easier for rich people to make money than for poor people to make money. Which, given that almost everyone who has money was born into it, is a large imbalance in fairness.

Wealth redistribution aims to redress this imbalance.

It's not a perfect solution, but then nothing is.

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They already do that by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:59:39 AM EST
Tax evaders do indeed go to jail.

having money makes it easier to make money

So those that are good at making money make more money.

given that almost everyone who has money was born into it
That is not in fact a given.  Those that are born into money do indeed make more money off it.  What we need is not taxes for equality, it is opportunity equality.

Look at this opportune man

Under which kind of tax system did he make his money?


[ Parent ]
Under which kind of tax system? by priestess (2.00 / 0) #32 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:07:42 AM EST
Under the progressive UK tax system. Indeed back when he started we DID have a 90% upper tax bracket didn't we?

And yes, if you can figure out some way better than wealth redistribution to give equal opportunity then we should probably do that as well. Do you have an idea for such a system?

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We did by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #33 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:18:16 AM EST
And we ended up going begging to the IMF to bail us out.

Thatcher binned that, put it down to 40% max.

That was before Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown slowly ratchetted up NI.

Reduce the disparity of welfare to work, there is like a 75%+ marginal tax rate when you try to emerge from benefits.

Income tax was only invented to fund a war.  NI was only invented to fund a universal health program.

We do not need wealth redistribution, we need opportunity equality.


[ Parent ]
I'm not really a fan of NI by priestess (2.00 / 0) #34 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:26:15 AM EST
I'm not really a fan of NI. Seems to me like the opposite of a progressive tax, it's a capped tax. Woah.

Also not a fan of removing benefits dollar-for-dollar when someone works. Think it'd be well helpful to let people on benefits earn money. Perhaps just reduce their benefit by 50% of the amount they earn, say?

I've said in the past I'd like to eliminate all those "tax-band" jumps and instead have a nice progressive asymptotic polynomial curve to decide tax rates. This may be too complicated for most accountants though I guess.

This "Opportunity equality" of which you speak, does it mean that a failed businessman with 3 kids, a dependent ex-wife and a three month old bankrupcy should have equal opportunity to a fresh college graduate (who I hope we agree is ideally more or less debt free after a state-funded education?).

If so I'm all for it.

So long as simply fucking up doesn't end that opportunity.

I dunno how we get to that situation though. Wealth redistribution is the closest I can think of. What's your idea?

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NI is capped, yes by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:43:14 AM EST
But I get nailed on it every wage bill.

Also not a fan of removing benefits dollar-for-dollar when someone works. Think it'd be well helpful to let people on benefits earn money. Perhaps just reduce their benefit by 50% of the amount they earn, say?

I am totally with you on this.

So long as simply fucking up doesn't end that opportunity.
Absolutely, a friend of the family has been delcared bankrupt twice.

He now employs 30+ people and is a net contributor.

Your polynomial curve approach to taxation is wrong though.

Why penalise the driven and successful?

What we really need is a smaller state operaiton. 
The state should be doing things we can't do alone.  Defense, rule of law equally applied, emergency healthcare.

That is it.

As a result - the rich will stay rich (no change there then), but the poor will have opportunity to join their ranks.

Socialism is all about cutting down the tall poppyies; liberatian capitalism is all about growing taller poppies.


[ Parent ]
I forgot by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:48:06 AM EST
A Citizens Income to replace the plethora of bennies.

It'll simplify the tax code too.


[ Parent ]
I think I agree by priestess (2.00 / 0) #41 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:20:57 AM EST
But I think taxes would have to go UP, especially for those with large incomes, to finance it at anything like substance level I'm afraid.

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[ Parent ]
Nope by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #49 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:43:18 AM EST
Taxes would go down as the cost of the state decreases.


[ Parent ]
Paying tax is not a penalty by priestess (2.00 / 0) #39 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:59:17 AM EST
Paying lots of tax indicates just how well you're doing as a result of the opportunities which society has offered you. You are repaying the debt that you owe society for those opportunities and helping to fund more opportunities for others like you.

Curious about the "Emergency" on the front of health-care there. You really think the NHS shouldn't be paying for hip operations or reconstructive plastic surgery or daily insulin?

You also didn't mention infrastructure: Roads, rail, communications (Note our phone system was built as a public resource before it was sold).

Or education. The state should also be providing education I would think, investing in the people who will eventually come to pay it's taxes.

Socialism isn't about cutting down tall poppies, it's about nurturing the small ones. Progressive tax isn't a punishment, it's just the only practical way to get the funds to nurture them. Hard-working successful people owe their success to more than just their hard-work, they also owe it to the society in which they grew and thrived. It's their privilege to help to further the very society which made them.

Anyway, seems unlikely we'll agree about what state services should be provided, which is the crux for if they are provided (to the benefit of the rich and the poor) they need to be funded and the rich folks who took best advantage of the opportunities offered by society are the ones with the money to fund it.

If we don't provide the services, how do we ensure equal opportunity? I don't see how libertarian capitalism is a system for finding "equal opportunity". How does a poor uneducated grocer have "equal opportunity" to the son of Rupert Murdoch? Surely we have to at least pay for that education? Healthcare, access to infrastructure, safety-nets, Child support etc.

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[ Parent ]
It is punitive though. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #40 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:18:38 AM EST
If you hit that 40% bracket.

You are repaying the debt that you owe society for those opportunities and helping to fund more opportunities for others like you.

MBW is currently running her own freelance operation.  She's overloaded with work.  We'd like to employ someone but the cost is just too great.  Tax, regulation.  I'll repay the "debt" as you put it by offering jobs, but under the current system I cannot expose a fledgling business to this kind of risk.  Oh that and the 35K the government takes from me each year.

How much more do you want me to pay?

Curious about the "Emergency" on the front of health-care there. You really think the NHS shouldn't be paying for hip operations or reconstructive plastic surgery
Nope, these are critical conditions not emergency conditions.  We can do that better, and more swiftly but not in the NHS.

How does a poor uneducated grocer have "equal opportunity" to the son of Rupert Murdoch?
They don't.

Sorry about that but fluffy equalities like this don't work in the real world.

Why is that grocer uneducated?

That is the equality of opportunity I am talking about, not equality of outcome. 

Give the people the tools.


[ Parent ]
The country I grew up in by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #44 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:33:31 AM EST
had the daughter of a grocer as prime minister.

[ Parent ]
Mine too by priestess (2.00 / 0) #46 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:38:27 AM EST
Her education was funded by the state IIRC.

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[ Parent ]
Under which educatino system? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #47 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:41:42 AM EST
Grammar or Comp?


[ Parent ]
Oxford University by priestess (2.00 / 0) #54 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:54:20 AM EST
I was thinking more of the chemistry she read at Oxford, since secondary level education is still funded at least.

As to schools, the Comp system is pretty sucky, but I'd suggest the Faith-Based Blair schools are suckier still.

:(

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[ Parent ]
Yep. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #58 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:01:24 AM EST
Let's get some teachers teaching stuff.


[ Parent ]
Read those links by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #48 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:42:33 AM EST
The daughter of a grocer these days won't even be able to spell her own name.


[ Parent ]
The only people I hear about who can't write by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #53 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:51:47 AM EST
certainly wouldn't be the children of people in employment, and are well beyond the reach of any but the most intensive and assertive social work interventions. I don't want to be told "read the links", I want a you to say the number and then tell me where it came from. That's how you discuss facts.

[ Parent ]
Paraphrased by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #57 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:58:09 AM EST
I hear about things, and the things I hear about are different things you hear about.

We all have filters.

I don't wan to read your links because they will damage the worldview I have right now and I am happy with that.

I want you to disprove my comfortable assertions, because I am either too lazy or unable to provide links for you, so in order to improve your argument (which you provided links to support) you must provide me with more links to disprove your argument.

Did I translate that right?


[ Parent ]
No. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #62 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:42:28 AM EST
I don't have comfortable assertions, because unlike you, I speak to heads of year, deputy heads and heads every day, because I'm telling them how to get help for individual children and arranging my colleagues' meetings with them.

So I know that the education system is full of people who give a toss, who can see when their children are struggling, who know the dynamics of how the children interact and who call in the support networks when things are going wrong. And I see also that everyone who comes from a family where someone works is literate enough to have social interactions like the one we're having: i.e. online.

And so the discrepancy appears. Your filters are different from mine, but unless you're hiding something, my information's a hell of a lot more direct and unaggregated than the information you've got.

So, I've told you my primary sources. Now tell me your secondary sources.

[ Parent ]
Oh I don't doubt it for a minute. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #70 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:56:19 AM EST
Here is a "secondary" source for you.

It will however require you to click it and read it.

It's a shame merekat completed her PhD already - this would have been a great slab of evidence of appealing to anecdotal evidence.


[ Parent ]
Thanks, I read that. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #79 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:19:29 AM EST
that's an anecdote too. It's talking about 7 year olds.

That's a secondary source because you're talking about something you've read, something that's been filtered by an editor as likely to be of interest to the people reading it before you filtered it as something that fitted the point of view you want to make.

And what I was talking about was the overall impression I have from my own subconscious filtering of unfiltered data. So yes, yours has an extra level of indirection to it, and unlike on a computer, indirection isn't a lossless process, it's one that loses information and complicates the story.

[ Parent ]
Snuffy teaches 11-16 YO* by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #82 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:26:50 AM EST
Your comment is meta about meta.

I think we can both agree that education our children is a valuable use of our resources.

Where we probably disagree is the provisioning of this.  I suggest you read this and think a little.

*YO - years old.  In the absence of an approved guide, despite requsting one, I still abbreviate.


[ Parent ]
My apologies. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #86 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:51:02 AM EST
I only read the first story in the blog which is about 7 year olds. See, what I asked for was a citation where somebody showed levels of functional illiteracy in children, not a blog where someone wrote about teaching.

While we're following the jargon thread, the normal abbreviation used in the English system "for 11-16 YO" is "secondary age". My apologies for not providing a guide for abbreviations. It's quite simple though: "if the abbreviation's in common use and cumbersome to use, abbreviate. If not, don't. If in doubt, spell it out.*"

I'm sorry, I don't know what book title you recommended me: I can't access Amazon here. I don't think I agree that the provisioning of resources is where we disagree. My primary news op/ed source is The Economist (every week, read in full), and my primary other source is news.bbc.co.uk. Where we disagree is that I think your stance is absurdly negative, and that you are very poorly informed about these fields you think should be better run.

[ Parent ]
I asked for by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #89 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:01:05 PM EST
Functional levels of literacy which you are either unable or unwilling to provide.

Jargon is jargon.  Read enough tech specs and you'll learn to keep up.  FFS I can do it in French and German.

PM me your postal address and I will make a gift of "The Plan" to you for Christmas and GREAT JUSTICE.

My stance is indeed negative; you've singularly failed to provide positivity.


[ Parent ]
How rich are you? by priestess (2.00 / 0) #45 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:37:42 AM EST
I suspect I probably want you to pay about 30-40% of your income. If you were pulling down 200k a year, more than that. If you were pulling down 1m a year, more still.

Money you re-invest in employing people isn't part of your income of course, it's part of theirs.

The current tax system is a horrible nightmare that I'm sure we'd both like to replace with something simpler. For me, that'd be just one smoothly progressive income tax, plus green/sin-taxes on pollution and some drugs and perhaps unhealthy foods etc. Likely I'd include corporations in the income taxes too.

I think it'd likely be something like that if you got to overhaul it too wouldn't it? Probably put different things into the sin-taxes.

Why was the grocer uneducated? Coz his parents didn't pay for his education, probably because they couldn't afford it. Precicely the equality of opporunity you're talking about means we have to provide that kinda opporunity for everyone.

I'm on the edge of the high tax bracket at the moment, which seems insane, there should be several bands above me.

However the reason I am is coz my education was paid for. If my folks had to fund it, they wouldn't have. They couldn't have.

Give the people the tools includes, at the very least, teaching them to use them, even if they're unlucky enough to be born into a poor family who don't understand the value of education.

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[ Parent ]
I'm with you by Phage (2.00 / 0) #60 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:12:34 AM EST
on the progressive tax being a necessary evil for social mobility.
However, I would not put any strength behind the idea that society offers any opportunities. I'm in a max tax bracket, but funded my own qualifications through Tech college, then undergraduate and finally postgraduate. All at night school whilst working. I fail to see why I should now subsidise someone else's education.


[ Parent ]
We disagree over what the state should offer by priestess (4.00 / 1) #61 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:36:04 AM EST
I think "a full education" should be included.

It was for me, thank god. Doubt I'd have had the energy or drive to do all that studying AND have a job. I'm lucky. And a bit lazy.

It wasn't for you. Shame. I think it should have been. Well done for getting over that disadvantage.

Should it be for the newbies just reaching adulthood? I say "yes", that way we'll have mode educated people and I'm more likely to find someone interesting to talk to in the pub.

You say "no" it seems. No free education in your society, thus fewer educated people in your society than mine.

I wonder which of our societies would be a better place to live? Which would be more fun?

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I think this is the point by priestess (4.00 / 1) #63 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:43:27 AM EST
Their education benefits not just them, but society at large, including you. We pay for other people to be educated so that we can live in a more educated society.

That's why.

You're not subsidizing their education, you're helping to find society's education. For us. All of us.

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+1 by Phage (2.00 / 0) #64 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:14:06 AM EST
If I can stop the degress in basket weaving, and intepretative dance.

[ Parent ]
Aaargh by Phage (2.00 / 0) #65 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:15:24 AM EST
Spelling !
So much for my education.

[ Parent ]
Heh, indeed by priestess (2.00 / 0) #66 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:31:08 AM EST
I suspect this is a problem with setting a target for the number of people who get sent to Uni. You end up sending people who aren't really suited to it, which means they pick courses that aren't really terribly useful, to them or to the rest of us.

The target should be "Everyone who wants to go and is smart enough" with another target of "No slipping standards"

Don't worry about the spelling. There's at least three mistakes in the post you were responding to too.

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Top 5% by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #67 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:38:26 AM EST
And I pay, about average 43-45% of my income in income tax and NI.  Before council tax, booze tax and the rest of it.

Money I reinvest is indeed money spent to the state - you do know there is a thing called employers NI right?  By the time any company has given you a job, take your salary and add 80% - that is what it costs to employ you, it's not just your headline salary you see going into your bank account each month.

Corporation tax has to be simplified. I very much agree with you there.  You only need to look at the way the Grauniad has multiple offshire haven holding companies for an illustration of that.

For personal tax, let's have an escalator.  If you're earning chuff all, the government takes nothing.  Then a graduated slow escalator with no exponential limits.

You say you're on the cusp of higher rate income tax - do you want to do overtime if it hits that band?  Nope, neither do I.  And with Brown's fiscal drag tax burden that is exactly the wrong thing happening - people that should not be in the higher tax region suddenly are.

My education was also paid for; thankfully my folks just about afforded it.  Local council guidelines did not have any provision for 3 kids to be at university simultaneously; we got fees paid (just) and that was it.  It was only last week I heard my folks borrowed to fund my education.

I think one of the major crimes of this Labour government was to kick away that free higher education plank.  I don't care where you grew up or what school you attended - if you're bright and interested I want you to study further.

I want bright people like you to have access to a good education and applying it to enhancing our economy and society.    No one loses there.

Labour have confused equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, to all our detriment.

Nowadays, would you have gone voluntarily into higher education?


[ Parent ]
80% by priestess (4.00 / 1) #69 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:53:40 AM EST
Cost of employment
I thought it cost about twice a persons wage to employ them, so your estimate seems a little lower than I thought it was. More or less right though. Perhaps whoever told me 2x was also including other overheads like office space or something.

The whole tax system needs rationalizing and making more transparent. Not sure it makes much actual difference to anyone if headline wage is doubled and tax increased to compensate though. Presumably employers are paying as little as they can get away with already and we need to keep total tax recipts the same (or likely higher, unless we can default on that debt).

I'd like the stuff to be more transparent but dunno that it'd make much actual fiscal difference.

overtime

I don't frankly want to do any overtime whether I get taxed for it or not. I'd happily work part time for a correspondingly lower wage if they'd let me. Especially now my debt is finally paid off. There's other stuff I want to do man, having a job gets in the way of that.

As it happens, on the rare occasion when I do have to work overtime, like most folks I don't get paid an extra penny anyway, taxed or not. Stupid salaried employment.

uni
Given that I had to do some sweet talking to get my folks to allow me to go to uni as it was, I don't think I'd be terribly likely to do uni if I was 18 now, no. I mean if I was 18 and had my current brain I probably would accept the debt, but my state of mind back then, and my parent's concern, would have ruled it out I think.

Ditching free education is what made me hate labour from practically the minute they were in power, one of their first acts is to stop funding education. I mean what? Shocking. That ain't socialism.

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Fucking hell. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #71 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:00:45 AM EST
There's nothing in your post above I can't do anything other than totally agree with.

Free education - do we want a new generation of doctors, engineers and scientists or what?  I want people of ability to be nurtured and cherished.  I want them to rise, and the country with them.

Have I gone left or have you gone right?


[ Parent ]
You went left by priestess (2.00 / 0) #73 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:04:01 AM EST
Certainly a state education isn't included in your earlier claim that
The state should be doing things we can't do alone. Defense, rule of law equally applied, emergency healthcare.
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Oooh I don't think so by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #75 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:12:45 AM EST
State provided education != state funded education.

Or, even better, drop my taxes so I can better  choose where to send my children to be educated.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by priestess (2.00 / 0) #76 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:16:10 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by priestess



[ Parent ]
Not about *YOUR* children by priestess (2.00 / 0) #78 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:17:05 AM EST
It's about the children of all the other bastards in society. If we want to live in an educated society, we have to fund the education of the people in society.

Education doesn't only benefit the person receiving it, it also benefits everyone they come into contact with from casual conversational partners through to the tax collectors harvesting part of their wave.

Your taxes are invested into making society a better place by making everyone in it smarter.

I call that good value. Exactly the kind of thing a good socialist government would be doing to improve the lot of everyone, rich and poor.

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Nope by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #80 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:23:58 AM EST
The government can tax me, then give me an education voucher to offset the cost of educating my child.

See "The Plan"  for more details.

We should be investing in our children.  I don't think even the right wing disagrees with us there.

Educate our children, invest in our future.  It's just a question of how that education is delivered, is all.


[ Parent ]
Right, so the state is paying by priestess (2.00 / 0) #84 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:35:34 AM EST
But you want to give the money to a private school instead?

Aren't the universities all private already? They're not state owned, certainly.

I have to say I really don't care much who runs the schools so long as:

  • They're non-profit - no draining the cash into private hands, especially the hands of people who bribed government to let 'em run the school in the first place. Ugh. Corruption! Too much of this under Labour, likely more under Tories.
  • Adhere to some standards set by society at large - likely deeper but narrower standards than the national curriculum. It's too restrictive.
  • Have an open and transparent admissions procedure - no "boys club" admissions please.
I think more autonomy for individual schools is probably a good thing, give more power to headmasters. But I don't think private owners are a good thing and they certainly have to be regulated, if only to ensure the state's getting value for money and they're not teaching ID and similar insane crap.

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Yep. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #85 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:50:05 AM EST
And who's to say that the school won't be run be MBW and I and other cooperative parents?

Don't forget, I have the voucher in my hand, I choose where it goes.  Do I want to give that voucher and my childs education to a for profit run school?

The International Baccalaureate has already supplanted the A level for serious academic rigour.  The A level is devalued by too much state interference, the IB is still well regarded.

I am sure they would happily scale down to an 11+ style entry scheme - and be open and transparent about it.

If my children aren't up to it - well, I'll send them elsewhere, somewhere they can flourish that perhaps isn't so academically demanding.  Somewhere where the education is tailored to their needs.

MBW is shit at maths, but she can spot a colour discrepancy at 100 paces and tell you what shades would complement it.  Me, I can calculate 10 parallel equations simultaneously but I'll tell her the dress is blue, red, or black.

We both went to different sorts of education, MBW went to one that suited her talents and abilities, I went to mine.


[ Parent ]
I entirely approve of co-op schools by priestess (2.00 / 0) #88 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:58:57 AM EST
Co-op schools sound great.

Though if the members of that co-op are allowed to siphon off 50% of the money as 'profit' and blow it on drugs and hookers then clearly it's not a co-op school but a scam to make cash by offering substandard education.

That's what worries me about profit-driven schooling, and why I'd add a non-profit clause. The cash given to the schools should be spent on schooling, not on the school's owners.

Otherwise no fundamental problems spring to mind with the suggestion.

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If I've got the choice by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #91 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:06:25 PM EST
Where do you think I'm going to deposit my voucher?

If there's a school that makes 10% profit for its shareholders that consistently delivers an excellent education, why should I be bothered about that profit motive?

If the other school skims off 5% profit and delivers substandard results, do you think I will invest with them?

The key is exam results that are uncorruptible - see IB link for more details.


[ Parent ]
If they had the choice by priestess (2.00 / 0) #94 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:17:14 PM EST
Where would feckless_parent#3432 put their child
  1. A decent school or
  2. A profit-making co-op which kicked back half the voucher money to the members of the co-op in 'profit'
The profit motive is good for some things, it's corrupting and bad in others. Education is one where it's corrupting influence causes more harm than good.

Especially since with this 'voucher' scheme people are spending other people's money.

Anyway, pub beckons. I'll be in the Roebuck in Bourough should you wish to continue the conversation in person :)

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#2 by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #95 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:20:14 PM EST
Would be illegal.  See Sweden's educational model for more details.

Roebuck - hmm verrrry close by... What time will you be there / leaving?


[ Parent ]
Leaving in two minutes by priestess (2.00 / 0) #96 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:25:58 PM EST
Get there in about 45 mins, shall be there till quite late I expect. Many friends will be there too :)

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Might see you there by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #97 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:34:23 PM EST
Later then!


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We don't have a progressive tax system by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:49:39 AM EST
Income tax is, but when you add in the other taxes the overall tax rate for the richest 10% is 34%, the poorest 10% pay 46%.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
For which we have to thank by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #38 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:54:12 AM EST
Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown.

It's not right is it?

I'd like to see a system where the working poor pay no tax.


[ Parent ]
Really, no tax? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #42 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:27:42 AM EST
Does that include VAT? What about the various excise duties (VED & alcohol duty spring to mind)?

[ Parent ]
I meant IT by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #52 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:48:50 AM EST
Which is a non consumption tax.  VED and VAT are static and not dynamic.


[ Parent ]
Oh right. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #55 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:54:48 AM EST
How does that work? How does it make sure a single person on a low income isn't living a very comfortably off lifestyle while a poor family has to scrimp and save? If it doesn't, then what's the scheme to save the children from their feckless parents, and if it does, then why's it different to current working family tax credits?

[ Parent ]
Besides which, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #56 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:57:33 AM EST
You were responding to TE's comment which claimed a 46% overall tax rate for the poorest 10% of society, which is why I assumed you didn't mean income tax (which I have NEVER previously seen abbreviated as IT).

Shall we take a look at my payslip to see what the basic rate of income tax is? Or will that be all lies because it has an NHS logo in the top right hand corner?

[ Parent ]
Oooh pardon my lazy typing. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #68 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:53:35 AM EST
Still you got the context.  Do you have a list of International Blogging Abbreviations I should conform to?

No, I think if you are earning less than 15K / year you should not pay any income or NI taxes.

Food and childrens clothing are already VAT exempt.

What is your point?  I already know how income tax works; I know it screws the working poor and I bloody well think that is wrong.


[ Parent ]
Lazy typing? No, jargonising to imply familiarity. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #74 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:07:09 AM EST
Yep, my point is that while I do only earn (circa) £15K (and obviously I'm bloody pissed off at the circumstances that cause that to be so), I certainly couldn't call myself the working poor, in that I have a comfortable (Georgian) flat in a nice area, plenty of food, nice clothes and furniture, money to travel, etc, etc.

The amount of income tax I pay is not a great hardship in those circumstances. If I were trying to support and accommodate other people living with me, then we'd be shafted. The current tax regime allows for it. Your rhetorical one doesn't.

[ Parent ]
Given that I typed it by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #77 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:17:01 AM EST
I'll be the judge of what was meant, hmmm?

My rhetorical tax regime does indeed account for it- you'd pay nothing under it, and if you do start working longer hours / overtime / promotion, you'd not be penalised for it.


[ Parent ]
No. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #81 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:24:41 AM EST
Ramping up the jargon is a standard way to intimidate people you're debating with. "I'll be the judge of that, hmmm" is a standard way of patronising people.

You still didn't understand what I wrote. I don't need more money, it's the people who have to support a family on what I earn who need more. How are you allowing for that?

[ Parent ]
I allow for that by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #83 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:29:29 AM EST
By not having children I cannot support.

Jargon, hah.  So about this IBA directory then...


[ Parent ]
So, what do you do to the children by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #87 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:52:08 AM EST
of the feckless, then?

And I covered your silly meta argument about the jargon.

[ Parent ]
They also get by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #90 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:01:51 PM EST
The magic education vouchers.

They are non- means tested, an absolute right of a child.


[ Parent ]
The magic food vouchers? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #92 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:06:35 PM EST
The magic shelter vouchers? The magic clothes vouchers?

[ Parent ]
Reading comprehension 101 by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #93 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:07:55 PM EST
The magic education vouchers.


[ Parent ]
There were malnourished unwashed children at by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #98 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:41:08 PM EST
the school I went to. They hadn't got a chance of getting an education.

[ Parent ]
That's a seperate issue though by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #99 Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 04:33:36 AM EST
Isn't it?


[ Parent ]
This thread's about taxation, not education. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #100 Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 06:24:21 AM EST
I'm wondering about how a family raised on £15k a year would function.

[ Parent ]
If you can't afford them by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #101 Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 01:36:57 PM EST
Don't have them.


[ Parent ]
I completely agree. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #102 Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 04:07:31 PM EST
But it's not the child's fault their parents are feckless.

[ Parent ]
And therein lies the rub. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #103 Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:10:58 AM EST
Support the children of the feckless and you incentivise the parents to have more.


[ Parent ]
Thanks. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #104 Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 08:51:12 AM EST
I think we were at that point 10 comments ago.

How are you intending to ensure that the children of the feckless lead productive lives?

[ Parent ]
The Soylent Green Solution? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #105 Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:22:46 PM EST
Well, a good education is usually regarded as the real game changer for improving life outcomes.

If the child is being neglected however, then that is a matter for the judiciary, surely?


[ Parent ]
No, the judiciary's the last resort in cases by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #106 Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 02:12:17 PM EST
of neglect.

And the parents are generally regarded as the best people for the child to be with. I'm still not seeing how your solution wouldn't result in lots of families being split up.

[ Parent ]
Judiciary being involved by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #107 Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 02:16:10 PM EST
Is not the same as splitting the family up. 

If the children are not being looked after properly, is leaving them with poor parents the best thing to do?


[ Parent ]
Well, no. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #108 Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:39:57 AM EST
But I'm assuming that what is happening in your proposal is that
  1. The parents are poor
  2. The children are thus going malnourished, poorly clothed and poorly sheltered.
  3. The state is unwilling to fund the children because of the moral hazard involved (that it might remove the parents' incentives to work).
4a) The state intervenes over the heads of the parents somehow, despite the children remaining at home with the parents or
4b) The children are looked after by the state.

I can't see any feasible, dignified or affordable way to make either 4a) or 4b) happen. Are you assuming that because of that, there will be sufficient incentive for parents to ensure that they never get poor enough to need help.

[ Parent ]
Interesting by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #109 Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 12:42:01 PM EST
But no.

1 and 2 can be mutually exclusive in my experience; having money doesn't mean that you are guaranteed to make sure your child is clean and fed.

4a) if the child is criminally neglected, the state intervenes.

It's all down to responsibility isn't it?  Are you assuming that all parents shouldn't put themselves in a favourable financial position before having children, or should they pop out a couple more kids because someone else is there to cough up a weekly cheque for their upkeep?

Having children is a choice.


[ Parent ]
Statement 2 starts with "thus" by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #110 Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 01:08:59 PM EST
I know that there are some (very few) neglectful parents with money.

I completely understand your point about children being a choice, and have done since you first raised the issue, because it's absolutely perfectly obvious. The point you still haven't addressed is that the children are screwed from birth if their parents aren't taking that responsibility. I understand that it will be an incentive for most parents, but there are absolutely plenty of chaotic families out there for whom it won't work. By far enough that your plan costs far more in cash outlay than the status quo. Let alone the secondary costs of the broken childhoods.

[ Parent ]
Mmm by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #111 Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 07:31:22 AM EST
I usually have links when I make assertions of a financial nature. 

Can you?

Even if you can't, I'm sure that creating another generation of welfare recipients doesn't make sense long term.

Research examining the intergenerational use of welfare has generally found that adults whose parents used welfare may be more likely to themselves use welfare


[ Parent ]
Sorry. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #112 Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 09:13:53 AM EST
I can't continue this discuss at this pace and at this level of minutiae. The issue I raised is how children would be looked after if their parents don't have the money to do so.

You've not addressed this issue. I'm aware of the risks of welfare dependence, so I didn't need any information on that.

If you want specific numbers on the cost of looked after children, then fostering starts at £143.57 a week ( http://www.ccfcs.org.uk/Documents/unit%20costs%20table.JPG ) + care planning costs, set up costs, monitoring costs, etc. ( all from http://www.ccfcs.org.uk/ , who seemed to be the easiest people to get costs from.) I have to point out that it would take a long time to get to that stage, and that it would not always be suitable. Note that some of those placements listed go up to £2000 a week. I'm afraid I don't have links to document the hypothetical situation in which we had a developed country with no welfare support, I'm afraid, though, so I can't tell you what the increase in uptake would be.

Thank you for the time you have spent discussing this issue with me. I hope that you have been as respectful of the effort I've put in to writing thoughtful responses to your statements as I have of yours, and I think that I'm going to have to leave any further replies unread, as there's little likelihood of any reconciliation between our points of view.

[ Parent ]
Assuming the rich should pay *some* tax by priestess (2.00 / 0) #43 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:28:33 AM EST
You are suggesting a progressive tax system. Hurray! We agree.

We also agree that Labour have been an absolute nightmare, cow-towing to big business, failing to provide opportunity, trapping people on benefits.

I think we even agree the Tories would be at least as bad.

Depressing isn't it.

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The rich should bloody well by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #51 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:47:34 AM EST
Pay tax for a start.  Once you get to a certain point you can pay accountants.  See Tony Blair link above.

We also seem to agree to be depressed; you coming from one side of the argument and I diametrically opposed to yours.

The fact we can both agree on the consensus of "we're fucked" is of little comfort.

How do we change this?


[ Parent ]
Fuck knows by priestess (4.00 / 1) #59 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:01:41 AM EST
Voting for either of the main parties isn't going to do it, that much seems certain. Voting for the status quo is a vote for the status quo.

Revolution? Know anywhere we can get a people's army?

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Not much of a choice really by motty (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:19:04 AM EST
But impoverishing the already impoverished to subsidise the rich is worse.

This Labour party does that too, of course.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
There really is no excuse is there? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #50 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:44:17 AM EST
NT


[ Parent ]
glad to see you're coming round by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 1) #72 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:00:48 AM EST
carry on

I think I will have to vote Labour. | 112 comments (112 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback