So many blogs, so little time... so here's a few good 'uns:
Smiling Under Buses
Green Welsh Anarchist
probably the best Plaid blogger at the moment
interesting Welsh Labourite blogger
English leftist blog that *shock horror* understands Wales is a nation
UK anti-fascist info
Dave's Part, top leftie journalist
from which the following has been shamelessly nicked...
Friday, 21 September, 2007
The class politics of government bail-outs
In October last year, 150,000 low-income families lost a total of £45m when dodgy Christmas hamper racket Farepak collapsed. As a result, some of Britain’s poorest yet most thrifty people – the very people who don't whack a few hundred quid on the plastic to pay for their Christmas, because they can't afford to - saw their festivities ruined. No government bail out for them.
About 125,000 workers and pensioners have lost some or all of their pension entitlement after their employers went under or shut down insolvent occupational pension schemes. No government bail out for them, either.
Of course Alistair Darling was right to guarantee the deposits of Northern Rock customers this week. But why the selective treatment? Building society savers have no more intrinsic merit than Farepak punters or pension contributors.
In round numbers, seeing the Farepak clientele alright would have cost exactly 1% of the £4.55bn value that the taper relief tax break extends to venture capitalists every single year.
As Nick Ferguson, head of SVG Capital, pointed out recently, venture caps pay a lower rate of tax then their cleaning ladies. And cleaning ladies are the kind of people that save with Farepak and who at best have a couple of grand in savings. A Labour government should consider their interests too.
While Cymru Fach freezes over the next fortnight, spare a thought as I sip a Mojito in sunny Cuba.
No doubt there'll be a report on Fidel and 21st Century Cuba in the coming weeks.