As Prime Minister Gordon Brown sits down at the end of the last speech he is likely to make to a Labour Party conference as Prime Minister, it seems fair to consider the legacy of dismal failure that he leaves behind, and how that legacy can be corrected.
The supposed sop to Liberal Democrat supporters of a referendum on an AV electoral system is a deeply cynical raspberry from a Labour Party that has had 12 years to change things... and failed to do so. Yet apart from these hackneyed gimmicks, there was nothing. Labour is finished as a force for government for the foreseeable future and it deserves the trouncing that it is about to receive.
The big winners of the years of Labour rule have been the entrenched interests in the public sector, whose pensions have been protected and whose budgets have been inflated- regardless of effectiveness. Failure has been rewarded with salaries that match or better anything on offer in the private sector. An intrusive and bullying class of Labour client bureaucrats has created an network of policies in which any criticism of the public sector unacceptable, no matter how egregious the waste and indeed corruption may be, into a kind of thoughtcrime. Even when confronted with actual crimes, those responsible are usually -at worst- sent into a comfortable early retirement.
Labour talks about "creating jobs", but these jobs serve only to create further dependency.
Where are the genuine creative entrepreneurs, whose enterprise can unlock British talent and send it successfully into the global market place? They are hobbled by an array of byzantine and intrusive regulations which literally make it impossible for our country to compete. Meanwhile the profoundly inflationary policies of "quantitative easing" are destroying the value of our currency. As the Pound falls below parity to the Euro and stays there, and as the AAA country rating comes under review with negative outlook, the fundamental basis of the British economy is in a crisis.
More and more investors and entrepreneurs are leaving the United Kingdom- myself included.
Enterprise is not a dirty word- instead of talking about the "jobs market", it is time to support the wish of many people in the UK to be their own boss- free of intervention from employer or- indeed- government.
Without such entrepreneurs the outlook for the United Kingdom is bleak indeed.
It is disgraceful that I must pay tens of thousands to simply comply with arbitrary and illogical regulation. If I employ someone in Britain I must now spend vast sums on National Insurance, not to mention an array of complicated and often contradictory legislation which covers anything from fire regulations, money laundering, financial regulation and on to "diversity training". I may leave nothing to common sense- all must comply with the full spectrum of legislation which amounts to tens of millions of words. To ensure total compliance with legislation requires a compliance officer- a full time job which does not add to the profitability of the firm whatsoever.
It is insane that I need to spend over £1000 every year simply to find out how much personal tax I must pay to the government. It is immoral that I should pay well over 70% of my total income to the state in taxation. Any profits my firm may make are also subject to a vast number of taxes and regulations.
For some time I have run my business from Tallinn with full compliance to their legislation. However the effective and innovative use of the Internet and simple and clear regulation means my costs in Tallinn are about 10% of those in London.
More to the point in Estonia I am not told by some public sector leech- as I was the other day- that my efforts to build my own business were "capitalist exploitation of society and probably immoral". That such nonsense can be said with a straight face is perhaps the most poisonous legacy of a administration that has done more than any other to undermine the freedom of citizens to work for themselves instead of for the government.