“They should do something about it”

People from all political persuasions increasingly say “they should do something about it” implying that the Government should intervene in whatever situation is concerned.  But they don’t consider that this means spending money raised through taxes; also that it will never be possible to raise enough money through taxes to intervene in everything that needs fixing, so therefore every new government has to prioritise and choose which problems to try to address (so the decision at the ballot box is between different sets of priorities); also that, just because something is wrong doesn’t mean it can be fixed through outside intervention, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the Government is the best “agent” of change in each situation or should be the “agent” to do the intervening.

It’s most strange when people who are politically Conservative are the ones saying “something should be done” – they don’t see that having the Government intervene in another situation means that Government gets bigger and higher taxes are needed, which surely goes against Conservative ideals.  But it is also strange when people who are more traditionally Labour supporters come out with the “they should do something about it” line – they don’t see that, however much Government can be a positive agent of change, Government can never take the place of collective action by and within society and people.


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