Clegg: neither liberal, nor a democrat

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

Last year 1.8m people managed to add their names to a petition calling for road pricing plans to abandoned.  The people who run the website said that if the website had managed to cope with the load, it would have had over 2m signatures.

There are 60m living in the UK, about 45m are of voting age.  Two million of those were so opposed to the British government’s plans to introduce road pricing that they went looking for the petition and signed it.

You’d think that with that much opposition to road pricing, none of the opposition parties (except the Greens of course) would touch it with a barge pole, right?  Wrong.  Cue Calamity Clegg with his latest illiberal, undemocratic pronouncement: if the Illiberal Dumbocrats were to get into power they would introduce road pricing at an average of 8p/km with a maximum of 12p/km and charge extra for trunk roads and motorways.

Ok, let’s convert kilometres into something that normal people understand – 1km is 0.621371192237 miles so that’s going to be an average of 5p/mile or 7.5p/mile at the maximum rate.  The average commute to work in England and Wales is 13.39km (yes, census information is metricated as well now) which is 8.32 miles.  That means the average trip to work is going to cost 41.6p/day.  There are 8 public holidays a year in England and workers get an average of about 20 days annual leave so that leaves 241 working days in a year after weekends have been taken into account.  Multiply that by 41.6p gives you an average annual bill of £100.14p just to travel to work and back, assuming you don’t use a trunk road or a motorway.

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the cost of buying and having fitted a Galileo sat-nav system so Federal Europe and the British government can track your movements and send you a bill which the Department of Transport estimated to be about £600 per vehicle.  It also doesn’t take into account the cost to the taxpayer of setting up or running the road pricing scheme which the Department of Transport estimates at £62bn to set up and £8.6bn to run.

There are over 32m vehicles in the UK so that’s just shy of £2k per vehicle in setup costs, plus £600 per vehicle for the spy box plus £100 average annual commute plus £270 per vehicle annual operating costs means each vehicle would cost around £2,970 per year extra just to do an average commute without using a motorway or trunk road and without using your car to go to the shops, to go on holiday, to visit relatives, etc.

Two million people objected strongly enough to road pricing to sign a petition against it yet here we have the leader of a party that laughingly calls itself “Liberal Democrat” making it a key party policy along with regionalisation that we don’t want, European Federalisation that we don’t want, taxing flights even more heavily that we don’t want, replacing our constitution with a wishy washy lefty liberal constitution which we don’t want, more “green” taxes which we don’t want and handing over more of our money for international aid and development which we don’t want.

Nick Clegg is neither liberal, nor a democrat.  Thank god they stand about as much chance as a ghost’s fart in a force ten gale at the next election.

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  1. Letters From A Tory (22 comments) says:

    Actually road pricing is a far more effective way of taxing drivers than anything that exists now. Scrap vehicle excise duty and everyone pays for what they use instead.

  2. steadmancinques (34 comments) says:

    @’Letter from a Tory’
    No, it isn’t, it’s just as bad as the LD proposals, as it incorporates all the disadvantages of the huge setting up and running costs, plus the civil liberties implications; some of us can remember the days when Conservatives stood for individual freedom and reduction in the power of the State over people’s lives; Cameronian Conservatives now support Eurosovietisation, which means the complete reversal of these concepts, of course.
    The only fair way is through fuel tax, the mechanism for collection of which has been in place for many years; those who travel the furtherest with the most thirsty vehicles pay the most tax; the ‘banded’ VED from next year only taxes ownership, not usage. It is desirable to maintain a record of vehicle ownership, so some form of registration document will be needed. It needn’t be simply a ‘possession tax’, however, but it will be.

  3. Axel (1214 comments) says:

    Does everyone not pay for what they use by fuel tax too?

    The more you drive, the more you pay.

    The more ineffecient your car, the more you pay.

    The more you carry, the more you pay.

    Seems sort of ideal to me, as a pedestrian or am i missing something here?

  4. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Yes, you’ve missed a couple of points. Firstly, road pricing will require your vehicle to be tracked at all times which is an unwarranted infringements of privacy and civil liberties. Secondly, the vehicles that travel the longest distances are lorries transporting food and other goods and the more they pay, the more we pay. Thirdly, the more people you have in your car the less fuel efficient it is but from a “green” perspective, multiple occupancy travel is better than single occupancy so you’ll be penalising people for car sharing.

    Honesrtly, you pedestrians. 😉

  5. Axel (1214 comments) says:

    Sorry, i was not being clear, what i meant was the more fuel you use because you drive far, fast or a fat car means you pay more tax.

    Sort of like the more you earn, the more income tax you pay and the more you buy, the more VAt you pay?

    Is fuel tax not the fairest way to do it? The more you use, the more you pay?

  6. Axel (1214 comments) says:

    I wonder, will Labour become a ghost party like the Liberals have been for the last 30 (all i can remember) years, after the next election fiasco?

  7. steadmancinques (34 comments) says:

    Er, Axel, that’s exactly what I thought I said in the second paragraph.

  8. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    It just goes to show how foolish Clegg is. That “Calamity” nickname was right enough… Everyone knows that road pricing will be unfair – it will hit workers and small busines people, be used to snoop on people, and will benefit the corporate contractors who will cream loads from the scheme.

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