Wednesday, October 25, 2006

At Last The 1947 Show

Let me explain your taxes

Like all post-War Labour administrations, the Attlee government was guilty of manifold crimes against taxpayers. They convinced themselves they were building the New Jerusalem, whereas in reality they were stifling the living daylights out of our war ravaged economy and burdening it with grandiose spending commitments we simply could not afford (see The Lost Victory).

So I was riveted to stumble across an extraordinary Mr Cholmondley-Warner propaganda film from the time, which seeks to explain to the dumb taxpayers of Britain why- fully two years after the War- they were still facing crippling taxes with nothing much to show for them.

And the answer - put forward with remarkable frankness - was that the government wanted to remain a major world power. A third of all taxes went to pay for "keeping the peace" (aka East of Suez etc), and a further third went on paying for the two Wars. Which meant only a third left over for everything else.

Taxpayer value? It's amazing Clem's hopeless dreamers weren't hoofed out at the first opportunity.

PS The 1947 Commissars' chosen film spokesman was a Scots ham actor bizarrely dressed as a Park Attendant. With the action all taking place behind some bushes in a municipal park, I kept expecting Benny Hill to race across chasing some semi-clad nurses. Alas, no such luck.

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