Cameron government subsidising millionaire grouse shooters with taxpayers’ money

This should be a massive scandal, as it truly shows the feudal mindset behind Cameron and the modern Tories. They really do feel that medieval feudalism should be revived, and money taken from the peasantry to subsidize their lavish lifestyle. It was one of the major issues in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the refusal of the Tory landlords to pay tax on their massive landholdings, while demanding that the tax burden fall firmly on ordinary householders and tenant farmers. It was so contentious, that several leading political philosophers in Britain and America demanded the introduction of a land tax, to be levied on their colossal estates. It was an issue that drew many people from Liberalism to Socialism and the first beginnings of the Labour Party.
And this should be a source of real anger in Scotland. Although the grouse moors are empty now, before the Highland Clearances they were a living landscape full of fields and villages. Then the landlords cleared them for sheep, which were much more profitable than the rents raised from the mixed agriculture pursued by their tenant farmers. The grouse moors look like wild, unspoilt wildernesses, but they’re entirely artificial, and a reminder of the vicious, exploitative and destructive attitude of the aristocracy over the people they had in their power.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the Cameron government!)

Did you know that millionaire grouse shooting landowners – whose well-heeled clients can pay more than £3,000 each for a single day’s shooting – are now receiving millions of pounds annually in government subsidies?

And did you know that the Cameron government has decided that from January 2015, those same millionaire land owners will receive around £56 a hectare in taxpayers’ money for organising grouse shooting?

So apparently – according to Cameron and Osborne’s Tory logic – we can’t afford schools and hospitals but there’s plenty of money to subsidise their wealthy mates’ country activities.

Call me old-fashioned – but shouldn’t this be a scandal?

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Please feel free to comment. And share.

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The Coalition Government Colouring and Activity Book is now available for download as a PDF and in print:

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One Response to “Cameron government subsidising millionaire grouse shooters with taxpayers’ money”

  1. Florence Says:

    I was struck by your references to feudalism as I have always felt that this has always been a very strong undercurrent to the class system in the UK. I recall having one classmate in the 1960’s convinced that the working class all had inherited hair-lines that reflected fore-lock tugging! (BTW, I was having a laugh, being working class in a Grammar School.)

    However, I was struck by further similarities, especially to the “welfare reforms” when reading an article on the government-funded USA Federal Writers Project (FWP) in the 1930s depression, part of which focussed on recording the oral history of slaves, some of who were still alive. (In Fortean Times, Jan 2015, but stay with me…)

    [FWP] recorded the fear of the “home visit” by the KKK night riders. Compelling an unwilling workforce to provide labour required slave owners to be constantly vigilant, and the behaviour of the slaves was to be constantly policed.

    Richard Hildreth (an anti-slavery campaigner) noted that the slaves appeared lazy and docile during the day……..as a response to the demand of forced servitude

    Whites complained of petty crime carried out after dark by the slaves, who were no longer being watched, and it included the pilfering of food by hungry workers.

    The lack of education of the slaves kept them mainly illiterate, allowed racists to claim the slaves were intellectually inferior.

    The wealth of the southern states – based on cotton and tobacco – was based on the exploitation of forced labour.

    There is lots more, but I think the point can be made that the feudal actions, especially but not exclusively of the DWP, have a lot of the same elements. The unannounced home visits; capricious punishment of sanctions to create a climate of fear and hunger, forced servitude in workfare and proposed youth training, constant state monitoring by the forced illegal contract of the “claimant commitment”, extended now to the working poor, the impoverishment of state education including unqualified teachers, the list can go on, including the current trends in Arts education that see the theatre and other cultural activities being limited now to mainly the middle class.

    I wonder how many in the current Tory ranks, and their Dukes, and Barons, Lords and Peers made their money in the slave trade, the plantations and trading of their produce? There is certainly “new money” like Osborne, too, gained from the same rules of workers’ exploitation and fear in the Industrial revolution. But the common thread for them all is the supercilious notion that they are better, smarter, and just plain entitled. And they seem to think they are entitled to create increased levels of feudalism though the instruments of the state, and the redistribution of the wealth produced upwards, to the underserving rich.

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