Sunday, February 11, 2007


Death... taxes. If you want a good read on a Sunday, trust the Sunday papers.

The Express has a campaign to scrap IHT. Better than nothing, but if I know the Treasury and politicians of any hue with a pension to support, that is a tad black and white. And has a snowballs chance of doing not much more than adding to the readership.

So I have fired off an e-petition to No. 10. I doubt it will get the support a major tabloid can swing, but it seems a more reasonable compromise with a certain amount of imminent planet-saving attached, as opposed to a left-wing Govt./right-wing paper bunfight. If nothing else, what's not to like as a voter. Your dosh goes to funding a pol's golden sideways transfer when they cock up, or to making things that help save the planet for our kids.

Here's the text:

We petition the prime minster to enable the creation of a ‘Carbon Legacy’, as a direct, future generation-benefiting substitute for Inheritance Tax

IHT debate boils down into 2 main areas. Individuals get frustrated seeing a major % of savings go not to securing descendant’s futures, but to fund much that is... wasteful. To Govt IHT is an historical plum to good to be denied, justified by wealth being redistributed ‘for the common good’. Climate change is accepted by all as the most serious issue we face, Carbon Legacy is a fruitful compromise between entrenched positions, which remain deadlocked. A no middleman bequest, down to the IHT limit, donated to any initiative that is proven to be tangibly DOING something to improve matters on a measurable e-ROI, free from all but the most crucial instruments of management/oversight. No ‘redirection’! Funds straight to where most needed, to do the most good for the future. Some devils in the detail, but doable with consensus. In so doing it must surely satisfy both the needs and aspirations of all sides.

I'll let you know if an when it's approved. Oh, and here's the longer version:

The problem with IHT is complex, but boils down into two main areas.

As far as the individual is concerned, having worked and been taxed all one’s life, there is a certain frustration with seeing a major % of one’s hard-earned go not to the future generations that will bear your name, but to fund quite a lot that might be deemed... wasteful.

As far as the government is concerned, this is too good an historical plum to be denied, and the claim is usually that such wealth should be redistributed ‘for the common good’.

With climate change accepted as the most important issue facing future generations, might I suggest a fruitful compromise: Carbon Legacy.

A no frills, no middleman, bequest of whatever amount one wishes, but certainly down (from whatever excess there may be) to the IHT limit; donated to any project or initiative that is proven to be tangibly doing something to improve matters, and is free from ministers, activists, City-types, lobbyists, targets, assessors, licensees and all other instruments of jobsworth cut-carving. Money straight where it is needed, to do the most good for the future. A few devils in the detail, but surely doable with relatively easy consensus.

And in so doing it must surely satisfy both the needs and aspirations of both sides. Unless people and governments are really that greedy or think they can take it with them.

I’ll suggest my own website as an initial beneficiary [you can delete that if it’s too commercial a plug, though we are free and really doing something tangible to help save this planet].

And it’s surely 1000% better than anything potential future deputy prime ministers can come up with by way of equitable, and practical, redistribution of wealth.

Who knows? Maybe it will strike a chord. If so, I hope it will not go the way of the road pricing one: democracy inaction:)

Guardian - The 'death trap' menacing middle Britain is a myth

Just popped over from another thread where we're discussing the economics of climate change, and the small fact there soon may not be much to leave, let alone tax.

So, Yoda-like, may I suggest that there is 'another way': CARBON LEGACY

I even thought it good enough to start a petition on the No.10 site.

If you think so too, please join in.

Let's have schools to match London's wealth

Following Mr. Hain's not-very subtle and totally pie-in-the sky notions of wealth distribution, and certain newspapers' equally Air Old Spot attempt at IHT removal, I decided (sadly about a minute before it all went ballistic on road-pricing and my submission seems to have been lost in the greenwash) to instigate a petition to create a 'Carbon Legacy'.

It was... is... an attempt to introduce a spirit of pragmatic compromise between the various rocks and hard places trying to score points off each other with no chance, and no intention, of actually getting anything done, but looking great and scoring profile for not doing so.

It's designed to provide an option for City high-flyers, Premiership footballers, Media darlings, and anyone with more than a semi in Surbiton to bequeath their excess squillions to tangible future-saving projects and not some Treasury dam-plugging black-hole.

It's on the basis that if you can't take it with you, you won't mind leaving it at least to your own next generation's future, if not actually to them.

Fancy joining in? Or, assuming it's legal and/or ethical, have you something better in mind for you money once you're gone?


Attn: Hugo Dixon

Re: Carbon Legacy

Following Boris Johnson's reference to your influnence in such matters, might I commend to you the following IHT suggestion, that may appeal to those with an interest in a genuine legacy for their hard-won money.

Those who can, and should... won't, and don't

I have just finished my Sunday Times conservatory hard-copy read (plus a Sunday Express extra, on account of the Climate Aid concert front page and the free Dusty CD).

And I have come to a conclusion.

Most people in public life are now 100% concerned with keeping their jobs by spending all their times saying nothing, and doing about the same, especially their jobs

Representing all that makes media so mediocre

I just watched some chattering class in a few minutes lay bare all that is wrong with our major media's unelected, self-appointed mouthpieces of what we should think, merely because they are privileged to have a job that gets them invited:

I was fascinated to watch the piece on Blogging.

Did the Independent Columnist really believe that what she has to say is important and interesting for any other reason than she is paid by an (inevitably) agenda-driven newspaper, as opposed to those who write with - mostly - unpaid, if often subjective passion.

The arrogance of our chattering class, media-elite is getting more and more hard to stomach.

This woman is only engaged with because she is employed by a medium that offers access to others. For her to think she is relevant or significant for any other reason is delusional.

Same boat

Why should individuals fight climate change?

Why indeed? You'd have thought there would be a lot of traffic following such a question. While I can empathise with one the country's most significant eco-media resources, I am a tad worried for the future:

Dear Sir/madam,

This post was last changed at 09:04 AM, October 29 2006, at a time when the top headline on Guardian Unlimited was Figures reveal Europe falling far short of climate targets, and the top headline from the BBC was Corfu hotel faces death charges,

Considering the ongoing, and ever more pressing nature of the issue, it seems a pity that this piece generated so few replies, some links have lapsed and the thread seems closed, especially as the blog trail still links off the home. I'd have been happy to offer some tangible things to do.


For those new to this blog, that's my 'Don't do as I do..' shorthand.

And this is what I feel to be a rather sad attempt at explanation/justification from a major medium selling papers based on its concern for the environment: The readers' editor on...
the true cost of flying and climate change

Some masterpieces of polspeak include: 'Our travel editor had acknowledged this from the start..' (so that's ok then). '...but while those of us fortunate enough to be able to afford the luxury of foreign travel agonise over our carbon footprints,' (we feel her pain).

The whole thing smacked of an episode of Newswatch, BBCs dawn fake mea culpa slot where editors come on to say they don't think they were wrong and even if they were so what.

I'm afraid I have to agree with the respondents so nasty to to haul the paper up. If only I could think of a way to help make the point better. Oo, look what I found at the top.

Nil points.

Meanwhile, the next salvo sails over...

It was only a matter of time, but I must confess to surprise how quickly the first past the post-IPCC counter theory pops out: Cosmic rays blamed for global warming

What's a boy to think? Other than noting we are looking at a ratio of around 100 to 1 on boffins pro/con, I leave this latest to you.

Times - ‘Blame cosmic rays not CO2 for warming up the planet’

Interesting notion

As I breezed through this morning's media, this little nugget struck me:

Give City's bonuses to the poor, urges Hain

Now, I have been, am and will be the first to wonder what exactly most of those fine productive folk in the City do, much less do to 'earn' their money.

However, for a gold-plated, index-linked member of a similar bunch of folk in Westminster to come up with such a suggestion is... interesting.

Everything is relative I suppose, but having devoted 10 years and almost all my resources to making effective, should my later years be less than comfortable as a consequence, I do hope I can rely on him to stump up a decent % of the ministerial pension, directors' compo and speaking fees to help me out.

Oooo look, a flying pig!

Indy - Peter Hain and the politics of envy