Monday, December 22, 2008

More free advice for the Taxpayer's Alliance

Over on Liberal Conspiracy I offered to help the Taxpayer's Alliance by providing them with research training, to fill an obvious gap in their skills.

Their Research Director took umbrage at this and decided to join in the discussion, which brought about one of those extremely entertaining exchanges where he believed he was making devastating point after devastating point, culminating with:

"Suppose your retired doctor was an objectivist and resented needing a state pension. If she were looking around for ways to avoid needing to take it, cash gifts to her dissolute grandson would be a reasonable place to start, wouldn’t they?"

This prompts Paskini's Second Law of Pressure Groups, which runs as follows:

Any organisation which spontaneously comes up with the example of the objectivist pensioner who resents the need for the state pension is not one which can credibly claim to speak on behalf of ordinary taxpayers. (The first law is here).

I got an e-mail today which I will pass on in my new role as consultant to the Taxpayer's Alliance:

"if their press office allow them to behave like this on threads, or in fact encourage it, then they should cut waste by sacking their entire press office."


At 2:50 am , Anonymous Sunny said...

"if their press office allow them to behave like this on threads, or in fact encourage it, then they should cut waste by sacking their entire press office."


At 9:04 am , Blogger Matthew Sinclair said...


I was trying to come up with a person who wouldn't want to even have their benefits - in order to try and provide an analogy to a council which, I would hope, doesn't want to impose more council tax than it has to on its residents. Can you think of a better group to choose than objectivist for that? Or, is part of your 'research training' that we should forget what we know about political philosophy?

I don't know what "behaviour" the person who e-mailed you is referring to but we try and respond to blogs when we can. Mainstream political groups don't engage with the blogosphere enough, in my opinion.

Would you rather the TPA stayed in the ivory tower and treated blogging like a one way exercise? That would be easier for us but less conducive to a free and frank debate. Despite all your slurs, that is actually what we're after.


At 4:01 pm , Anonymous Clifford Singer said...

Don, I see those young pretenders in the TaxPayers' Alliance have beaten me to this thread, but just to let you know I've added a link to your post from the only taxpayers' site that counts: The Other TaxPayers' Alliance -

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