Mo’ money, mo’ corruption

Let’s preface this with a couple of statements setting out my stall, shall we?

I’m not one of those people that believes that I shouldn’t have to pay tax. I recognise that tax is necessary in order for this country to function and for services to be delivered to me and everyone else.

That said, I’m well aware that this country would function much better, and that more services could be delivered to more people if a percentage of that tax money was not going straight into the back pockets of corrupt individuals across the various sectors of government in SA.

The problem is that the consequent shortfall in revenue is dealt with in three main ways: borrowing more money, cutting back services, and thinking up more and more ways to tax the population.

None of these are good things.

What should be happening is that corruption should be being eradicated. But that’s not happening and that’s why I was even more annoyed to hear that the next thing to be taxed is my Adobe subscription.

South Africa has imposed a tax on e-services, which includes software subscriptions.

So that’s an extra 15% on my Lightroom and Photoshop – a subscription that is already more expensive because it’s priced in USD, and the exchange rate has disintegrated to utter crap because of the way that this country is being run.

“Cancel your subscription then,” I hear you exclaim, conveniently ignoring the issues that I am trying to raise here. And hey, I could, but then I wouldn’t be able to work, and I would pay a whole lot less tax.
That wouldn’t be good for the overall fiscus, but it would be better for me.

I wouldn’t be able to eat either though. And if I died, I wouldn’t be able to pay any tax at all (once my meagre estate had been divvied up, that is), so in the medium and long term, no-one benefits.

Least of all me.

Never mind that taxing of “e-services” is a massive own goal, effectively limiting access to literally thousands of services for those least able to afford them.

Look, I can afford this, but of course, I’d rather not be paying it. It limits my income, and I will have to pass on these costs to my employers when I next bill them. And they’ll pass that on to their customers, so the ordinary guy in the street loses out in the end.

I don’t have a choice about paying though – it’s imposed by computers way before the actual subscription gets to me. I also don’t have a choice about how it gets spent – or pilfered – and that irritates the hell out of me.

That’s the thing about democracy…

…it’s all well and good until actually, not enough people agree with your point of view.

If you’d have looked at social media for the last few weeks, you’d have seen a near non-stop barrage of anti-Boris, anti-Conservative, Pro-Corbyn rhetoric. If social media was the way in which new governments were elected, there would surely be no doubt as to who the winner would have been.

But – shock, horror – that’s not the way things work. And suddenly, reality has hit home and Boris has been elected with a massive majority.

There are a few different ways that you can deal with this sort of disappointment. You can wail, gnash your teeth and stamp on a newspaper picture of a triumphant Mr Johnson, like a toddler who didn’t get its way:

Nah then, Mardy Bum!

But it really won’t make any difference. And then a cleaner will have to clean up after you. Well done, Uzair.

You could accept that maybe your party didn’t have a clear policy on Brexit, didn’t work hard enough get rid of its massive anti-semitism problem, didn’t approach the election and the electorate well.
Or maybe your party did have a clear Brexit policy, but not the one that people wanted. Maybe your party also had a clear leader until last night in Dunbartonshire East.

But no. Surely the best way is just to keep telling yourself – and everyone else – that those people who voted Conservative are just stupid. Maybe throw in a Turkish proverb (and I’ve seen this three times already, so it must be true):

‘The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them.’

or just let people know that you know what’s going on, and the 14 million individuals who voted the other way, simply don’t:

Honestly, voters are just sleepwalking our country into a worsening services crisis.

or combine the Turkey thing and the festive season and tell those 14 million Conservative voters that they’re clearly idiots and you know better than them; you know better than all of them.

If the exit polls are correct, the turkeys haven’t just voted for Christmas, they’ve helped hang the decorations and buy the stuffing!!!

After all, choosing to belittle Leave voters after the Brexit referendum worked really well and got that one reversed, so why not?

And then, the final option: your plan to move abroad. Apparently, Ireland always looked great (although it rains a lot). Portugal: shit economy, difficult language, but an EU passport. Or now – suddenly – Scotland. You’ve always liked Scotland. Oh, The Drama of it all. I did lol.


Mmm. Yeah. Actually, it is. That’s just how it works.

Look, I’m not saying that Boris Johnson is going to be the greatest leader that the UK has ever had. I’m not saying that Brexit is going to be easy – albeit that this is clearly a mandate for it to finally go ahead now.

But what I am saying that life really isn’t over just because “your guys” didn’t win. I’ve often been a bit sad when Sheffield United didn’t get the result I wanted, but hey, we’re all still here, aren’t we?



Oh right. That’ll be what it is then. [rolleyes emoji]