Thursday, July 03, 2008

The 6th Sense?

There are people who credit great art as being brought about because of physical defects. One example of this is the great artist Monet, whose impressionist art is considered to be some of the finest the world has seen. Yet research last year found this technique he employed; the dabs of light, the blurred images so striking in contrast to traditional academic rules of painting may have been because of his cataracts.

Beethoven was, and I hesitate to use the term because it is frequently thrown around, considered by many to be the father of modern music and the first of the Romantic composers. This could be traced back to his deafness which meant that he left behind the stringent rules of harmony and structure which controlled the classical era. The Romantic era saw the expansion of formal structures and the compositions were increasingly passionate and expressive. The frequent use of dissonances and their resolutions, chromatic innovations and previously unused chords added to the texture and harmony of the works. Instead of predictable modulations to related keys, composers like Beethoven used innovative chord progressions and diminished 7ths to facilitate modulation. The heroic works such as the Appassionata sonata, with their thundering bass lines were brought about due to his encroaching deafness.

So, two examples of disabilities which could be considered to be too inhibitive in their various fields could actually have contributed to development.

So why is it, then, that the only disabilities which seem to occur in politics are vanity, refusal to accept that you might be wrong and a worrying attachment to dishonesty. And, worst of all, economic illiteracy.

The 'Number 10' e-mail arrives in my inbox. The subject line is 'Fuel duty to be examined "very carefully". Not only is this incredibly fucking dull, mainly by virtue of the fact that the only interesting thing which could be construed from it is that of members of the shadow cabinet peering at piles of cash going 'and how is this stuff actually made?' but it doesn't say anything.

Who cares if they're going to look at it "very carefully"? Simply based on their own record of complete economic incompetence we know that they can look at it until the cows come home but the chances of them making any sensible decision is as likely as me getting a crew cut.

Gordon Brown is committed to "keeping the economy moving" in the face of a tougher global economic climate.

Yes, but the thing is, apart from my friend who has taken out a rather large bet against UK plc and me, because I want to buy a house and I have very few overheads, most people would rather the economy moved forward rather than backward.
Government plans to increase fuel duty by 2p would be looked at "very, very carefully" over the next few weeks, the PM said in his session with the Liaison Committee. The Chancellor will make the final decision on fuel tax in the autumn.

I really don't understand why they are taking such a long time to deal with this very simple issue. yes, I know they want to make it look like they are 'green' and want to hammer all drivers as hard as they can, but the price of oil is far above the amount predicted when they were forecasting government revenue. When the March budget was forecast oil was modeled around $83.8 a barrel. In May this year it was $126.4 a barrel.

This increases government revenue in a number of ways.
1) The increase in profits from oil companies drilling in the North Sea means a greater amount is paid in tax to the government
2) Duty is an indirect tax which, by virtue of it being a percentage, increases as the price rises. This is one of the reasons why flat taxes and indirect taxes are not so regressive as if it were a lump sum regardless of the financial situation of the customer.

Thus, according to the British Chamber of Commerce in the first six weeks of the this tax year, the government made the equivalent amount of money as their 2p tax rise in the whole year.
The BCC model estimates that the increase in the Government’s North Sea Oil tax revenues will be £390m of the £505m windfall, and the remaining £115m is the extra VAT on fuel at the pump.

So why, then, are the government staring at this pretty simple problem of their own making and going "we're not going to raise fuel duty. We were wrong to suggest it and we'd be wrong to implement it." Monet could be an world famous, beautiful and highly adored artist whilst not being able to see. Beethoven wrote and performed some of the world's most loved music whilst being deaf. And yet our government in full possession of their senses cannot make right a wrong, and a simple one of that.

Well, I say 'all senses', Clearly they are lacking in the most useful:'common'.


Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Cataracts! Now that's an angle.

Letters From A Tory said...

Excellent post, and I have often wondered whether Gordon Brown having a defective eye explains why he never sees things the same way that the public does.