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Roger Warren Evans
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950 15 March 2004
Opening words of speech by Tony Blair
This is the new menace of our time. My father's generation were in the last conventional war to be fought on the soil of Europe, to defeat the Nazis. Our generation grew up with the Cold War, that ended with the defeat of totalitarian communism.
This generation faces a war of a different nature from anything before. There has always been terrorism. Spain and Britain both know its price. But now, this is terrorism waged without limit, without any care for the grief of the innocent and it is terrorism that is designed to strike at the very heart of our way of life, our democracy, our freedom, and the rule of law.
We will not defeat it by hoping it will leave us alone or by hiding away.
We must be prepared for them to strike whenever and however they can. But let the message go out from Spain, from Britain, from the free world. In our grief, we do not show fear. We will do whatever is necessary to defend our way of life and defeat this terrorism.
We will match their determination with our own; we will be as resolute as they are fanatical; as strong in defence of good as they are hellbent on doing evil.
This is a battle that is far from over. But like previous battles vital to the progress of humankind, this one too will be won and this menace driven from the lives of decent people the world over.
(Continue with domestic themes...)
951 18 March 2004
Clouston MA ACIB Director, OPPORTUNITY
THE BARKER REPORT ON HOUSE PRICES.
The Barker Report will not point to inequality of inherited wealth as the
reason for the housing price bubble. Because there is a media, middle-class and political-activist Great Taboo on the discussion of the redistribution of inherited wealth.
House prices continue to rise, and will do, until the buy-to-let bubble
bursts. Is it surprising? Inequality of the ownership of wealth is a major cause. More and more wealthy people are buying houses to let, forcing up the price beyond the capital means of those who live in them, who are thus forced to spend more and more of their income on rent, so that it is more and more difficult for them to save the capital with which to buy.
Income inequality is going through the roof. Commercial, financial and
industrial leaders - the robber barons of today - pay themselves a
Mutually Agreed Distribution of annual income that represents to many others the achievement of a lifetime's accumulation of wealth. Wealth is
inherited tax free or accumulated at a galloping pace, and most wealth that
is surplus to the requirements of the wealthy can be given away to their
children free of tax or left free of tax in their wills.
The distribution of wealth becomes more and more unequal. For there is
nothing to redress the balance in each new generation. Wealth
begets wealth, and financial deprivation and exclusion begets financial and
other deprivation and exclusion. Many people inherit nothing at all, while no
inheritance tax is paid by others on the receipt of a vast range of assets.
In the meantime, house owners with modest additional assets pay 40 per cent
on anything above £255,000. When their heirs have to sell the house to pay
tax, it can be bought up by the heirs of those whose assets are exempt from
tax. Is it any wonder that the prices of houses, in which people have to pay
rent in order to live, are forced ever upwards by the incising buying power
of the untaxed wealthy looking for a good source of income from their
Given that the average wealth in the country, according to the Office of