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A small memory jog for Polly Toynbee

Today Public Enemy #1 is having a good old rant about the Manchester Casino (she's agin it):

"The word is that the old Son of the Manse in No 11 always shuddered at this gambling bill (Yeah. Right. He, of course can do no wrong in her book. She described as being like 'a kindly uncle' once. C). His other unexpected tax bombshell in the budget slapped 50% on casino takings and 15% on online gambling: it left the whole policy battered.

But heftier tax is no answer. It may slightly diminish profits and bring a shedload more cash into the Treasury. Isn't that a good thing? No, Australia stands as a warning. Their great expansion of gambling, mainly through "pokies" - high-prize slots - now means more than 10% of government revenues come from gambling. The state has become addicted to the nation's gambling habits. No future government could decide gambling was damaging its people and seek to reduce it. How could they afford to lose those revenues? Better by far to try to hold down gambling as best a government can - and it can.

And now for the fun bit, from 2001: "History will record very little of interest about the John Major era. What stands out? His near- criminal rail privatisation perhaps. Yet he did bequeath one great monument to the nation. No, not one but an ever-growing cornucopia of monuments large and small - the bounty of the national lottery....: back in 1998 when gambling fell under the remit of the Home Office, Jack Straw asked Sir Alan Budd to examine our antiquated gambling laws and suggest reform. There were old-fashioned nannyish restrictions to be removed from casinos (no drinking, must be a club member), some new ones needed (protecting children from one-armed bandits) and urgent review of e-betting, which Gordon Brown quickly remedied".

Perhaps she agrees with Emerson that "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines".

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Blogger Newmania said... 10:24 am

One of the Croydonian greats ! Brilliant stuff although I am rather in agreement with La Toynbee...errrm... now . You have to catch the carousel as it comes round but I like her against state sponsored numbers rackets aimed at the poor.
Perhaps I just agree with her because I want to jet with her to her sumptuous Italian home where her privately educated children read goregoeusly illustrated books anbout green things and equality..

Oh the golden afternoons must be timeless enchantments ...Wanna come C ?
Then get with the caravan !  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:36 am

Very kind of you to say so.

NY State ( I think), justified a state lottery as the numbers 'rackets' were ripping off the good people of Gotham, and come to that Poughkeepsie. It took Milton the Great to point out that the 'numbers' had considerably better odds, and a faster pay out.

As to sojourning at Villa Toynbee, only if she can be caged like Bejazet and we can be the scoffing shepherds. Come on Mr BA in Eng Lit - where did I steal that from?  

Blogger Newmania said... 12:56 pm

Tamburlaine ? A bit of a stab in the dark , which come to think of it was what young Marlowe suffered.

Don`t actually remember any scoffing  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:06 pm

Close, but no half-corona. It is Donne's 'The Calm', referencing Marlowe's Tamburlaine.  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:28 pm

Bloody hell thats harsh C.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:29 pm

Mr Mania in agreement with La Toynbee (spits) again - this is not the first offence

Three strikes and ...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:46 pm

N - thought you'd want a bit of a challenge....

Nick - It worries me too.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:48 pm

In the opera Vivaldi's shepherds do enviable scoff.  

Blogger Newmania said... 12:04 pm

HG what would we do without you throwing off a reference to Opera carelessly . Now thats class  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:21 pm

N. Music scoffs much better than words. Just think of the laughing policeman. It would be really scary to get arrested by him.  

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