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Hilarious!: ‘Too rich’ Brits lack desire, says Heseltine

(137 Posts)
ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 13:01:44

Published on Monday 25 March 2013 07:20

BRITAIN lacks a “national will” to improve its economy because people are too rich, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has suggested.

The Conservative grandee questioned whether people who live comfortably in advanced economies are motivated to strive for better.

However in economies like China and India, which are growing at a much faster rate than Britain, people are driven to overcome “real problems”.

In an interview with the Independent, Lord Heseltine warned that the economy could keep drifting down.

He told the newspaper: “There is no God-given rule saying you’ve got to have a well-performing economy. It could be an indifferent economy.

“It’s a question of whether the national will is there; whether we want it. And the richer you get the less imperative there is.

“Maybe one of the problems of advanced economies is that people are sufficiently well off that they don’t need to drive themselves any more.”

He later added that it in the nature of most people to “desire to do something and to do it better”.

He also questioned official GDP statistics and instead pointed to rising employment and house prices as indicators that the economy was recovering.

Lord Heseltine is a senior adviser to the coalition Government on growth, focussing especially on the regeneration of cities.


You got that? Brits are 'too rich' -- that would explain the huge rise in homelessness and use of foodbanks in the past few years.

So presumably he'd supporting huge confiscatory taxes on wealth so that all the richest people become more so that they can work harder for the sake of the economy?

Or is it just more of the same: the rich need to be paid well to be motivated to work but the poor need to be paid poorly in order to be motivated to work?

Un. Fucking. Believable.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 20:41:20

They talk about progress and say they are progressive but then they pedal their bikes uphill on a snowy day oblivious of the fact that that is why humanity invented the automobile. They are jokers and jesters but the tragedy is all too real.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 20:44:50

The only decent thing Heseltine has ever done was chuck Maggie out of number 10.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 20:48:43

Maggie was always more popular with the people than Heseltine, though he may well have been more popular with the elites.

Maggie was for the people. I'm not sure about the bicycle riding, hug a hoodie elite.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 20:59:43

Heseltine has a point. People who are too comfortable and 'too rich' don't feel the need to change and innovate - they will even go backwards to the days of the horse and cart and the bicycle. People who are too comfortable tend to become lazy and satisfied and exhibit the I'm Alright Jack tendencies about fuel costs while millions of ordinary people struggle to pay their bills.

But ordinary people are not 'too rich', they have not lost their dynamism and maybe that is why George Orwell's character said "Hope lies with the proles".

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:01:41

they will even go backwards to the days of the horse and cart and the bicycle and of course the windmill

We are witnessing this decline and this pedalling backwards at full throttle.

Varya Wed 27-Mar-13 21:02:21

Another ancient politician who should accept he is past it and keep his opinions to himself and his mouth shut.

ttosca Wed 27-Mar-13 21:04:27

Claig - you are confused and incoherent.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:04:50

Many of our charity bosses probably earn more than our manufacturing bosses. No wonder the country is in decline.

ssd Wed 27-Mar-13 21:10:24

claig...."maggie was for the people"


what universe are you occupying???

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:14:55

I think this is symptomatic of why we are in decline.

Who do you trust more, the innovative, skilled, educated engineers from the great manufacturer, Mercedes, or the EU bureaucrats who think that windmills are the answer to our energy needs and who only tell us they want to "save the planet" for us?

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 21:16:27

The rich can never be totally idle. Capital surpluses must be reinvested, they always are, the problem is where. Money can not be idle.

Heseltine's ideas for regeneration last time included garden parties.....the man is a bloody numptie.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:17:35

ssd, the people voted Maggie in again and again in elections. She represented the aspirations of the majority of ordinary people. Rich Tories are a minority of the population, it was the people who voted Maggie in, and many of the rich Tories looked down on her and weren't keen on her - some thought she was common and vulgar and not like them.

ArbitraryUsername Wed 27-Mar-13 21:19:22

I assume he isn't referring to actually rich people. He's whinging about how the lower classes have it 'too easy'. hmm

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:19:58

'The rich can never be totally idle'

But the phrase 'idle rich' has become common parlance, just like the phrase 'New Labour spin'.

They both reflect some truth.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:23:11

'Capital surpluses must be reinvested, they always are, the problem is where'

Yes but if they are invested in windmills, then that is a waste of precious monetary resources which should be put to use in creating jobs that lead to exports.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 21:26:19

monetary resources can not be wasted it is actually impossible!

That is the sort of myth that allows Osborne to peddle his crap.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:33:34

'monetary resources can not be wasted it is actually impossible!'

Are you saying that bailing out banks with billions in quantitative easing is a better use of scarce monetary resources than building homes and stimulating the real economy?

Are you saying that banks gambling with people's savings and then blowing that money is not a waste of valuable monetary resources?

Are you saying that paying taxpayer money to house someone on benefits in Belgravia is not a waste of public funds that could be more efficiently used by housing that person somewhere where ordinary people can afford to live?

Are you saying that using taxpayer money to subsidise rich aristocratic landowners to erect inefficient windmills is not a waste of public money?

I say bring back Maggie. She would sort some of this craziness out without doubt!

ssd Wed 27-Mar-13 21:34:32

claig I couldn't disagree with you more re "maggie"

no more to add, really

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:36:45

Are you saying that paying some NHS Trust bosses their huge salaries and expenses and sometimes first-class rail travel is not a waste of public money that could be put to better use to provide better patient care in the NHS?

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:39:24

ssd, OK, we will have to agree to disagree on that one.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 21:45:32

Claig you would make an excellent socialist if you would just leave off the conspiracy (very strange man) ! wink

Elites.....what or who are they, I would propose that first you need to understand what capitalism is and isn't.

It isn't simply the way in which we exchange money and goods. That has gone before in every socio/economic system throughout human development. We used shells as means of production in some societies in others glass beads and metals, eventually gold coin.

What it is characterised by is: Exploitation of workers and the accumulation of capital surpluses. In later stages of capitalism you have monopoly tendencies (or as Lenin said imperialism) This concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands......these are your elites. They are capitalists.

Windmills, oil, green lobby, carbon trading how does this fit in?

I would suggest that as we live under the socio/economic totality of capitalism that these phenomena are caused by the need to create capital surplus. (you have to otherwise you go broke) In the 1900s the mining companies pushed up commodity prices by claiming there was a shortage of key natural resources, Opec have pushed up oil prices claiming we have a shortage, elec/power companies make similar claims and then invest money in deriviatives and windmills are just another way of extracting money out of us (remember money can not lie idle) and then you have hedge funds that sell short and so it goes and others that bet on commodity prices whilst others horde certain key essential commodities to push the price up.

There is no great secret.

Hamishbear Wed 27-Mar-13 21:48:02

I think as times have been comparatively prosperous for many in the last 20 year or longer a certain complacency has set in. In the past even if you haven't busted a gut you could still generally find a position that meant a job for life. If you lost your job and your money ran out you wouldn't be made homeless or reliant on food stamps. Your family wouldn't starve to death.

There's an emerging middle class in countries where traditionally if you haven't worked you've starved, countries where education is valued so highly children would walk miles without shoes to get to school. We need to be worried.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 21:48:58

''monetary resources can not be wasted it is actually impossible!'

Are you saying that using taxpayer money to pay for some MPs' moats, duck houses and bath plugs was not a waste of monetary resources?

It is all about priorities. Time and money are finite, they do not grow on trees as some in New Labour seemed to believe. Godon Brown's reported statement that New Labour had abolished boom and bust was patently false, and as Mandelson recently said they had abolished boom.

There is lots of waste because there are lots of wrong ideas and decisions made by policy wonks who work in charities and foundations and think tanks but not in industry.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 22:02:33

We used shells as means of * exchange (sorry rushing, should be working) must make more money.

OK, money can not be wasted in the way that you probably think. Money is the means of exchange, the only way in which a worker can acquire the means to maintain and reproduce (his) life. That is the purpose of money. However because value must be stolen from the worker in the form of the profit or surplus value he produces, workers will never have enough money collectively to buy all the commodities that they produce. Capitalists then start to feel the pinch because some commodities go no demand. So the capitalist then looks around and finds new areas of exploitation/markets, ideally ones where the product produced has to be purchased without exception and it becomes a non-discretionary commodity, like fuel but increasingly health and education. Can you see though there is a potential problem? thats right we still won't ever have enough money to pay for it. More so because what is being produced relies on less labour hours.

So of course these elites are simulataneosly acting as a class but also in competition to each other.

Money can not be wasted, as long as money is in constant circulation through many hands. However because the worker hands over the surplus value he creates in his labour, the money does not stay in circulation in the "real economy" acting as means of exchange btw workers and btw workers and capitalists. Increasing accumulation at the top. This money then must be reinvested.

Thus capitalism can only work where money as exchange never stands still and where new areas of exploitation/markets can be found and where there is 2-3% compound growth.

Where it fails in short crisis, some wealthy people become wealthier, however they can not and will never be able to maintain their wealth in a no growth economy. Hence why the elite will never be cycling backwards.

claig Wed 27-Mar-13 22:05:28

Mini, although Marx and Marxists are wrong on most things, they are correct that elites do exist

'The relevance of Marx’s Das Kapital to the modern capitalist world is once again getting a hearing. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the opening up of China to international capitalism the political and economic elites declared that a new economic paradigm had arrived, bringing with it undreamt promises of wealth and consumer bliss as long as the market was left to do its own thing.'

I haven't read Marx, but I am sure that in all of his thousands of pages, he must have mentioned elites.

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