Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Scottish Tory Annie Wells and her contempt for poor and ordinary people

The Tory MSP Annie Wells has come out with an extraordinary attack on millions of ordinary people that implies those earning below £33,000 per year are not ambitious hard-working or successful.

She posted her insulting Twitter rant in response to the Scottish government budget that included small income tax rises for people earning above £33,000 per year.

Her Tweet claimed that the progressive tax reforms implemented by the SNP government sent a message "don't be ambitious, don't be hard-working, don't be successful" to higher income Scots who have to pay a little bit more tax to fund public services, and things like free university education and free prescriptions. The clear implication of her rant being that people who earn less than £33,000 per year are not ambitious, not hard-working, and not successful.

This obnoxious elitist stance is yet another Tory assertion of the self-attribution fallacy: The warped idea that there is a form of natural economic justice at play ensuring that rich people become rich because they're superior, and poorer people remain poorer because of some inherent failing or moral deficiency (not because society is rigged against them and in favour of out-of-touch elitists like Annie Wells).

To put her toxic views into context the starting salary of a police officer in Scotland is £23, 493, a nurse starts on £22,128, and a firefighter begins on £22,017. All of these people earn at least £10,000 below Annie Wells' cutoff point.

Even if these public sector workers work hard over the years and climb the pay scale to eventually earn above £33,000, the SNP budget also includes decent pay raises for public sector workers, so they might have to pay a few extra pence a week in tax, but in return for much better pay than their counterparts in the rest of the UK. If they were lucky enough to benefit from Scotland's policy of free university education, they'd also save a fortune by not having to pay out chunks of their salary every month on aspiration tax either.

Annie Wells earns £60,000 per year as a member of the Scottish Parliament, which means she's raging that she's facing a 29p per week increase in income tax.

As many people have asserted, tax is the subscription fee we pay to live in a civilised society. Annie doesn't want to pay a tiny bit more because she's a high profile member of a political party that has spent seven long years actively repressing the wages of UK workers, and especially public sector workers like police, NHS staff and fire fighters.

It's vital to acknowledge that not all high earners are as selfish as Annie and her Tory chums. Several of people responded to her insulting Tweet by saying that they're perfectly happy to pay a few quid extra in tax to make Scotland a better and more progressive country (see image).

Annie is furious because she's bitterly opposed to the concept of a society where public sector workers wages rise in line with inflation. She's also firmly opposed to the idea of a society in which education is treated as social good that benefits all of society, rather than a commodity to be sold at the highest possible price so that people from ordinary backgrounds who aspire to better themselves end up in £50,000+ debt (like students in England do thanks to her Tory party colleagues' imposition of the highest public university tuition fees in the world).

Annie's contemptuous Tweet crying that a minority of Scottish people who are doing really quite well in life might have to pay an extra few pennies a week in order to make Scotland a slightly fairer and more civilised place just goes to prove how out-of-touch she is with the realities faced by millions of Scottish people who aren't doing as well as she is financially, and the fact that like most Tories, she only really gives a damn about serving the interests of the rich.

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