And here we take ourselves to the heart of the problem, the reason I wrote this book: here is where considerations of the nature of capitalism, and that of democracy, combine. For Government itself is the one thing that everyone pays for – everyone who works and lives in Britain, including businesses, large and small, and also including recent immigrants and migrant workers. We pay for it with our tax; whatever form of tax we pay, however we pay it, and however much. Whether it be income tax, National Insurance, VAT, fuel duty, alcohol duty, tobacco duty, or car tax: the tax we all pay is the money that the Government spends.

But Government, the one thing that we all pay for, is the one thing over which we have no control.

We cannot regard having the vote as having control, for it is not. An elected representative is granted power, once elected; and once elected, they do what they like. Of course they have to do that within the limits of their party, and how they will be portrayed in the Press, and whether or not they can gain by agreeing with one pressure-group or another, and always, always with an eye to the next election; but all these things are just part of what they do. Other than that, they are free to do as they like – and that is exactly what they do.

‘Servants of the People’ they are called; but they only serve the people’s wishes, if indeed they ever do, after they have served their own.


Back Next