Christmas or poultry?

Over on Samizdata a discussion about turkeys failing comprehensively to vote for Christmas. The turkey here being the BBC, and Christmas meaning austerity with regards to welfare payments. Nothing new here, but I liked this comment by Pat:

why doesn’t the government propose that the license fee be diverted to benefits for the poor- the BBC response should be good for a laugh.

Actually that might be more than good for a laugh. That could actually reframe the debate.  More precisely, a policy proposal that forced people to consider a choice between something they want and something they always ask for might force the debate in the direction of “well who should really get to decide”, and the answer is of course, to each his own.

Now, this strategy would work better, I expect, if the proposal were not so obviously extreme and mean spiritied towards the nations most-watched broadcaster. Are there any other policy proposals that force this kind of choice to get debated?


  1. Parking fines. When you have a fine, present a choice of local services that the funding can go to (mental health, elderly care, battered spouse refuges etc.).

    Of course, all the disingenuous councils will do is put up shell accounts with mawkish titles against the checkbox that will sucker the public but will be used as a slush fund.

    Maybe we just have lists of charities and the charity informs the council of the pagment, so cutting out the sticky-fingered middlemen.



  2. Another one: Vehicle Excise Duty.

    We all know there is a massive surplus, so potential here for people to select the destination for the surplus. What would be good is to show that surplus…then people will really get hacked off over the charges!



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