The People’s budget

By George Volkov

The People’s budget:

Being a socialist, I am against any dictator, any tyrant, any monarch, dear leader of whatever title they have appointed themselves. The fact here in Britain we have an unelected head of state, and house of lords, essentially makes all socialist reforms impossible. This means even if the people want the house of lords out, there is no legal way we can kick them out.
Do we want to tax the aristocracy more so we can make university free?
Rejected, even if parliament passes it. David Lloyd George came up against the house of lords in an attempt to get his people’s budget passed.

Lloyd George argued that the People’s Budget would eliminate poverty, and commended it thus:
“This is a war Budget. It is for raising money to wage implacable warfare against poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that before this generation has passed away, we shall have advanced a great step towards that good time, when poverty, and the wretchedness and human degradation which always follows in its camp, will be as remote to the people of this country as the wolves which once infested its forests”

Britain was also trying to keep up with the rising power of imperial Germany, and were in an arms race, a prelude to the impending war.
“a fully-equipped duke cost as much to keep up as two dreadnoughts (battleships)”– but was “much less easy to scrap”- Lloyd George

On the 30th November 1909, the Finance Bill was resolutely rejected by the House of Lords, by 350 votes to 75. The Prime Minister, Asquith, subsequently moved a motion to dissolve Parliament, declaring the act to be a “breach of the constitution and usurption of the rights of the Commons.” The House of Lords had gone one step too far this time, breaking an ancient, yet unwritten constitutional prerogative forbidding the Upper Chamber from rejecting financial bills put forward by the elected Lower House. The issue was portrayed as one of the peers versus the people at the ensuing election in January 1910 and Lloyd George toured the country addressing working class crowds and stressing that the rich landowners that filled the red benches of the Lords would rather see the food of the masses taxed, rather than pay for important measures to fight poverty from their own overflowing pockets. His most renowned speech at Limehouse used particularly forceful language and even provoked a letter of complaint from the King.

Although the Liberals returned to Parliament with 100 less seats, they had still won an important moral victory over the Lords and the Conservative opposition and on the 28th April 1910, the Lords were finally forced to accept the Budget, which passed into law after no fewer than 70 parliamentary days of debate and 554 divisions.

As a result of the budget, we now have the NHS, state pensions, sick pay, free school meals for poor children, etc.
This shows what can be done of we remove the wealth from the hands of an elite minority. Imagine what could be done if we decided to do away with the archaic principles of the aristocracy.

“Who ordained that a few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite; who made ten thousand people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth?”
David Lloyd George

4 thoughts on “The People’s budget

  1. Liberty of Thinking

    Hi George,

    I kept coming back to both your site (this and Leon’s), and even though I have promised Leon to be more present on the other one, given Leon’s announcement of today, I decided to leave a word here…
    I was born in Northern Transylvania, having been a witness to Ceausescu’s eras, from the golden to the molten, being actively involved with my rather artistic skills in maintaining some sort of social sanity of hope, just to have it beaten up by the same who hijacked their own political “televised revolution”…
    I left for a very young Hungarian democracy, just to realise I can’t feed my 4 children with my pretty good 2 and sometimes 3 government jobs, simply because I decided not to soil my conscience…
    I left Hungary, but that would be for another comment or post…
    Hm, “socialism”… Yes, I am a socialist… But not a utopian…
    ALL politically backed and motivated government systems are from their cradles, their own graveyards, because the moment one, or a group of human beings take or accept corporate/social leadership, the end has arrived…
    There’s only one just system of coexistence, the shared responsibilities family unit, where stabile, voluntary monogamous or polygamous partnerships procreate and work their own private belongings for the continuous generational well being, and where only the commonly recognised wisdom of age and/or experience would matter in the decisional process, with young adults preparing to establish newer family units with neighbouring alikes…
    True communism/socialism needs family bound accountability and responsibility.
    Anything else is condemned to failure, as history has proven it.

    What’s left for such a leftist? Hm, a personalised form of NoamChomskysm, as a realistic form of critical activism, enjoying the achievements of the very system which I am criticising… Is that hypocrisy? No… It’s exactly that sort of lucrative realism which left the proud Cubans with a useful living hero, instead of a useless dead one…

    Oops, it’s a rather lengthy comment… I hope you won’t ban me from commenting:-)

    All my very best, mates!


  2. Leon J Williams

    Hello Rom, George and I are in different countries so he will respond soon.
    I find your views a little confusing, centre-left primitivist?
    I know Marx wrote about family relationships under communism, he said that the traditional relationship between mother, father and children would be different because under the current tradition the man dominates the family and a form of hierarchy is established, man, woman and then children. As hierarchy is abolished under communism this cannot continue.
    If you’d like to write an article for us we’d be very happy to read it and post it up.

  3. George volkov

    That was very detailed, and perhaps true.
    Thank you for your comment. Would you be willing to write an article about it?
    But as with all systems, families too have their internal conflicts. By private, do you mean private or personal?
    Personal property is part of your person and includes property from which you have the right to exclude others (e.g., televisions, cars, clothes, etc.)
    Private property is a social relationship, not a relationship between person and thing according to Marx (e.g., factories, mines, dams, infrastructure, etc.).
    Thanks again

  4. Liberty of Thinking

    I am very sorry to have noticed your replies only now (17/01, 19.20 GMT). Please allow me a bit of time for a decent reply, also for an article draft…
    Unfortunately, the best one could say about my views when presented in a (pea)nut shell, is “confusing”:-)
    I’ll take myself a coconut shell and be more clear.

    We’ll be back soon…



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