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How much should we trust the man who wants to abolish his own handout?

Summary:
An interesting little philosophic question here. Who is it that we should trust more on an issue?Boris Johnson’s controversial enforcer, Dominic Cummings, an architect of Brexit and a fierce critic of Brussels, is co-owner of a farm that has received €250,000 (£235,000) in EU farming subsidies, the Observer can reveal. The revelation is a potential embarrassment for the mastermind behind Johnson’s push to leave the EU by 31 October. Since being appointed as Johnson’s chief adviser, Cummings has presented the battle to leave the EU as one between the people and the politicians. He positions himself as an outsider who wants to demolish elites, end the “absurd subsidies” paid out by the EU and liberate the UK from its arcane rules and regulations.Lord Astor rather comes to mind here.Imagine

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An interesting little philosophic question here. Who is it that we should trust more on an issue?

Boris Johnson’s controversial enforcer, Dominic Cummings, an architect of Brexit and a fierce critic of Brussels, is co-owner of a farm that has received €250,000 (£235,000) in EU farming subsidies, the Observer can reveal.

The revelation is a potential embarrassment for the mastermind behind Johnson’s push to leave the EU by 31 October. Since being appointed as Johnson’s chief adviser, Cummings has presented the battle to leave the EU as one between the people and the politicians. He positions himself as an outsider who wants to demolish elites, end the “absurd subsidies” paid out by the EU and liberate the UK from its arcane rules and regulations.

Lord Astor rather comes to mind here.

Imagine that some official of the National Farmers’ Union insists that we must remain in the European Union because of those handouts. In the context of farming incomes they’re substantial - by some estimates they’re all of net farming incomes - and so we could and perhaps respond with “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”

Now imagine that someone is in receipt of such payments but still, for what he at least believes is the greater good, thinks that the system which so enriches him should be abolished. Whose word should we be putting greater weight upon?

The other phrasing that comes to mind is, well, who is merely talking their own book?

The grander issue here being that we’ve reached a place where doing so, loudly demanding that one continue dipping into the communal pot, is seen as righteous and serious, while arguing the contrary is a potential embarrassment. When did we reach the point that “No, don’t give me other peoples’ money” is a political position to be criticised?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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