In Boris's article for today's Telegraph, our Man for the Mayoralty seems to get a little bit confused about just what increases in the tax allowance for certain individuals means.
As a libertarian Conservative, I believe that beyond a certain amount (perhaps 15%-20% of GDP), tax is effectively legalised theft. The basic position from the secular, political point of view is that our own money, income and property is own own, not the government's.
The state is jusitified in taxing the citizens to some extent to pay for functions of the state that are legitimate and necessary. And I take the view that the legitimate and necessary functions of the state are limited - much less than what the state currently does. Beyond fulfilling a certain relatively small number of legitimate functions, all money taken from us by coercion is bascially theft: the taking with the intention permanently to deprive us of our own money. There's no way that the Government needs to take what it does.
So, I think that Boris has got things slightly the wrong way round. Bascially, he's adopted the Labour approach wholesale.
How does he view people's own private money? He talks about "the taxpayer [coughing] up for a married couple" and married couples potentially getting "£20 from the government."
Actually, what IDS in the Tories' so-called "Social Justice Commission" report is proposing is not to take so much of the married couple's money in the first place. It's not someone else coughing up for me. It's me being stolen from slightly less by the government for the benefit of the re-election of the government's ministers and backbench MPs.
It's my £20 a week that is currently being taken from me without my consent and all that is being proposed is that they no longer take this from me on condition of my being married. Well, frankly, they shouldn't take it from me in the first place, married or not.
So no, I do not accept differential treatment for married and single people. We should all be allowed to keep more, much more, of our own cash. Discriminating between marital status is not really a vote winner - it leaves certain people feeling unfairly treated, and ignores the core philosophical and moral injustice in the amount of taxation we all suffer.
"Once back here I got to thinking - 'how do I get out of this?' Perhaps the really haunting spectre is that I would have to turn my back on the lake, and the prospect of the sword." Alan Clark, Diaries - 19th May 1999