Saturday, 3 October 2015

Until the pips squeak.

Quotes relating land are often reformulated as general attacks on wealth. A good example of this is Denis Healey's much quoted  "tax the rich until the pips squeak". What he in fact said was he would "squeeze property speculators until the pips squeak". Apparently citing the then Secretary of State, Lord Carrington, as an example of this as he'd just made £10M profit selling off farmland, presumably with a change of planning permission.

Unfortunately, somethings never change, but others do. I met Denis Healey, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a small boy on a day trip ferry crossing between Dover and Calais. He was outside on the upper deck quite alone, causally dressed, camera around his neck. My mischievous father told me to go and ask him if he was any good as maths. Which I did, to which he gave a chuckle, admitting it wasn't his strongest subject. We had chat about this and that for a while and before we departed company he requested me not to let any of the other passengers know he was on board as " I'm not terribly popular at the moment, and they might throw me overboard".

I wonder if George or Dave do the booze and fag run over to France?

6 comments:

Random said...

Land and stock bubbles make us wealthier apparently:
http://www.asymptosis.com/where-mmt-gets-its-accounting-wrong-and-right.html
What happens if everyone tries to "spend their house"?

JuliaM said...

Despite his politics, he seems to have been a decent sort of bloke. What a difference from our current crop.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I didn't know that this was a misquote until yesterday. It does fit the pattern though.

Bayard said...

The English of the original quote also makes more sense.

John Burns said...

My respect for Healey just went up 100 points.

mombers said...

A real pity that the quote got mangled...