Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Tory mythology must be refuted

They never stop, do they? John Major`s recent attempt to place the blame for the lack of social mobility, and the fact that society is dominated by rich, privately educated men, on the last Labour government is typical. The Tories` propaganda machine has not stopped, since the last election, trying to convince the electorate that the 2008 financial crash was not the fault of greedy, bonus-seeking bankers, but Brown and Darling`s economic policies were to blame! Sadly, it doesn`t end there; so many Tory myths exist, Labour could spend an entire election campaign refuting them; in fact, that`s not a bad idea.
     Foreign policy, always based on upholding democracy, is a good place to start. Don`t democratic governments rule because they have the support of the majority of the people, and pass laws according to what`s written in their election manifestos? After all, that`s why people vote for them in the first place, but it doesn`t even apply to the coalition we have now. Where was the breaking up of the NHS on the Tory manifesto, or the trebling of tuition fees on the Lib Dems`, or tax reductions for the rich, cuts to benefits for the disabled etc etc? Truth is our democracy is something of a sham, but it suits most of our politicians down to their last expenses claim. The main parties do not want 80-90% turnouts in elections, as they`d have to adopt more people-friendly, rather than City-friendly, policies; secret and safe voting on the internet should be possible, and it would increase voter participation hugely, getting young people involved and interested,but it never gets a mention!
      The state is too big, and needs to be slimmed down and made more efficient, is another frequently heard Tory complaint, but there`s never an accompanying explanation, for obvious reasons; what this entails, as we`ve seen in recent years, is the gradual destruction of the welfare state, and the return of laissez-faire, just like in the 19th century, with workers exploited, and trade unions struggling for legality. The improvements achieved in the 20th century would be sacrificed at the altar of bonuses and tax reductions for the rich. Tory myths on taxation are also heard, with the most recent being their determination to wipe out tax avoidance. What do they take us for? You don`t get more individuals and companies to pay the correct amount of tax by laying off thousands of HMRC staff, and doing absolutely nothing about tax havens. Having representatives from tax "advising" firms like Deloitte and KPMG on treasury committees when drawing up tax legislature is a bit of a giveaway too!
     How about bringing back selection and grammar schools to increase social mobility? Oh please. Never a mention of what happens to the 70% or so who don`t manage to get the private tuition the middle class parents pay for to ensure the 11+ is passed. No reminders of those secondary moderns of the 50s and 60s, or the lazy teaching in the grammars.If anyone seriously wanted to deal with the lack of social mobility, they would ensure no university could enroll more than 7% of its students from private schools, in line with the national figure, and end the ridiculous tax avoiding scam of private schools having charitable status, so that VAT would have to be paid on their fees.
    So many myths, so few of them analysed and challenged by Labour; privatisation encourages investment, nationalisation never is profitable; the NHS needs wholesale reorganisation; nuclear weapons are essential to our security; bonuses and tax reductions are essential if we want "talent" to stay in this country; firms can`t afford to pay the living wage; all unemployed are lazy, ..... .The list is endless and growing, and only Labour can do anything about it.
    All Labour MPs and election candidates should be given a list of the 10 most destructive Tory scare-mongering myths, with a truthful version alongside, and told firstly to learn them off by heart,(Gove-like,with understanding preferred but not essential) and secondly, to provide an analysis of at least half of them in every interview, article,and speech between now and the election.
    Only when the mythology is refuted does the truth stand a chance!


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