Sunday, 22 December 2013

Labour`s need for aggression

The "clutch of negativity" in the Labour party,brought about by amongst other things, local byelections showing they "may have become vulnerable to Ukip", need not last.(Miliband steps up search for silver bullet,21/12/13) Patrick Wintour reveals, albeit indirectly, a solution for Labour`s woes; according to him, the three most popular politicians in Britain are the two pantomime villains, Johnson and Farage, and Margaret Hodge, whose popularity has increased because of her outspoken attacks on the rich and powerful, and her accusations that they are benefitting at our expense. If losing the vote of "an alienated working class" is Labour`s main concern, Hodge-like aggression is the obvious answer, and Miliband and his advisers should have realised this after their surge in the opinion polls following the conference pledge on an energy price freeze.The same polls may also show that voters "believe the 2010 spending cuts were necessary", but that speaks volumes about the efficiency of the Tory propaganda machine, and the improvements needed to reduce the incompetence of Labour`s.
    Policies based on fairness, which aim to redress some of the inbalance in wealth distribution, should not be ignored for fear of upsetting the "suppering classes" of the south`s marginal seats, as the overall vote-winning impression must be that Labour is on the side of the majority, not the City.
   Adoption of a few of the following ideas will undoubtedly prove electorally beneficial, but only if it happens in the new year, before Ukip can do untold damage in the European elections; adopting them afterwards would be perceived as a panic measure of a party desperate for votes:

    support for the EU`s financial transaction tax
    a sliding scale of income tax, going up to 60-70% for earnings over £200,000
    a tax of at least 75% on bonuses over £100k
    tax havens on British territory to be closed, a policy of total transparency adopted, and tax evaders made to pay up, or face imprisonment
    tax avoidance to be ended, by the re-appointment of the thousands who have lost their HMRC jobs under the coalition, and by the refusal to grant government contracts to companies known not to be paying their fair share. Individual tax avoiders similarly to be refused permission to work for the BBC and government departments, or to represent Britain in any capacity; the slogan here could be "no representation without taxation"! No honours to be granted to tax avoiders, and all previous honours to be returned.
    introduce VAT or a similar tax on all advertisement in the media, totally refundable at the end of the tax year, but only when corporation tax has been calculated, and the right amount paid, with no exploitation of loopholes etc.
   adopt a policy of total transparency with regard to MPs and candidates; all business connections, other jobs, tax records etc to be made public, prior to elections.
   end support for the replacement of Trident, with a promise to pursue an independent foreign policy, and for HS2 and airport expansion in London.
          Milband did say, when elected, that Labour would be different under his leadership. Well, better late than never!  Such policies would enable the next Labour government to forget all ideas of continuing Tory-like austerity measures; that in itself is the real "silver bullet" for Labour. A change in culture is needed, andit is not as though the country cannot afford it!

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