Sunday, 15 December 2013

Letter not in today`s Observer

Too arrogant to admit his Plan A failed to encourage private investment to stimulate the economy, too proud to confess that reducing the income tax rate of his rich associates was a ridiculous waste of fiscal potential, and that the Leffer curve is a myth devised by right-wing economists, Osborne now has to gamble. Will Hutton is right to state that a "jihad against government" and taking "government consumption" back to 1948 levels is the chancellor`s cunning plan for electoral victory, as he is assuming the welfare state is "held in the same contempt" by the "hard-working" people as it is by the Tory party.(Osborne wants to take us back to 1948. Time to look forward instead,08/12/13) Not that it comes as a surprise. Cameron, at the Lord Mayor`s banquet, made the same speech minus the figures, admitting that he has no intention of "resuming spending once the structural deficit" has been removed. This should provide a wonderful opportunity for Labour, as both Tory speeches illustrate not only the difference between their ideologies, but also the duplicity of this Tory-dominated coalition, whose "economy with the truth" is approaching legendary status; didn`t Cameron insist in 2010 that the cuts were out of necessity, rather than "some ideological zeal"?
        Although the return of Blarites into the election fold does not appear, at first sight, to be encouraging,(Secret memo shows key role for Blairites in election team,08/12/13) Labour should exploit the fact that the Tory aim of "a leaner, more efficient state" will take the country further back to the days of laissez-faire, when the weakest in society were exploited, rather than protected by a welfare state; regulating the power of the banks, energy companies and the like is essential in today`s society. The rights gained by the working people in the twentieth century to equality of opportunity in education, free healthcare, collective bargaining and employment, social housing and all the benefits provided in a fair civilisation, will not exist in Cameronland, and Miliband, Balls and the rest need to say it, again and again. Failure to do so would be a dereliction of their duty.
       Improved ratings in the opinion polls since making the promise to freeze energy prices should signify to Miliband that Osborne has seriously misjudged the situation, and that bold policies like challenging tax avoiders,bankers` bonuses and profiteering companies, are the ones "to capture the popular mood" of an electorate, increasingly disenchanted by expense-claiming politicians and greed-obsessed, irresponsible capitalists. Wouldn`t most voters prefer to see from Labour pledges to increase regulation, make taxation fairer and to retain public-owned assets like the East Coast line, rather than hear yet more about free schools and policies generally too Tory-like for their own good? Disillusionment with politics often increases when parties and policies resemble each other too closely, and the recent statements by Tory leaders provide an ideal opening for Labour; the power of the state does need to be utilised for the good of all its citizens, and not for the benefit of the City`s financial institutions, which is clearly the Tories` preferred option!


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