Whilst agreeing with Frank Field that Labour needs "two or three big ideas to capture the imagination" of the electorate, I find it difficult to believe that making them pay more in National Insurance contributions is a vote-winner. Ensuring free healthcare at the point of use has to be a priority for Labour, and, with Britain lagging in at 28th out of 34 in the equality league table, there are numerous opportunities to tax those who can afford to pay more, rather than the majority, who cannot. Obvious ones include increases in income tax, a Tobin-like tax on financial transactions, a Capital Gains Tax on all house sales above a certain price, and taxing landlords more. Perhaps Labour should be asking whether the public would prefer Trident renewal, HS2 or a well-funded NHS?
The trouble is that Labour doesn`t ask questions enough, not even when Cameron and Osborne smirk their way through parliamentary sessions. Balls`s prediction of soaring unemployment is mocked, but Tory claims of job creation can be explained by agency work and zero-hours contracts, and 540,000 jobs created by self-employment. Shouldn`t Labour be shouting this from the rooftops? The Tories are clearly not better at running the economy, but they are miles ahead when it comes to the propaganda race. Is it any wonder that disillusioned Labour voters are heading Ukip`s way for the Euro elections? They will only return next year if they are persuaded to do so, and that means something has to change! Presumably, this is where the Axe comes in!