Saturday, 2 August 2014

Ignore media: Ed M should be a shoo-in! (LabourList article)

Both Patrick Wintour of the Guardian, and Steve Richards of the Independent have both recently written respectively, that the “Labour poll lead seems to be defying gravity” and that it is a mystery “why the Conservatives are not well ahead in the polls”, when “the economy is growing” and Miliband has to endure a “media onslaught”.
The truth is, of course, that there is no mystery: people know that this Tory dominated government`s claims about the economy`s resurgence and there being more people in work than ever before are spurious, especially when so many jobs are part-time, with zero hours contracts and low pay, and increasingly desperate people resorting to their “last refuge”, self-employment. New research is actually indicating that real earnings,by May next year, will have declined by 2.3% since the start of the coalition’s administration, the biggest fall since the 1874-80 government; irony of ironies, that was the government of Disraeli, the PM who coined the term, “One Nation”!
Do the voters being polled need reminding that the same government is responsible not only for the destruction of the welfare state, with a declared intention to take the state`s role back to 1948 levels, but the running down of the NHS, leading inevitably to its future privatisation, the selling off of the country`s assets at knockdown prices, the obscene tax benefits for the rich and the 28th position in the equality league table Britain now holds, the taking of education back to the 1950s, the ending of the Education Maintenance Allowance, and decreasing social mobility? Have the banks been regulated, have bonuses been stopped, is there a housing bubble, are private rents out of control? People are clearly afraid of what a Tory government might do if it were given a free rein for another five years.
How can respected political analysts like Wintour write that “logic suggests Cameron must win” the election when it is far more plausible to believe that if Labour`s propaganda machine gets its act together, and reminds the electorate of the cruel and grossly unfair policies adopted since 2010, Miliband should be a shoo-in! With Tories like Letwin hinting that a flat rate of tax might be an option in the future, and Osborne preferring a further reduction in the top rate to 40%, Labour only has to demonstrate clearly how both ideas favour the rich, to score further political points. A Tory-dominated government bribing the well-off in the build-up to an election will hardly come as a surprise!
It can also remind the electorate of the promises made by Tories in the build-up to the 2010 election; “no frontline cuts”,”no top-down reorganisation of the NHS”, and “no VAT rise” spring to mind, whilst there was no mention of tax cuts for the very wealthy, or the privatisation of parts of the health service or of Royal Mail. We were not told how state schools would be forced to accept academisation or face financial difficulties, or that university fees would be trebled. We were informed that tax avoidance was “morally repugnant”, but not that Tory funds would be boosted by donations from the CEOs of companies like Vitol, which paid 2.6% tax on profits of $846m last year. Suddenly we are expected to believe that Tories are really concerned about the economic future of the north, that gender equality, despite the preponderance of multi-millionaire males in the cabinet, is one of their priorities, that fracking will not be allowed in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, and that their so-called “tough regulation” of the banks will see a culture-change! According to Luke Hildyard, deputy director of the High Pay Centre, most people will be amazed that rules clawing back “bonuses for cheating, conniving and reckless speculation” have not been put in place years ago.; talk about “locking the stable door after a very large pig has bolted”!
Tories will continue with the nonsense about Miliband’s “weirdness”, even though their leader is Cameron, and until a few weeks ago, Gove was being touted as a possible future party leader.
No, Messrs Wintour, Richards and co. there is nothing logical about a Tory win in the 2015 election; far from it, but a well organised and carefully planned propaganda programme, reminding voters of Tory, lies, failures, and duplicity as well as Labour’s proposals for a fair and just society, must be a priority.

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