You admitted to not reading newspapers so you lmost certainly didn`t see a recent editorial in the Morning Star, which stated that Labour in 2015 should not be `scrabbling around for votes` just before a general election, andèspecially just after five years of the most callous of Tory-dominated governments. It was right, wasnt it? Consequently, you have some explaining to do.
Please explain why, for example, your party refuses to break with the City. You promised Labour under your leadership would be different from the Blair/Brown era, and completely different from the other parties, but you can`t honestly say it is, can you? Attacking the banks is a no-brainer for 90% of the population, but you haven`t even pledged a Financial Transaction Tax, let alone uttered a word about 81% taxpayer-owned RBS getting fully nationalised under your government, with profits going to Treasury instead of shareholders` tax havens.Don`t you want to change the country`s embarrassing banking culture?
Admittedly taxing the rich at 50% is an improvement on the present situation, but will it do much to close the ever-widening gap between rich and poor? Why don`t you admit the country`s 28th position out of 34 in the developed nations` equality league table is a disgrace? Aren`t people earning three or four times the national average, rich, and therefore capable of paying 45 income tax, whilst at the top end, don`t you remember that even under the awful Thatcher, top rate was 60%? Why spend all that time reading Piketty if you`re not intending to follow any of his advice, particularly on top rates of tax?
What many of us don`t understand is why you don`t fight back when accused by the Tories and their friends in the right-wing media of being anti-business? The reply we hear is that you and Balls support business. What you don`t appear to understand is that voters want to hear you say you will support business when it starts supporting the country. Instead of bleeding the country dry with their low wages for their workers, obscene pay for CEOs and managers, and all-out policies to make as much profit as possible, regardless of methods or ethics, businesses should be paying back the debt they owe to our society. After all, who paid for their employees` education, their health care, and the roads and railways they use to make their profits? Who pays for the security they rely on to carry out their business?
Why not say business will get Labour`s support when it has deserved it, and then spell out what it needs to do? Pay a living wage to everyone, including the outsourced workers, pay only a fitting salary at the top, not like as in the FTS 100 companies, 143 times more than average worker, and pay all income tax and corporate tax; are any of those unfair, or likely to lose votes not destined for the Tories anyway?
Sorry to return to the subject of tax, which I believe you think, is a vote-loser for Labour, but there are more promises you should have made, if you really wanted to win this election. Why haven`t you promised to raise Capital Gains Tax to the same level as income tax, to stop the greedy rich from avoiding income tax by transferring their earnings. Why not make it illegal to form a company unless at least six employees are working for it, to stop highly-paid individuals, like many at the BBC, paying the correct amount of income tax, and employers paying National Insurance? They pay the much lower corporate tax, the one companies do their utmost to avoid paying, even though it is the lowest in the G7, and something like 18 percentage points below the rate in the States!
Why haven`t we heard from you about ending the practice of government contracts worth millions of pounds going to known tax-avoiding companies, or taking back honours from their CEOs? You surely don`t believe such policies would be unpopular with the voters?
Constantly at PMQs, you allow Cameron to ridicule your party for being in the pay of trade unions, at the behest of McLuskey and so on, and you barely respond. Why? Aren`t you proud of the party`s history and tradition as the defender of the workers` rights, and proud to tell the nation that Labour is the party today which stands against workers` exploitation, against zero-hours contracts and wages so low as to force people to rely on benefits to pay the rent?
Apologies if this appears just as a list of questions, but so many of us are really baffled as to why you haven`t done these things, or even some of them. If you had, you wouldn`t still be `scrabbling around for votes`!