The Star`s editorial rightly contrasts McDonnell`s bold pledges with the rebel MPs` claims that "politics is broken" (Morning Star,11/03/19). The Independent Group say they will offer voters a new option at the centre ground of British politics, but it would be helpful for voters to know exactly what the policies of these 11 MPs were, rather than being repeatedly told how "disillusioned" we all apparently are with "broken political parties. If those policies were three elevenths Conservative and eight elevenths moderate Labour, one would assume this would that mean they supported privatisation, austerity and obscene payment for CEOs, whilst keeping taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations ridiculously low, education and health underfunded, and maintaining the present minimum wage which is way below an actual living wage. Do they care that pupils educated privately can avoid the newly-reformed and more rigorous GCSE and A-level examinations on their road to university, or is it their privilege as the offspring of wealthy parents, as so many like-minded Mandelson supporters clearly think?
The eleven MPs are clearly against any state control of railways and utilities, a tax regime which might actually begin to address the problem of inequality, and increased regulation of the financial and rental sectors. I can`t imagine they object to the UK government selling arms to the Saudis, even though their obvious effect is to create a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, or that they would support an immigration policy which welcomed asylum seekers.
In fact, the policies of the Independent Group are likely to prove to be eleven elevenths moderate Conservative, with some hopes of winning some Tory seats perhaps, but no hope of having any significant impact electorally. They do not hold a centrist position politically as they claim, but offer a right-wing option, which the country neither wants nor needs