Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PBR Response: Just Labourists Pump Fists in the Air

Yesterday we lifted some Tory Boys and Girls spraying their excitement and delight over what they claim to be an almighty error, which sees us all doomed. Apart from Ken Clarke. Perhaps the only Tory in their parliamentary party who has a clue* on such things.

To Thine Own Self Be True, we wrote ourselves at the very same hour, but one way and another it did not get posted. But better late than never :

Luke Akehurst asks rather sensibly "Whatever happened to Tory triangulation?" The Tory game plan thought Luke had been to triangulate and steal the centre ground from Labour. This would imply an outflanking to the left and more vigorous fiscal stimulus package.

"Instead we just get George Osborne squeaking away like someone who swallowed the collected works of Sir Keith Joseph and Milton Friedman. Triangulation, compassionate Conservatism, new Tories, all gone.

Funnily enough the Tories and the daily headline writers are mirroring this with talk of the end of New Labour.

Hopi Sen thinks VAT is an interesting choice for the tax cut, and he's almost persuaded I'd say:

"VAT is only charged on consumption, of course - so it means you don’t have the problem of someone using their stimulus cheque to pay off their credit card debt."

Hopi goes on to worry about Ken Clarke's partisanship but I'll deal with that allegation in another post I think.

Tom Harris MP double blogged with this sort of thing both at home and at Labour Home. Even he was taken aback at how comprehensive Darling’s stimulus package was. But he didn’t stay to hear Eliza GOOlittle's reheated denunciation. There's much more:

"So where are we? VAT has been reduced from 17.5 to 15 per cent. Let’s have a very quick history lesson on VAT, shall we? When Labour left office in 1979, VAT was at eight per cent. Thatcher, who had explicitly promised, during the election campaign, not to double VAT, then doubled VAT, setting it at 15 per cent. Then, as soon as the Tories managed to get shot of Mrs T, they tried to repair the mess left by the poll tax, offering an across-the-board cut of £140 to every voter/poll tax payer. To fund this, they increased VAT by 2.5 per cent."

To be fair Tom increasing from 8% to 15% is not doubling. A mere 88.5% increase.

"As to the rest of the package, it differs from the Conservatives’ proposals in one vital respect: it exists."

Dr Rupa Huq is presumably still reeling and rocking from the desperate news that dancing master John Sergeant, married to her deputy head teacher has thrown in the towel and sidled away from Strictly Come Dancing without any fuss.

The FTSE are backing Darling she reckons. And the parties are no longer Blairite clones. Not Labour, not conservatives:

"For anyone who has argued that the main two parties are now like Pepsi and Coke surely events of the past 24 hours and week demonstrate clear blue water between them? Today has left the Tories looking increasingly out of touch and irrelevant. Their decision to effect a U-turn on sticking to Labour’s spending plans last week shows how the revert to type in slashing the axe of cutbacks when the going gets tough."

Oo-er. But she is right. Naturally. And although Susan Press would like to hear, feel, smell and see the pips squeaking louder she is at least glad to join the party faithful in a bit of a thumbs up:

It's a step in the right direction but not exactly grounds for hoisting the Red Flag from my front door. LRC Chair John McDonnell MP has today been explaining what the Labour left's take at Comment Is Free.

John's Labour Representation Committee will perhaps be feeling a little coy and out-flanked by running dog lackeys over their welshing on the nationalisation of the towering heights of capitalism. You know, banks and the like. Doing a good bit of rueing I'll be bound.

Tom at Newer Labour feels that this PBR causes Osborne a big headache.

Guido is busy frantically self-polluting over the performance of George Osborne at the pre-budget report. I don't deny that he pulled off a good bit of oratory, and made a shining example of political salesmanship.
The content is poor, however. ... This lack of content, in fact, goes so far that Boy George's lot down at the shadow treasury (emphasis on the 'shadow') have apparently refused to commit to reversing Labour's move. Labour have therefore effectively pulled the Cons with them on 45%. The question is thus: how will grassroots Tories react?
I'm happy. If they miss the line that Guido has lapped up, they'll decapitate themselves, though, I accept, on the upside for them, it will be hard to find anyone less relevant. If they don't, we get a 45% top rate no matter who people vote for. In other words, Blue Labour.

Fair enough. Though as Dave Osler explains 45% is hovering around the "pants" level for a proper pips squeak, tax the rich policy:

"Even a few years back, the Lib Dems were sufficiently bold to call for a 50p in the pound take on the rather lower threshold of £100,000 a year. How quickly the political right forgets that even during the hey-day of High Thatcherism, the top rate of income tax was 63%; despite his status as a former Trot, Alistair Darling is but a hopeless wuss by comparison to 'Red Geoff' Howe.
"I mean, correct me if I am being needlessly controversial here, but the basic principle underlying any left of centre take on taxation is simple enough; the more you earn, the more you owe the Inland Revenue.
"The idea that the rich should hand over a higher proportion of their income than the less well off has been a mainstay of the broadly progressive outlook since Lloyd George’s people’s budget of 1909, and it is high time the principle was restored."

Last but not least. Let's hear it for the girls:

Alex Hilton was extremely prescient with a Sunday homage to the boxing bill poster (above, right) which sees our man buff and theirs bluey-white. So, so weak. As Ed Balls MP might mumble-shout, almost incomprehensibly, but not quite.

Sadie Smith meanwhile promised the earth. Meat and two veg on the table daily. But like the feeble woman she is there's a let down at the end of the flannel. Seriously though, Sadie's discovery of a blog sexing device will no doubt be the source of countless hours of self-pollution:

Stuff on the PBR to follow as soon as I've finished scratching my balls and talking about hot girls: sure you can't wait, eh?

* OTHER TORIES with Half an Idea: ????? Nominations? Ewan and Liam (who's half Labour) perhaps ... anyone else? Andrew Lansley you say? Ha ha ha ha.

SUBTEXT: Yapping Yousuf finds Andrew Lansley's resignation speech hilarious. He should have stuck to the lying fibs and blazing non sequitors.

COMPLAINT Wed 13:16: the "small" version of the homework animation isn't small enough for blog use, and the click and drag is not all that. Must try harder on presentation. Satisfactory work and progress otherwise.

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