The government has belatedly decided to disagree with UNITE, one of its largest benefactor Unions. Alarm bells have gone off in Downing Street. They remember too well the damage the winter of discontent did to them in the 1970s and do not wish to be too heavily associated with an unpopular strike.
The irony is that UNITE are simply arguing in one company for the approach that Labour wishes to take with the national budget – to put off reform and keep on spending. We need to ask the PM why it is necessary for a company – or a family – to bring their costs into line with their incomes, but not for the nation.
The truth is that most of current policy is very old Labour. These are the bank nationalisers, the people who wantonly threw billions of public money into banks which had been brought low by a change of rules of their very own regulators, following the banks’ all too willing response to previous encouragement of too much credit by those same regulators.
These are the over regulators of our daily lives, the people who wish to force dog insurance on dog owners and spend hours thinking up new ways of taxing and controlling motorists. These are the men and women who sent in the thought police.
These are the people who think there is a public spending answer to every social problem, regardless of whether the nation can afford it or whether it works. This is a government of the control freaks, of borrowers, and of wasters of other people’s money.
It is true it is also a NULabour regime to the extent that it believes you can control what people think most of the time by superior spin, paid for by taxpayers.
Many people have fallen for bank nationalisation, because Labour allowed former Labour Councillor Vince Cable to front run the idea for them, with the government “reluctantly” giving in to this “moderate” lobbying. Sensible alternatives to avoid bank collapse and to protect taxpayers were carefully kept off the airwaves or airbrushed out of the official script.
Some may now fall for the idea that UNITE and the government are at loggerheads, and the government is not in favour of such strikes. The test of that proposition is will Labour give any of the money back to the Union which they have received, saying that they think it wrong to have taken money from people who behave in a way they condemn? Will the Union tell the governing party it will not be receiving any more in the future because the Union disagrees with Labour’s stance on its strike? I doubt it.
We will be told endlessly that public spending has to continue at full throttle all the time the recovery is so weak. We need to ask why Greece was brought up with a jolt by the markets for following Labour’s policy on spending and borrowing? We need to ask why is the UK so different from Iceland, Ireland and Greece, all of whom have been forced into bigger spending cuts and interest rate increases owing to their failure to take timely action?
We will also be told that taxing the rich is the answer to the deficit. This morning’s news that their changes to Non Dom taxation may end up losing us tax revenue should be no surprise to sensible people. Their 50% tax rate will also drive successful people and businesses away. The proof that this lot are old Labour is their belief that you maximise tax revenue from the rich by raising the rates, and that in itself is enough to pay all the bills.
As readers of this site will know, you maximise tax revenue from the rich by lowering rates – and you increase it from the not so rich by exactly the same means. We also know that the deficit is so huge, any additional tax from a tax the rich policy that worked would not solve the problem on its own.