Mr Corbyn has defeated a Labour party prepared to make compromises to win elections. Now watch as he goes on to attack middle England. He will condemn success, tax achievement and seek to undermine self reliance.
Mr Corbyn promises to make inequality the main issue. The government should reply by making poverty the main issue.
Mr Corbyn’s policy is to reduce inequality by taxing the rich more. If, for example, he went the whole way and said all income and wealth held by the top ten percent in excess of the rest would be taxed away he would immediately make the UK a much more equal society. He would also make it much poorer.
Many of the rich would go, taking their assets with them. Some of the rich who stayed would work less, cut their income, find legal ways of reducing their wealth, make fewer riskier investments, create fewer jobs. This would in itself cut inequality and make the rich poorer, in line with Mr Corbyn’s aims.
It would also make many lower income people poorer. It would mean fewer jobs in the luxury trades, fewer jobs providing goods and services for the rich and famous. Great footballers, singers, actors would leave the country, and with them would go the demand they create for goods and services. We would all be poorer. It would mean fewer new and successful companies and the career opportunities they offer.
Most people in the UK are not jealous of success. They accept that great entertainers, sports people, entrepreneurs should earn large sums based on their skills, subject to progressive taxation at sensible levels.
Most of us want the state to help tackle poverty. We want inequality to reduce because people on low or no incomes are becoming better off. That is the purpose of the Conservative tax cuts, taking people on low incomes out of Income Tax altogether. That is the purpose of welfare reform, to make work worthwhile. That is the purpose of education reform, to give more people the chance of a good schooling. That is the purpose of pro enterprise policies, encouraging more people to work for themselves or to set up in business and create jobs for others.
Conservatives should answer Mr Corbyn’s politics of jealousy with our politics of aspiration. We need to show we can help lift more people out of low and no incomes, and help more people to own their own homes, businesses, and savings. Conservatives want an inclusive society, where everyone can become an owner, and where the many have the opportunity of a good education and a good job. Mr Corbyn wants a divided society, where the better off are hounded, and everyone ends up worse off.