Tax rises for the well-off should form a key part of Gordon Brown's political fightback, the influential Labour backbencher Jon Cruddas said last night.Well, there’s a rallying call to….well, to whom, exactly?
Ah, of course. The old Labour faithful and the massive dependency-culture voter block that Labour has created, invited, imported and nurtured. Who else?
On the day Chancellor Alistair Darling confirmed that the Prime Minister had accepted the need to cut public spending, Mr Cruddas called for a number of tax increases to redistribute wealth and allow Labour to regain political momentum – becoming the first senior Labour figure to do so.A challenger, or a stalking horse?
His call for tax rises will not be welcomed by Mr Brown as he tries to redraw the battle lines with the Tories over spending. But ministers admit privately that the hole in the public finances would probably need to be filled by a combination of higher taxes and lower spending.Hence Call-Me-Dave’s little bit of prestidigitation with the proposed ‘cuts’ in MP’s expenses…
Cruddas is pinning his hopes on a ‘Make someone else pay for it!’ approach:
Addressing the left-of-centre pressure group Compass, Mr Cruddas called for greater "tax justice", including closing tax havens and more equal distribution of income and wealth; reform of capital gains tax; index-linking benefit levels, pensions and the minimum wage to average incomes; replacing tuition fees with a "graduate solidarity tax" and a high pay commission to ensure a fair balance between high and low paid workers in the same company.In other words, socialism.
Mr Cruddas, who enjoys strong support among the Labour grassroots, said Labour must reassert what it stands for. He insisted that an election defeat was not inevitable.We’ll be the judge of that…
Claiming that the Tories have a "glint in the eye when they talk about cuts", he said: "For me the question is why can we not lay a glove on them; we are mute. I would suggest it is because we have lost our language, our empathy, our generosity; because we have retreated into a philosophical framework of the right. This is not an internal debate. This is about protecting the most vulnerable through proudly defending a notion of a modern social democracy."No, that’s most certainly not why you are failing in the polls.
You are failing in the polls because we’ve all had enough of your troughing, corrupt, incompetent, authoritarian, hypocritical lying faces. We’re not too happy with the other guy, but, in the great tradition of English democracy, we’ve decided we’ll give him a go on the basis that he couldn’t possibly be any worse.
We know who the ‘most vulnerable’ really are. Us. ALL of us…
And that’s why your number’s up.