Saturday 26 April 2008

Turning on a 10p?

It really must be the political "silly season", when the leader of the Tories is urging low-paid working people to punish the Labour government by voting Tory (BBC News: Tories keep heat on 10p tax row). This comes hot on the heels of the comment, also from Dave Cameron, that Gordon Brown was "weak".

Yes, Mr Brown's government's actions were weak. Instead of scrapping the hated 200% tax hike on the lowest paid workers, we only hear vague promises of "looking into" compensation for the 'losers' in the autumn. This is too little too late, and will still leave millions of people skint for months - over the summer holiday season, to boot. Then, there is absolutely no guarantee that there won't still be losers.

Yet "weak" is a term which equally applies to Mr Cameron's criticism of this shabby affair. He made little reference to these issues, preferring to focus on a (verging on the ad hominem) attack on Mr Brown - so much so that I genuinely didn't know whether he was slagging off Mr Brown for not back-tracking enough, or slagging him off for back-tracking at all!

Perhaps as comic relief, the 10p tax affair has brought out not only the worst in the Establishment politicians, but also the biggest clangers. Chancellor Alistair Darling moaned that it would be "irresponsible" to reverse the 10p tax rate. Well, Mr Darling, I don't see what's so "responsible" about waging an illegal war in Iraq, squandering billions on nuclear weapons which could destroy the world and make humans extinct, while letting our public services and quality of life go down the toilet!!!

Then, a Blairite lord seemed to slide into a parallel universe where Gordon Brown 'reminded us of how good Tony Blair was' ?!? Sorry to be obtuse, and I'm not letting Brown off the hook, but I seem to remember that many of the most unpopular measures of this government - the Iraq war, PFI, raising the age to buy tobacco, and last but not least, the scrapping of the 10p tax rate - were initiated under Bliar's leadership!

But Cameron's suggestion that workers would be better under the Tories is equally laughable. I seem to remember, when the Tories were in power in the 80's and early 90's, they really pissed on workers' living standards and shifted the tax burden onto the lower paid. Not least by the hated Poll Tax, which took riots in London to get rid not only of the Poll Tax but also its creator, Margaret Thatcher.

There are far better ways to give New Labout the belting it so richly deserves. You can vote for numerous left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party, the Green Party, the Socialist Labour Party, or (peg placed on nose) the breakaway Respect Renewal. Even the Liberal Democrats (peg placed over other nostril) would be a better protest vote than the Tories.

But to really teach Brown, Darling and his clique, a lesson they won't soon forget, vote Respect - standing in London as the Left List, and in several council elections throughout Britain, as the Left Party. See the Respect Coalition website for more info about Respect, where we are standing, and how you can help our election campaigns.

What the working class needs is a party which will not sell out to a right-wing agenda to gain middle class votes.

What the working class needs is a party which will not kow-tow to the bosses and the ruling class.

What the working class needs is a party which is run by and for the working class.

The Respect Coalition is that party !!!

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