Tuesday, 22 April 2008

How poor they are, how poor

I was musing, as is my wont, upon the poverty of ambition of Labour politicians. Mid-muse I was directed to a posting by one J Arthur MacNumpty (I suspect this not to be his real name due to the fact that the bottom of the post says "Posted by Will" and the bit up top says that my cordial host is a certain Will Patterson. Of course, this could be MacNumpty laying a false trail, but still and all ...) wherein MacNumpty has indicated Labour's 1997 manifesto pledge
Our long-term objective is a lower starting rate of income tax of ten pence in the pound. Reducing the high marginal rates at the bottom end of the earning scale - often 70 or 80 per cent - is not only fair but desirable to encourage employment.

This goal will benefit the many, not the few.
I'm not as vexed as he is - although I see his point - by the upending of this pledge, since Labour had, obviously, met it before they killed it - a very Buddhist thing to do and obviously Wendy Alexander's influence.

What I was most interested in was J.'s (is it OK to just call him J. do you think?) closing submission to the jury, m'lud:
Before last year's election, I kept wondering if Labour at Holyrood were actually trying to lose. I'm now starting to wonder the same about Labour at Westminster.
It looks like that, doesn't it? Labour's current tribulations are the kind which have you thinking that you should turn away for decency's sake, but you just can't help watching. It's a horrible, almost voyeuristic fascination.
Why are Labour politicians so poor at the job? From Brown's dithering all the way down to their students being really pretty poor at putting a point across, they seem to have lost all ability to make traction and the solution appears to be to put the pedal down and hope for the best rather than work out what's going wrong.

Wendy Alexander today, for example, speaking to the STUC, accused the SNP of favouring big business. Ironic, really, since she still supports PPP/PFI and Salmond had just announced to applause in the same congress that Scotland's most expensive hospital ever would be built under traditional procurement. Even more ironic that labour's Margaret Curran still hasn't got the message about the lack of value for money under PFI/PPP in spite of the messages by people like Audit Scotland.

While we're talking about Labour falling apart, though, let's remember Lord Goldsmith saying he can't back Brown on the changes to the terrorism legislation - as a former Attorney General who has a bit of a wobbly reputation, his opinion that the case has not been made is almost as damaging as a Chancellor having to back down on the Budget Bill or offering to pay everyone's mortgage.

Mind you, at least they're in the news - where have the Libdems gone?

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