The decline of the Labour Party

Last week, my concern over the political performance of the Labour party was compounded during a rout of voters in the local elections. It’s highly unusual for a political party to grow their share of the vote whilst being in power, but the Conservatives seem to have managed this during both the 2015 General Election and the 2017 Local Elections. Considering the dogged determination of Jeremy Corbyn to hold onto his position (based on the assertion that he has hundreds of thousands of Labour Supporters and so clearly understands what ‘the public’ wants), it seems to me that Labour is facing complete electoral annihilation at the next election.

It seems to me that Corbyn and McDonnell (or at least whoever is formulating policy for them) seem to be totally out of tune with what is actually quite a powerful song to people my age. Last year, I wrote about the Panama Papers; a tax avoidance scandal which involved a whole list of the rich and famous. From the family of Kofi Annan to David Cameron’s Father, world famous sports stars, Russian oligarchs, the Icelandic Prime Minister – they all came under the microscope and were found to have engaged in the nefarious practices of the tax-dodging, off-shore ‘elite’.

As someone who grew up in a single-parent household, who worked hard to pass exams and get into University and as someone who has always paid into the system (indeed, I’ve never been given any option), this left me absolutely furious. I’ve never had any option over whether to pay my taxes – the money was simply taken from me before it hit my account. This has usually resulted in my getting a refund every twelve months from HMRC; that wonderful organisation who take more off me than they should and then have to pay it back!

The ‘global elite’ on the other hand, seem to see their tax as entirely optional. Who cares about the ‘little people’? We can suffer underfunded hospitals, crime blackspots, overcrowded classrooms and collapsing social services, so long as they can go swanning about on their mega yachts and massacring endangered wildlife for ‘sport’.

In case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic…

This totally outrageous disparity between those who pay their taxes and those who don’t has been bubbling under the surface for ten years – the Panama Papers only highlighted what we all already knew…seems like an opportune time for The Opposition to swoop in with some policies that might put things right, right?


“Increasing tax on those earning £80,000 or more”

That’s Labour’s great economic mind at work.

Look, I’m not arguing against more progressive taxation – on the contrary, I am in favour of it. Instead, I’m making a few points which seem to have totally missed Corbyn, McDonnell and whichever other muppet is writing Labour economic policy.

These people are already paying their taxes, and pay the vast majority of all taxes collected. Earning £80,000 a year is more than double what I get paid – it’s probably more than quadruple who most people my age are earning. It’s a privilege which provides things many people cannot afford. Consequently, I haven’t got a lot of time for people saying ‘£80,000 isn’t really that much money…”.

Having said that – these people are already paying their taxes. They’re likely to be the ones paying most of any increases in any taxes. These people are senior teachers, doctors, hospital consultants, middle managers – to be frank, these are not the people swanning around on mega-yachts in Monaco. They have no more control of ‘the system’ than you or I!

So why on earth are Labour making them the centrepiece of their fight against ‘the rich and powerful’. If Corbyn keeps banging on about having an economy which works for ‘the many, not the few’, he might want to open his eyes and see that he’s about to totally miss the point.

Making things fair

In my opinion, this country isn’t angry about the income of head teachers. Does ‘Sir’ Philip Green work as any of the rest of us do? Of course, he doesn’t – he gets paid through ‘dividends’, he claims tax ‘exemptions’, he has ‘off-shore interests’ and ‘holding companies’.  These are the things that I’m angry about!

Where is Labour’s policy on corporate tax abuse (I’m looking at Facebook, Google and Starbucks)?

Where is Labour’s policy on returns from wealth?

Why is Labour not looking at equalising capital gains taxes with income tax?

Why aren’t they ensuring every business pays its tax in full?

Why aren’t they looking at taxing rents, ensuring that they’re taxed at the same rate as work (because if the Conservatives are anything to go by, this country cares about Making Work Pay)?

Why are pension reliefs not being examined? Why is it fair that someone earning £80,000 can put £50,000 a year into a pension and get tax relief on it when I don’t even earn enough to hit the cap on annual contributions if I put every penny I earn into a pension.

If they had any idea about how the economy worked, they WOULD be looking at measures like this – but instead they’re doing what they always do; hitting the middle classes and totally missing the big players that have been bleeding our country dry for generations.

I’d like to see a Labour which got serious about a Green Economy. Why couldn’t they offer an ISA paying 3% and use that money to invest in social care, renewable energy and training and education? Most of the country would leap at an opportunity to earn 3% a year on their savings and the money used could kickstart the economy instead of being sent overseas in ‘aid’, used to fund ‘divorce payments’ and to subsidise the dying industries of fossil fuel extraction.


Truthfully, I don’t think the Conservatives are much better on the ‘fairness’ front. The only thing that tells me they know what they’re doing economically is that our economy exploded under the last Labour government and under the Conservatives, we’ve had record job growth – so I might be getting damned on taxes, but at least I have a job.

It just irritates me that so many people espouse this idea that Labour is ‘for the people’ when they very clearly are no better than any of the rest of them when it comes to spitting down on us. Jeremy Corbyn has about four weeks to go until the election, but he’s had just under two years in power and still seems to be trying to get to grips with the basics.

I’ve no desire to see Labour implode, but I fear that the next election will see a total rout of what is so far a gradual decline of one of the oldest parties in the country. Attacking the middle classes won’t win him the election, nor achieve the goals of fairness and equality he espouses. I’m not sure he really understands why his policies aren’t resonating with the public, but in the end, he’ll either figure it out or be replaced.

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