Lab ex-MP plans to write to LDs asking them to defect. Yes, that really is the story.

Are we in for a couple of weeks of random Labour people trying to get media coverage merely by suggesting that Lib Dems might like to join the party of the Iraq war, ID cards, state-authorised torture and enormous deficits?

If the inciteful journalism down Gloucester way is anything to go by, it seems we may.

Former Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda has managed to wangle the headline “Could Gloucester Lib Dems defect to Labour?” merely by telling a journalist he’s planning to write to Lib Dem councillors inviting them to join the Labour Party. No talks, no defectors in the wings, he hasn’t even written the letters yet. The story makes the Kennedy debacle look positively well-sourced.

In the interests of balanced journalism, the paper does find space at the end of the article to quote the comments of Gloucester Lib Dem leader Jeremy Hilton.

I can’t think of any reason whatsoever why any member from the Liberal Democrats would want to defect to Labour.

They are a party completely in denial to the mess they left this country in.

The coalition government has made some fantastic changes already with the scrapping of ID cards, changed income tax and other things.

There is a lot going on in the coalition so I don’t know why any members would want to join Mr Dhanda’s sinking ship.

Quite.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

52 Comments

  • Loved this comment underneath:

    `One thing about the Coalition sticks out
    within 100 days they have brought the bully-boy wheel clampers to book. The last Govt failed – miserably. I had to ask myself why ? Was it because they were being led by a bully ?
    I find it distasteful that Labour have the neck to berate the Coalition about the Cuts that we must all now face. They were happy to talk about Cuts before the Election, I guess thats the difference between talkers and doers.`

  • Rob Sheffield 23rd Aug '10 - 4:42pm

    Ho Hum

    party of the Iraq war, ID cards, state-authorised torture and enormous deficits

    Iraq War = Brown pulled us out well before the GE and was criticised by the Tory right (your new chums)

    ID cards = and idea before its time: badly implemented and badly explained. Some form of ID card will be used in the UK by 2025. Just as it is in nearly all those nice humane and civilised continental countries with Christian democrat and liberal governments.

    State authorised torture = we won’t know whether we or any country with which we have an agreement- is ‘torturing’ captured combatants as the coalition has cut the funding and personnel responsible for monitoring this

    Enormous deficits= sigh I refer you to Krugman, Skidelsky and Blanchflower.

    If you want to avoid a split you are going to have to do better than this !

  • If Mr Dhanda’s Labour Party is so wonderful, why did he lose Gloucester while the Liberal Democrats held neighbouring Cheltenham with an incressed majority, and upped their vote in Tewkesbury?

    If Mr Dhanda really believes in progressive politics, then perhaps the smart move for him would be to join the Liberal Democrats.

    Oh dear. I didn’t think it would be necessary to remind any moderately well-informed political observer that Gordon Brown told the Chilcott Inquiry that he enthusiastically endorsed UK participation in Cheney’s illegal was for oil in Iraq.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 4:55pm

    I imagine if there were enough Lib Dems with morals and a backbone they would have quit already. The Lib Dems are spineless.

    Lib Dems: “We have decided that early cuts would put the economy in jeopardy! Vote for us to keep the Tories out!”

    Nick Clegg: “Actually, I want to cut now. So that’s what we’re going to do, like it or lump it.”

    Lib Dems: “Early cuts are necessary you tribalist Labour deficit deniars! We were always at war with Eurasia!”

  • Here is the manifesto I campaigned on: ‘We will base the timing of cuts on an objective assessment of economic conditions, not political dogma.’

    The timing of the cuts was only made an issue by the media as one of those false ‘dividing lines’ between two centralising blue-red parties.

    Quite frankly, there are other, more important, more profound, and more interesting genuine dividing lines rather than the synthetic ‘cuts now, or the same cuts later’ argument.

    By going into coaltiion with the Tories, we have ensured that their cuts are only a few billion more than Labour’s original plans (which included raising VAT to 19%) and have successfully clipped the worst of their ambition. This is far better than any of the alternatives.

    [i – Tory minority, ii – election and economic collapse brought about by uncertainty/Tory majority, or iii – unworkable Lib/Lab coalition continuing to lock up children/cut England but not Scotland or Wales or NI etc…]

  • Foregone Conclusion 23rd Aug '10 - 5:16pm

    I can understand why Liberal Democrats might feel the need to leave the party. I cannot understand why any of them would wish to join Labour in its current form.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 5:53pm

    @Henry: Nonsense, of course the timing is important. And Clegg chose to say “of course we would say no”, he didn’t have to and neither did his activists. If he had decided that the conditions were ripe for early cuts before the election- which has claimed, though he earlier claimed the opposite- he should have told the voters.

    And this- “By going into coaltiion with the Tories, we have ensured that their cuts are only a few billion more”

    Is a complete joke. It’s ridiculous. The Tories wanted an 80/20 cuts/taxes split starting immediately. It has turned out to be a 77/23 cuts/taxes split starting immediately. Labour wanted a deferred 66/33 cuts/taxes split and Nick Clegg said he wanted a deferred 100/0 cuts/taxes split (although he changed his mind about the “deferred” bit, he just didn’t tell the voters.)

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/5831523/clegg-heir-to-thatcher.thtml

    He’s of course lying through his teeth all through that interview, saying that “time has taught him the point of Thatcher” since university, as if he never supported her when he was at university.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 6:05pm

    It’s a far cry from the involuntary gap-years working class youth will be stuck with this year, oscillating between the dole and a packing job (if they’re lucky).

  • Paul McKeown 23rd Aug '10 - 6:09pm

    Comical. Labour’s propagandists have really taken leave of reality.

  • Mike –

    that last comment really was mindbogglingly foolish from a Labour supporter !

    If prospects really are so grim for “working class youth” in 2010 might that not reflect just ever so, ever so slightly on the people who have been running the country for the last 13 years?

    And are you seriously suggesting that the main purpose of expanding university places is to give 18 year olds something to do with their time?

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 6:18pm

    @Paul McKeown: Are you gonna snipe from the sidelines or actually address what has been said?

    @crewegwyn: Labour shouldn’t have bought into liberal economics. I’ve never said otherwise. Going even further into the realms of Thatcherism in spite of its failure as this government is doing deserves criticism. It’s one thing for Labour to bow to conventional wisdom and see it fail, it’s quite another for a government to use that failure as an excuse to go even further in the wrong direction.

    “And are you seriously suggesting that the main purpose of expanding university places is to give 18 year olds something to do with their time?”

    Yes, in a sense. An education gives them something to do with their lives.

  • David Boothroyd 23rd Aug '10 - 6:27pm

    Um, homophone corner here: You write “inciteful” but I think you mean “insightful”. There’s no such word as “inciteful”.

  • Paul McKeown 23rd Aug '10 - 6:31pm

    @Mike (the Labour one)

    Nothing has been said of note at all. Any response apart from laughter would be excessive.

  • Groan. Another Labour bashing article. Who gives a stuff what some obscure labour ex-MP is up to?
    There are major issues with govt policy which you seem completely uninterested in
    – 10% cut to housing benefit people who have been unemployed for more than a year.
    – Employing private credit agencies to trawl the private financial data of millions of citizens in hope of turning up evidence of benefit fraud.
    – Major re-organisation of NHS without democratic mandate.
    – Scrapping of the human rights abuses assessment.
    etc, etc.
    Despite Miliband junior’s pathetic bit of macho posturing the other day it is the Tories that represent an existential threat to the Lib Dems not Labour. The people who are angriest with you are not Labour activists but former Lib Dem voters. You need some big policy wins or at least look like you are constraining the more spiteful and illiberal elements of the Tory agenda else you will be toast. Opposition bashing is just a huge distraction. The election is over. You need to be discussing policy. You need to be making links in the public mind between the Lib Dem brand and popular policies. It’s just not happening. At the moment you look like you are just enabling the Tories to go further and faster than they ever would have dared. You shouldn’t run scared of the media’s obsession with ‘splits’. That narrative belongs to the days of one party govt. The public aren’t going to understand what the point is of the Lib Dems unless there are differences.

  • I can think of little more juvenile than supporters of party X trolling around on the site of Party Y just to post propaganda points of little worth or link to reality. Catch yourselves on, lads!

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 7:11pm

    @Felix Holt: If you think something is of little worth, you’ve no need to comment. If you think something has no link to reality, point out how. Easy enough to understand.

  • Mike, again: Here is the manifesto I campaigned on: ‘We will base the timing of cuts on an objective assessment of economic conditions, not political dogma.’

  • Well, Sholto Byrnes of the New Statesman adds a few more arguments why joining Labour shouldn’t be quite such an attractive option for LibDems…..

    Ten Reasons why Charles Kennedy should not join Labour:
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/08/labour-party-kennedy-lib-iraq

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 7:38pm

    @Henry: And what I’m saying is that says nothing. No party was basing the timing of cuts on anything other than the economic conditions.

    What the party said right up until hours after the votes were counted was that the economic conditions warrant deferring the cuts until the economy was more stable. They kept saying that, argued for the opposite during talks with Labour, and then pretended they had compromised with the Tories- before admitting they had changed their minds before the election.

    ‘We will base the timing of cuts on an objective assessment of economic conditions, not political dogma.’ is a blank slate- it says nothing. The fact is that until the election the Lib Dems were saying that the economic conditions warranted deferring the cuts, despite having already decided that they didn’t. They made their assessment of economic conditions, decided cuts should come early, yet continued to tell voters the opposite until after the votes were in.

    “But he said cutting too early would risk “pulling out the carpet from under the feet” of the British economy, which he said was still “too fragile”. He added: “We think that merrily slashing now is an act of economic masochism. If anyone had to rely on our support, and we were involved in government, of course we would say no.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8565722.stm

    And you were the one that said the Lib Dems had “ensured that their cuts are only a few billion more than Labour’s original plans (which included raising VAT to 19%) and have successfully clipped the worst of their ambition.”

    That is simply not true. The Tories moderated the Lib Dems, who Clegg said wanted 100/0 rather than the Tories’ 80/20 for getting rid of the deficit.

  • Mike: ‘Before admitting they had changed their minds before the election.’ – Well in my original comment I wish I hadn’t deleted the bit which said ‘we’re not a one-person party’, so when you say ‘they’ you mean ‘Clegg’ and I won’t defend him if the accounts we have heard are true…

    Also, I utterly reject your suggestion that ‘No party was basing the timing of cuts on anything other than the economic conditions’. Labour were basing it on a fingers-in-ears desire to wish the deficit away because they are unable to see that the state could do bad and the Conservatives were eagerly calling for cuts as quickly as possible because they are unable to see that the state could do good.

    It is precisely this false ideological dichotomy which wound me up. Labour would have cut, self admitted cuts of ‘worse than Thatcher’ and raised VAT by 19%, the Lib Dems were advocating tax increases (on the super rich), as well as tax cuts, and we have secured increased capital gains – for example.

    The point is the size of the state actually isn’t an ideological obssession of Lib Dems. Liberal Democrats recognise the failings and successes of the state and any large power that exerts its influence over others. This is in direct contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, as the ‘blank statement’ – which was the right answer on how to deal with the economy – demonstrates.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 8:01pm

    “‘Before admitting they had changed their minds before the election.’ – Well in my original comment I wish I hadn’t deleted the bit which said ‘we’re not a one-person party’, so when you say ‘they’ you mean ‘Clegg’ and I won’t defend him if the accounts we have heard are true…”

    Not just Clegg, but Cable and the Lib Dem negotiating team (especially Huhne and Laws). And then the rest of the party fell into line, we’ll have to see what the consequences are.

    “Also, I utterly reject your suggestion that ‘No party was basing the timing of cuts on anything other than the economic conditions’. Labour were basing it on a fingers-in-ears desire to wish the deficit away because they are unable to see that the state could do bad and the Conservatives were eagerly calling for cuts as quickly as possible because they are unable to see that the state could do good.”

    Nonsense. An “objective assessment” is certainly impossible, and the Lib Dems were looking at this through ideology as much as any other- there was and remains no settled decision of when the cuts should come, so how can there be an objective assessment?

    You’re talking nonsense about Labour anyway- until the crisis hit the Tories were accusing Labour, often rightly, of stealing their policies. Their PFI, their privatisation, their marketisation of all and sundry. You simply cannot fathom that anyone who disagrees with you has done so honestly, even if its a position your party claimed to have held not so long ago.

    “It is precisely this false ideological dichotomy which wound me up. Labour would have cut, self admitted cuts of ‘worse than Thatcher’ and raised VAT by 19%, the Lib Dems were advocating tax increases (on the super rich), as well as tax cuts, and we have secured increased capital gains – for example.”

    They might have raised VAT, Darling certainly wanted to but Brown over-ruled it remember. Not important. There’s a gulf of difference between dealing with the deficit through 66% cuts and 100%, so there is a dichotomy. You cut deeply or you cut even deeper than that, you’ve chosen the second. All the Lib Dems tax increases were to be put into tax cuts- cutting progressive taxes like the income tax for example. How are we supposed to know that the mansion taxes and so on weren’t there for the same reason that “no early cuts” was there, in order to screw more out of the Tories? All of the Lib Dem’s stances before the election have to be put into question when we know for certain that they lied about that one.

    “The point is the size of the state actually isn’t an ideological obssession of Lib Dems. Liberal Democrats recognise the failings and successes of the state and any large power that exerts its influence over others. This is in direct contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, as the ‘blank statement’ – which was the right answer on how to deal with the economy – demonstrates.”

    I don’t care what you think the Lib Dems ideology is. It’s not pertinent to the fact that they wanted to cut public spending deeper than the Tories. So they didn’t moderate the Tories at all like you claimed. This is simple.

  • ‘You simply cannot fathom that anyone who disagrees with you has done so honestly, even if its a position your party claimed to have held not so long ago.’ Not true, I haven’t accused anyone of dishonesty – I just disagree, that is all, I can fathom it all perfectly well, so there is no need to get personal.

    I think you probably can attempt something of an objective approach, and your points about Labour are right – but I was identifying a particular strand of Labour as I identify it – I agree New Labour used many Tory policies.

    We know very little about the Lib Dem negotiating team and the Labour negoatiating team – depending on the extent to which you believe Ed Balls, or the Lib Dems…

    Anyway, I am back to printing Focuses now.

    Just one last question: ‘In order to screw more out of the Tories’ – Are you not glad that we did? And are you glad that we are close to abolishing child detention?

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 8:26pm

    Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Peter Hain all said that the Lib Dem negotiating team were arguing for early cuts.
    According to the FT, “senior Lib Dems” were saying that Vince Cable had always believed in early cuts.
    Nick Clegg, after weeks of saying otherwise, admitted to have changed his mind about cuts before the election, possibly as early as March.

    What Labour was saying about the Lib Dem negotiating team, denied as spin and smear on here I seem to remember, fits in exactly with what your leader later said.

    “Just one last question: ‘In order to screw more out of the Tories’ – Are you not glad that we did? And are you glad that we are close to abolishing child detention?”

    1) No, not glad. The Lib Dem additions, like the income tax cut, are regressive and increase inequality while making further cuts to public services necessary. I don’t support Lib Dem policies any more than Tory ones, but I’m glad that the Tories managed to moderate the Lib Dems’ desire to deal with the deficit 100% through cuts.
    2) Child detention was/is a disgrace, but has been replaced with other harmful measures, coupled with a government far more anti-immigrant in other respects.

  • Matthew Huntbach 23rd Aug '10 - 8:27pm

    Mike(the Labour one)

    I imagine if there were enough Lib Dems with morals and a backbone they would have quit already. The Lib Dems are spineless.

    Why should I quit the party I have been a member of for over 30 years? It’s not Nick Clegg’s personal creation, it’s the creation of all of us members. Why should I be forced out by Clegg, why not the other way round?

    If I had wanted to join Labour, I could have done so and maybe had a comfy political career. But at the centre of my political beliefs is a belief in political pluralism, and at the centre of Labour’s beliefs is an opposition to political pluralism. When Labour appeal to people like me on the left of the Liberal Democrats to defect, they just don’t get it – they just can’t see it’s their wish to stamp out all politics except what’s internal to them that’s the biggest barrier to that. If I now were so fed up with Clegg that I were on the verge of signing a Labour Party membership card, Ed Miliband’s call to make the Liberal Democrats “extinct” would cause me to rip up that membership card. Even if I thought the LibDems as a party – not just its leader, who is not the party – had moved so far that I no longer wished to be a member, I would still not want to se the party made “extinct”.

    Mike (if you are that Mike, I think so) – we have argued about this already. It’s your inability even to see the point I was making, let alone understand it, that’s such a stunning example of why I could never join Labour. You just DON’T GET IT – you don’t understand what true democracy is, your deepest streak which I see in almost all Labour Party members is a political authoritarian one. That is what made Blairism so horrendous – it might have dropped almost everything else that useed to be associated with Labour, but the political authoritarianism remained.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 8:27pm

    Not to mention how undemocratic it is to lie to the electorate in order to play mind games and screw more out of the Tories.

  • Mike(the Labour one) 23rd Aug '10 - 8:34pm

    @Mathew Huntbach: And like I’ve said, you could have all internal democracy you want but it doesn’t matter one bit if when the leadership decides to do the opposite after secret talks with possible coalition partners you all just fall into line.

    You decide something. Clegg lets you believe your party stands for whatever you want, because it doesn’t matter what you vote for. His team can argue against your stance in secret talks. He can pretend he has had to compromise and ditch the position you wanted. He knows you’ll toe the line when it comes down to it.

    The Lib Dems aren’t a democratic institution any more than any other party. The leadership may as well let you all vote for what you want, if they know they won’t be opposed when they choose to do the opposite.

  • Mike – the Labour one – thanks a lot for confirming my belief that the Lib Dems are the only real – albeit flawed at times – chance of real radical reform in this country. I really cannot understand why people like yourself cannot just accept that the Lab Govt made the divisions in this country wider than they were in 97 – particularly in regard to wealth. What on earth is it that you stand for anymore? Do you know? Are any of you still socialists?

  • Paul McKeown 23rd Aug '10 - 9:16pm

    The Lib Dem additions, like the income tax cut, are regressive and increase inequality while making further cuts to public services necessary.

    Despite a typical torrent of Labourite abuse of Liberal Democracy, I was a little surprised to stumble across that statement. That I was not dumbfounded, in itself, demonstrates how low my expectations of Labour has become.

    I think your statement illustrates very clearly a fundamental difference between the Liberal Democratic and Labourite mindsets. In fact your statement illustrates to me how ugly British Labourism has become.

    Labour, it would seem, has left behind all concerns about raising the living standards, hopes and expectations of the underprivileged and has come to represent the interests of those employed by Westminster’s central bureaucracy. Labour it would seem prefers to give to the poor with one hand and taking from them with the other hand. Welfare dependency is the very ugly reality of this mindset.

    If Labour was ever to campaign on a platform to reverse the raised threshold for income tax, it would receive such an electoral battering that it would take it decades to recover from. This longstanding Liberal Democratic policy is one which has overwhelming support amongst the electorate. Feel free to strike up a campaign against this policy, it would clearly delineate the division between the two parties for the general non-political public. I have never voted anything but Liberal Democrat in mainland Britain, but the idea of reversing this policy would horrify me to such a degree that I would have to vote tactically against Labour if that had become part of the manifesto.

    I find it hard to believe, though, that Labour’s leadership would be capable of such a horrendous blunder, but that you could come out with something of that nature, does rather worry me. Gordon Brown did, after all, remove the 10p tax band, in order to fulfil some pointless manifesto pledges.

  • Mike, it has been said time and time again, but the income tax cut is regressive in that it doesn’t directly benefit those who don’t pay tax or pay so little they are lifted out altogether (duh) but it is progressive in the sense that the people who gain most proportionally are relatively the poorest [of those who gain].

    It is a brilliant measure, helping the working classes, those on low incomes, but maybe not those on no income – they get helped in other ways like the pupil premium, and the child element of the Child Tax Credit increasing by £150 above CPI in 2011-12 and £60 above CPI in 2012-13.

  • Rob Sheffield 23rd Aug '10 - 10:16pm

    Tonights YouGov

    41;39;12

    Gov aprov 40%
    Gov disaprov 40%

    Net +/-0% = it has been coming for a while: Calamity’s performance over the weekend was probably the final ‘nudge’ (geddit) !

  • Paul McKeown 23rd Aug '10 - 10:25pm

    More polls? We will see who is crowing in May 2015. Many a slip twixt cup and lip, my little Labour chunterbucket.

  • Rob Sheffield 23rd Aug '10 - 10:40pm

    @Paul Mcmoaner

    39 = the BEST Labour poll number by ANY organisation since 5th October 2007…..

    I say ‘cheers’ to Nicholas for that hilarious Bristol performance 😆

  • Thanks AndrewR and Matthew Huntbach for trying to interrupt the puerile torrent of reciprocal abuse from loyalists and Labourites. It’s an exercise in self-reinforcing tribalism, isn’t it, guys?

    Hey Labourites, if you need some cheering up after three ghastly years supporting Gordon, come on to LDV and get some catharsis bashing the LDs!

    Hey loyalists, if you desperately need to deny to yourself that you are watching your leaders sell out your ideals, come on to LDV and get some catharsis bashing the Labourites!

    Frankly, we’d be better off if you all went off to be hooligan football supporters. The mindset is much the same, and the damage you would do smashing a few windows and faces in city centres would be a lot less harmful than the damage you are doing by staying in politics.

  • David, there have been some interesting points made – not all useless – but perhaps you are right, this can sometimes descend into tribalism – I hope I have mostly kept free, but maybe not always.

  • I do however think your point is somewhat unfair – I hope you were not including me on your criticism any more than you wre including AndrewR and Matthew Huntbach.

  • gramsci's eyes 24th Aug '10 - 9:10am

    “Former Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda has managed to wangle the headline “Could Gloucester Lib Dems defect to Labour?”

    Stop Press, shock & horror.

    Politician plays politics, bears do things in woods!

  • Henry,

    OK, there were a number of people whose points also had some value, granted. Actually I’d give the prize for pithy good sense to “Foregone Conclusion”:

    https://www.libdemvoice.org/lab-exmp-plans-to-write-to-lds-asking-them-to-defect-yes-that-really-is-the-story-20838.html#comment-138508

  • Paul McKeown 24th Aug '10 - 12:50pm

    @David Allen

    Yes, this whole farrago is depressing, but why blame “loyalists” on the story or the reaction to it? Surely it is a deliberate provocation – and only one amongst many played along the same lines by Labour? And surely this campaign can only do damage to the Liberal Democrats, particularly so if they don’t make it clear that the underlying stories are without foundation?

    I can understand your agony, you really don’t like much of what the current government is doing, and, it is perhaps the case (only you can say) that the price paid to see Liberal Democrat policies enacted is too high for you. I’m sure, though, that you would agree that splitting the party would be an even worse course of action? For that would leave only the two conservative parties to pick over the bones, and govern the country as they will.

    The fate of the third party in British government is a difficult one, but, as I see it, it has played an important role for the last forty odd years. Without the Liberals and later the Alliance parties and their descendant, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives would have had no check to their chasing their most doctrinaire potential supporters. As it is, the leadership of both of those parties have been much more centrist than their party memberships and parliamentary parties, for it has been clear that if they weren’t that the third party would have come through the centre. That, indeed, nearly happened in 1983, when Labour disappeared off into some leftist la-la land. And if you look more closely, you will see that whilst the third party has remained strong, the main two have been forced to more centrist positions than they would like, and now strong fourth parties (UKIP and the Greens) have emerged to outflank the main two on the left and right, gradually weakening both. Indeed UKIP took 920,000 votes from the Conservatives at the last general election.

    For all the difficult path that the third party has to tread, it has been a considerable force for good in British politics. And, I believe, that it has a bright future ahead, as UKIP and the Greens will continue to eat away at the Conservatives and Labour.

    It would be a tragedy if the thrid party was to break up into factionalism and heated recriminations, just at the point that it would appear that two party politics is on its death bed.

  • Mike (the Labour one 24th Aug '10 - 1:01pm

    “Mike, it has been said time and time again, but the income tax cut is regressive in that it doesn’t directly benefit those who don’t pay tax or pay so little they are lifted out altogether (duh) but it is progressive in the sense that the people who gain most proportionally are relatively the poorest [of those who gain].

    It is a brilliant measure, helping the working classes, those on low incomes, but maybe not those on no income – they get helped in other ways like the pupil premium, and the child element of the Child Tax Credit increasing by £150 above CPI in 2011-12 and £60 above CPI in 2012-13.”

    No it isn’t- the cash gained by the wealthiest may be relatively little to them, but a larger chunk of the cost of lowering the threshold goes to the wealthiest. It is taking billions out of the public coffers at a time when services are to be cut to the bone of which a disproportionate amount goes to the richest. The poorest ten percent benefit least, the second poorest ten percent benefit second least, the third poorest ten percent benefits third least. It’s a middle class tax cut disguised as philanthropy, and that money could be much better placed protecting the services that the poorest rely on.

    As it is, it is removing from public services that the benefit the poorest most in order to have a tax cut that benefits the richest most. It’s a redistribution from poor to rich.

  • Mike (the Labour one 24th Aug '10 - 1:08pm

    @Paul McKeown: You’re talking nonsense. The income tax cut takes more from public services than it gives to the poorest. Extra disposable income for the poor is good, but not universally so- not if you’re trading it for something more valuable. It’s a tax cut for which the majority of the cost goes to the richest- the poorest who will benefit at all get only a tiny fraction of the cost.

    You’re taking £100 in public services away in order to give £10 to the poor in income. Sure their income has risen, just as it would if you scrapped the NHS and used the savings to give the poor a shiny new pound each, but they’ve lost services of more value that can’t be replaced by income.

  • Mike (the Labour one 24th Aug '10 - 1:13pm

    @david: I’m a socialist, most of the Labour party isn’t. Why do you seem to lionise old Labour if you support a party even further away from that than New Labour?

    Like I say every time I post whenever one of you wants to point the finger at Labour- the New Labour project failed, “Thatcherism with a human face” failed. That doesn’t excuse this government for taking what failed and going even further than Labour.

    Like I’ve already said, it’s one thing for Labour to buy into the conventional wisdom of the time and see it fail. It’s quite another for the Lib Cons to recognise that failure yet go further in that direction regardless.

  • Paul McKeown 24th Aug '10 - 1:43pm

    “No it isn’t- the cash gained by the wealthiest may be relatively little to them, but a larger chunk of the cost of lowering the threshold goes to the wealthiest.”

    You are wrong, the higher rate threshold has been frozen. Frankly Labour’s policy of raising tax against the poorest in society at enormous marginal rates is a worthless, moronic and self-defeating poverty trap.

  • David Allen 24th Aug '10 - 4:55pm

    @Paul McKeown

    “it is perhaps the case (only you can say) that the price paid to see Liberal Democrat policies enacted is too high for you.”

    I can see a high price being paid. I can’t see anything very significant – other than the AV referendum – which is being bought with it. I’m assuming we shouldn’t count good things like scrapping ID cards, since the Tories would have done them anyway: and I don’t think we can really make much of things like the increase in the income tax threshold, since Osborne’s small nod in our direction on that issue was rather cancelled out by the rise in VAT!

    Now, I can see that a change to AV would be significant. However, (a) I suspect it won’t pass, and (b) even if it does, our opponents will reasonably argue that we are using the coalition to prioritise our own selfish interests as a party, rather than the national interest.

    “I’m sure, though, that you would agree that splitting the party would be an even worse course of action?”

    Well, David Owen did it, and in the end, it was just as well that he did. We weren’t coping well with Owen ploughing his own furrow and ignoring what the majority in the party wanted. I suspect that eventually, Nick Clegg will do it too, and for similar reasons. And in the end, we will find out that we are better off without him.

  • Andrew Suffield 24th Aug '10 - 8:40pm

    There’s a Members area if you don’t want to bump uglies with us plebs.

    And the fact that the bulk of the comments these days come from a handful of Labour supporters should be a big hint how the party members feel about that.

  • charliechops1 27th Aug '10 - 10:23am

    The activist is the last to see the light. A man who rejoices in action against wheel clampers while supporting Coalition economic policies is clearly in need of help. When poll ratings dip below 10 percent and elections are lost will the Party activist continue to rejoice in these problems or will other things take centre stage?

  • Just to say as one of the Lib Dem councillors in Gloucester neither I nor any of my colleagues have received the letter. in the words of Elton John “I.m still waiting.” At least it will help to improve recycling rates slightly.

    Phil

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    @ Steve, "Might it help.if our party were to assertively oppose Neoliberal socio-economics...." Of course it would. It's unlikely any establishm...
  • Mary ReidMary Reid
    @Graham Jeffs - I don't know where you live but people in our target seats, and some others, will have a very clear idea of what we stand for by now. At constit...
  • Graham Jeffs
    If only the public knew what we stand for other than a list of policy promises! We still lack definition. Not being the Conservatives isn't enough. We need to b...
  • Steve Trevethan
    Might it help.if our party were to assertively oppose Neoliberal socio-economics, which is a root cause of the problems outlined above, and commit to taxation r...
  • Mary Fulton
    I have been involved in working with families which suffer from poverty and other issues for most of my professional lives and what I find most concerning is th...