As someone who voted Conservative at the last election, I therefore found it profoundly shaming and offensive when George Osborne lowered the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p two years ago.
The Coalition government has devoted a great deal of effort to lowering the living standards of the poor. I support this project because I believe that Gordon Brown’s welfare state forced some people into a life of dependency, thus taking away their human dignity.
There have been many people on welfare who need much more of an incentive to return to work. But to make the rich richer at the same time as making the poor poorer – what George Osborne has been doing – is simply squalid, immoral and disgusting. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is leading the fight inside the cabinet to strip a further £10 billion of welfare payments for the very poorest. Any decent human being must surely feel sick in the stomach that he is taking this action at the same time as cutting the amount of tax paid by people earning more than £150,000.
A Conservative Party with decent values should not reward these people. It should support hard-working, honest people. If the Chancellor understood this point, he would have taken middle earners out of the top rate of tax, not given a bonus to people who are already affluent.
So well done Ed Balls, who has had a hard time lately. He has given ordinary, decent people a serious reason for voting Labour at the coming election.Pistol Pete should say more of this sort of thing. If he learns the correct method of addressing Osborne - his name should always be prefaced with "that revolting, loathsome and repulsive imbecile" or similar - I may make him an honorary leftie.
Seriously, there is a difference between a Conservative, and the sort of neo-liberal Friedmanite loons who have colonised the right-wing parties since the 1980s. People who think like Oborne - who are conservative for essentially moral reasons, rather than (how can I say this politely?) economic imperatives - need to make themselves more. I won't agree with them on
After all, Labour had to go through a similar process in the late 70s and 80s, to produce the attenuated, somewhat rightwing social-capitalist party of the 90s. And at least the prospect of a Conservative government would fill all right thinking people with horror.
Of course, the Freidmanites would resist it, utterly, and Oborne will probably catch a lot of flack from their shills in the press. Supply-siders are parasitic - economically and politically. Their creed repels 99% of the population - look at ACT's polling for proof of this. They can not survive on their own, so they have to inhabit the larger body of a moderately right-wing, conservative party. In doing so, they sap its vitality and sicken it, or - and here the metaphor may be slightly stretched, if one is not familiar with Gonchongs - possess it and supplant its personality utterly, turning it into a hideous facsimile of a Conservative party, mouthing conservative shibboleths to please the increasingly perplexed and embittered voters, and scapegoating the weak and marginalised to redirect that frustration away from where it belongs. This is particularly true of Britain, where First Past the Post forces fringe pursuits like neo-liberalism to inveigle itself into larger, more moderate parties. Even in New Zealand, however, where MMP theoretically allows the rightwing economic 'purists' to survive in their own party, the truth is they have to infiltrate National, as described in The Hollow Men, if they are to get their hand decisively on the levers of power.
It is time for New Zealand's own Obornes to speak up and reject the swivel eyed advocates of Freidmanite madness, who still exert a toxic influence on the National Party.