Labour have slid even further to the extreme left
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BY TOM HARWOOD
Buoyed by hubris, the Labour Party has revealed its true deep red colours. Unlike the surprising lack of unadulterated Marxism from the unadulterated Marxists who wrote Labour’s 2017 offering, the party are now going all out on spending and nationalisation policies that would make Clement Attlee wince.
In 2017 the party attempted to confound critics by stopping short of campaigning on some of the policies they would no doubt carry out in government. It’s easy to forget that Labour’s last offering promised the NHS less money than Theresa May committed to the service, and said the party would reverse few of the cuts that Labour had so loudly opposed for the preceding seven years.
In fact the largest spending commitment in their 2017 offering was a bung to middle class teenagers, by getting rid of the current system of graduate contributions for university tuition. Incredibly, that one cynical regressive move was more expensive than any other single manifesto pledge made.
It was a political masterstroke to pretend that 2017’s policy programme was a costed offer. The so-called grey book that accompanied the party’s wish-list was derided by independent analysis as beyond fanciful. To take just one example, the pretence that a rise in corporation tax would not affect the behaviour of the companies that it was levied against was laughable but somehow escaped serious scrutiny. The reality that the Tories’ corporation tax cuts yielded more revenue for the exchequer was simply dismissed as inconvenient.
If it was incredulous to think that Labour would stick to the dodgy limits of its manifesto last time, this time is a whole other ball game. The cost of BT’s partial nationalisation wasn’t even factored in to the Tories’ assessment of the £1.2 trillion spending splurge that Labour want to undertake, saddling the next generation with even more unspeakable debt.
Recent activity showed that this time is a different affair.
Although the manifesto will try to follow the same disingenuous playbook as last time around, the mask has now slipped. John McDonnell simply can’t help himself from wanting central Government to assume control of just about everything he sets his beady eyes on. First trains, then water, now broadband – soon we will find ourselves queueing in breadlines for the wonderful new National Food Service that the Dear Leader is sure to bestow upon a grateful nation.
Even though the party strategy is clearly to ignore manifesto commitments on costed policy and limiting tax rises, they clearly just couldn’t help themselves. There is no way that this is a policy agenda or direction of travel that can be supported by the limited tax rises the party pretends. It will hit every single man woman and child in this country with the mountains of debt that will be paid off by each and every one of us.
When the next downturn arrives, under a Labour government the country will head into the crisis in a far more dilapidated condition than even those neighbouring countries that have suffered so badly under eurozone policy. Borrowing will become so excruciatingly expensive for the country that the only way to not default, or go back cap in hand to the IMF like the last time a left wing Labour government ran the country, will be to cut hard, and cut deep. The extreme leftist Syriza party found this out the hard way in Greece, when its bailout conditions included savage cuts to healthcare.
Recent announcements from Labour show more clearly than ever before that this is the future that lies before a UK with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm – a Britain bankrupt, defenceless, and suffocating under the straightjacket of state control.
Tom Harwood is an award-winning journalist and commentator. Follow him on twitter: @tomhfh