Posts Tagged ‘state’

Far from being the left’s embarrassing secret, the state is actually its trump card, says Anthony Painter

14/10/2010, 08:54:51 AM

What weird contorted, politically arrogant logic comes to the conclusion that David Miliband should join the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, as Nick Boles attempted to argue yesterday? While setting on a course that gives Margaret Thatcher a run for her money in terms of its social and economic destructiveness, the government has finally been lifted from the ground with the hot air of its own rhetoric. The definition of socialism is what a Labour government does and anything this government does is progressive reform – by definition. Why? Well, because it’s a progressive reformist government, duh.

With Labour’s leadership election out of the way, the fog of war is starting to clear. David Miliband and all those on the left who know that the state must change – be more personal, more local, and more innovative – equally know that the type of reform offered by the Tories and Lib Dems is anything but progressive. David Cameron and Nick Clegg know that as long as they can be seen to be taking it out on relatively high earners as well as the least well-off then the progressive fig leaf will stay in place.

So high rate taxpayers lose £1billion of child benefit. Others much lower down the earnings ladder lose up to £15billion a year. There is a £9billion hit for 3.5 million disabled people over five years according to the think tank, Demos. Progressive. Then there is the pupil premium: the government’s get out of jail free card when it comes to fairness. Or so they think. It conveniently ignores the fact that there already is a pupil premium. It goes to local authorities. Meanwhile, investment in creating the school buildings of the future for many is cut. Progressive. (more…)

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