The Media & Mrs May’s Manifesto Mayhem

It is already apparent the BBC are going soft on the Conservative/Mrs May manifesto.

  • No in depth questioning on what the level of means testing for winter fuel allowance.
  • No in depth grilling on why they’ve basically ditched the Dillnot report on social care funding.
  • No in depth attack over seven years of failed immigration pledges.
  • No mocking of the immigration job tax for those needing employees outside the EU (coz we were supposed to be welcoming these!)
  • No constant questioning as to why students are being included in immigration cap no numbers and promises
  • no dissenting voices over the cuts to pensions.
  • hardly a whimper about cutting free infant lunches.

And!

  • nothing about there being not one single costing in the manifesto whatsoever!!!

Nope. Instead, were hearing a lot about “difficult decisions”, “balancing acts”, “keeping brexit voters happy”, “being bold” and so on.

A little different to how the reporting and interviewing around Labour’s manifesto was conducted.

But then, I’m told I’m just a paranoid lefty for expecting even handed and impartiality from the BBC and media.

The Labour Manifesto and the Myth of “Free Stuff”

I keep hearing and seeing  people saying “Labour just want to give everyone free stuff.” Let’s briefly take a look at this.

• Good Education for all benefits all of us and leads to greater prosperity for everyone;

• well funded health ensure that all of us benefit, being happier, more productive, and living more fulfilled lives. That benefits everyone;

• fairer benefits mean that if sickness, disability and unemployment should come, no one will be left destitute. We all benefit;

• higher minimum wage means more money to spend in the economy. We all benefit by this increase. 100 years ago even Henry Ford knew that if workers are paid more, they buy more of your goods. More jobs;

• mass machine automation is coming: we need to rethink how we structure work, payment and society. These will be in so called middle class jobs too, disrupting everything we know about how work, earnings, profit and reward are understood;

• water companies being owned by the regions means the profits get ploughed straight back in to those communities. Everyone benefits.

And so on.

The phrase “Free stuff” is utter nonsensical term. Everyone pays in one form of another, everyone benefits. If “free stuff” were even a true statement, then how would one describe the situation in Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and so on, where tax is higher, public services and ownership so much better provided for, and quality of life, productivity, and satisfaction is very high.

What a basket case.

Labour will enact a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions

Modern “neoliberal” capitalism requires constantly increasing velocity and atomisation of transactions. A #robinhoodtax at 0.5% is nominal and fair. Capital cannot remain stateless and boarderless.

Consider what VAT is: a regressive tax on the transaction of purchasing goods set at 20% (with exceptions). 0.5% on financial transactions is fair and reasonable, will raise £26bn.

There is already a transaction tax, it’s just the proceeds for this go to the big financial institutions. Every transaction has a cost. That’s how modern capitalism works. 0.5% per transaction is effectively a micro payment. Remember these banks make hundreds of billions, and caused a world wide financial crash. It’s about time we stopped being so deferential to them and make capital contribute to the security of the societies they effectively leech off.

Workers, wealth and tax

Today the Telegraph called those in £80,000 and above “workers.”

Now, whilst many of them do work, the telegraph aren’t trying to invoke any sense of that understanding. What they are doing is a typical right wing “reframing” of language. The “working class” and “working people” has always been understood to include mainly blue collar and lower paid jobs, where as someone on £80k or above would be very comfortably “middle class” and likely to be in mainly high management, directorships, and successfully “entertainment” roles.

The reality is that this group of people have received thousands of pounds in tax cuts over the last 6 years, AND seen their income rise whilst the rest of the population has seen their income frozen and effectively going backwards, losing 10% of their value in the same time.

Taxation is not just about paying for things, it’s also a significant way of balancing an economy, redistributing money and wealth, and by doing so actually works to the benefit of the whole of society.