It is a curious irony that, with the death of Margaret Thatcher and the release of Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45, the two great ideological consensuses of the 20th century should return to sharp focus at the same time.
Sticking Cameron’s cabinet on £53 a week would in itself be a stunt. But in the age of rich public school boys being parachuted into safe seats without having any experience of life outside Westminster – the struggle for jobs and daily budgets far more demanding than anything Osborne has had to get his head around – it might just be a necessary wakeup call.
The press needs to focus less on Boris the man and more on Boris the Mayor.
If Boris’s case proves anything it is that clownery, like charisma, can prove all too neat a distraction from a politician’s record in office and their policies. This is a dangerous trap for the media and the electorate to fall into.
Previously describing tax avoidance as “morally repugnant”, Osborne has commendably acknowledged the extent of the problem as a drain on public finances. Unfortunately the key weapon in Osborne’s arsenal to tackle the problem – the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) – is far too narrow to prevent the major headline-grabbing schemes which have emerged in recent months.
It’s time Britain joined the other major economies of Europe in introducing the Financial Transactions Tax to help pay down the deficit. The other option is to continue to cripple its poorest citizens.
Historian Anthony Seldon has called for Ed Balls to ‘fall on his sword’ for the good of the Labour Party. On the contrary, Balls is a political powerhouse who has been proven correct about austerity.
Blogger Salman Shaheen welcomes Labour’s pledge to bring back the 10p tax rate paid for by a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2million.