Wednesday, 3 October 2012

One nation Labour?

                                                           One Nation Labour?

Am I the only person who finds it odd that the newest slogan that Ed Miliband can dredge up for the'Not the New Labour Party' is the 'One nation' idea first coined by a Tory Prime Minister over 140 years ago!
Disraeli first played with the idea in his virtually unreadable novel 'Sybil' and it has hung around in various guises ever since.
But then Tories have quite frequently wrung their hands and whimpered about the conditions of the poor.Why even that absurd apology for a caring Prince-Edward, Mrs Simpson's paramour visited the destitute Welsh vallies in the thirties and bleated about the need to do something.
Fat chance!

Of course there is something that Labour could advocate that would indeed start to build one nation,or rather demolish once and for all the gross inequalities that exist.How about a real land tax,indeed what's wrong with going the whole hog and promising land nationalisation of the 70% of the land owned by 0.28% of the population.
In a sense the Lib-Dems are ion the right track with their mansion tax, but frankly that only scratches the surface.
The real crime and dreadful inequality is that 42 million acres in this country are designated 'agricultural' and get between £3.5-5 billion in subsidies.On the other-hand domestic land use accounts for 5% (3 million acres) and pays £33.2 billion in land taxes.
Now if I thought that this vast dollop of subsidies were going to dear old Archer-style farmers, strimming their mangel wurzels and the like and growing produce for all of us-no problem-I'd even doff my plebeian cloth cap in their direction.
But of course it's not.
For instance in 2011 the hard pressed House of Windsor copped £730,628 in subsidies,
Chas Windsor £127,868
Prince Bander of Saudi Arabia a mere £273,905
The Vestey Family a stonking £1,069,731
and so it goes on, the Duke of Buccleuch,the Earl of Plymouth,the Duke of Devonshire,the Duke of Atholl...
Not to mention large multi-nationals,water companies and even Eton College.

They get subsidies simply for owning land, .it's part ofv the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and there is no requirement on the 'farmers'to grow any crops or indeed any other agricultural product.And the beauty of this little scam is the more land you have-productive or not-the more you get in subsidy and of course the less you pay in tax.

Now Comrade Miliband, in the week that Eric Hobsbawn died,perhaps it is time to restart the forward march of Labour.
Instead of piffling about with the one nation rhetoric and getting drooling admiration in Manchester, maybe it's time to consider some of the ideas thatb started the forward march of Labour in the first place.

What's so wrong about ridding this country of the parasitic land owners ?
How about adopting the slogan:
"Free the People's Grouse!".

1 comment:

  1. John, you are bang on re Land Tax. I read the piece in the New Statesman you recommended and I will post a version on the blog later this week