Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sibling Away

Is it still not over? Will it ever end?

Yesterday, we had the David Miliband-supporting Anne McElvoy on the radio bemoaning that the 50p tax rate was "taxing the middle classes", as if that were wrong in principle, and as if people on £150,000 per year were in the middle of anything. It really is a very long time since she attended the same secondary school as I did, although not at the same time.

I have doubts about supertaxes, since they leave in place the loopholes used by the super-rich and thus render themselves dead letters, but it was for proposing such a "Loony Left" new band that John McDonnell was kept off the ballot to succeed Tony Blair. Today, it is Conservative Party policy, being implemented as such. However, there would be no more of it under David Miliband, a senior Cabinet Minister when it was introduced.

McElvoy also asserted that "union power needs constraint". What "union power"? How much more "constraint" could there possibly be? The right-wing papers are almost touchingly convinced that such union resistance as is able to be mounted against the Coalition's cuts will result in unpopularity, not for the Coalition, but for the unions. Among the right-wing papers, I do of course include the effusions of those writing in support of David "Smash The Unions" Miliband.

And McElvoy referred to Peter Mandelson as "the mainstream of the Labour Party". Has she ever attended a Labour Party meeting? For that matter, has he? But speaking of whom, who cares what Old Ma Mandy says anymore? He's dead, isn't he? Tomorrow evening, the Channel Four News debate featuring all five Labour Leadership candidates faces the first of BBC Two's showings - for, dear license-payer, it is on twice in a single evening - of an "interview" with Tony Blair plugging his book. Under the present circumstances, not even university libraries are going to buy it. No one else in Britain was ever going to do so. There is to be no serialisation on these shores, if anywhere. No one wants anything to do with it, because no one wants anything to do with him. Apart, apparently, from the BBC, which has no scruples about advertising in his case, especially since it does not have to care whether or not anyone is watching. If only there were Coronation Street tomorrow. I do have a feeling that there might be football.

David Cameron is ridiculously putting it about that he is "most frightened" of David Miliband. What he means is partly that he rather likes the idea of facing at PMQs a Leader of the Opposition whose complicity in torture will shortly be revealed in all its wickedness, but primarily that he is most frightened of a Leader of the Opposition who is not beholden to a collapsed economic system outside of which Cameron physically cannot think, and who is therefore not signed up to its horrific foreign policy implications. On the latter point, in particular, and despite the several good points being made by the other three candidates, who could be better than an anti-Zionist Jew? Bring him on.

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