Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Taking The Pledge

1. Stop the Government’s raid on pensioners and block its £40,000 tax cut to 14,000 millionaires
2. End rail rip-offs by capping fares increases on every route
3. Force the energy firms to cut gas and electricity bills for 4 million over-75s
4. Stop excessive fees charged by banks and low cost airlines
5. Defend working families from the raid on their tax credits by reversing the Government’s pension tax break for those earning over £150,000.


Pensioners rather than people on more than £150,000. Commuters and other passengers rather than rip-off rail companies, often foreign-owned. Householders and the members of their households rather than rip-off utility companies, often foreign-owned. Customers rather than rip-off banks (often publicly owned, but determined and permitted to pretend that they are not) and airlines, often foreign-owned. And then back to the start again, only this time fighting for those in work rather than for those who have retired from it.

Am I being xenophobic by making some of those points? Not at all. I am defending something called national sovereignty. The disappearance of economic patriotism is the starkest of all the indications that the Conservative Party is defined entirely by its successive influxes of Liberals, and has not a Tory bone in its body.

It is quite extraordinary that our utilities, railways, and if Cameron has his way roads, broken up postal services and broken up health services as well, are owned by foreign companies which in some cases are actually foreign states. State ownership of these things is fine, apparently. Just so long as the state in question is not ours.

There has not been a party which said this for over a generation. It looks as if, by 2015, there will be. It is also on course for a majority government. If everyone who cherishes the majority culture, which that party is defining itself by defending, holds their nerve and votes Labour at the next General Election. It looks more than a little like more than enough of them, of us, will.

On this, on national pay agreements, on Sunday trading, on Post Office privatisation, on the price of postage even before that, on road privatisation, on rural planning, on the NHS, and in the probable form of a free vote on the redefinition of marriage, Labour in the run-up to 2015 is where the Conservatives at least presented themselves as being in 1992: the last line of defence, against an alien and hostile elite, of everything by which the majority culture defines itself.

Considering that the polling done on Sunday gave Labour a 17-point lead, the only people, apart from embittered Blairite journalists, who still have a problem with Labour are those who were never going to vote for it no matter what it said. There are always going to be people like that. But there seem to be very, very, very few of them now.

The shiny Heir to Blair couldn't even win an overall majority, and only his fixed-term fix will keep this Government in existence to the end of this year, never mind for another two and a half after that. Ed Miliband's key to Number 10 is in the bag. If everyone who cherishes that majority culture holds their nerve and votes Labour at the next General Election.

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