Thursday 15 February 2024

A Spiral of Economic Decline

You said it, Rachel Reeves. You want to change nothing except the personnel. And not even the personnel that decided anything. Today, it was announced that the ultra-Rightist Baroness Stroud was to be paid an oddly precise £530.96 per day to chair the Low Pay Commission, the only functions of which are to set the minimum wage and to set what the Government calls "the living wage". Why are those not the same thing? And why are those decisions not made by Ministers, accountable to the House of Commons?

Yet like the farming out of monetary policy, for which every Treasury Minister's salary from the First Lord's down should have been halved, this arrangement was put in place by the last Labour Government. The one that failed to renationalise the utilities such as the British Gas that today announced that its profits had increased from £71 million to £751 million, more than tenfold, in the midst of a 20 per cent increase in what was already rampant fuel poverty. Here as everywhere, the regulators are between being employed by the regulated and being reemployed by them. Anything but regulation by Ministers who were accountable to a Parliament that was accountable to us as the owners.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.


  1. Reeves says she's been talking to ordinary people, I'd pay to see that.

    1. I would love to know her definition of an ordinary person. Or would I?