Friday 29 September 2023

Bed and Board

More than a million children in the UK either sleep on the floor or share a bed with parents or siblings because their family cannot afford the “luxury” of replacing broken frames and mouldy linen. Apparently, their parents should work harder, or get better jobs, or cancel Netflix, or learn to cook from scratch, or just stop being ill or disabled.

Unlike the parents of a mere 615,000 children, parents who can find £15,000 but could not find £18,000, or who can find £30,000 but could not find £36,000. That said, VAT on private school fees would raise only £1.7 billion, not quite two per cent of the education budget. A tax of one to two per cent on assets above £10 million could abolish the two-child benefit cap 17 times over, while merely taxing each of Britain’s 173 billionaires down to one billion pounds per head would raise £1.1 trillion, an entire year’s tax take. There would be no children sleeping on floors a year after that, or ever again. What do you mean, the billionaires would leave? Where would they go, to get the deal that they currently had here? Come on. Where, exactly?

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. Why do private schools have to be asked about these things?

    1. Well, quite. The trade unions are not asked about anti-union legislation.