Remember Ed Miliband’s cosy and warm One Nation?
Well, you can forget all that hippy nonsense. The summer of love is over. It’s time for a bit of anarchy in the UK.
At least that’s the signal that’s being sent out from Labour high command at the moment. First there were the threats to take on “predatory” elements in the business community. Then last week we had Miliband warning of a “reckoning” with the banks. And then on Saturday we had Ed Balls’s pledge to squeeze anyone earning above £150,000 till the pips squeaked.
That Saturday was only several days ago. Since then, it has resonated with parts of the electorate — the middle class and lower class British who think they can get by on their own.
Someone asked me recently, ‘Why doesn’t Balls just propose a reduction in VAT which would benefit everyone?’
But benefitting everyone is not what this is about.
Hodges explains (emphases mine):
… the pledge hasn’t been made in isolation. It’s been made as part of what appears to be a concerted strategy to shift from the politics of inclusion to the politics of division …
But when adopting this approach you need to be careful. In your pursuit of these modern social miscreants, you need to reassure people that you are a lawman, not a vigilante. You need to demonstrate you will be selective about where to send the posse, and not start dispensing rough and indiscriminate justice.
Labour are no longer being careful. Since the turn of the year, the tone of their interventions has changed. There is an edge to them; bitterness and spite have entered the party’s discourse.
Miliband would say this is merely a response to the terrible damage a malign coalition government is doing to the nation he loves. But whatever it is, it is toxic …
Labour is supposedly trying to frame itself as the party of social justice. But at the moment it is coming over as the party of social vengeance. Does Ed Miliband want to move Britain beyond the financial crisis of 2008, or does he want retribution for it? Is it about moving the country forward, or seeking payback?
If it’s the latter, it will rebound on him.
Of that Hodges is certain.
Looking at France’s experience, I am less sure as far as 2015 in the UK is concerned.
François Hollande’s government becomes more militant by the day. Responsible shopkeepers — especially jewellers — have been given the heave-ho by police and the courts; only the criminal counts now. A blind eye will be turned to a fugitive from justice. So-called ‘victims’ — relatives of the criminal — have great sway over what happens concerning their implicated friends and family ‘known to the police’.
A shop owner, on the other hand, is often the guilty one for defending his business and property. A jeweller in Nice is still being held in a police safe house for fatally shooting one of two men who burgled his shop last summer.
Meanwhile, the French Minister for Education Vincent Peillon wants schools — including crèches — to start gender-neutral training for children.
A caller to RMC (Radio Monte Carlo, based in Paris) emailed the mid-morning show last week to say that he was aghast at hearing his four-year old daughter say, ‘Papa, I’m so happy. My teacher said I can be a boy!’ The father is concerned that his daughter doesn’t know what the crèche mistress means — and, not surprisingly, even he isn’t sure. Naturally, he is concerned about what his daughter is learning during the day.
Nonetheless, Peillon wants all the parents of students — however young or old they are — to support the ‘values’ of the ‘Republic’.
When British voters think positively of UKIP or that the Tories are identical to Labour, it is worthwhile pointing out that we need to think of the endgame with each party.
Is UKIP a spoiler just as Marine Le Pen’s Front National was in 2012 — ‘anything to defeat Sarkozy’ — in our case, Cameron? Le Pen never once complained about the Socialists — something to bear in mind.
Are the Tories really that ‘identical’ to rEd’s Labour? Think about it. Yes, they are both left-of-centre and the Conservatives will probably never consider someone like David Davis as leader, however, it’s useful to think how a Labour government could change our lives radically if elected.
Has no one remembered the years from 1997 – 2010? Is this what we want? Is it worth staging here the many continuing protests that the French are able to wage against socialism under Hollande’s presidency? Would we in Britain even be given that opportunity to publicly object?