harlotte Church says she would happily pay tax at 60% or 70% if it would protect public services. Three cheers for the Welsh singer who defends herself against sneers about champagne socialism by describing herself as “more of a prosecco girl myself”. In the wake of an election dominated by the need to cut public spending and won by a government that intends tax increases to contribute a mere 2% in the battle to balance the books, it is time to defend the virtue of the better-off paying more tax.
See also excellent letter:
Labour – new, old or any other variant – has never really come to terms with the basic nature of the country it seeks to rule (The undoing of Ed Miliband, 4 June). A country founded on and dedicated to maintaining entrenched privilege (of which, of course, the Conservative party is part). While no one would deny that a huge majority of ordinary people, in a mythical referendum, would vote in favour of the monarchy and hence for entrenched privilege, privilege is quite indifferent to ordinary people. Nevertheless it has a need for them when it’s time for a non-mythical vote. Convincing enough “ordinary” voters to associate the things they have that make their lives good – their houses, gardens, cars, kids’ education, foreign holidays, healthcare, good food, nice clothes, insurance and so on – with the security the entrenched privilege blesses them with is a sure-fire winner. Not only do they vote accordingly, they perceive any threat to entrenched privilege as a direct threat to them personally.
The old saw about holding on to nurse for fear of something worse implies that voting patterns will always revert to the long-term mean and that the Tories – and entrenched privilege – will always win in the end. It is the most successful and the most regressive model of statehood that the world has so far evolved. In it, the rightwing media’s job is simply to reinforce Labour’s threat to the things we hold dear. Rather than taking on the challenge this poses, Labour, it seems – and thanks mainly to Tony Blair – are more concerned with becoming part of the entrenched privilege than trying to change anything. But the privileged already have a party so there is no space for them and they’re redundant. And we end up where we find ourselves today. Unless Labour change themselves, then the power to change society will be forever beyond them. Which is, of course, precisely the role entrenched privilege wants them to play.