Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Know Your Enemy

With the General Election to be called for 6th May, the dividing lines are becoming increasingly clear.

Business is clearly backing the Tories to deliver the attacks it wants. The traditional Tory allies are backing their people again, with an attack on the moderate increase in National Insurance over the bank hoiday weekend. It was the usual suspects: the BCC, CBI and a ragtag of non-dom, billionaire executives who avoid tax as if as of right, and then complain about the tax burden.

Just as the Sun decided it would back the Tories, when they were leagues ahead in the opinion polls, big business likes to back winners.

As LEAP has pointed out, New Labour has embraced the neoliberal economic orthodoxy in its 13 years. Even now, it is not talking about making the rich pay.

However, Labour has increased the top rate of tax to 50% and is proposing to raise NI (a progressive tax). The fact that the Tories are unashamedly lining up with the bosses against even these moderate measures - and with the Murdoch press - has not served them well in the latest opinion poll in today's Guardian, with their lead reduced to just 4 points.

Does this show that Tory support for big business is damaging them (down to 37%)? If so, it should tell New Labour that being Labour might be popular. If Labour is to win it needs a decisive break and to start putting people before its rapidly deserting wealthy friends.

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