Sunday, February 18, 2007
Whatever happened to good old Robin Hood and taking from the rich to give to the poor?
I ask this in the context of the Irish Labour party proposing tax cuts which will disproportionately benefit the better off. Now we'd expect this from the 1% party, the Progressive Democrats. And sure enough, they didn't disappoint during their conference at the weekend.
Fuhrer McDowell, who had vowed not to engage in what he called 'auction' politics before the election, waved a nice cut in the top rate of income tax to entice his well-heeled, but increasingly vanishing electorate.
Today's Sunday Telegraph, a paper usually considered to be the mouthpiece of the old guard Tories in Britain, has a fascinating little poll in relation to the rich in the UK.
Nearly three-quarters of voters believe that the wallet-busting, multi-million pound bonuses awarded to top earners in the 'City of London' are "excessive" and need to be curbed. The other quarter polled were, I'm guessing from the Torygraph's usual readership, recent recipients of such bonuses.
The poll by ICM also revealed that nearly 70% of people think the gap between the highest paid and average earners is too large, and 43% believe Britain has become more selfish under Tony Blair.
The Loadsamoney stereotype of the city trader, as portrayed above by Harry Enfield, typified the excesses of the Thatcher era. But it has arisen again, only nowadays the stereotype of bling-bling excess materialism is considered a legitimate aspiration rather that worthy of contempt.
When even the Torygraph is complaining about excessive greed, you know that it is appalling in the extreme, especially when social inequity has never been so acute.
In commentary accompanying the stats, one New Labour MP Ian Gibson claimed that senior party colleagues are "very sympathetic to the rich. They have their holidays with them, they are envious of them."
So here's my question. Given that the gap between rich and poor has never been wider, and since Labour in Ireland are proposing tax cuts and Labour in Britain are holidaying with the superrich, who in the hell can I vote for who will promise to tax the have-too-muches and close the gap with the have-nots?
In other words, when even the allegedly left wing parties are playing the tax cuts game, who is the Robin Hood party?