Every general election has certain days you know will be super important. Even now it only takes a word or two to evoke those memories – such as “Gemma’s Ear”. Today the Labour party gave us #nondom – a promise to stop the unfair system where some rich people can avoid paying tax in this country despite living here and earning money here. Whether this policy makes or loses money for the country seems less important to me than the issue of taxation in a fair and equal society. Labour’s pledge of removing non-dom tax status is a step towards a fairer society.
Why should Lord Rothermere – the owner of racist hate-rag The Daily Mail – spread his bile throughout the nation with his nasty paper, reap the financial rewards but not pay a fair amount of tax? It is unfair. It is that simple. I am not a Labour supporter. The two-faced Blair and his nasty war put an end to that. But for once a party is offering something that goes beyond an election bribe, but instead is about a principle. The principle of fairness is all too rare in today’s political climate.
What we are used to today is hate and fear. The racist right of UKIP and its even nastier brethren scaring the older generation into screwing over their own grandchildren for a few pence and to keep the brown people away from their unspoiled hamlets. And Liberals abandoning all their policies for the merest sniff of power, their principles sold very cheap. And then there’s the Tories, the friends of Lord Rothermere and the Telegraph’s Barclay Brothers – more interested in protecting their rich friends and dividing the poorest. They set poor against poorest – with hate campaigns against those on benefits, bedroom tax making families poorer and homeless, the food banks and attacking the church that dares defend them.
It’s a vile disgusting mess. But I know some of you reading this will vote for it anyway. You will tell yourself that none of the oppression and heartache that results is your doing. The people going to foodbanks, the suicides following benefit sanctions, the children going to school cold and hungry – are not the fault of the Conservative Party. The Tories are just pandering to the darker side of your own beliefs. You were the one that put the mark in the box, you were the one that gave them the power. Those deaths and that hunger is just as much your fault as any of the suits at Westminster, just as there’s Iraqi blood on the hands of those of us who supported New Labour in 1997.
My family receives child benefit and it is money I have no guilt in taking. I have paid taxes. We are raising children that will become part of the society and hopefully be a benefit to it. Child benefit is this nation’s investment in the future. However I’m not sure child benefit and education is safe in the hands of the Tory party. Today has shown that the Tories will defend privilege and wealth ahead of fairness. By all means vote Conservative if you own a broadsheet newspaper or own a Premiership football club, it makes perfect sense.
But if you don’t have a million in the bank and have children or grandchildren, perhaps you ought to rethink whose future you want to defend.