No Turning Back

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Saturday morning, early train, dragging down to London when the family are still all asleep, and why — to go to the Compass ‘No Turning Back’ event.

I’m not a Labour Party member. But I am committed to their being a progressive government in this country to protect the most vulnerable in our society: the majority for whom government services, whether of education, health, benefits, pensions, and much more besides make life possible.

For this majority (and it is a majority) 10% cuts in governments would spell disaster. This is a cut in services with no tax cut to match. This is a cut which will impose the entire burden of bailing out our banks on those who cannot pay, and should not pay. That burden must fall on those who most benefitted from that bail out: those who earn most in our society, those who have greatest wealth in our society, those organisations that were saved. They have the capacity to pay for saving the banks. There is no doubt about that.

We need to build a consensus around that.

I got up to come to talk about the new attitudes to tax, and even the new taxes, that can deliver that change.

It is very clear that in this audience (and I am writing this form the middle of the audience) there is a desire for real reform, real change to tackle inequality, a real demand for accountability, and a determination that the madness of market enthusiasts (many of whom have made their wealth from exploiting the state sector through things such as PFI) shall not prevail.

That’s worth getting up for.