We’re not angry enough, yet

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Polly Toynbee has written about banker's pay in the Guardian this morning, saying in conclusion:

Wherever you go in meetings or gatherings, people are incandescently angry with the establishment. But they have nowhere to turn, no one to rally them against untouched City power or a complacent parliament. Labour, once the natural home for anti-establishment anger, is now defender of everything people want to rebel against. At the time of the crash, Brown and Darling had a choice to become the representatives of that voice but they ducked the radical moment. Instead they are defenders of the status quo, halfhearted in political and electoral reform, timid apologists for the City. What more will it take to make politics respond to popular anger?

She’s right. She was when she said this too:

The New Labour "project" was designed by Mandelson, Brown and Blair to abolish the politics of class, scorning the "politics of envy". The project has ended in abolishing the credibility and meaning of Labour itself.

As is the Guardian editorial which says:

This is a moment when everything should be changing, and yet everything seems to be staying the same. The potential stirred up by the fall of big finance and rotten politics has not led to anything fresh. Banks owned by the taxpayer are pouring out champagne in their Wimbledon marquees and justifying huge salaries on the grounds they have always used - seeking shareholder value. Only now the public is the shareholder and must pay the bills. Even the All England Lawn Tennis Club, with its new sliding roof over Centre Court, has proved to be less hidebound by tradition than the Treasury. There is an absence of shame; the establishment does not think it did anything wrong.

But it did: it did something very wrong. But as yet this is not hurting as it might.

Being candid the Tories will probably win the next election. I hate the idea. My comfort is that they are going to hate winning even more. Being in power after 2010 is going to be a torrid experience. The chance of cutting as the Tories say they will and surviving the next election is very, very low. And I accept there will need to be serious reviews of government spending — even though I challenge the Tory reasoning for this, and their likely choices of target. I hate to say it, but only then will the anger be apparent. It is not as yet. But the left most certainly need to be prepared for it, starting now.

And I think there is a chance that will be the case.

But whether Labour will deliver it is hard to say.

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