Budget 2012: the left must capitalise on Osborne’s political car crash

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Over at Comment is Free now, a new article by me under the above title.

The key argument is:

Tax has been the elephant politicians have walked around for far too long. If the left wants to win next time they have to take the issue seriously now. That means, first, investing money in this issue; second, facing up to hard political questions; and third, having a clear vision of what outcomes politicians want — what the politics of the left should be about — and who is meant to benefit from it.

This is, of course, what so many voters are demanding that Labour deliver. They want a clear vision of the future; and in that is also a clear message of what they want Labour to avoid. They don't want Labour delivering tax cuts no one demanded or expected, and they especially don't want politically disastrous 75p increases in state pensions.

If the left can do this before the next election, then that vote is its to take when Osborne's tax vision is now both so plain and so clearly biased to the rich. The question is, will they rise to the challenge?