The only party capable of forming a government right now is the one that Is most unsuited to the task

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Yesterday I suggested that the taboo on tax increases had been broken. I still think that true: Philip Hammond will get his NIC increases through. But equally it is now very obvious that many Tories are going to gave him a hard time on it, and so will John McDonnell.

John McDonnell justifies this on the grounds that if tax is to be increased the people targeted are the wrong ones to ask for additional payment. At least that makes some sense, although he is ignoring the fact that this change is progressive overall.

The Tories are simply stuck in dogma. I find it extraordinary that a Tory MP can say he (for it was, of course, a he) did not become an MP to raise taxes. That scores very highly on the scale of economic illiteracy. As a matter of fact there are occasions when tax must be increased; to help beat inflation or to calm an over-excited economy, for example. He may not recall such things and under any government he might chose both may be unlikely, but they have happened nonetheless and tax increases are wholly appropriate in that case.

As they also are if the government needs to spend more on health, social care, education,  the justice system, housing, benefits and pensions, the environment and other pressing issues (as most people would wish) and avoid the risk of inflation. But he'd rather avoid the tax charge than supply the services people want, and which the nation can afford because it has so many people in chronic under-employment.

As a measure of negation of duty the refusal to increase tax is, in that case, a pretty good guide to who is irresponsible and who accepts the obligations of government. It's just a shame that it appears right now that the only party capable of forming a government is the one that is very obviously most unsuited to the task.