Sunday, July 12, 2015
Harriet Harman - A Modest Proposal
Harriet Harman has reportedly claimed (without mandate or authority) that the Labour Party will not oppose the restriction of child tax credits so that they shall bring no additional benefit to households where the parents have more than two children.
This craven acceptance of the politics of George Osborne (whose budgets are always all about politics and have never yet been about economics) is perhaps intended to show Labour's "economic credibility" and to appease the presumed envy felt by some poor people against other poor people.
Taking this (unauthorised) policy pronouncement alongside the related claim that Labour will not oppose the lowering of the benefit cap it is clear that those currently leading the Labour Party see the need for Labour to stand firm against the sourge of large families. (As I have never myself appreciated that this scourge even existed I can only applaud the perspicacity of these wise leaders).
In decreeing that Labour will not oppose "for the sake of opposing" Harriet Harman has taken a bold stand against the excessive breeding of the poor. Her words, which will give confidence to all those who support Liz Kendall - and consolation to all those "socialists" who know that we must never espouse socialism for fear of losing elections, do not, though, go far enough.
Jonathan Swift, writing more than two hundred years ago in the link above, had the courage and confidence to follow the politics expressed by Harriet Harman to their necessary conclusion. Whilst Labour Party members wait for Liz Kendall to show that same courage, we can (of course) draw the conclusion for ourselves.
If you are the third (or fourth, or fifth) child of parents who depend for a decent life upon tax credits (or if you are the sibling of such a person) Labour's current leaders believe that you deserve to have less than the children of smaller families. You are a lesser person. Harriet Harman has had the strength to join George Osborne in speaking this truth to you, even if we must wait awhile before Liz Kendall can draw Jonathan Swift's conclusion.
Obviously it is slightly difficult for those of us who joined the Labour Party out of a belief in social justice to have to come to terms with this new wisdom (but we have former SDP member Polly Toynbee to help us to do so).
At the risk of seeming like someone who isn't prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to win an election all I will say is, if you're offered an opportunity to attend a fundraising dinner hosted by Progress for Kendall please take the vegetarian option.
(Oh, and if you have the affliction of principle or the problem of decency and therefore cannot follow the necessary trajectory of New Labour to the Modest Proposal of Jonathan Swift then I suppose you'll just have to support Jeremy Corbyn).
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.