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BNP and Local Elections

John Simkin

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Government minister, Margaret Hodge, has made a speech claiming that the BNP might do well in the local elections being held in May. I suspect that the Labour Party will do extremely badly in the forthcoming elections. This will especially be true of areas with large working class populations.

During the Conservative period of government (1979-1997) they reduced the top rate of income tax to 40%. For example, by the late 1980s, the top 1% owned 17% of the wealth. In contrast, the bottom 50% owned only 10%.

When the Labour Party gained power in 1997 Blair and Brown obeyed their orders from Rupert Murdoch and left the top rate of tax unchanged. Today the top 1% own 23% of the wealth while the bottom 50% only have 6%. It is hard to believe that a Labour government would ever redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich, but that is what they have done.

Although Blair and Brown warned us they did not intend to raise taxes on the rich (Murdoch demanded they made that commitment) they did promise to end the tax loopholes that enabled Murdoch and his fellow billionaires, to avoid paying tax in this country. This they have failed to do.

New Labour has now become the party of the rich. The poor now have a choice who else to vote for. Some will vote for left-wing parties, however, a considerable percentage will vote for the BNP. A much larger percentage will not vote at all.

The consequence of this policy is to allow the rich to keep more of their wealth. Things like education and health-care still has to be paid for so those earning less than £100,000 have to pay more than they did in the past. This includes university fees, etc. As a result New Labour will find it more difficult to persuade even the middle classes to vote for them.

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I guess that Hodge's statement has a twofold aim: to scare hesitant labour voters into turning out and to 'get her excuses in early' for the large number of council seats labour are about to lose.

It is of course based on a truism, that a labour party that fails to deliver on issues that the working class feel matter will lose votes. Similarly parties that offer something different, and simple ready-made solutions to problems are likely to gain (cf 1924-1932).

If it is the case that labour reach meltdown in the coming weeks, that in itself will be no loss. What might fill the vacuum is a cause for concern.

Anyone who saw the Blue Chameleon PPB will know that labour has lost notions of persuading people to vote for its policies, and has come to focus on mud-slinging against 'Dave'.

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