Peace, Lies, and Policies in the Leicester Mercury: Why Voting Labour Matters!

Today’s Leicester Mercury showcased three interesting political letters.

One short Islamophobic letter/paragraph said “the many, many peaceful Muslims [must] show their true feelings about” ISIS and “do something about those who are spreading this evil?” (“Stop this evil” by Ray Newcombe, June 5). The writer’s brain had evidently been overwhelmed by the relentless demonization of Muslims in the mainstream media, as surely peaceful Muslims are already opposing violence by virtue of their commitment to peace?

But the same commitment to stopping the spread of evil has not been made clear by the actions of our current Prime Minister Theresa May, who sees no wrong in selling weapons to an antidemocratic regime (Saudi Arabia) that is known to fund ISIS. This level of hypocrisy is normal for warmonger May.

Another mailbox ranter then takes issue with the “obvious [political] amateur” Jeremy Corbyn — the man who leads the largest social-democratic party in Western Europe. We are informed that Labour’s massively popular leader will get a duff deal from Brexit because the “EU know only too well Corbyn will never flinch from putting his socialist ideology before the UK’s interest.” (“Corbyn will be easy meat for EU” – Paul Allen)

The letter writer of course is merely regurgitating the Tory press’s deliberate misrepresentation of what it means to promote a socialist ideology, that is, a belief system that places the needs of the many before the needs of a handful of fat cat capitalists!

Apparently the enraged letter writer believes that if Corbyn wins the general election, the UK will end up looking like a “cross between Venezuela and North Korea”; while if Corbyn loses, John McDonnell will be demanding an “insurrection” and organising “rioting on our streets”!

LM June 5

Nevertheless we can be thankful for small mercies and the third political letter featured in today’s Mercury has the virtue of being grounded in reality. Malcolm Hunter’s letter, “Labour’s policies make most sense” thus draws attention to Theresa May’s “weak and wobbly” lies that have led her to try “to suggest Labour’s policy proposals are either unaffordable, or will mean big tax rises for everyone.”

In response to May’s irresponsible scaremongering that Labour’s pledge to raise tax for the richest 5 per cent “will drive businesses away,” Malcolm is clear:

“we actually already have some of the lowest rates of higher-rate income tax and corporation tax of any major economy and Labour’s proposals would only bring us closer to the average. The bottom line is, if businesses want to make their profits here, they need to pay their dues.”

The full text of Malcolm Hunter’s excellent letter is reproduced below:

“As Labour start to look more and more likely to deny weak and wobbly Teresa [sic] May a majority, the Tories have tried to suggest that Labour’s policy proposals are either unaffordable, or will mean big tax rises for everyone.

“But unlike the Tories’ proposals Labour’s proposals are costed and Labour has made clear that the tax increases to pay for them will fall only on big businesses and the richest 5 per cent, starting to reverse the steady increase in inequality that has been taking place ever since the Tories came to power.

“Of course, the Tories claim that this will drive businesses away, but we actually have some of the lowest rates of higher rate income tax and corporation tax, of any major economy and Labour’s proposals would only bring us closer to the average.

“The bottom line is, if businesses want to make profits here, they need to pay their dues.

“The Tories then argue that any spare money needs to be used to reduce the national debt and it is certainly true it needs reducing, because it has soared under the Tories, with them adding more to the public debt in seven years, than every Labour chancellor in history combined.

“The answer to this is not to reduce public expenditure, however, because the reason for this soaring debt has been the economic stagnation resulting from Tory austerity, which has reduced the tax take.

“We need public spending to reverse this trend and borrowing to invest can potentially increase income in the long term, as would Labour’s redistributive policies, because the less well-off actually spend most of their money, rather than sitting on it.

“This increased economic activity would more than wipe out the slight shortfall that the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggest exists in Labours tax and spending plans, based on current growth predictions.

“On top of this, Labour’s proposals for us to take back control by re-nationalizing key infra structure would create an additional long term source of income, while increases in the minimum wage and measures to bring down housing costs would reduce the waste of public money on indirect subsidies to low wage employers and rip off landlords.”

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