Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

Channelling Neil Kinnock

At business questions this week I asked about the string of Tory donors who bank with the Swiss arm of HSBC that was caught facilitating tax abuse. Since the prime minister became leader of his party these donors have given him £5m and HSBC’s chair Stephen Green was appointed a minister in the government after the scandal was public knowledge with no questions asked about his oversight of this rogue bank.

It tells you everything you need to know about this government.

On their own estimate uncollected taxes rose to £34bn last year, their sweetheart Swiss ‘tax deal’ is full of holes and has brought in less than a third of what they promised, and they have cut taxes for millionaires and hedge funds who have given them £47m since the prime minister became leader.

With the election looming, our shameless prime ninister travelled to the British British Chambers of Commerce this week to steal a TUC slogan and suddenly declare that Britain needs a pay rise. Yet his is the first government since 1874 that has left people worse off at the end of the parliament than at the beginning.

While he was there he even decided to channel Neil Kinnock, though I would have used a different speech.

I will tell you what happens with impossible Tory pre-election promises. They are pickled into a rigid soundbite, a code, and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Tory government – a Tory government – hiring chauffeur-driven limos to scuttle round Davos handing out huge tax breaks to its own donors.

On Monday night the Conservative black and white ball raised millions of pounds and gave a whole new meaning to the term ‘buy-election.’

According to the Daily Mail the prime minister partied with the kings and queens of sleaze. Perhaps they should have changed their theme to black, white and a little bit blue.

This year in a doomed bid to limit the PR disaster they banned ostentatious displays of tuxedos and champagne. But they did still auction a 500-bird pheasant and partridge shoot for tens of thousands of pounds, a bronze statue of Margaret Thatcher for £210 000 and a holiday in ‘Cobblers Cove’

I have been inspecting the auction lots and if I had more money than sense I could have paid to take on the welfare secretary in an endurance race across hills, woods, streams and hedges. Surely I would be certain of winning that one because, judging by his welfare reforms, that man has no hope of finishing anything.

I gather the Liberal Democrats are organising their own fundraiser too. Instead of an auction they are going to sell off their principles to the highest bidder.




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Angela Eagle MP

is MP for Wallasey

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