May 2, 2009

IT'S AN UGLY BUT FASCINATING PHENOMENON...:

New Labour is dead. Hail no-clue Labour (Martin Ivens, 4/26/09, Times of London)

The House of Commons was in uproar. Labour’s benches erupted with fury and one far left-winger had to be expelled from the chamber. The cause of the commotion was Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson’s budget reduction in the top rate of tax from 60% to 40% in 1988. A young Scottish MP raged, “Britain is fast becoming a paradise for top rate tax dodgers.” That MP was, of course, Gordon Brown.

Last week the prime minister finally reversed Lawson’s historic budget. Effective marginal rates of tax on the rich have risen above 60% again. No top rate tax dodgers need come calling to Britain for a long time. Brown’s victory, however, was that of numbers not argument. Lawson had both. Treasury statistics had shown that a reduction in the top rate of tax from 83% to 60% had increased the state’s revenues. Tony Blair’s version of new Labour understood the logic and long abided by it.

Tory commentators rejoice in the death of new Labour. Now the real socialist tax-raising enemy is in sight: “old Labour, old danger” to paraphrase ancient Conservative propaganda.


...the election of a Third Way leader--Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush--seems to build up enormous pressure within the successful party to revert to its failed prior Way even as the opposing party is coming to grips with the failure of its old Way and nominating a Third Way leader. The electorate wins--the differences between the respective winning parties being so minimal--but the fluctuations create big time losers within the parties.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2009 11:15 AM
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