• The Big Tax Credit Lie

    In 2003 millionaire Tory MP Michael Portillo came to live as a single mother in a  working class terrace house in Seacombe, working at ASDA to make ends meet and see how the other half lives.

    George Osborne (or indeed Portillo) should try repeating the exercise on the income that the single working mother will have left after Osborne has taken away this working family’s income from Tax Credits. If they do they will see how hard it is for the other half to live on fresh air.

    Osborne promised that a belated increase in the minimum wage will make everything alright, but that is nonsense. Workers from Shop Assistants to Teachers know staff cuts mean they are being asked to do their own and someone else’s job already for – in real terms – less pay. Ordinary common sense tells us that if employers are forced to pay more, they will simply demand that less people do the same amount of work in less time. Remember, the Conservatives are the party of the rich. They used to stand for traditional values of decency but Cameron took that away from them with his Homosexual “Marriage” Act. They can now no longer claim to be the party of working families. The Lord’s are the ones standing up for ordinary working people against this elective dictatorship.

    Following the Lord’s defeat of the government’s plans to impose swingeing cuts to tax credits on the poorest workers, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is determined we will address this constitutional issue. A convention exists and it has been broken. He has asked for a rapid review to see how it can be put back in place.”

    That’s a bit hypocritical coming from a political class which, in government, has disregarded one democratic convention after another. Take for example Cameron’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

    • It wasn’t mentioned in the Conservative Manifesto
    • When asked days before the general election, Cameron said he had “no plans” to introduce it
    • It was pushed through despite a majority of Conservatives not being in favour of it
    • MP’s who would have opposed it were coerced by the party whips
    • MP’s ignored the massive amount of emails they received from their constituents protesting about the Bill
    • Downing Street ignored the nearly three quarters of a million petitioners who protested against the Bill
    • There was no Green paper
    • The White paper was a blatant sham. It did not consult the public to ask them if they were in favour or against the Bill. In fact it arrogantly made this point explicitly in the “consultative” document.

    By acting in this way, Cameron displayed the same arrogant disregard for public opinion and the opinion of the nation’s elected representatives that Blair did when he instigated the Iraq War. They act as though the Royal Prerogative now extends to every aspect of government and the reason for this contemptuous attitude towards democratic conventions and public opinion is simple. They see themselves as heading Elective Dictatorships in which democratic conventions no longer apply. In effect our democratic institutions have been infiltrated and hijacked by an extremist self-interest group; THE RICH.

    It is now a bit rich for Cameron to complain that the Upper House is behaving in the same way as he does. What we have is not so much a constitutional crisis but a power struggle between 2 sets of privileged elites. The present controllers of the “elected” House of Commons – out to increase the wealth of the rich at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable by slashing the NHS and public services out of existence while turning a blind eye to £50 billion per year of tax evasion by their pals, OR the Lords, who – though admittedly not elected – are, in practical terms, free from the coercion and threats which government whips employ to force MP’s to follow their agenda. The Lords are therefore less likely to act against their conscience and better judgement and more able and willing to protect the people from the excesses of government.

    The elected House of Commons is LESS effective than the unelected Lords, at restraining governmental abuse of power, because the cornerstone doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy has been eroded out of existence (as Lord Hailsham, in 1978, predicted in his book, “The Dilemma of Democracy” ). The Commons in its present subservient state is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to holding government to account. Paradoxically the unelected House of Lords is better positioned to represent the people against arbitrary government because the elected House of Commons is effectively populated by government stooges. Cameron might stuff the upper house with more Conservatives, but if he does he will expose himself – again – as the elected dictator he is.

    The House of Commons should follow the example of the Lords and do their duty by holding the government to account for its inequitable policies. MP’s are there primarily to represent the people. They are not there to feather their own nests by sucking up to deranged party leaders. The poor don’t have to suffer these cuts. Tax the rich.

    Why we don’t have to make more cuts