Labour's social populism and tooth fairy economics
Labour may now be the new stupid party. It's certainly the anti-English party. But above all else it's the social populist party that will promise anything to anyone just to get elected. It'll be surprising if they don't pledge a raise to children from the tooth fairy
Do people really fall for it? Well, when someone's offering you free cash with no apparent strings attached, a lot of people are easily seduced. That's why we have con men. Usually, they trip up in the end, but they can cause a lot of damage on the way (remember the mess Labour left the economy in last time round?).
Bring on the hapless Ed Miliband and that truly marvellous piece of horse manure with which he effectively opened this year's Labour Party Conference.
So, he met someone in Burger King and by way of complete coincidence, as they say over at Private Eye, announced he was now (the day Labour and the press were congregating in Manchester) in favour of hiking the minimum wage to £8 an hour. Perhaps this was the first time he'd ever been to Burger King. Perhaps he'd never met anyone before on the current minimum wage of £6.31 (rising to £6.50 in October).
Given that there isn't a Burger King in Primrose Hill, or many people, apart from his and his friends' domestic servants who are actually on the minimum wage, this is all perfectly possible. Or maybe he has met such people but has never before condescended to talk to them. Again, quite possible.
But the real point is that this man and his party are a bunch of shallow, shameless social populists who will promise anything to anyone just to get elected. Devoid of any substantial ideas -- apart from shutting the English out of their democratic rights, and Brits generally out of their democratic rights with a referendum on Europe -- Labour is a party of vote buyers.
From energy prices to social benefits, the Labour conference will be launching a bidding war: vote for us and we'll give you this; vote for us and we'll give you that. Sound familiar? It should. That's what they did last time they were in government, and when global conditions made it hard for everybody, we were among the hardest hit because, despite years of boom, the cupboard was bare.
Gordon Brown, Ed Balls et al had blown the lot down the electoral casino.
A soaring minimum wage will obviously cost jobs as anyone who understands basic economics (ie not Ed Miliband and Ed Balls) must know. If that isn't the case, why not raise it to £25 an hour and have done with it?
But what about that tooth fairy? Has this supernatural form of child benefit kept pace with inflation? What have you got against little children?
We believe that Labour should pledge to make it law that every child (typically 5-12 year olds) that loses a baby tooth should get half the minimum wage per tooth lost. The four pounds under the pillow should be placed in an envelope with a big red heart in the middle and the words: "Labour says Hi!" written underneath.
Parents should be encouraged to keep a stack of those envelopes to show their children when they're 18. Then they might better understand why they've grown up into a bankrupt country where they can't get a job.
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