Sunday, November 30, 2008

This week

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Ken Livingstone. Writing in The Guardian, the former London mayor was spot-on with his analysis of New Labour and its alleged end. "A former Tony Blair aide told the Guardian the new top rate of tax was 'political death', and that if Polly Toynbee and Roy Hattersley think you have done the right thing, 'it is axiomatic you have done the wrong thing'. The former aide may be continuing a stale factional dispute with Brown - but more important, he or she is clinging to old dogmas that in the real world have already been swept away." Incidentally, Livingstone also called for the top tax rate to rise to 50p.

Matthew Norman in Thursday's Independent. He came up with the best description of Jon Gaunt that's ever appeared in public: "archetype of prolier-than-thou, far right-wing bigotry of a retrograde silliness that by and large vacated the driver's seat of the London black cab long ago". Norman, of course, was referring to the irony of Gaunty celebrating (the moment he got the sack) the importance of the same human rights he'd scorned for so long. Look at this oily piece he wrote in the Sun.

Kevin Maguire in The Mirror. On Tuesday he warned of the importance of keeping an eye on Tory lies and spin. Writing about the budget and the Tories turning it into a discussion about unfair taxes on the middle classes, Maguire said: "Far better to be hung for a sheep as a lamb. The Tories would have gone just as bonkers if Darling had promised every family a free week in a Corfu villa." And: "Watching wealthy Osborne, the inheritor of a not-so-small fortune, pose as champion of the working man would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sinister".


Aren't we predictable. The Daily Mail. After the tabloids were at pains to link Baby P's death with unmarried or non-traditional families, there was hope the new scandal of the so-called "British Josep Fritzl" was going to show them that tragedy has got nothing to do with good old family values. Fat chance. Here they are with their headline: "'British Fritzl' got sex slave daughters pregnant 19 times to milk thousands in child support". Expect Littlejohn or Phillips to soon come up with: "Child benefits make you rape your daughter".

Fergus Shanahan in the Sun. On Wednesday, this joke of a man had a fit because Gordon Brown announced the possibility of a 5p rise for the top tax rate if Labour win the elections in April 2011. Here's what he said, "Blair would never have done this. But he wasn’t a raving Socialist". Can someone give this man industrial doses of Prozac?

Ditto for the Express. On Tuesday, their 'editorial' read: Brown the dictator is bankrupting Britain. Including: "the very last thing the British economy needs is higher taxes on wealth creation". Here we are with the wealth creators again. Look how much wealth they created that now we're in such shit.

That said, those who believed the fable that Gordon Brown is "rescuing the economy", as if it was that simple, can now witness MFI and Woolworths both going into administration on Wednesday. Woolies in particular, with 30,000 jobs at risk and its reputation as a British institution (it was founded in 1909) would be the biggest casualty of the economic crisis so far.

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