Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and for not listening to his own party members?

I seem to be in the middle of a nightmare at present.  The BNP are standing all over my home constituency.  Everyone seems depressed where I am standing for parliament.  Gordon has decided to take money away from his core vote,  PPS's are threatening to resign!! When are we going to wake up!!!  There is hundreds of councillors who are going to lose their seats if Gordon doesn't listen.  I am asking please Gordon for the last time wake up and smell the coffee and save the party as in rectify the tax change!!!

With Regards

John Wiseman
PPC Westmorland and Lonsdale



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Re: Has Brown had it (#1)

Well you've grabbed Iain Dale's attention.

Re: Has Brown had it (#2)

Do'nt worry the PM is apparantly 'seething' and blames it all on the media and Labour MP's for failing to understand the complex changes.  I expect in tomorrow's newspapers that the uber-Blairites will be blamed by Ed Balls for stoking this 10p row.  Gordon will give a interview on BBC Breakfeast on Monday saying " i'm taking the long term decisions for the country".  All will be forgotten in the parrallel univervise the PM lives in.

Re: Has Brown had it (#3)

Grodon will lay blame firmly at the door of the same people who sold the UK gold reserves at the bottom of the market. The Conservatives.


Re: Has Brown had it (#4)

It is strong words for a strong situation Northern, my heart is this party, I am just trying to get Gordon to think of his core vote.

John

Re: (#5)

John you should keep it buttoned.

Re: (#6)

I don't agree.  People are about to lose their seats and are rightly telling the PM the worrying response they are picking up on the doorstep.  I have been too ashamed to canvass.  How can I go out to the local estates where many people are existing on slave wages and tell them that Labour's the party that wants to lift them out of poverty.  I thought Lord Desai was too personal with his criticisms but Wiseman is criticising policy.  It has to be done.  The Labour party is not Brown's alone, it's ours - the members and ordinary people campaigning for so called Labour values on the ground.

Re: Has Brown had it (#7)

And now Guido's got it.

wiseman, as a PPC you have to consider your words on the blogosphere as opponents will use them to their advantage - especially before an election.

Honesty is good in politics, but it might have been better to be honest after May 1st.

And for god's sake, read your posts through for spelling and grammar errors!!! Especially on your website. You've got a duty to make the party look professional.

Re: Has Brown had it (#10)

I agree. It is easy to forget that this is a public arena and the impact of our conversations here is potentially very different to things we might say to one another within the party. We do not need to provide ammunition to our enemies.

Re: Has Brown had it (#19)

Now hold on a minute...

This site is not a party political advertisement. It does not have sanitised conceit of approved communications and it is perfectly natural and welcome that someone air their concerns.

It is a place to discuss the Party, complain and raise objections or praise.

Although quite defeatist - Wiseman's post is respectful and fair. His criticism is valid.

If someone has something truthful and fair to say about the party - the reactions of right-wing bloggers should be the furthest thing from their minds.

In answer to the question - has Brown had it? No. There's a mess (actually several messes) to be sorted out and he (and the rest of the Government and this Party) HAS to sort them out.

The first step is being candid. The notion that if we didn't talk about the problems faced by the Government and Party, it would somehow diminish our problems is, frankly, outdated and ridiculous.

Respectfully, Free Radical - the 'ammunition' they have stems from a lack of consultation and openness - not too much of it.

Re: Has Brown had it (#27)

Tony
I am well aware of the lack of consultation and openness and I am critical to my MP of various aspects of government policy about which I feel very strongly. I also believe the party needs radical reform in order to rebuild the democratic machinery and revitalise the party.
However... we also need to think about what we say, how we say it and to whom. Among friends and comrades we may be much more candid than when, as in a medium like Labourhome we may be speaking to the whole world. We need to have one eye on what some Tory blogger or newspaper columnist might make of our contribution... unfortunately. And this applies particularly during an election.
I believe in openness and free speech and I would like as many MPs as possible, for example, to vote down the 42 days legislation. But a blog on a site associated with the party asking "Has Brown had it...?" strikes me as inept and a gift to the opposition, no matter how much I may agree with the sentiments... We really must talk about policy and not about personalities. And we really must get over the fact that, for better or worse, we did not have a leadership contest.

Re: Has Brown had it (#31)

However... we also need to think about what we say, how we say it and to whom. Among friends and comrades we may be much more candid than when, as in a medium like Labourhome we may be speaking to the whole world.

I have thought about what we're saying and I think it a far more healthy thing to have the courage to have the debate in the open. I'm not ashamed that people voice doubts and ask questions of the Prime Minister on an open forum related to a democratic party in a democratic country. It offers the opportunity to answer.

By the by - Wiseman asked if the leader has had it and some of us have answered "no" (I think I did).

I don't make the point to call you out or pick a row - but I'm certain that we're better off having the conversation  than pretending there's nothing wrong (as long as it's intelligible, fact based and respectful).

The Tory bloggers and columnists and wafflers (the credible, incredible and ridiculous) will always find something to spout about anyway so it is a pointless exercise trying not to feed them. Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes are entitled to their opinions but they are not entitled to dictate the terms of debate on LabourHome (nor would I expect they would want to!).

We really must talk about policy and not about personalities. And we really must get over the fact that, for better or worse, we did not have a leadership contest.

Be fair now - Wiseman's point was not about personality - it was chiefly about a policy - the 10p rate.

To take your point - you're right, we didn't have a leadership election but I don't think that's why we're in the Brown stuff (or at least it's only a small part of it - and is worthy of another post).

Re: Has Brown had it (#35)

I'm not ashamed that people voice doubts and ask questions of the Prime Minister on an open forum related to a democratic party in a democratic country. It offers the opportunity to answer.

Tony, neither am I. But posting a blog entitled "Has Brown had it...?" is a bit more than voicing doubts about policy and asking questions of the Prime Minister. And perhaps it was the title that was Wiseman's biggest mistake - and that's why the impact of his posting was much more than questioning a policy issue.

On the media - they liked Blair because he was exciting and gave them what they wanted - exciting TV, exciting soundbites, charisma (I detested Blair). And since Brown came in there has been a noticeable shift in the media against Labour. But what concerns me is that we don't add to all this media froth about a nonexistent leadership question.

Basically I agree that the 10p tax issue is wrong - and I've told my MP so. It's wrong because it produces losers amongst some of the poorest citizens. However it is complicated by the overall position as tax credits have more than compensated many citizens for this loss - though not all.

Frankly I have never much liked Gordon Brown's politics - I thought he was politically very similar to Blair - but personalising attacks on his leadership one or two years before a general election is a daft highly counterproductive strategy. Of course he should listen to members. But lets be under no illusion that we are going to have another leadership contest. And let's not contribute to further media froth on this. For better or worse we have him as leader.

Re: Has Brown had it (#44)

In that case, we only disagree on tone and Blair.

Re: Has Brown had it (#18)

If this comment ('bury' the evidence) doesn't sum up NuLabour, I don't know what does. Increasing taxes for the poorest in society? Very 'compassionate'.

Re: Has Brown had it (#20)

There was no shortage of such comments on ConHome last August when Cameron was down in the polls Dearime. No shortage at all.

It therefore does not sum up NuLabour at all. Comments like the one above sum up the prejudices in the limited 'mind' of someone who unblinkingly adopts gutter blogging terms like 'NuLabour' - but not the rest of us.

Thanks for dropping by.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#8)

Isn't this the last chance to get a new Leader before the election?  The party has never voted for GB to be leader, and he is "leading" Labour to meltdown.   Even John Major didn't have such a shambolic situation.  Almost anyone except Ed Balls (and Douglas Alexander) would make a better job.  Imagine, for a delicious moment, what Labour would be like if Frank Field were PM.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#9)

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#11)

NB we simply have to get over the fact that we did not have an election for the leadership and face up to the reality of the situation. Even if people wanted such a thing there is zero chance of a new leader before the election without wrecking our hopes of winning it. Let's face reality, and also remember that our comments here are public. At the moment we risk colluding with hostile media and Tory bloggers in destroying the party. We can not do that.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#29)

Frank Field as PM?!?!?!  Jeez, we'd have the workhouse back...

I can only hope you're joking...

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#12)

Obviously the way to get your point across to Gordon Brown is by lobbying MPs, by getting your best green biro out and writing him a letter, or what the hell, passing a resolution or three
 
Sobbing in public is pretty pathetic IMO John. Astonishingly bad strategy for election season.
 
First the gobby Secretary of Weston Super Mare CLP, now an egotistical PPC with no self control. 

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#13)

At some point, all PPCs will have to stand for election based on the parties manifesto, and record in Government...

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#17)

Utter rubbish. Why shouldn't  we be "sobbing  in public." John Wiseman is absolutely  right. Gordon HAS "had it" unless  he starts listening. Pronto.This Party is being torn apart  by New Labour and it's time to  start shouting we're not having  it any longer.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate? (#23)

I represent the members of the party full stop, they may have various views, but at the end of the day, we are hurting our own people here.

John

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#14)

All good points eg the media, but we do need a greater debate on this after the election.  This is not against Gordon it is against the policy.

John

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#16)

When the first four words in your headline are "Has Gordon had it..." its not hard to see how its been read as an attack on Gordon.

At the very least it sounds like you are taking the man as well as ball... 

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and (#15)

Even a right wingers are in agreement

http://lukeakehurst.blogspot.com/

I now no something is up

Wiseman

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and (#21)

No, it's "Even the right wingers are in agreement."

"I now know that something is up."

Grrr.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and (#22)

There is a debate to be had, personal snipping never works, because that is what makes the tories win, putting your head in the ground and prentending everything is alright is wrong.  Chris my hat is wrong (See his article), I would prefer one like Che Gavara.

Thanks

John

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and (#24)

I'm not sniping John, I just expect you as a Parliamentary Candidate to be articulate and to make the party look professional.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and (#25)

Dear Northern

I am not on about you mate, it is chris and his article.  I do need to sharpen up, but I am on a chilled out Sunday.

John

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate and (#26)

Ok, sorry.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#28)

This tax thing has really really touched a nerve with me. Brown - worst Labour PM ever. At least Blair had character.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#30)

Unless and until Brown splits the party and enters a coalition with the Tories, he's not the worst Labour PM ever ;-) The 10p tax rate really is a massive own goal, and I really don't understand it. The headline facts are still the same... people earning less than around 17500 a year are worse off, those earning more are better off. You can qualify that all you like with reference to tax credits, but a) people on low pay don't necessarily get tax credits and b) the tax credit system gives opacity a bad name. We sleepwalked into defeat in Scotland last year; members on the ground could see it, but the great and the good in Holyrood wouldn't admit to their failure to properly represent our electorate. The same thing seems to be happening now in Britain as a whole. And make no mistake, the SNP are waiting for a Tory government nationally to spring their "independence referendum" - and in that situation they might well win it.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#32)

Tax Credits do seem poorly understood, but they give enormous help to families in most need. In this furore over the 10% we should not forget that the Child Tax Credit has been increased well above the rate of inflation, to try to impact child poverty. The Per-child element has been increased by 13%, and the first deduction income threshold has been increased by 23%. So any general claim that the latest changes is hitting the worst off is well off the mark - it is more a redirection.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#33)

But families with children are not the issue here. Certainly they are doing well - but it is single people, people taking early retirement, people without dependants who are taking the hit: in short, people who don't get tax credits. Whenever anybody tells the government this they start talking about child poverty which is of course an issue of utmost seriousness, but it is not the issue at hand.

If Brown had any backbone he would have raised the top rate of income tax instead of stealing from the poor. He's a coward and a failure. The one consolation is that Blair will take all the credit for the good things that happened under New Labour, and Brown will be remembered as the looser that he is.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#36)

Tax credits are a good thing but it doesn't solve the problem whereby we've screwed the poorest wage earners in order to deliver a tax cut for the richer ones.  If a Tory government did that, we'd be up in arms.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#38)

Tax credits are good in theory, but the system is far too complex for most people to understand. They need to do something about it, there's not enough people claiming their entitled benefits and tax credits.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#39)

Absolutely. I've got a Maths degree, and I struggle to understand it! Plus, the authorities are very aggressive in pursuing over-payments. This isn't conducive to maximal claiming...

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#40)

Its incorrect to say all the poorest wage earners are worse off. Obviously families with low wage earners are better off from CTC increases. 65+ pensioners are better off because their tax threshold increased 19.6%. Even the lowest single wage earners under £12,500 (£240/week) are better off, provided they are aged 25+, work 30+ hours week, and bother to claim Working Tax Credits.

So it is a mixed picture of winners and losers amongst the lowest paid. I agree politically this was poorly handled, but it is wrong to blandly say "we've screwed the poorest wage earners" across the board. The difficulty is that in most significant changes there are winners and losers as you switch priorities - I think the changes should have been made slower taking advantage of fiscal drag to avoid a single hit, but it is a difficult one unless you can afford to be generous across the board. I don't think prioritising children and 65+ pensioners is terrible.

I'd have liked to tax higher earners more, but it is obviously not something a New Labour govt would do after all these years of avoiding that to play for the middle England vote.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#41)

Yes you are right. Personally I would have liked to obviously keep the 10p rate, maybe lower it slightly, or raise the threshold before you pay tax and fund this by raising taxes on the rich - not on middle england, on the rich!

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#43)

I don't have a problem with the 10% either, and would have stuck with it I think. I'm arguing Brown's case because no-one else is putting fwd his arguments, and I don't think he made these changes with evil intent!

I have just spotted that one of the changes does in fact "tax" the rich (£36.2k+) a bit more! The N.I. upper earnings limit has gone up 15% from £34,840 to £40,040/year, so that band carries on paying 11% N.I. A 4% inflation increase would have taken it to £36,233, so above that they are being hit with an above inflation £419/year N.I. increase. So a bit of a progressive change then! I think the main reason for this was to align N.I. and the 40% tax bands to get rid of an anomoly.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#42)

In terms of the headlines, we've screwed the poorest paid in order to deliver a tax cut for the rest.  I said above, you can qualify that with reference to tax credits all you like, but the headline stays the same.  It really is a spectacular piece of political incompetence, and our core vote suffers because of it.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#34)

True, but you know it's bad when the only thing worse is Ramsay MacDonald!

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax rate (#37)

Quite.

Re: 10p tax rate (#45)

Here's why I am angry.

Labour were seeking votes by benefiting 10,000,000 people who were better off than penalised low paid workers, of which they're 5 million. If we lived in a meritocracy, and far more social-democratic, there would not be as much furore. 

I accept there have been improvements in the life of many who are not well-off under this government, but here is what disgusts me: it is not that the poorer have been let down by one budget, it is that the uber-rich have been rewarded for 12 budgets by a party, that even the old right (like Dunwoody, Healey, Hattersley etc.) accepted that the central goal of a Labour government should be redistribution of wealth. New Labour has abandoned this with ease. 

Re: 10p tax rate (#46)

I think the whole thing is a gimmick to please middle england. It's backfired spectacularly though, just like everything Brown has done of late.

Re: (#47)

We can only use the 'at least it's better than the tories' defence so often; likewise it's just not good enough to say that these people have benefitted overall since 97. The principal aim of any and every Labour budget should be redistribution - there's absolutely no excuse. It's utterly shameful; quite why all our MPs joined the LP, if not to improve the welfare of the poor, is a mystery to me. Well done John for saying what you believe - I hope you get to be an MP one day to stop this New Labour rubbish.

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax (#48)

This could be our Poll Tax.

Me: married, one child. Retired at 36 (now 40) with a chronic long term illness. £7 a week worse off. Thanks a lot to the Party I have spent 20 years supporting and doing my bit for. Marvellous

Re: Has Brown had it over the 10p tax (#49)

Me:- Widowed far too early in my life (50). Stopped working when I had my children, so I was a stay at home mum. Now living on my husbands works pension, well at least a quarter of his final salary. Now worse off by £88.07 per month. I wonder what I will have to give up to make ends meet. Food, Heating Oil, Car or should I just live in the dark at night to save the planet.

I will Never vote Labour again they are not the party for me. 

Re: An open letter to our PM (#50)

Dear Prime Minister

I have a simple test for you,

£7 billion tax cut for the poorer childless, the young, and the female pensioners.

or

£7 billion being raise by a 50% marginal rate on those earning over 100k

What can't you afford Mr. Brown? Wouldn't you rather, even if the latter somehow 'negates' the former (which I don't buy, as it is still a step to redistributing wealth), tax the rich for the same amount of money, than taxing the poor for the same amount of money?

Wouldn't you rather those earning 100k were paying £9 billion more in NI contributions, who are currently paying less than the poor in terms of National Insurance?

Wouldn't you rather that poorer pensioners had tax reliefs of £5 billion, that richer OAP's having tax reliefs of £21 billion?

Wouldn't you rather see Capital gains, not at 18%, butat 20, 30, or 40%? Do you not think, that as you said housing is our main priority when you first took office, that instead of building eco-towns (which is an artificial way of solving the housing crisis, and could have as many CO2 emissions), you could use funds raised from Capital gains, to be diverted to building houses? Wouldn't it be an advantage to confront the lies that immigrants and asylum seekers are causing the housing problem, and instead, defeat this staple right-wing argument with the fact that this problem has been emphasised by property developers?

Would you like to see at least £97 billion, and at most £150 billion, from 'non-doms' and tax evaders, in state coffers? Do you seriously imagine, that all these buisnessmen and women, would take business away from the UK? If they pack off to the Cayman Islands or Bermuda, would they not let a penny of their corporations be diverted towards the UK?

Could you not regulate markets better about their repugnant speculations, on whether someone may have just lost their pension fund on the stock market? Could you not cut administrative costs, whether the IT projects, or the endless reviews and consultants? Could you cut unnecessary laws, that would add to government revenue, and not clog up our judicial system, or prisons? Could you not cut out the unpopular ID cards, and other needless, expensive projects? Could you realise that endorsing biofuels, which are an environmental catastrophe, are also adding to people's food bills? If not, could you impose windfall taxes on industries that are claiming major profits, against the poverty of millions?

If you do not recognise, that your core constituencies are deserting you, and that we can appeal to people's progressive value, through debate, and not by appealing to CEO's and media barons, then you will suffer an electoral catastrophe.

Remember this Prime Minister, every empire falls. But it is what you do with it, that counts,

Faithfully,

Josh K.