Friday, March 16, 2012

Is Labour giving up on inequality?

Inequality is a hot topic at the moment, thanks to The Spirit Level, the Occupy Movement, and the banks. So naturally, Labour is thinking of abandoning its policies to reduce it:

The Labour Party is understood to be considering ditching its pre-election policy of a tax on incomes over $150,000 and scrapping its proposal to expand Working For Families entitlements to include beneficiaries, as the party looks to reposition itself towards the centre.
I guess they have to get those rich ACT-donors on-side somehow.

Its another example of the sucking ideological void at the heart of the party. If a party of the left stands for anything, you'd expect it to be reducing inequality. And its not exactly difficult to make a case for: people intuitively grasp that inequality is both unfair and damaging, a pressing social problem we need to do something about. Fighting it is therefore both right and popular. But Labour doesn't make cases for its policies anymore; they follow rather than shape public opinion. And then they wonder why the Greens are eating them alive...