Ed Miliband has finally come off the fence and announced Labour will abolish the bedroom tax if it wins the next election, the day after I spoke on Question Time about it!
I have just posted the following comment to this Guardian article:
I can’t help thinking that the timing of Ed’s announcement (inevitable as it was) was influenced by Harriet Harman’s strong arguments against this vicious measure and my question from the floor, on Thursday’s Question Time from Rochdale.
I said: “I’d like to ask Harriet Harman whether she would call on Labour councillors not to evict people from their homes, especially if they are on Jobseekers Allowance because you get a situation where people on JSA get a letter saying they are allocated the minimum amount to live on yet they are expected to pay bedroom tax and council tax. I know in this area, Rochdale council is charging people 25% on a Band A property of their council tax…” At this point, David Dimbleby interrupted me to ask if Rochdale is a Labour-controlled council, and I replied “It’s a Labour-controlled council, yes.” at which point he called Harriet Harman in to respond.
The official Labour position of expecting people to wait to see what the manifesto at the next general election says, not to mention having Labour councillors evicting non-payers (which would cost far more than it saves), that Harman unfortunately put across, was proving increasingly untenable.
[Note that WordPress is censoring me for the first time – I sent out a similar post to this one that included the full text of the newsletter. That post doesn’t appear from the main www.thatcheroftheleft.wordpress.com page and going directly to that post (at https://thatcheroftheleft.wordpress.com/?p=770) sometimes produces an error message and sometimes displays the post! I suppose this goes to show something I knew already, that revolutionary change can’t take place just on the internet. Sometimes you need to interact in the real world – and going to TUC conference to hand out paper copies of the newsletter and talking to people is part of that! This suggests I’m doing something dangerous to the powers that be (the ruling class, i.e. big business) though and I strongly recommend reading it by going to www.revolutionaryplatformofleftunity.org/news/6.html.]
During Manchester United’s dreadful 1-0 defeat by Liverpool, I decided that it was finally time to stop supporting Man U, and just support my main team, FC United of Manchester (www.fc-utd.co.uk), set up by fans of Man U opposed to the Glazer takeover, with whom I have a season ticket for the first time this season – political commitments will mean I miss quite a lot of matches but I’m happy to financially support this good cause. [Also, I couldn’t get a ticket for the play-off final at Colwyn Bay in 2011, due to not having both a season ticket and being a member – hopefully, this time we’ll win the league and get promoted as of right, avoiding the lottery of the play-offs (in which we’ve lost in the final in each of the last three seasons).]