Fabians: Labour’s “Looming Death”

report out this morning from the Fabians makes dire New Year reading for Jez. Catchily-titled “Stuck: How Labour is Too Weak to Win and Too Strong to Die” predicts electoral oblivion unless the party abandons the Corbynite left: 

“The politics of 2016 may have been frenetic but now an uneasy calm has descended on the Labour party…this is the calm of stalemate, of insignificance, even of looming death.”

Backed by YouGov numbers and its own seat projections it finds:

  • “Approaching half the people who voted Labour in 2015 no longer support the party”;
  • “Since 2015, the party has lost as many votes to the Liberal Democrats as it has to the two right-wing, pro-Brexit parties combined”;
  • “A disastrous election result for Labour would see the party lose around 90 MPs.”

The most interesting numbers show the flow of raw voters away from Labour:

It concludes: “It seems that Labour is equally vulnerable to losing support to another liberal-minded, pro-European party; and to the socially conservative, Euro-sceptic parties.”

This shows Labour losing votes in every possible direction, with the Tories gaining from every possible direction…

Action Dan’s Wealth Tax Plan

Dan Jarvis has written a supportive foreword for a Fabian pamphlet backing a “one off” wealth tax aimed at the rich. The pamphlet attacks hedge funds for their high rates of return available only to rich investors. The left-wing authors have found a new pot of gold to replace the middle-class terrifying mansion tax – which was basically a tax on homeowners in the South East where family homes easily exceed £2 million. The Tories mail-shotted the hell out of the issue to homeowners in the general election…

The evil Fabians’ plan is to levy the one-off tax on those with assets over £10 million or who use “aggressive tax avoidance”. Those with over £20 million in assets will suffer an even bigger expropriation of their wealth. The authors of this plan think this will avoid losing votes as it will hit only the 0.1%. Only the likes of Guido apparently think the super-rich have suffered enough…

The problems with the idea – apart from the immorality of confiscating justly acquired wealth arbitrarily – are manifest and obvious. The type of people who use aggressive tax avoidance strategies (a) don’t admit they do, (b) won’t stay around to see themselves financially gouged. The idea that people who go to the trouble of parking their money offshore will have a change of heart is laughably naive. It will also hit entrepreneurs who build successful companies which bring jobs and taxes to Britain. Why would an entrepreneur choose to base herself in a country that punishes her success?

Why is Jarvis aligning himself with such a crazy, job-destroying, entrepreneur-deterring, unworkable left-wing policy? Could it be he wants to be able to defend himself with a policy shield in a leadership contest when the subject of his donations from hedge-fund tycoons comes up?

Labour Ad Man Hopes Blair Gets Alzheimer’s

So toxic is Tony Blair that the man who runs Labour’s election advertising company believes the best thing for the party would be if he “got early onset Alzheimer’s”. Peter Souter told a group of Fabians:

“We need to win. We need to win. Nothing else matters. You have to win otherwise you can’t change anything ever. And it’s interesting, what would be best I think now, is if Blair got early onset Alzheimer’s, because what was great for the Tories- well no, but what was great for the Tories was that Thatcher couldn’t talk anymore. She became- sorry is that bad? – so she was just able to be the person that won all the time, won all the goddamn time.”

Souter is the chairman of advertising company TBWA, aka “Tony Blair Wins Again”, who worked on all three of Blair’s election wins in 1997, 2001 and 2005, producing billboards like this:

The sickness in Labour is so bad that even Blair’s allies want him to disappear…

Labour Leadership Beauty Contest at Fabians

It will be worth keeping an eye on the Fabian New Year conference on Saturday, where several of those tipped to be the next Labour leader are vying for grassroots support. On a panel discussion titled “Future Left”, left-wing darling Lisa Nandy will debate action man Dan Jarvis and ambitious North London idol Sir Keir Starmer on “how Britain is changing and how the left should respond”. All three have been strongly linked to post-Corbyn leadership bids. 

Meanwhile Chuka will discuss Labour’s “vision in the 2020s”, by which time he might have stumped up the courage to run. Stella Creasy will debate with Owen Jones on “Winning battles, winning the war”. Labour MPs are expecting the event to be box office. Corbyn’s ears will be ringing by the time he turns up to deliver the keynote speech…

Fabian Sophistry Over Failure to Pay Living Wage

After Guido’s story about the Fabian Society calling for a mandatory Living Wage yet failing to pay it, Andrew Harrop, the general secretary, tweeted insisting the hourly rate was Living Wage and the official Twitter account said there was “nothing to see here”:

Of course the amount the Living Wage Foundation says you need to live on in London is £18,080 and the amount the Fabians’ lucky new Events and Office Assistant, based in London, will be paid is just £16,653. Harrop even had the audacity to email demanding a correction because it was a 35 hour week with unpaid lunch breaks. Something unions have long campaigned against for employees working a full working day.

So how does the Fabians’ new employee get to earn a living wage? Do they get a second job, presumably in their lunch-hour? Answers on the back of a Fabian pamphlet…

Double Living Wage Hypocrisy Shocker

“Keep the living wage alive,” argues one of many articles published by the Fabian Society calling for a mandatory Living Wage.

It’s a bit of a theme: “a voluntary expansion of living wage employers” is not enough, they say.

“Time to make living wage a requirement,” insists another piece:

“We need politicians to make the living wage a requirement on public and private employers, not an optional extra. Leaving it up to voluntary schemes will never end the scandal of poverty pay. Government action is urgently needed, and the public support it. What are we waiting for?”

Well, the Fabians’ new Events and Office Assistant, based in London, will be waiting for some time before they are paid the London Living Wage. The advertised salary of £16,653 a year is well below the £18,080 the Living Wage Foundation say workers in the capital need. Seems they had a point when they said “Leaving it up to voluntary schemes will never end the scandal of poverty pay”…

The Fabians aren’t the only ones failing to practise what they preach. The Church of England says that “as well as encouraging other employers to pay the Living Wage, it is important for the Church to lead by example,” warning “it is morally unacceptable” for bosses to exploit low-paid staff.

This divine intervention clearly did not reach the Bishop of St Albans, who is offering a meagre £14,328 per year to be his parliamentary researcher, based in the House of Lords. What is it with these lefties and not putting their money where their mouth is…

Fabian advert spotted by @ajrmac

Marcus Roberts Out at Fabian Society

The fierce Miliband critic turned Times and Guardian writer is leaving the Fabian Society. It’s all amicable:

“After three and a half great years at the Fabians I’m moving on to a new adventure after the election. Working on issues as diverse as campaign guides, UKIP analyses and infrastructure policy reports has been both an intellectual challenge and a professional privilege. The Fabians aren’t just some of the smartest people on the Left but it turns out they’re some of the nicest people too and I will miss them tremendously.”

Stepping down to spend more time in Southampton Itchen?

Fabians Tell Out of Touch Miliband: Change or You’ll Lose

“Without change, Labour is choosing to lose.” That is the damning verdict of the Fabian Society in a wide-ranging intervention attacking Ed Miliband’s leadership this morning. Their analysis trailed in this week’s New Statesman is stinging in its criticism of the Labour leader. They warn: “it’s clear that Labour needs to reverse its trajectory, particularly as improvements in the economy will boost Tory polls in 2015”, that Labour is in danger of “abandoning blue-collar Britons and becoming a party of the urban middle class alone”, asking “what is the point of a social-democratic party that loses its working-class soul?” The study also find that Labour is “haemorrhaging” support to UKIP, and that the party is on course to lose six seats to Farage:

“Ukip’s results in the 2014 local and European elections demonstrate the importance of blue-collar voters for Labour. These are the voters it has been haemorrhaging for over a decade; those who once sat at home on election day and are now coming out to vote Ukip.”

The numbers say it all:

  • Labour will win significantly less than half of its 106 target seats
  • They will lose at least nine currently Labour-held seats
  • They are on course to win only 58 seats from the Tories and LibDems, ten short of the 68 they need for a majority

Red on red…

Labour Stars Turn Out For Fabian Gala Dinner

Finally Ed Balls has turned up. The suspiciously absent Shadow Chancellor held court at the Fabian Society’s champagne reception at the National Liberal Club last night. Following in a tradition their predecessors would have no doubt have approved of, it was survival of the richest at £100-a-ticket. Labour bloggers Laurence Durnan, Mark Ferguson and James Bloodworth chin-wagged with the party’s former head of digital Sue MacMillan before their Norwich North PPC Jessica Assato kicked off the much-needed money-raising auction. Tom Watson generously donated a signed copy of his DCMS committee report, vowing “if you do win it [he] promises not to invite you to a Drenge concert”. The report went for £100, paid by Ken Livingstone’s old pal Nicky Gavron. Worst party ever…

Fabian Gala Dinner Survival of the Richest

Tickets are on sale for the annual Fabian Society gala dinner, a red-letter day for any Labour luvvie. This year the festivities are taking place at Whitehall’s exclusive National Liberal Club, in what looks like a coalition overture. With an auction of items from the Fabians’ colourful history, gourmet champagne socialist menu and after-dinner speech from Harriet Harman, prices are steep at £100-a-ticket.

Then again the evening is being held held in association with the Trade Union Fund Managers group, which has a City portfolio of some £75 million. It’s all a bit much for one senior figure on Labour’s NEC:

Not very One Nation is it?

Fabians Elect Denis MacShane to Committee

The history of the Fabian Society is full of evil, though Guido was under the impression they were pretending they had cleaned up their act. Their AGM takes place on Saturday in SW1, and a certain fraudster is due to take up his position on their committee:

Fabian Society Executive Committee Elections 2012/13

Elected

Stephen Twigg 607
Rachel Reeves 600
Sadiq Khan 556
Vera Baird 478
Denis MacShane 471
Jessica Asato 454
Austin Mitchell 429
Kate Green 401
Seema Malhotra 392
Suresh Pushpananthan 390
Kate Groucutt 385
Sara Ibrahim 372
Sundar Thavapalasundaram 287
Ivana Bartoletti 277
Sally Prentice 276

The last famous Fabian to go to prison was Oswald Mosley.

UPDATE: Fabians get in touch to say Denis is out.

Balls Adopts Osborne’s ‘Plan A’ Tells Fabians “There Is No Alternative”

Today sees the evil Fabians holding their “The Economic Alternative” conference and Ed Balls is the keynote speaker.  To raise the curtain he has an interview with Mary Riddell in the conference edition of the Fabian Review. Print deadlines however mean the interview was given some weeks ago when the party line repeated ad nauseuam was different to what it is this morning. In the interview Balls says of the Tory deficit reduction strategy “Nobody in the Labour Party should get into the idea that it has to be this way”.

What a difference to his Guardian interview this morning in which he claims “My starting point is, I am afraid, we are going to have keep all these cuts.”

Same line of questioning, very different answers. The reality of public scepticism regarding Labour’s credibility on the economy and pressure from Shadow Cabinet realists combined with the weakness of Ed Miliband’s authority has forced Ed Balls to switch to George Osborne’s ‘Plan A’. There is no alternative.

Israeli Lobby’s Backfiring Fabian Bung

Former Labour MP Lorna Fitzsimmons is the embattled Chief Executive of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM)- the lefty pro-Israel lobby group. She’s under fire for continuing to undersell the cause, and a series of embarrassing cock-ups that included being unable to guarantee that the visiting Israeli Deputy Prime Minister wouldn’t be arrested under universal jurisdiction legislation at her fundraising dinner.

Well her latest efforts are sure to quell the growing discontent amongst donors…

Writing to supporters on Friday she said:

“This week a delegation of 15 young Fabians, sponsored by BICOM, have been on a trip to Israel and the West Bank. The Fabians are Britain’s oldest think tank on the centre left and the Young Fabians have a long standing tradition of producing political thinkers and leaders. Delegates include journalists, students, lawyers and councillors, all aged 18 – 31. Some are already opinion makers; some are the decision – makers of the future.

Their impressions and experiences will be recorded in a pamphlet and launched at follow up panel discussion in November.”

Guido can only presume that this pamphlet won’t be including the long list of complaints that the various junior Evil Fabians  have taken to the internet to moan about since they have been back. It’s hard to see exactly how BICOM will be happy with complaints about Israel’s presence in Hebron, praising the realism and understanding of Fatah and calling Israel a blighted democracy. Perhaps most offensive was the thousand word diatribe against Israeli airport security by one Fabian who pulled reigns with the British Embassy over the fact she was asked a few more questions than her fellow travellers on account of being of Pakistani origin. At this rate Lorna’s pamphlet is going to be a PR hit for all the wrong reasons…

Fabians Attack LibDem Plans for "Lower Taxes for the Low Paid"

The Fabian’s Tim Horton and IPPR’s Howard Reed have jointly authored a paper for Left Foot Forward designed to undermine the case for raising tax thresholds for low income earners.  Clearly they are trying to undermine Clegg’s claim to support a fairer tax system, which by all accounts is playing very well on the doorsteps.

Horton and Reed make a number of charges that need rebutting:

  • Three million of the poorest households gain nothing from the change

That is only because they simply just don’t pay tax. No tax cut will ever help that group, only an increase in welfare transfer payments can benefit them. That however would further increase dependency and disincentivise them from coming off welfare support.

  • Households in the second richest decile gain, on average, four times the amount of those in the poorest decile.

Once again, this is because the lowest decile don’t pay much if any tax – we are really talking about part-time workers and those on welfare. Nevertheless everybody, including the lowest decile, will be better off whatever their income.

  • Only around £1 billion of the £17 billion cost actually goes toward the stated aim of lifting low-income households out of tax, the policy would increase socially damaging inequalities between the bottom and middle.

Here we get to the real reason they object, it cuts taxes for the middle classes. According to their numbers, those on low incomes will only benefit by £5 a week and those on middle incomes will benefit by £20 a week. Low income households also qualify for welfare transfers from middle income earners, from free school meals to welfare credits.  Is it really unfair against a background of progressively higher marginal tax rates on middle income earners?  Middle earners pay disproportionately more tax after all.

Horton and Reed don’t really dispute that the lowest earners will be better off, they just don’t like the distribution of benefits from the policy. They do conclude with a bit of hyperbole: “It could actually harm the welfare of low-income households by increasing inequality and relative poverty.” Nobody is harmed by a “relative increase in inequality”. That is a left-wing myth. If your neighbour wins the lottery you are relatively poorer in comparison but not objectively, similarly those on lower incomes are not made poorer by those on middle incomes paying a little less tax. Nice try, but the moral case for taking those on the minimum wage out of tax is still stronger than the case for taxing them to pay them welfare.

Fabians Forget the History of their Evil Cause

The Fabian socialists are having their “Causes to Fight For” conference today. A rally of freedom hating statists who will throw soundbites to a tweeting mob. For over a hundred years the Fabians have tried to increase the power of the state at the expense of society.  If there is one consistent aim from the time of the Webbs, through from Oswald Mosley up to Sunder Katawala today, it is to undermine a free, property owning society.  Fabians realise socialism will never triumph as long as people have capital and independence.

For most people their single biggest asset, and society’s bulwark against socialism, is their family home.  It is why socialists want penal inheritance taxes and opposed letting low income families get on the property ladder. Council house sales turned former state dependents into property owners, promoting upward mobility and vote switching from a Labour Party which wanted to keep them as clients, to parties which encouraged popular aspirations.  Even today Fabians still want to extend state socialism further at the expense of home ownership. The past hundred years of the Fabians have had even darker times too.

In preparation for their Challenging Extremism session at the conference, Sunder Katawala wrote a not unjustified diatribe against the Daily Mail for historically endorsing the Blackshirts. Very thin ice for a Fabian to be on given that the Blackshirts were founded by a leading Fabian – Oswald Mosley.

In the first few decades of the twentieth century the Fabians were the biggest advocates of eugenics. Leading Fabians and founders of the LSE, Sidney and Beatrice Webb believed “What we as eugenicists have got to do is to ‘scrap’ the old Poor Law with its indiscriminate relief of the destitute as such and replace it by an intelligent policy of so altering the social environment as to discourage or prevent the multiplication of those irrevocably below the National Minimum of Fitness.” In the 1930s Archibald Church introduced a bill for eugenic sterilization to stop “those who are in every way a burden to their parents, a misery to themselves and in my opinion a menace to the social life of the community” from reproducing.  Church was  a Fabian.

Prominent Fabians such as H G Wells, Bernard Shaw and the Webbs led the way in combining the ‘progressive’ ideologies of socialism and eugenics. It doesn’t stop there either. As The Guardian reported last year the “Fabian socialists provided the intellectual justification for the eugenics policy that led to the stolen generations scandal.” For a century the Fabians have sought and sadly often succeeded in undermining the traditional family, property rights and individual freedom.  Their cause is evil.

Fabians in Fine Fettle, Kilfoyle Very Tired and Emotional

Guido wandered into the Fabian’s Christmas party on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament. The booze, Guido noticed with some amusement, was sponsored by Serco, the private-sector outsourcing outfit.  That irony would see the Fabian’s founders, the Clause Four authoring Webbs, spinning in their graves.  Sunda Katawala told the assembled drinkers that Fabian Society membership was at an historic high, which is quite an achievement  by him given Labour Party membership is at an historic low.

Yvette Cooper was the star turn, Guido was mesmerised by her green leather boots so didn’t follow the thread of her argument closely, think it involved Etonians eating babies and David Cameron personally slaughtering first borns at Sure Start centres.  She did a lot of that head-nodding thing she does for emphasis.

The former Defence Minister Eric Joyce seemed demob happy and confirmed just how miffed Cathy Newman was when Guido beat her to getting his resignation story out.

peter_kilfoyleWhen the booze ran out Guido slipped into the Stranger’s Bar for some subsidised Guinness (think of it as a tax-rebate) and chatted with blogging Labour MPs Greg Pope (also demob happy) and Tom Harris.  Late in the evening a tired and emotional Peter Kilfoyle exploded at the bar “You’re Guido Fawkes, you’re Guido Fawkes” ranting bitterly about a story exposing him for paying his daughter’s firm out of expenses.  He tried to have Guido thrown out of the bar, shouting to the patient barman about the injustices of this blog’s editorial policies.  Guido was a little worried that the red-in-the-face Kilfoyle was going to have a coronary…

Fabian Summer Party Totty Report, Half-Crazed Woman, No Half-Naked Women

Guido’s co-conspirators are enjoying the political summer parties; the Fabians had their do last night, it was not anywhere near as glamourous as Dave’s affair according to Guido’s man at the party. She who wants to be Brown’s DPM (and might be Blair’s DPM at this rate), Harriet Harman, gave a speech which was stunning in that it shows how much top labour people seeming to be losing their grip on reality.

In an attempt at a rabble rousing speech the politico-totty said “The Tories got a real drubbing in Bromley and Chiselhurst, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to become complacent”. Err, the Tories won, you lost Harriet, you got beat into fourth place by UKIP, Labour got a real drubbing in Wales as well. Had she gone crazy after too much sun and booze?

Fabian Fatwa

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: The Fabian Society was in its early days a band of elitist left-wing eugenecists who advocated sterilising the working classes for their own good, but things have moved on. Now they are a bunch of elitist middle-class do-gooders who advocate policies for the under-classes’ own good.

They have policy for every class and the latest one is for the upper class, namely our future King Charles. “Religion and the British state: a new settlement” advocates a coronation ceremony which symbolises Britain as a multi-faith society in all its colour and flummery, reflecting Prince Charles’ wish to be regarded as a ‘defender of faith’.

It goes on to recommend repeal of the blasphemy laws – so up yours Allah! And bugger off Buddha, shine on Reverend Moon etc… Hmm not sure about this.

It has some sensible ideas about treating faiths equally and ending the anti-Catholic bigotry that is enshrined in British law – in particular the ban on the head-of-state marrying a Catholic / my daughter. Its pretty short and written by Sunder Katawala – a wonk/journalist with a knack for tackling topical issues, not necessarily deeply, but always with an eye on getting press coverage. Read it here – its short.



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Quote of the Day

IDS responds to Juncker’s pints analogy earlier:

“Mr Juncker knows a little bit more about the bar than perhaps many of us do.”

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