The vast left-wing conspiracy

Something I’d been meaning to blog on as part of my “Melanie Phillips soundbite of the week” series, now that she’s started blogging again, but Stuart Jeffries in today’s Guardian has pretty much beaten me to it: the ludicrous idea of an alliance between Marxists (and the left generally), the Islamic movement and the far right. Anyone who has been even remotely aware of where the various parties stand in this country will know that to call whatever similarities exist between the left and the BNP and its ilk an alliance is beyond parody. (Tags: , , , .)

Guardian Unlimited: First Hitler in Germany, then Mussolini in Italy, and now the BNP in the UK: will this left-wing conspiracy never end?

Phillips cites a letter from Norman Tebbit, a former cabinet minister in Thatcher’s government, in the Daily Telegraph the other day claiming that the BNP is essentially a left-wing party. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this idea from him - I once heard him say on TV that he abhors the BNP as he abhors all socialist parties, and the BNP is a socialist party by the way. Anyone who wonders how left-wing the BNP really are might like to look at their 2005 General Election Manifesto. The tax section promises to abolish income tax, replacing it with “a consumption tax on non-essential goods”. Essentially, a massive VAT hike, which the party assures us would be as progressive as the present income tax régime as follows:

We are aware that a consumption tax, unless adjusted to compensate for this fact, favors the rich because they save a higher percentage of their incomes. Therefore we will alter the tax code to maintain present levels of progressivism in taxation by income bracket. In essence, this means that the spendthrift rich (who spend most of their income) will pay more tax than they do today, the thrifty rich (who save most of their income) will pay less, but that the rich as a group will pay the same as today, and similarly for other income brackets.

Does this mean the “consumption tax” will be collected at the till, as with VAT, with people having to declare their tax code, perhaps by proving their identity? (Wonder how they would protect that scheme from fraud.) Or perhaps people will have to provide VAT accounts, as businesses do. Either way, it’s a plain stupid scheme. The notion that VAT can provide as much tax as income tax is bizarre, because even though people will notice the money in their pockets increasing, they will also notice the price of everything “non-essential” rise astronomically.

In truth, their “socialist” economic policies don’t matter, because they are a racist party. They are able to make completely uncosted promises about a great NHS (for white Britons of course) paid for without income tax because nobody thinks of tax or health when voting for them. They are thinking of how the Pakis are taking over their area (and how they smell), how the councils pay Africans tens of thousands to buy up “their” houses, how immigrants groom local girls, and about other real or imagined race issues.

Oh yes, and they also plan to reintroduce National Service, otherwise known as military conscription. A civilian service option would be available for conscientious objectors, but such people “would not receive the citizen’s right to be armed, or the right to vote”. I don’t see what’s left-wing about this (OK, so communist countries did have conscription, but so did most of western Europe until well after the end of the Cold War). I see this as plain militaristic and reactionary. Again, people voting for them because they fear their schools being swamped by Africans won’t be thinking of how many months or years of their children’s lives will be stolen by the military.

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