This is an era of gross unfairness. But it will slowly come to an endby Daniel Dorling / June 28, 2018 / Leave a comment
We can find it hard to believe that an era has come to an end, that a peak has been passed. But when, finally, such a change happens the memories of commentators change with it. They will say that they believed the change to be desirable all along, that they somehow saw it coming and so, too, were on the side of history. Then we can all forget that just a few years previously they had so vehemently opposed change, had justified the status quo, were so scornful of those who suggested change was possible and ultimately were so wrong.
Britain has been governed by an unusually shambolic administration in recent years. Some thought of it as venal—motivated by “big money.” Others saw the Conservative administration as being self-interested, and uninterested in the plight of the majority of people, but interestingly even these politicians have recently had to move towards the left. Little of this was recognised early on by the news media, which initially proceeded in its usual deferential manner. However, the actions of the 2015 government also led to radical politics rising up again within the Labour movement. The democratic socialist Left within the Labour Party’s burgeoning membership won two leadership contests, then cut a Tory majority down to a minority government, and now that Labour Party looks set to have a good chance of winning power, possibly in coalition with the SNP. We are living in strange times; times which might well in future be understood and reinterpreted in the context of what becomes possible when a state approaches peak economic inequality.
In comparison with the recent past, the chance of Labour winning power is now so high that by January 2018 the Financial Times was advising its more affluent readers to think of unwinding all their secretive family trusts and other financial “structures”—the ones that they may have put in place to avoid paying taxes—before any new general election as “Labour has said it wants to see the public disclosure of trusts, which it describes as a key vehicle for tax avoidance and illicit financial flows.” That advice only makes sense if the Financial Times saw a Labour victory as plausible, and likely to be followed by very quick action by Labour politicians to identify tax avoidance.