Rod Liddle

Call me insane, but I’m voting Labour

18 April 2015

9:00 AM

18 April 2015

9:00 AM

Quite often when I deliver myself of an opinion to a friend or colleague, the reply will come back: ‘Are you out of your mind? I think that is sectionable under the Mental Health Act.’ In fact, I get that kind of reaction rather more often than, ‘Oh, what a wise and sensible idea, Rod, I commend your acuity.’

There is nothing I say, however, which provokes such fervid and splenetic derision, and the subsequent arrival of pacifying nurses, as when I tell people that I intend to vote Labour at the forthcoming general election. When I tell people that, they look at me the way my dog does when I tell her that it is not right to kill cats. It is something quite beyond the parameters of understanding, of comprehension. ‘But you hate them,’ people reply, shaking their heads, and up to a point I have to agree. I do hate them, much of them, or much of what they have become.

The proposition appears genuinely certifiable when I add that I do not actually want Labour to win the election, or at least not in the manner which they are most likely to ‘win’ — i.e., in alliance with the hounds of hell from the Lib Dems and the terrifying, ginger, grasping Picts. In fact, I would rather like Labour to suffer the sort of wipeout in the north of England which the SNP seem well on course to deliver in Scotland (and for similar reasons). That will not happen at this election, but it will assuredly happen at some election not far down the line, so hopelessly estranged has Labour become from the people it was set up to support. It is now the party of middle-class London liberals, its enormous lead in the capital compelling evidence of this.

The decision to vote Labour appears even more doolally when you consider the extent to which I despise much of the party’s mindset and, indeed, its policies. I do not for a nanosecond believe in the leadership’s — uh — commitment to restraining immigration, which is one of my keystone issues. It was, of course, Labour which let them all in originally and the party has been weaselly and evasive on what it might do to address the matter. Yes, I agree with raising the minimum wage and enforcing the matter, but that will not by itself end the deluge, a deluge which has hurt the very poorest in our country and kept wages criminally low.

I loathe Labour’s rainbow identity politics — keep that for London, if you must — and have never thought terribly highly of multiculturalism. Plenty of northern Labour MPs have disowned this poisonously divisive concept, but the southern leadership clings to it as an article of faith. I dislike its reflexive, bovine, political correctness, its willingness to clamber into a redoubt of statism and bureaucracy and hunker down behind the barriers of the NHS.


I do not like its bien-pensant middle-class refusal to distinguish between the deserving poor and the un-deserving poor — a distinction which is certainly clear in the minds of the working-class people I know, and always has been. Nor indeed its continued affection for education policies which have ruined the lives of two generations of working-class children and are the reason why Labour ministers try like hell to get their kids into private schools or the most old-fashioned, selective state schools that they can find. And I don’t like the party’s sniffy disdain for Britain, for its traditions and its heritage and its history.

Oh, and I don’t think too highly of the party leader. I don’t doubt his care and concern. I doubt his connection to the people his party is supposed to represent.

So what’s left, you might well be asking right now. Good question. Obviously, I want a political party which is economically well to the left and socially conservative. ‘Try Hizb ut-Tahrir, then. Anything but Miliband’s lot,’ you might venture. Well OK, maybe not quite that socially conservative. I don’t want people stoned to death. Or at least there are some people I would quite like to see stoned to death, but only when I’m in a drunken rage and Newsnight is on TV. It’s not something I would dignify in policy terms.

You might also hazard that the party for which I intend to vote last existed in about 1951, if at all (although I have plenty of respect and affection for both the Wilson governments and even Jim Callaghan’s brief hurrah) and that I am voting — perhaps tribally — for something which no longer has any relevance today. There is some truth in that. And I have been sorely tempted by Ukip — if only because of its opportunistic policies on immigration and its rather laudable refusal to adopt politically correct language. But there is almost nothing else within Ukip for me, even if the party does have the most likeable of leaders.

The single issue which cleaves me to Labour, even this Labour, is social division. The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially and Labour is the only party with the instinct, or predilection, to address that problem. And the gap between London and the rest of the country widens by the year too, to the point that we are now effectively two countries: an affluent city-state and a hinterland which, in places, teeters on the edge of the third world.

The smaller the differences between rich and poor, the better a country tends to perform — and I would direct your attention to Scandinavia for evidence of that.

On both of those issues — social and geographical divisions within the UK — I have the faint conviction that Labour is more likely than the others to put things right. You may reckon this to be a very thinnish premise, but I would still reply: ‘Vote Labour. You know it makes sense.’

event

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Show comments
  • blandings

    “I have the faint conviction that Labour is more likely than the others to put things right.”
    There is no arguing with a delusion.

    • MikeF

      It’s the sort of conviction people should be put away for.

  • Reluctant Mlungu

    You ARE insane. No ifs, buts or excuses.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      And there you have it, a far right, totalitarian, social darwinist rejection of democracy.

  • Gerschwin

    Seems to me you’ve no one to vote for. If none of them really represent you don’t bother.

    • Kennie

      Thanks for the only true response.
      But, I think Rod is simply doing a big wind-up, and it seems to be working with a lot.

    • Farage’s Fried Chicken

      Get lost, you Russell Brand impersonator.
      You really want the Lab Con to stay in power forever, don’t you?

  • Violin Sonata.

    My husband informs me you’re a weird leftie, well obviously.
    Nietzsche said: once you give a charlatan power you’ll almost certainly never get it back.
    Socialists always run out of other peoples money. But at least Liam Byrne kindly left
    a note after the last parliament reminding you of that fact.
    It seems those in cloud cuckoo land wish for Browns ‘ Rainbow Coalition’ with the
    SNP pulling the strings. Miliband will be slaughtered in tonight’s debates.

    • Ivan White

      “Socialists always run out of other peoples money. But at least Liam Byrne kindly left a note after the last parliament reminding you of that fact.”

      Tories will soon be running out of other people’s property – our public property – to sell to their mates and donors.

      It’s obvious that desperation is setting in when you need to fall back on Liam Byrne’s foolish joke. Governments never run out of money when they are responsible for their own currency – they just print some more and call it ‘quantitative easing’.

      Just for the record, outgoing Tory chancellor Reginald Maudling left a note for James Callaghan in 1964 saying “sorry about the books, old chap”. Fortunately, the Labour Party wasn’t pathetic enough to try and milk that remark for years to come.

  • The Bogle

    This boils down to “Right or wrong, my political party”, and one may add “warts and all”.

  • answeeney

    You admit that Labour has become the party of middle class London liberals – the biggest bunch of snobs that has ever existed – and you think that makes them capable of addressing inequality?

    Labour revels in inequality as it gives it a faux cause. Unfortunately, its blinkerd dogmatism invariably leads to actions that have the exact opposite effect to what is needed.

    • Violin Sonata.

      Labour just loves creating a society of victims and then says its the only party
      that can put right the inequality it created.
      Maybe Mr Liddle is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or a mid-life crisis,
      most men buy a Lamboghini.

      • blandings

        Perhaps Rod can afford a Lamboghini
        (I assume that the slight misspelling was a deliberate little joke at the expense of us middle-aged chaps)
        I shall buy a ropey Triumph Spitfire with matching sunglasses.
        We must cut our cloth according to our means.

        • Damaris Tighe

          But the Triumph Spit is a bit spivvy, no? How about an MG with a bit of rusty chrome? (You can still have the sunglasses & Biggles helmet & I’ll get you a little skull & crossbones pennant even though you’re not at the mobility scooter stage.)

          • blandings

            Depends on the size of the inheritance.
            I’d love a TR3 but they are definitely out of reach.
            Maybe a Stag, (but Dennis Waterman spoilt the image a bit).
            Saw one at a show last summer and sent my chum Hil over to chat – bit of a charmer is Hil and she’d knocked him down from 6 1/2K to 6K before he’d finished his first sentence – good offer on a coracle as well, but they are fairly specialised transport.
            Early model Midget perhaps – the one with frog-eyes.
            Would a skull and crossbones encourage attention from the police?

          • Damaris Tighe

            Only if you’re not wearing your seat belt. You could save the coracle for a rainy day.

        • Violin Sonata.

          I would hate to spoil the image but you cant wear sunglasses with Biggles flying helmets
          they come with matching goggles. Austen- Healey 3000 might be good for middle – aged
          chaps with a strong back.
          There is also a 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, that is car especially made for women
          to drive- superb .
          .

          • blandings

            I was confusing my cultural icons wasn’t I?
            James Dean or Biggles, but not both.
            Austin Healeys and ’59 Spiders are out of my price range as are the women who like to drive them.

          • Violin Sonata.

            Biggles is best from what I’ve heard. Heroic handsome pilot.
            A spitfire instead of a dream car, flying around the skies whilst drinking a gin cocktail coincidentally named Aviation- it exists.
            And afterwards to be flown up to Scarborough for some fish and
            chips.

      • Farage’s Fried Chicken

        You’re at it again. Has your religion, culture and race not yet been overrun in the area you live in, you sorry victim troll?

        Why don’t you just live your f e c k i n values and be a role model then your daughters wouldn’t run off immitating NickiMinge.

        • WimsThePhoenix

          pi$$ 0ff. You’re the troll.

      • Ivan White

        In 1978-9, Thatcher told us “Britain needs more inequality” and “some of us need to grow taller than others”. Unlike Cameron, she at least kept some of her promises. In the 1980s, the gulf between the richest and poorest 20% in the UK widened by a full 60% – the biggest growth in inequality on record.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          …Inequality has only not risen in that way under the coalition because of the way the wages of the middle class have fallen – and at the bottom, the minimum wage has stopped further major falls.

          Of course, it was stable at about 2% of workers on the minimum wage before the Coalition, and now stands at 5%. And a further 10% are within 50p an hour of it.

          What a legacy to be ashamed of!

      • John Carins

        He just needs a little more time to mature. It’s a well know fact that people move from left to right with age. It just takes more time for some than others. Eventually, the pennies will drop. I suspect though that time for him will run out to become a UKIP supporter.

        • Violin Sonata.

          How long does it take to mature then ?
          No offence to Mr Liddle but he looks past the first flush of youth.

          • John Carins

            I suppose it is relative. Mr Liddle as a Spectator hack is clearly having doubts. The signs are clear.

      • Guest

        Oh right, those evil 1% victims. Er…

    • Guest

      So you think the middle class is less snobbish that the Tories?

      bwhahahhaa!

  • The Gorfeins’ Cat

    Most of Rod’s piece is the most eloquent articulation of why not to vote Labour. I get the equality issue but history shows that inequality rises under Labour and decreases under conservatives. After all, Labour education policies, roundly and rightly criticised here, do more to lock the poor into their cycle of disengagement than anything. Reread your own article and think again Rod.

    • BenM_Kent

      “I get the equality issue but history shows that inequality rises under Labour and decreases under conservatives”

      I want some of what you’re smoking!

      Look at the stonking rise in the Gini coefficient during Thatcher’s appalling administration and weep.

      • Nkaplan

        Of course the income of the poor increased significantly under Thatcher while this Gini coefficient went up and up – which just goes to show why we ought to ignore the Gini coefficient and reject the ridiculous premise that anyone ought to care about inequality in any way at all.

        • Ivan White

          Inequality does matter, common sense ought to tell you that.

          Most companies produce goods or services for the general public, such as houses, clothes, household goods, foodstuffs and insurance. When wealth is concentrated in the hands of fewer people, demand falls; the rich might buy luxury goods, but not enough of the things that most companies offer. Increasing inequality means that many can no longer afford to consume, or can only do so by getting into too much debt, as in the USA subprime mortgage crisis that sparked off the global crunch. Borrowing works for a while, but not for ever. Where no one can borrow any more money, goods and services cannot be sold, factories and businesses close, jobs are lost, and the world goes into recession.

          • Johnnydub

            If you’re going to cite the subprime mortgage crisis, understand that it was a piece of Clinton legislation, the Community Reinvestment Act, that forced the banks to make loans to minorities with poor credit under the guise of being fair.
            Who would have thought leftists would fuck up the economy.

          • spiritof78

            Clinton a leftist?

          • Johnnydub

            Maybe, maybe not but his party certainly is, especially meddling fools like Barney Frank….

          • ExToryVoter

            Thank you. The left need to be reminded over and over of this rather inconvenient truth.

          • Guest

            Clinton of course being a right winger, a little to the left of Thatcher.

            America has no “left wing” in it’s legislature.

          • nfw

            It’s not “it’s”, it’s “its”, ie the third person singular possessive neutral case. You don’t say hi’s or her’s! It’s really simple: “it’s” means either “it is” or “it has”; it’s a contraction and the apostrophe indicates a missing letter (or sometimes more), eg ’til for until. And Obama the son of communists, raised by communist grandparents and admirer of all things socialist (and the mussie call to prayer) is what?

          • sarah_13

            Indeed. They create the very chaos they claim to want to avoid because they are pathologically immature and arrogant . In the UK Ed Balls and Gordon Brown did it when they arrogantly took powers from Bank of England based on one of Balls’s uni papers! They took away the nuanced controls and created the incompetent FSA then did the old, “it was the global crisis what done it” routine and “nothing to do with me gov”. As one of the worlds most mature financial centres changes such as those undoubtedly had global repercussions.

            Then they embed state dependency and benefit assistance and wonder why people aren’t working. they massively increased the state sector on huge salaries and even more generous pensions.

            They indulge their liberal fantasises on education, having often received excellent educations themselves, and practice it on an unsuspecting electorare under the guise of evidence from the most recent study from some tiny incomparable Northern European narion. Having messed up the education system they wonder why we need to import workers who’s education was much more rigorous and without and produces people without any sense of entitlement. This coupled with the acquiescing to EU on every issue. No scrutiny of regulations or laws and no control of huge unprecedented levels of immigration over a very short time which creates resentment and anger; cue UKIP. Who voice the concerns of people who are not allowed to criticise the pro RU orthodoxy and who suddenly have to compete in a global market for jobs.

            They then place left sympathising place people on every charity and non-profit organisation in the country. But despite 13 years of power and all the deliberate interventions above plus much much more they blame all he very ills they created on a on a bogey person, in this case Margaret Thatcherand and the “evil Tories” and blame it on them.; everything on them and wash their hands of the mess they themselves created. It’s really exhauasting.

          • Johnnydub

            Great Comment. And the idiocy and arrogance you describe is then wrapped up in “caring” about the underprivileged and vulnerable.

            Their moral bankruptcy is astounding.

          • CommonSense Matters

            Looks like we got your uni thesis here and I find it wanting friend. Who is Lynton Crosby? What was he doing before your debate-shy leader summoned him from his tenured position earning millions across the pond? This Tory government, pernicious as they are underwhelming are drawing their final rasps before curtains and we are all heaving with sighs of relief.

          • Why dont you present ALL the facts? Clinton is not a socialist, the non-regulation of the mortgage market is a right wing corner stone and was used by Clinton as a way of realising the ‘trickle down’ economics as espoused by the Thatcher/Reagan orthodoxy.

          • Johnnydub

            HOw many strawmen in one comment:

            Right wingers want no regulation of the mortgage market? – cobblers. It was the CRA’s inisistence on ignoring the credit worthiness of the borrowers that caused the disaster.

            To say Clinton had good intentions whilst creating a disaster and then blaming Mrs T. is horseshit to be blunt.

          • evad666

            Yes no one mentions all the fraudulent mortgages pushed by mortgage brokers during the last oscillation from Conservative to Labour.

          • Nkaplan

            As usual with people who purport to be egalitarian you have confused inequality with poverty.All of the things that you mention have nothing to do with the gap between rich and not-so-rich, but with the not-so-rich having not enough.

            As my earlier comment was trying to say, increasing inequality is perfectly compatible with a rise in wealth at all levels (all that would have to happen is for wealth to increase at uneven rates). If wealth is rising at all levels of socity (albeit faster at the top than the bottom) there is no reason to think that “demand [would] fall” as you state, indeed one would expect it to increase. The increase would not be a result of inequality but is perfectly compatible with it.

            Again an increase in inequality does not mean “that many can no longer afford to consume, or can only do so by getting into too much debt”, only an increase in poverty will do that. An increase in inequality as such would have no such effect – it could on do so if the increase in inequality was a result of the poor getting poorer – but then the causally significant factor is not the inequality (a mere statistical artifact) but the rise in poverty.

          • MC73

            “Increasing inequality means that many can no longer afford to consume” Utter rubbish, as is the rest of your post.

            Just as an example, China has been getting more and more unequal since 1979, yet demand is growing because everyone is getting richer.

          • Nkaplan

            Like most self-proclaimed egalitarians he’s confused inequality with increases in poverty. Whenever I ask anyone to explain why anyone should care about inequality they will always make some emotional plea about the horrible effects of poverty – not realizing that what they are saying is utterly irrelevant to the question.

            This confusion is not innocuous. Unfortunately the attachment to the label ‘egalitarian’ and the word ‘equality’ leads people to support egalitarian policies (many of which increase poverty or have other negative consequences) even though their real concern is with poverty. e.g. when in the 2005 general election the Conservative party supported patient passports (i.e. the idea that 50% of the cost of NHS treatment of particular people who could almost but not quite afford to go private, should be put towards helping people who would otherwise be in the NHS get private healthcare), a policy which would both save the NHS money and reduce waiting times to the benefit of the poor, it was roundly condemned solely on the basis that it would increase inequality. If people were able to get past the delusion that inequality was anything to concern about there could have been no rational opposition to the principle of this policy, but only empirical questions about whether it would have had its intended effect.

        • Guest

          Oh right, so because they got a small fraction of the increase their labour generated, far less than the rich got…you want to stop talking about the rising inequality. Hmm!

          • Nkaplan

            No. Assuming your Marxist interpretation of the way inequality has arisen is correct (it isn’t (have a look at the theory of marginal value and the marginal productivity of labour – economics has moved on since 1848) but for the purposes of argument that is irrelevant) the problem would not be the inequality (which is irrelevant) but the exploitation that brought it about. This really isn’t that hard, why are you lefties so obtuse?

        • Apaliteno

          The worth of the Gini coefficient is surely best exemplified by the fact that it is a measure on which Bangladesh (32.1) beats Switzerland (33.7) obviously because nearly everyone in the former is dirt poor.

        • Mary Ann

          Income for the poor increased! pardon, beggars appeared on our streets during Thatcher’s rule, ex-soldiers, children bought up in the care system, the mentally ill, wasn’t it Thatcher who closed lots of mental health hospitals.

      • Johnnydub

        “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

        – Winston Churchill

        • Guest

          And what he’s saying is not socialist. It’s both true and social democratic.

          PS, Churchill was also a major internationalist who wanted a union with France. You support that too, right?

          • Damon

            Churchill also opposed British membership of the embryonic EEC (just saying), and the ‘union with France’ thing was under rather special circumstances in 1940.

          • BARROSO

            Oh do stop talking such twadle.

        • Mary Ann

          So Winston didn’t always get it right, the disabled don’t ask to be disabled yet the Tory government are taking from them, do you really think that that is right?

      • Mary Ann

        Cameron has helped it on it’s way as well.

    • Farage’s Fried Chicken

      Slowly but surely it is sinking in with the f e c k e r s what a Rod Liddle article is all about. We are getting there.

    • spiritof78

      History shows nothing of the sort. Go back to any hisory of the Thatcher years, and of the last five, for evidence.

    • Foxy Loxy

      Clearly Rod was being ironic when he jeered Labour’s covering up of child gang rape by muslim gangs all across the UK.

      If Mr Liddle is being genuine in what he says, then the concept of ‘equality’ doesn’t apply to vulnerable white working class girls (or white children in general).

      • Terry Field

        You and I are a tiny minority in identifying this massive criminal conspiracy and political criminality. Only a monumental turd, or a bought person, could think of voting for that corrupted political entity. One does not have to write a word to analyse the inadequacies of the foul party…….just live in the UK for the last twenty years. That’s enough.

        • Mary Ann

          Sp from now on, the British people are all going to have to submit to the poor paying for the mistakes of the rich just because a County Council screwed up.

          • Terry Field

            You are truly deranged and partisan, as well as being utterly unconcerned with non-muslim victims, if you diminish the reality to a squalid lie along the lines of ‘ just because a County Council screwed up. No; they did what the political direction required of them. And they are far from alone. As you could admit, but will not, because your mind is prostituted by political partisanship.

      • evad666

        Ah yes the current total of 4848 young white victims of muslim paedo sex traffickers who were aided and abetted by socialist minded public servants across the UK to the extent in at least two cases it was suggested the young people should learn Pashto or Urdu so that they would more readily understand the demands of their abusers.
        36 english communities with “multiculturally enriched” children thanks to Labour.
        These crimes should be raised again and again in this election.

        • Foxy Loxy

          Yes, that very same political mind-set which sacrificed these children on the alter of political correctness and to gain votes from Pakistani clans.

          Clearly Labour (and Lib Dems / Tories) are the champions of equality and improving the lot of the working class. Well, at least they do in the media bubble land, which Mr Liddle still inhabits (despite his protestations to the contrary).

      • Mary Ann

        Muslim children were victims as well, but that doesn’t suit your agenda, probably didn’t suit the agenda of the tabloid press as well.

        • Foxy Loxy

          Yes, please do keep-up the b*llsh*t damage limitation propaganda. But your dissembling and dishonesty doesn’t fool anyone.

          No doubt if it was your children, you’d be outraged. Because it was children of the white working classes, you couldn’t care less; the propaganda and ideology comes first with you.

        • Terry Field

          Who pays you to say these things?

    • Fencesitter

      The intentions of the parties’ respective members are almost irrelevant, aren’t they?

      • Baron

        Good point, Fencesitter, if we followed Labour’s prescription on wealth redistribution we would all be equal, equal in poverty.

    • CommonSense Matters

      History shows…that the Tories live and die by inequality – they cannot function without it. it is necessary as lifeblood is to a vampire. You make all kinds of unsubstantiated posturing because you are likely a Tory and you only know posturing, substance eludes.

      • The Gorfeins’ Cat

        Socialism is characterised by failure, poverty, violence and brutality. Labour would turn Britain into Belarus or Venezuela.

        • CommonSense Matters

          Who said anything about socialism? Can you tell me what socialism is? Do you know the difference between socialism and responsible capitalism?

          You have been grandstanding and now you use hyperbole as you have run out, Belarus or Venezuela indeed. Lacking.

          And whatever you are talking about it is at the communist end of the spectrum. In Man inheres a greedy and selfish nature, it cannot abide communism so communism cannot abide.

    • mixodorians

      I imagine making the poor pay 15 quid + a week for the god awful bedroom tax.. and making them give over all their spare cash hasn’t rooted an entire generation of poor people to the spot in desperate poverty and made them live hand to mouth and day to day at all.

      • The Gorfeins’ Cat

        The so called bedroom tax is nothing of the sort – It is a reduction in a state subsidy. A tax is a levy on income not a reduced hand out from the state. If you want to see real poverty try Calcutta or Mexico City.

      • ramesesthegrumbler

        Erm, that was introduced by Labour who only applied it to tenants in private lets. The Tories expanded it to include Social lets. Did you complain as loudly when Labour first applied this ‘tax’? After all there are more private than social tenants in the UK …

  • silent_pilot

    Essentially you are voting for them because you believe in less than 10% of what the party stands for? Sounds sensible to me…

    • john p reid

      Voting for someone who’s gonna lose,it. Doesn’t matter realky

  • You are insane. I won’t be voting at this election. That is the only rational choice. They are all arseholes.

    • A democrat and citizen always votes. You are like the jury: you must decide to acquit or not. There is no abstaining.

      • Robertus Maximus

        When shopping, one does not select the least rotten apple on display but waits for a better crop to arrive. Likewise with politics – assuming one has standards.

        • Yes, when shopping one can always come back and anyway, one can go without apples. But we need government and elections only happen once in a while.

  • Spock Puppet

    “The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially.”

    So, you don’t know what the word “exponentially” means.

    • blandings

      Go easy on Rod he has just experienced a “long dark teatime of the soul”

      • Robertus Maximus

        ‘Long boozy lunchtime of the soul’ seems more likely, given the incoherence of thought.

    • Guest

      So, you haven’t looked at the 1%’s share of the wealth.

  • George O’McEnglish

    Someone lock this man up. You spent most of the article detailing (correctly) why any sensible person wouldn’t even consider Labour. The one reason you do give is very questionable indeed. I have seen plenty of evidence to suggest that inequality rises under Labour, although, as we all know, these figures/stats can usually be interpreted to show whatever the publishers wants

  • B0YC0TT

    “The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially”

    This is a flat out lie.

    “Labour is the only party with the instinct, or predilection, to address that problem.”

    What problem?

    “The smaller the differences between rich and poor, the better a country tends to perform — and I would direct your attention to Scandinavia for evidence of that.”

    This is another flat out lie. Even if it were not, there is not much comparison between the world’s fifth largest economy, a mercantile nation with a huge immigrant population and a few small nations with homogenous populations.

  • statechaos

    You are right Rod, Labour can be guaranteed to reduce the gap between rich and poor. They will make paupers of us all. This is the gap which is less now than it was in 2010. Labour, the party who allowed excess immigration and turned a blind eye to the Muslim child-sex rings operating in northern towns. You should be ashamed.

    • Robertus Maximus

      Rod’s past words vilifying muslim perverts now ring rather hollow given he wants to elect the party that did so much to facilitate their entry into this country and cover up many of their crimes.

      • Johnnydub

        Yeah no kidding.

      • Guest

        No, he’s not said that he differentiates if criminals should be chased according to religion, as you are.

    • spiritof78

      The gap between rich and poor is less than it was in 2010! Aside from the difficulty in being precise about a period so close to the present (in fact coterminous) I would venture to suggest you would find it difficult to find evidence for that assertion.

      • Guest

        Because there’s a floor (the minimum wage) and the middle class have seen major cuts. This is not a good thing.

        • spiritof78

          The minimum wage has been with us since 1999, not 2010. And it has hardly kept pace with average wage rates. In addition the poorest 10% have experienced cuts in benefits, a taxation system which takes more from them proportionately than from the rich, and the richer were given a tax cut!

    • Guest

      Except, of course, that’s what’s happened in the coalition – inequality has “fallen” because the middle class are being squeezed.

      As you criticise excess trade and focus on crime because of who perpetrated it, justifying crime by White people.

  • PauloDevan

    I will call you insane. If you think you are voting for change by voting for the same bunch of lunatics then you truly are certifiable.

  • Bob Hutton

    Interestingly enough, I can see where you are coming from. I do not like the Labour party but in my area (Thanet South) the local candidate – Will Scobie – would make an excellent MP. He was born and bred in the consitiuency and has a proven track record as a local councillor. I am truly in 2 minds about this.

    • Damaris Tighe

      You raise an interesting question about our constituency electoral system. My local Labour MP has been very helpful with a problem which affects me. I loathe her party & her leader, but feel it would be ungrateful to vote for anyone else!

      • MikeF

        Remember that when MPs are elected they usually make a point of stressing how much they are ‘committed’ to representing all their constituents regardless of whether or not they voted for them. So she has only been doing her job and you are not obliged in any way to reward her with your vote. My MP is a Labour woman. She once knocked on my door and I actually thought she was quite pleasant – I would even say that she reminded me of my younger days when I thought voting Labour was compatible with basic human decency. But nothing she could say or do would make me ever vote again for the party she represents.
        Remember what Goethe said about the Germans – ‘estimable in the individual and wretched in the generality’. Actually, of course, a lot of of today’s left don’t even manage the first of those, but acting together they usually manage to be the second.
        Just a thought is Rod in a constituency where voting Labour might get one of their candidates elected or is he in somewhere like Tunbridge Wells? Maybe his vote actually won’t matter all that much – I hope so.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Good Goethe quote!

          • MikeF

            Thanks squ…I mean Damaris. I hope all is OK with you. The other quote I was toying with was the one from near the end of the first Godfather film where the member of the Corleone gang who has plotted to betray the gang leader Michael Corleone is led away to meet his fate. He turns round to one of the gang who has stayed loyal and says: “Tell Michael I always liked him – it was only business.” Curiously I once heard that cited by Ken Livingstone as a perfect example of the mentality of the modern political class.

          • Damaris Tighe

            White brave speak true word.

            Its been a long winter. I need lots of warm sunshine to liven me up.

          • MikeF

            You have seemed a bit subdued lately Damaris and not I think because of the weather. But perhaps you are now getting back on form a bit.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Well spotted my friend. I have good days & bad days.

        • I think he’s somewhere near Maidstone — not quite the same as T. Wells.

      • sarah_13

        Remember though unless she’s very strong she’ll be whipped on very important issues and that line will be taken by Miliband, and possibly now Sturgeon and all the many new unite sponsored mp’s (approx 30) that the new parliament will bring in.

        • Damaris Tighe

          I’m not going to vote for her. I was just expressing my (little) bit of guilt!

  • Commenthead

    Rod, I doubt Labour will do anything to address the issue that most concerns you. It will be mere tinkering at the edges. All they will bring is economic chaos – how does that benefit the deserving poor in our society?

  • MikeF

    Rod is just rationalising his inability to act on his perception of the Labour Party as it now exists. He cannot bring himself to act on that pereption because it means admitting that so much of what he once believed in was either a lie then or has become one subsequently. Letting go of illusions can be difficult but the Labour Party Rod wants to believe still exists somewhere, somehow – just a bit – has gone and as long as Rod and people like him persist in voting for the party that still carries that name no party that might embody the principles that party used to represent will ever actually exercise any power in this country.

    • jennybloggs

      I share Rod’s emotional dilemma except that I have let go and now vote UKIP.
      Labour’s indifference to the grooming scandals turned my stomach. However it is not only Labour that has changed; the Tories are no longer conservative but are neo liberal.

      • You mean neoprogressive. I like to think that the liberals are of and with the conservatives — after all, the true conservatives really want to conserve Western liberalism (which Britain did so much in founding).

        • jennybloggs

          I haven’t heard the term ‘neoprogressive’. It sounds a bit of an oxymoron. Your argument needs definition – who, in your view, is a true conservative.

    • Yes, but notice that he wants to vote for it while believing that Labour won’t win!

  • JabbaTheCat

    “The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially and
    Labour is the only party with the instinct, or predilection, to address
    that problem.”

    The only thing Labour offers in this area is equal poverty for all…

    • MikeF

      Not quite – what was it Peter Mandelson once said about his and you presume by extenion much of the party of which he is a member being very comfortable with the thought of some people becoming ‘filthy rich’. I think those were the words he used, but I am pretty certain about the party.

  • Robertus Maximus

    Rod wants a party to be elected whose expertise is bankrupting Britain’s economy (Denis Healey and Gordon Brown) and thereby further impoverish us all. In addition they will gleefully let in another tidal wave of Muslim neanderthals to threaten our very existence. Better not say that within earshot of a psychiatrist Rod – they are grounds for being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

    • Ivan White

      This country has never been bankrupt, and the closest it came was in 1956 under the Tories, who also left behind a huge balance of payments deficit in 1964 (which Labour turned into a surplus by 1970). The Tories gave us double-digit inflation and a three-day working week in 1974 and left a debt equivalent to 43.76% of GDP in 1997. They don’t tell you that in the month before Thatcher was booted out in 1990, inflation was higher than when she came in, or that they left office in 1997 with unemployment higher than when they gained power on the strength of those ‘Labour isn’t working’ posters in 1979. They don’t mention the two recessions their policies caused in the 1980s, and they certainly won’t talk about ‘Black Wednesday’ in 1992.
      It is a bare-faced lie to claim, as many Tories do, that every Labour government leaves behind a financial mess. It wasn’t true in 1951, not true in 1970 and not true in 1979. Much of the IMF loan sought in 1976 (following the effects of the quadrupling of the price of oil) was never taken up, and the economy was growing steadily in the late 1970s until Thatcherism was inflicted on it.

      ‘The mess’ was only true in 2010 because Gordon Brown had no alternative but to bail out the bankers when global capitalism proved itself to be a failure, but even then the economy had started to grow until Osborne stamped on the green shoots of recovery. The longest uninterrupted period of growth in the UK economy in the last 200 years occurred when Brown was chancellor of the exchequer. The Tories supported Labour’s spending plans until the global credit crunch occurred, and the Tories supported the bailout of their banking cronies, who Cameron thought had been subject to too much regulation. The UK’s deficit prior to the global financial crisis (which few economists predicted, which no politicians could have avoided and which could hardly be blamed on one government’s fiscal policy) was lower than it had been in the mid-1990s. But trust Tories like you not to let the truth ever get in the way of mythology.

      • Robertus Maximus

        I am not a Tory, dear boy, but then don’t for heaven’s sake let the reality of that simple fact intrude upon your ‘mythology’. Your unwillingness to address the role of Labour with much of what has happened across the country with the muslim child-raping gangs – and much else – would seem to make you admirably suited for local government as a Labour councillor, where partiality and blinkered sight is an essential prerequisiite.

  • Sinceyouask

    Rod is simply giving voice to the great dilemma of this campaign: who is the least worst option?

    • sarah_13

      Labour is not the least worst option. They are the worst option. The reason for the ‘gap’ Rod talks about is largely due to Labour’s legacy. Are we to believe that a government which includes many of the same figures who nearly bankrupted the country but a few years ago, but this time with a more interventionist plan than Soviet Russia and tens of labour mp’s in hock to the unions is the least worst option? With respect you haven’t been observing the situation in France, Greece or Venezuela recently. They all talked a good game on equality. As long as people are angry they’ll vote for anything. It’s the reason the SNP are doing so well.The truth is we don’t know how lucky we are. Some of us know what poverty is like and don’t wish to be led their by the hand by a bunch students and mouthy union leaders. If labour had won the last election there wouldn’t be an equality gap that’s possible true because we’d all be in the the s**t together.

      • Sinceyouask

        I don’t disagree with YOU at all, and I suspect you will share my amazement at just how many otherwise sensible people have forgotten the trashing of the economy just 5 years ago. But the point is that there are lots of people who have doubts about Miliband and Labour, but for whom Tory economic competence is insufficient to overcome thier perception of them as a privileged elite.

        • sarah_13

          Yes, it never ceases to amaze me. And the idea that the tories are some nasty elite amazes me even further. It’s akin to the scapegoating of the US by Chavez. So, what if Cameron went to a good school; they’ve got tons of ordinary people in the conservative party who simply want to be able to work hard and leave something to their children and be in charge of their destiny. A vote for Miliband with his “destiny to be PM” is literally madness. Anyone who believes it’s their destiny to be PM should be weeded out early on anyway. His arrogance and dishonesty is amazing but because he’s a ‘geek’ and people feel sorry for him he gets away with it, because he seems nice. The bar is set so low that one good debate makes him a potential PM but more than that he was part of the team that f’d up the country in the first place. I’d rather have George Osbourne in charge with the likes of Sajid Javid any day of the week. The alternative is at least 25 new labour mp’s sponsored by unite, Miliband bullied by LenMcluskey and Nicola Sturgeon intervening in the market at every opportunity and preventing aspiration and growth and feeding us with a diet of ‘hatred’. Like I said, Chavez did it in Venezuela. Keep the people angry and poor; that’s the model. If your only interest is power because of some pathological problem with hearing the unpalatable truth and trying to solve it with action and facts, then it’s worth the damage along the way.

          The problem is it looks like Miliband will form the largest party and as much as I like Rod i’m surprised that, given the reality that the gap is largely their doing, he can vote on the basis that they talk a good game on equality. It isn’t talk that creates equality it’s solutions to difficult problems taken by a responsible government acting in the real best interests of the people.

      • Excellent, Sarah.

  • BillRees

    Rod, I always read you because, like you, I have working class roots in the north, although unlike you I still live here.

    This morning the Radio 4 Today programme set out a logic problem which the kids of Singapore, apparently, can all solve quite easily.

    I suggest you have a listen, if you haven’t already, and try to solve the problem.

    Because the lack of logic in your article above suggests that you would fail miserably.

    A bit disappointing, I would say.

    And I did manage to solve the logic problem myself.

    Maybe because, as a working-class kid, I went to a grammar school which was long since done away with.

    The ultimate logic of the Labour Party is that it has a vested interest in inequality. I thought you might have spotted that.

    And if you have a vested interest in something, you normally don’t want to get rid of it.

    • rodliddle

      I solved it in two minutes, Bill. Rigorously streamed comp, y’see. But yes, I take much of what you say.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    The disparity between rich and poor increased greatly under NuLabour.

  • Bazzah

    You’re insane.

  • Kennie

    The West is finished. It is obsessed with celebrities and being rich.

    • blandings

      You make that sound like a bad thing.

  • Liberanos

    Mr Liddle seems rather like a church-goer who, realising that belief in god is preposterous, still goes to church for the singing.

    • rodliddle

      um…………..maybe. I do that, too.

      • blandings

        Do you?
        Swaying from side to side with a candle in your hand singing “jesus wants me for a sunbeam”.
        Maybe your church is better than mine.

        • I thought Jesus wanted me to have a cadillac. Must be a transcultural thing.

      • Liberanos

        I deeply sympathise…at least with your Labour Party conundrum. I’m in the same boat. As for church-going, my atheistic certainty leaves no room for doubt.

      • Understandable in its way. My grandad went to church primarily for the organ music — and he was the organist. Also he liked the people he met there. (He’s 90 in May and can’t play any more.)

        But this is politics.

  • Molly NooNar

    While it’s an improvement on voting Tory, it is only a degree or so better. They are the same party: Tories one and all.

    Plus, Labour’s record on inequality is a disgrace. The party that doubled the tax rate on the poorest workers in society. That introduced and then tripled tuition fees despite promising they wouldn’t. That dodged tax like the best of them and receives massive donations from PwC to write the tax code for them. They are “intensely relaxed about the rich.”

    Even during the course of this parliament Labour’s record has been shocking. Prior to the Green surge which has shifted the Labour rabble towards the left. Labour didn’t oppose the bedroom tax, voted with Osborne’s austerity for the next parliament (and still does), voted with Tories to refuse victims of workfare compensation, with Rachel Reeves promising to be tougher than the Tories on welfare (https://youtu.be/ThHwz1XSGvU).

  • Picquet

    I don’t really know how to type out a disbelieving, anguished howl, so I’ll desist.
    Vote UKIP. Fruitier than Labour, Conservative et al, and there’s fewer of them.

  • Bonzo

    Rod, you might want to read this article from your favourite newspaper.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2009/may/08/poverty-equality-britain-incomes-poor

    The opening paragraph: “Britain under Gordon Brown is a more unequal country than at any time since modern records began in the early 1960s, after the incomes of the poor fell and those of the rich rose in the three years after the 2005 general election.

    Do you thing Ed will be different?

  • Richard

    Poor Rod has fallen for the old lie; that socialists wish to improve the lives of the poor. They do not. Inequality is the very reason for their existence. Why would they wish to reduce it?

    • Damaris Tighe

      If I can refine your post slightly – welfare dependency groups are the very reason for their existence. Inequality is just the excuse.

  • Fidel Castrato

    Without exception, nothing has improved the lot of the average man more than the dismantling of centrally planned (e.g. feudal or socialist) economies and the tendency towards economic liberalism. An unavoidable corollary of this is indeed income inequality, but this has historically occurred alongside a general lifting of all people from the clutches of penury imposed by collectivism.

    To suggest that a more planned economy is needed to address inequality ignores and indeed runs counter to the universal gains made in living standards by virtue of economic liberalism (c.f. the whole of 20th century history). This is the fundamental delusion of all socialists, regardless of how incisive they may otherwise be.

    • Ivan White

      What utter rubbish. “The lot of the average man” was much better in the 1970s, when the average house price was just five times the annual average wage, and when there was a good supply of council housing for those who couldn’t afford to buy. VAT was 8%, nutritional school meals no more than 10p and prescriptions only 20p an item. We didn’t have tramps, mass homelessness or a million people needing foodbanks. Britain was at its most equal in the 1970s, and it was a damn sight happier country than it is now.

      • GuybrushUlyssesThreepwood

        lol

      • I think you’re confusing many developments and effects there, Ivan. I think you’ll find that it was ‘a damn sight happier’ when it was also a damn sight less in the grip of a Leftism that has run rampant ever since.

    • You are so right. In fact I don’t recall the former Soviet bloc being full of well-off and comfortable workers, do you? I seem to recall that whatever wealth their societies managed to generate was sucked up by the apparatchiks while the rest drove Yugos, drank vodka, and shivered in their grim tenements.

      • Speedy

        Yes, Siberia is covered with the mass graves of “happy workers”

  • Flintshire Ian

    Look at all of the cars parked outside council (and ex-council) houses and the multiple foreign holidays of people who used to go work on the bus and on holiday by coach to Blackpool or Skeggie boarding houses, and at the first and second generation working class university students. That uplift was thanks to Thatcher and Major and nothing at all to do with Blair or Brown whose only “achievements” were foreign wars, mass immigration, devolution and it’s unintended consequences and bankrupting the country.

  • sarah_13

    Liddle, you have gone mad. Labour is largely responsible for the financial legacy and dependency this government has been dealing with; the reason for your ‘gap’. Paying lip service to something and patronising people surely is the worst kind of politics and that’s what labour does. They are pathologically immature. Platitudes won’t bridge any gap but a strong economy jobs will.

  • Damaris Tighe

    I’m calling you insane.

    • blandings

      He’s having a “turn”
      It’s happened to me before now.
      I was careful not to tell anyone though.
      G

  • jimmy

    Oh dear, it’s all rather sad to see isn’t it, that even a quite intelligent man such as Liddle can’t escape tribalism. Is it an inherent fault in democracy I wonder?

    Rod, this article makes an eloquent case for not voting Labour!

    “The smaller the differences between rich and poor, the better a country
    tends to perform — and I would direct your attention to Scandinavia for
    evidence of that.”

    I must say the comparison with Scandinavia is meaningless as it’s so different but broadly speaking on this point you’re right. Countries that are free and prosperous and tolerant are nearly always those with a solid middle class (plenty of teachers, lawyers, doctors, [normal] bankers, artists etc) and where working people have a decent wage too. The way we’re heading, to a nation with a fabulously wealthy elite and then 80 million peasants scrapping over minimum wage jobs to serve said elite coffee in Starbucks or work in warehouses for Amazon will not be a happy nation especially given that nobody will have anything in common as eventually the indigenous people will be come a minority.

    Where your article here completely falls down, however, is that voting Labour makes all these things worse. You can’t claim to care about the poor or the gap between rich and poor and then vote Labour. Labour will make those very things worse. Mass immigration, that they started and want to continue makes those things worse. There will be huge social problems later, it has already brought mass rape, there is pressure on public services – regardless of what is said immigration in the long run almost certainly costs us money not contributes it (the figures showing otherwise always conveniently ignore the costs of raising the children of immigrants and the future costs for caring for them when they get old).

    But setting all those things aside, on the particular issue you have written about Labour’s policy will indisputably make the gap between rich and poor worse. Mass immigration brings in millions of low skilled and unskilled workers; this is the largest reason why working class wages have stagnated while living costs rise. What use is a trades union if next year your town has another 1000 people fighting for your job who all are more qualified and will work for less? And then consider those people who want a good start in life, just to get going and get on track? What did they used to do? It would be to work in a warehouse or coffee shop, to get that first reference, that habit of working. And now? No chance. Have you seen the unemployment figures for black youths? The children of people who came from the Caribbean in the 60s? It’s appalling. And it is caused by mass immigration whether you like it or not. All the tinkering with employment legislation, all the articles in the guardian, all the quangos, all the speeches about predators… it will all come to nothing because every single year another 500,000 low and unskilled workers arrive and whether you like it or not this has had a devastating impact on the life chances of the poor and will get worse every year.

    So if you want to vote Labour, Rod, that’s fine but don’t you dare come here telling us it’s because you care about the poor or the gap between rich and poor. Labour made those things worse and promises to do so again – you are intelligent and know this. Who knows what reason most have to vote for any given party, it’s your right – but it’s nothing to do with helping the poor and you need to admit that to yourself. I have always enjoyed Rod’s articles and they are usually logical; this article is a severe blow to his reputation I think.

    • goodsoldier

      Thank you. You explain everything very well. Reading this has made me feel better–somebody sane, intelligent, rational, and moving. Such clarity of mind….

      • jimmy

        Thank you.

        And yes, that is how they work, it is demoralising, you know in your gut that bringing in 5-6 million people from poor countries every decade is a recipe for trouble, will fragment our society and make us poorer.

        But then the establishment and the media just endlessly say it makes us richer, better, stronger and then insist that we, the normal people, are the extremists and that we, those who oppose this extreme and dangerous policy, must “prove” that the fears we have for a century hence are true while they, pursuing a mad policy introducing millions of outsiders, never bother to stop and ask if they have any proof that it brings us benefits.

        I don’t know if it’s too late now but at the least we can insist on an honest debate and an honest record of what has happened. The town I grew up in is no longer English in any serious cultural way, just a mix of random people from around the world, many having huge families while they work in minimum wage jobs and the remaining Britons are on the dole. The idea that this is a rational policy that will work long term is preposterous yet the media and the main parties insist they are the moderates. All societies die in the end and it is sad to see it happening to us; the real surprise for me is how easily people are brainwashed to not even notice it.

  • GW74

    apart from the last bit, this is just trolling. Rod Liddle is a high-status troll.

    • rodliddle

      you mean aside from the bit you agree with, you bien pensant totalitarian tosspot?

      • GW74

        I stand corrected. Not high-status.

  • mattghg

    Rod, you’re insane.

  • Kevin T

    No party has done more to create social division and kill social mobility than Labour. Whether it’s by the comprehensive education system, which ensures bright working class children will never get the chance to go to top universities, or by the benefits system, which makes the poor dependent on handouts, or by mass immigration, which keeps working class wages low and opened up the traditional trades working class people were able to make money in to dirt cheap foreign competition.

    If you can think of one practical thing Ed Miliband will do to reverse any of this, vote Labour by all means. Otherwise you are just voting for windy rhetoric. UKIP promises to restore grammar schools and will (plausibly) limit immigration, 2 measures that would actually have an effect.

  • Comrade Pootie

    Don’t complain if you find out that an arab use your daughter as a sexslave.

    • rodliddle

      I may be mad, Comrade. But you’re a genuine halfwit.

    • James

      Don’t be surprised if the police, authorities and council cover it up.

  • maurice12brady

    You espouse both my political & philosophical dilemma precisely — I shall refrain from voting as my only real choice – UKIP – offers too much solace to an execrable Cameron & Labour’s beyond reform — with that abhorrent C Umunna afforded iconic status. His casual racist comments towards UKIPPERS as computer/internet illiterates was beyond the pale!

  • Muttley

    I’m tempted to vote Labour myself. I’m getting beer and crisps in so I can enjoy the chaos and ultimate meltdown that ensues when they win. Politicians are so detached from the world I inhabit that watching the election coverage is like the worst sort of reality TV show: disgusting but strangely enjoyable when slightly drunk!

    • sarah_13

      Please don’t because the chaos won’t leave any of us unaffected.

  • RJ O’Callaghan

    I’m genuinely astonished by this, Rod. Your writing, which I very much enjoy (without always agreeing with), by the way, suggests you care more about multiculturalism, the cultural dominance of the right-on set etc. than the economic divisions in the country. You write way more about the former than the latter.

    • rodliddle

      My hope is that the Labour Party may ditch that rubbish. I realise why most people would think that a forlorn hope.

  • Matthew 88

    You can take the boy out of the BBC but you can’t take the BBC out of the boy.

    • rodliddle

      That’s a very, very, stupid response, Matthew. I never fitted in terribly well over there.

      • Matthew 88

        Glad to have annoyed you

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Nor on the Spectator it would seem.

  • beenzrgud

    You’re voting Labour so I will comply with your request and confirm that yes indeedy, you are out of your mind.

  • The Sceptic

    I sympathise with you, Rod, though my motives differ: every time I watch a Conservative MP perpetuate the grotesque character assassination of Ed Miliband, upon which their entire election campaign is based, I have the urge to vote Labour out of spite.

    But then I recall the years of economic incompetence and accounting chicanery; the cultural transformation of our major cities from mass immigration; endless spin and deceit from Mandelson, McBride et al.; the devastation wrought in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the propagation of political correctness and identity politics, particularly in the public sector where I work.

    Not that the current government has been any better, mind – worse in some respects, in fact. I couldn’t leave the polling booth with my head held high having voted for any major party.

  • Baron

    If what makes you vote Labour is truly the gap between the have the have-nots, donate every penny of your income over and above the ‘living wage’ to people around you who are below it. This will do more to correct income inequality than anything Labour can ever do.

    • blandings

      I find that one’s concern for inequality is more of a fashion statement than an aspiration.

    • Maybe: but Labour would find a way to tax Rod and redistribute his income, whatever he has to say about it.

      • Baron

        That’s the biggest boil, amandastarspanged, the belief that a few anointed – Labour, Tory or whatever – know better how to spend it, they don’t.

  • Doublechin

    Love

  • Speedy

    So you’ll be voting for the party that imported and protected islamic child-rapist gangs Rod?

    • Guest

      Let’s see..no. He didn’t also argue, as you have, that people’s religion is the determining factor if their crimes are important or not, or their skin colour.

      Criminals are criminals.

      • ramesesthegrumbler

        Neither their religion nor their skin colour drove those ‘men’ to do what they did. Those things did however drive the Social Services, Police and local Labour politicians to deliberately downplay/ignore what was going on. Labour used political force to persuade the Social Services and Police to play along. They made a bad situation worse, deliberately, and with no regard for the people they were sworn to protect. That is what should make Labour unelectable.
        As to the men themselves only a fool would pretend that their culture wasn’t a major predicate in their disgusting behaviour.

  • Speedy

    Rod, you recently wrote a fine book exposing and attacking these sanctomonious, priggish, elitist wasters, and now you tell us you’re still going to vote for them?
    I think I’m going to vomit.

  • English_Independence_Movement

    So you’ll vote for the party that you know will trash everything British, just because you hate inequality: how typically Left wing.

    • Guest

      Where did he say he was voting UKIP?

    • Robertus Maximus

      The last time Labour was in power they, along with a little help from George W Bush, also managed to trash much of the Middle East – the chaos and utter misery of which will last for decades. They obviously thought it was time to globalise their talent for ruination.

  • trotters1957

    Rod, you have hit the nail on the head. The big issue in this election is the growing disparity, since 1979 and under both colours, between rich and poor.
    That won’t be put right by abolishing IHT or reducing the 45% top tax rate. It will be put right by increasing the minimum wage, abolishing zero hour contracts , and ending the obscene way in which capital is taxed versus income.
    Reduce income tax and NI and tax, capital, rents, property. Too many people make too much money sat on their backsides hoovering up every body else’s earnings.

  • sfin

    You’re insane.

  • James

    Call me insane or racist, but I will vote UKIP – on the subject of mental health – Labour donors have monopolised the industry and Britain can now boast the greatest murder rates of patients in mental healthcare poisoned by harmful drugs, worst recovery rates because no therapy or treatment is accessible – only drugs that don’t work and make people worse, forcing them into a lifetime of dependency which costs tax payers but profits corporations running mental health. Talk about being sectioned – you can be sectioned by police and forced into drug treatments – even 5 year old children can be classified mentally ill if teachers report 5 year old boys for being boisterous and that means medication. Some things are above politics – like humanity.

  • Frank

    You clearly need to live in Sweden for a while. Before you go, you need to read UKIP’s manifesto which is genuinely interesting and well thought out. Other than that, I agree about the two country state we have become, but blame all of the Westminster crew for this.

  • DaHitman

    “Yes, I’m still voting Labour. Here’s why”

    Because you are a traiter that loves British taxes being wasted on the EU so we can buy more than we sell and enjoy having the world flooding over here

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      you’re a what?

  • WimsThePhoenix

    Pathetic tribalist. You’re voting Labour because you always have, not for any faux social division reasons. What’s more socially divisive than gerrymandering your vote by keeping the poor trapped by benefits and importing millions of immigrants to do their jobs?

  • sir_graphus

    Rodders, maybe Labour will make England more equal, but only by making the rich a lot poorer, and the poor a bit poorer.

    • Hear hear, well said good man!

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.
      Abraham Lincoln said that.

  • 1664averygoodyear

    To all of you frothing at the mouth – and indeed rather proving his point – THIS IS A WINDUP.

    Liddle is a windup merchant and there is no way in gods green earth he’s going to vote for labour. He parodying the morons who admit labour are feckless amoral immigrant appeasing bastards but still vote for them out of tribal attachment and a vague notion of wreath redistribution.

    Rod I salute your continual desire to wind people up.

  • Johnnydub

    Christ on a bike Rod. You think Labour has any interest in doing something about social division? Talking about it yes, doing something not.
    The only party trying to address Social Division is UKIP via their policy for the reintroduction of Grammar Schools.
    All parties bar UKIP support mass immigration which is having the net result of casting those at the bottom adrift as we can always import someone to take their place in the workforce.
    Honestly son. Go have a cold shower, sober up and get your head out of your arse.

  • krb981

    I seem to recall reading that the only government in recent times to reduce the gap between rich and poor was the Major government. Once Blair came to power the gap accelerated.

  • berosos_bubos

    This must be a wind up surely ? Lady Thatcher gave a speech in the house of Commons on this very subject.

  • Marlis frederiksen

    Yes i would call you insane. Your opinion expressed in the Spectator (and not in the Guardian)
    Do not add up with your voting Labour. Your future articles will sound hollow and false in my ears.

  • Ivor Tiefenbrun

    Ron a man I admired without reservation, has lost the plot.
    Labour can make us all poorer but only Politicians quango heads, state employees, people traffickers and crooks richer. The gap claimed to be expanding between the richest and poorest is false. Firstly because it is contracting over the lasst five years but more importantly because it is based on pre-tax income, takes no real account of Welfare or the value of State pensions especially the inflation proof index linked ones almost non existent in the Private sector plus a raft of other factors too numerous to list.It is also the case that the base line always remains zero so all wealth creation will make it harder to minimise differentials. Ron is voting to destroy what he claims to stand for. the gerrymandering Socialists who have rigged constituency boundaries and seek to subvert our democratic freedoms. Again.

  • Roger James Michael Sutherland

    I can’t be as bad as voting for the Conservatives, who are just as committed to the devastating ideology of “equality and diversity”.

  • gelert

    You couldn’t make it up. Much of the income gap has arisen because of the obscene salaries paid to “managers” in the NHS and local authorities, who awarded themselves huge salary increases; while the quango army – almost all 0f them the usual Common Purpose / lefty bunch – marches on. Not forgetting the absurd salaries and redundancies given to Beeb staff. All this started under NuLabour™

    The most egregious gap is that of Tony Blair and the fortune he has made since leaving office. No other former PM has enriched himself in this way and shed crocodile tearsforf the thousands who died because of his messianic delusions.

    Vote Labour, Rod; you deserve them.

  • UKSteve

    Well, Rod, it’s a pity your searing perspicacity doesn’t extend to the ballot box! ( I can’t see the single reason, paywall and all!)

    You read – probably voraciously. Surely, you must realise that Labour has been in government twice since 1970, and they took the UK to the very precipice of bankruptcy both times? Are you thinking “Third time lucky – give ’em another shot?”

    You, more than anyone, comment on the effects of uncontrolled mass immigration, the effects on our culture, etc. have you forgotten about this?

    10 / 10 for surprise factor.

  • Ivor MacAdam

    Why on earth would you think that the champagne socialists will do anything at all to address social division? They don’t seem to have much clue as to what it is…

  • Athelstan

    The entirety of modern political thought is based on a 19th century Marxian interpretation of human divergence. It’s incredible to me that people find such willfully ignorant assumptions stimulating.

  • Roger Hudson

    Insane.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    Addressing so-called social division normally involves more and more intrusive forms to be filled in, ticking boxes as to how vulnerable one may or may not feel , in order to help somebody with some contract make their living.

  • Jacques Strap

    look at the gap between the rich and the poor between 1997 and 2010

  • Oh dear. I wish you could take my husband’s economics course. The gap between rich and poor will not be closed by more socialism. It is also a problematic statement when all economic classes have got vastly richer in the past 50 years — the poor today do not resemble the poor of the past, do they? They are in fact the richest ‘poor’ of history — and that could not be achieved by disallowing the concomitant growth in wealth for those much better off. Never mind the fact that many of the richest people in Britain aren’t British at all, but got their money one way or another on distant shores. If they have bought up so much London real estate, that is not the fault of the Tories but of the laws and economic situation that encouraged them to do so in the first place. A situation mainly brought about by Labour. Send the oil sheiks home et voila! you’ve just made the rich-poor gap much smaller.

    Poor people generally have to stay where they are. Rich people can leave. If you dislike the fact that some are really rich, I say that it’s a fact of life we just have to live with — see my first paragraph. If you make life unpleasant for rich people, or hurt their interests, they will go elsewhere and take their money with them. There goes all your luxury industries; there goes your venturesome employers. Making business owners live close to the wire is not the solution: as we saw in America during the Leftist-driven bust, companies go under as well as profit* (ultimately government policy underwrote and required risky behaviour not only in the public sector but also in the private; be it noted that the non-autonomous agencies known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were themselves behaving just like the bankers everyone so loves to accuse).

    One must also consider the unintended consequences of do-goodery. Without the ignorant good intentions that led to the credit bubble and its burst, the small town of Murphy, North Carolina was coming up in the world. It has a relatively poor resident population: many people there live on benefits and live in shacks. Employment is seasonal. But tourists and money were coming in, with people buying property as a second home. Then the bust. Shops that had been there for years suddenly closed. Murphy didn’t go back to normal: things were worse. Now they’ve built a big casino — which, for reasons I think unsound, only Indian tribes may run and own — and that will provide some jobs but it will also ruin the environment, in my view. Gambling is a low-order pleasure that appeals to low-order people. What will it be next? Brothels, drug-dealers, the mafia? A casino is a last resort and I’m sorry they felt they had to take it. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if one of the arguments for this disaster-in-waiting was that it helped to narrow the gap between rich and poor. Oh and by the way, I shan’t be spending my tourist money in Murphy any more.

    *Three companies that went under because of irresponsible gov’t credit policy and the resultant disappointing profits were The Great Outdoors, owned by the venerable Sears; Smith & Hawken, a high-quality garden furniture and supply shop; and Hold Everything, a storage and organization shop. I’ve missed them all, especially the first two. I bet the people they employed miss them even more.

  • Oh dear. I wish you could take my husband’s economics course. The gap between rich and poor will not be closed by more socialism. It is also a problematic statement when all economic classes have got vastly richer in the past 50 years — the poor today do not resemble the poor of the past, do they? They are in fact the richest ‘poor’ of history — and that could not be achieved by disallowing the concomitant growth in wealth for those much better off. Never mind the fact that many of the richest people in Britain aren’t British at all, but got their money one way or another on distant shores. If they have bought up so much London real estate, that is not the fault of the Tories but of the laws and economic situation that encouraged them to do so in the first place. A situation mainly brought about by Labour. Send the oil sheiks home et voila! you’ve just made the rich-poor gap much smaller.

    Poor people generally have to stay where they are. Rich people can leave. If you dislike the fact that some are really rich, I say that it’s a fact of life we just have to live with — see my first paragraph. If you make life unpleasant for rich people, or hurt their interests, they will go elsewhere and take their money with them. There goes all your luxury industries; there goes your venturesome employers. Making business owners live close to the wire is not the solution: as we saw in America during the Leftist-driven bust, companies go under as well as profit* (ultimately government policy underwrote and required risky behaviour not only in the public sector but also in the private; be it noted that the non-autonomous agencies known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were themselves behaving just like the bankers everyone so loves to accuse).

    One must also consider the unintended consequences of do-goodery. Without the ignorant good intentions that led to the credit bubble and its burst, the small town of Murphy, North Carolina was coming up in the world. It has a relatively poor resident population: many people there live on benefits and live in shacks. Employment is seasonal. But tourists and money were coming in, with people buying property as a second home. Then the bust. Shops that had been there for years suddenly closed. Murphy didn’t go back to normal: things were worse. Now they’ve built a big casino — which, for reasons I think unsound, only Indian tribes may run and own — and that will provide some jobs but it will also ruin the environment, in my view. Gambling is a low-order pleasure that appeals to low-order people. What will it be next? Brothels, drug-dealers, the mafia? A casino is a last resort and I’m sorry they felt they had to take it. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if one of the arguments for this disaster-in-waiting was that it helped to narrow the gap between rich and poor. Oh and by the way, I shan’t be spending my tourist money in Murphy any more.

    *Three companies that went under because of irresponsible gov’t credit policy and the resultant disappointing profits were The Great Outdoors, owned by the venerable Sears; Smith & Hawken, a high-quality garden furniture and supply shop; and Hold Everything, a storage and organization shop. I’ve missed them all, especially the first two. I bet the people they employed miss them even more.

  • You’re insane.

    Or trolling.

    Please tell me you’re trolling.

    If not, go and read some of Daniel Hannan’s old blog posts on what used to be Telegraph Blogs. That will disbuse you of the silly notion that we need to be poorer but more equal.

  • Roisin

    You’re insane.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      There’s a lot of it about.

  • Ali

    You silly tw*t! What about the girls in Rothetham, how did Labour deal with the inequalities which they had to deal with. How will Labour deal with such things in the future except by pretending they don’t happen. It is not the inequalities that pertain to real vulnerable, working class people that you care about it is that woolly minded idea that something must be done by the state to stop one set of people having more money than another set. You are contemptible.

  • Suzy61

    I can hardly believe what I am reading.

  • Robert Basset

    “…to the point that we are now effectively two countries: an affluent
    city-state and a hinterland which, in places, teeters on the edge of the
    third world.”

    Half of London IS the third world Rod. When do you hear tourists talking of the wonders of Newham or Tower Hamletstan?

    Third world no go areas, historical attractions and a playground for the supranational ultra rich all built upon the bones of a dead empire.

    Give me anywhere but London (…….and Birmingham…and Leceister…etc..)

  • Daidragon

    I agree Rod. Wealth inequality is a the major economic and social issue facing the country.

    • That’s a good one; got any others?

      • Daidragon

        Your face.

        • Stop hating and try to enjoy life more. That’s my advice.

          • Daidragon

            Bless. It can’t be disagreement it has to be hate. Get a life luv.

          • Uh, review your previous reply to me. Put the drink down, while you’re at it. Or whatever else you’re taking.

          • Daidragon

            Review your life. Just a guess but I bet you spend a lot of time on twitter.

          • That’s another good one! Ha ha ha!

  • Dougie

    Oh Rod, Rod … it doesn’t make sense at all. Every society has its plutocracy, its “one per cent”. The sort we have is certainly preferable to the sort of elite that, say, the Soviet Union generated. So, take the one per cent out of the argument and what are we left with? A gap between rich and poor that you see as too big. That is purely and simply the politics of envy. If you were concerned that the poor were too poor, that would be a legitimate concern but, in fact, relative poverty has gone down since 2010.

    And how do you define “better performance” of a country? What are your metrics? I’d really like to know.

    I’m afraid, Rod, you also have a very out of date (or, rather, lazy) understanding of Scandinavia. For so long the poster boys of the socialist experiment, their foolish dalliance with high taxation, combined with high immigration (25% of the Swedish population is now of foreign origin) has taken its toll. Unemployment since 2010 has fluctuated between 7% – 9.5% and is currently 8.5% (UK 5.7%). Annual GDP growth 2.7% (to Nov 14) (UK 3%). Incidents of racist violence are on the up and support for far-right parties is growing across Scandinavia, a consequence of decades of enthusiasm for multiculturalism. The Swedish education system is struggling to understand how it has fallen so far in the OECD rankings.
    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21588959-swedish-pupils-have-fallen-behind-their-international-peers-fixing-swedens-schools

    So, Rod, everything is far from lovely in Scandinavia (although the skiing is still good) and Ed Miliband in Downing Street would soon ensure that everything was far worse here.

    • Great comment. Scandinavia was all right so long as the same few millions taking out of the pot were the same few millions putting into the pot, and almost everyone was and is dependent on the public sector, somehow. Pointing to Scandinavia makes no sense for most other nations because most other nations do not resemble Scandinavia as was — almost more like a Greek polis than a contemporary nation-state. And now, as you’ve observed, they’ve realized that generosity doesn’t pay. You have to hand it to the Swiss: hard b8stards in a way — who could remain neutral with the N zis overrunning everybody? — yet they alone have kept their heads while the rest of the West self-detonates.

    • Robertus Maximus

      Apparently there is a mass exodus of Jews leaving Scandinavia due to the ever increasing muslim threat to them.

      • Whitey McPrivilege

        All in the kosher plan, don’t worry your little goy head about it now. Has Mrs. Spectre joined them yet?

  • Watt

    Rod Liddle pens an article on that which he finds most absorbing : Rod Liddle.

  • answeeney

    I was reading an article about rational thinking that gave an example which in my humble opionion encapsulates the difference between right and left.

    Two groups of children, A and B, each consist of 100 kids suffering from liver damage. You are told that if given a tranplant group A has an 80% survival rate and group B has a 20% survival rate. There are 100 livers available for transplant so how would you allocate them?

    In the interests of fairness a lefty would choose 50/50 because they are compassionate. In the interests of effectiveness a righty would allocate all if the available livers to group A because they are hard hearted. The fact that the different decisions either kill or save 30 childrens lives would be rationalized away.

    I think Rod is clinging to his compasionate side.

  • Cymrugel

    sorry to see you on the horns of this dilemma Rod.

    The fact is you are politically homeless until an English version of the SNP arises that can clean house and force change

  • Jo90

    Society will always stratify, but the Labour party wants a ruling elite made up of immigrants, and don’t worry, that the people will not put up with.

  • nfw

    Okay, you’re insane.

  • Noel Darlow

    Excellent. Equality – or rather reasonable limits on inequality – is fundamental to any high-functioning society. High levels of inequality create lots of very expensive problems, reduce economic activity, and reduce social cohesion – I’m amazed that those who suffer from manifestly unjust welfare sanctions have been led meekly to food banks rather than to rioting.

    There’s one simple rule which would go a long way to solving the problem: no-one should receive any wealth which cannot reasonably be said to have been earned as a fair reward for any work they have done. Isn’t that a fine old Conservative principle anyway?

  • Simon Morgan

    The trouble with your concept is that Labour will bring everyone down into the paupers house, rather than close the gap between the rich and poor.

    If you want Britain to be ‘sick man’ of Europe again, vote Labour. It’s the same story just about everywhere you look.

    The debt the previous Labor government here in Australia created will take many generations to pay off. Rudd & Gillard were the golden age of welfare, and people are (very) reluctant to wake up and smell the coffee.

  • mortsnerd

    Equality still means Marxism, whichever way you look at it. And Marxism always results in the impoverishing of 99 per cent of the population and the emergence of Milovan Diwas “New Class” of nomenclatura fat cats. Look at Miramar and Siboney in present day Havana which makes St Barth’s look shabby. In fact, Rod Liddle’s equality is just a call for a new Ancien Regime through the back door.
    The free market is still the poor man’s best friend.

  • Marcus

    Rod, the gap between rich and poor is only addressed by raising the education of the poor (see Scandanavia).
    Scandanavia is a a country of largely well educated homogenous middle class people. The areas that have been allowed to become like the UK sink estates through immigration, fair just as badly as they do in the UK.
    Wealth redistribution does not work. It is not how you get to Scandanavia.
    The poor parts of Britain are not wanting for government money, they have too much of it.

  • John Steadman

    I’ve not read your article, Rod, so I’m in no position to comment on it. But I think I have got the gist of it after having read what’s available on this site. And while I can see that you can claim that Labour (to which I was once a devotee) are well capable of dealing with the excesses at the top – and so tackling the poverty gap – I really cannot understand why you might believe that Labour is ever going to have the capacity, because of doctrinal and historical restraints, to raise up those at the bottom end. I really cannot envisage a Labour administration resisting the temptation to consolidate the welfare dependency culture by refusing to continue to pour resources into that sector where benefits dependency is an option rather than an necessity. And when you tell me that that there are vast numbers out there for whom state benefits are barely enough to give them the support they have merited on the basis of their past contribution, then I do not disagree with you. What it amounts to is this, Rod – however much it might repel you in ideological terms, you would be doing yourself some intellectual justice by swallowing the notion of the ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ poor.

  • Johnny Foreigner

    Turn again Liddle, Scribe of the Spectator.
    You’ve been throwing quite a bit of meat to the Hoi polloi of late, even writing a decent book. This though, is bit like revealing to us, you really are mates will Will Self and it’s not just a nasty rumour. You’ve had your Dick Whittington moment now, get back on track.

  • Damon

    “I have plenty of respect and affection for both the Wilson governments… .”
    Why? I remember the 1970s, the poverty your party brought us to, and the humiliation of seeing my country fall behind the rest of Europe. Most of this mess was caused by the traditional Labour economic policies which you cleave to.

  • Marlis frederiksen

    The only one to be taking seriously now: Douglas Murray

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Well, you called me a foreigner, Rod, so it’s an even bet that you’re insane.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • You are a Japanese with a Japanese passport (you seem to know how easy to apply for renewing a Japanese passport in Japan then applying to renew a British passport; now, WHY would you know that?!), thus you are legally a foreigner, thus Rod Liddle would had been correct, if he indeed had said what you allege him to have said.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Isn’t “Fuck You, loser” the expression I’m reaching for?

        • “Reaching for”? Like what you do underneath the trouser department every night?!

  • Hegelman

    Rod is absolutely right when he says societies work better with some serious measure of equality.

    More than that: societies that are terribly unequal become frightening and poisonous. There is no good will left between the rich and the rest, and that creates a toxic atmosphere. Everyone starts hating.

    It’s no accident that the best, most FUN years in British history were the Fifties and the Sixties. This was when there was a great sense of security some real equality in society and people could relax and have a laugh. The fun that was made of other classes was good natured in those years whereas now it seems sadistic.

    Even a despotic society like the late USSR that had some social security and equality is looked back on fondly by many in Russia. I happen to know Russia well and what I have heard from many Russians is that in the times of Brezhnev, it was possible to take an interest in books and ideas. Now one must chase money or die.

    • Sean L

      Well that means all societies without universal state welfare are “toxic”. Which means pretty much everyone outside the Western world. I saw a stat recently that a Kenyan MP’s pay was something like, I can’t recall the precise figure, 80 times that of the average Kenyan. But then outside the West equality as such is not prized: status is prized. Thus we are among the least unequal places on earth and your ” toxic”, at least in this context, is senseless.

      • Hegelman

        “Well that means all societies without universal state welfare are “toxic. Which means pretty much everyone outside the Western world.”

        Yes, actually. Have you lived in such places?

        But the bitterness aroused by gross inequality is especially powerful in advanced nations where the presence of high tech everywhere arouses a demand for a decent life in the masses of people. So high tech, advanced nations that spit in the face of the poor get poisonous.

        Types like you do not understand people, human expectations.

        You don’t feel the hate in this society? I do. I remember better times.

        • Sean L

          Yes I’ve lived in Kenya and visit once or twice a year . If you imagine material wealth, however allocated, is an antidote to hate. . . no you couldn’t seriously entertain such a notion. People hate at the drop of a hat. Consider the venom on here. Nothing to do with wealth whatever.

          • Hegelman

            Types like you do not understand people, human expectations.

            It’s the reason why human progress involves such brutal and, at first sight, unnecessay, conflict. People with money and power cannot imagine what it is like for those without – even in families let alone society at large!

            . Change always comes too late.

            You are a tad simple minded. Kenya is not Britain. The British expect equality: they have been through industrialism. And I would hate British politics to become as brutal abd corrupt as Kenya’s.

  • Arclight101

    Rod Liddle voting Labour is all the confirmation I need that civilization will end sooner rather than later.

  • balance_and_reason

    you are insane

  • goodsoldier

    If you believe all you say in most of the article, then you cannot conclude that Labour will be most likely to solve the inequalities between the rich and poor. They are poseurs with a tick that forces them to spout concern about equality. I know you must see that if you can have the insight you express in your articles. The only thing I can think of is that if you vote UKIP, which you are tempted to do and should do, you would certainly be out of the social loop. All mainstream parties would shun you and this is one thing that you cannot bear, but cannot perhaps admit to yourself. They will despise you if you vote UKIP. If you vote Labour, some may think you are deluded but they will say, ‘Well Rod is simply old Labour and has a good heart–he cares about the poorest.’ You can depend on the right wing to still like you and invite you to their parties, but as you well know, the Left will never forgive you if you vote UKIP. It would have been an interesting test if you had rather announced that you are voting UKIP and secretly voted Labour in the privacy of the ballot box. That would be a test of your character. For now, you have failed that test.

  • Nigel Tipple

    ‘Call me insane, but I’m voting Labour’.
    With pleasure; you’re insane.

  • I seem to be signed in here – no idea how that happened. Anyway as I am, I’ll add my tuppenceworth. Nice one Rod. This line sums it up well for me:-

    The smaller the differences between rich and poor, the better a country tends to perform.

    To which we can add a country is much more at ease with itself when there aren’t huge disparities of wealth. If you’re rich but surrounded by those looking into the abyss, it’s can’t be a very comfortable place to live. A ghetto is a ghetto even when the railings are made of gold and your house is made of diamond bricks.

    • Fencesitter

      Sorry, but can someone remind me again why Labour and the Conservatives decided grammar schools were a bad idea?

      PS Laura, re being signed in, it could be any one of Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google…

  • Sean L

    It’s a cop out mate. YOu want to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds. If your words here mean anything at all the only party remotely representative of your views is the one that’s not LabConLib.

  • James Jones

    The problem with not fighting the combined Labour and Tory mass immigration program with every sinew is that as part of it they are supporting the islamisation of Britain.

    Once Labour’s beloved mad mullahs get into positions of real influence it will all be over. There can be no return.

    I suspect that many on the left welcome the coming islamic revolution as a proxy for the Marxist revolution that they have failed to create.

    Vote UKIP, there is no rational alternative.

  • John Bindon

    How many people have simply written the words,”you’re insane”, below ?

    Lots.

    What imagination.

  • James

    Inequality is caused by Labour. Why vote for the thing that causes what you most hate?

  • Neil Saunders

    Anyone who votes for any of the mainstream parties is either insane, deluded or some kind of opportunist.

    Perhaps Rod Liddle thinks that as long as people like him vote Labour, some nebulous, numinous soul of the Party will be kept alive; if so, he is mistaken.

    • John Bindon

      Actually, I’d say that “anyone who votes for one of the mainstream parties” is none of things you accuse them of. The majority of people who vote don’t massively care about the result one way or the other. I do not know a single person who intends to vote – not one – that cares deeply about this election. Clearly, some people do care, a lot, but I would wager everything I own they are a minority.

      • Neil Saunders

        That level of apathy could be glossed as insanity, delusion or a very low-level variety of opportunism (and possibly all three).

        • John Bindon

          No, it couldn’t.

          • Neil Saunders

            I didn’t come here for an infants’ school playground exchange, John. Clearly, I think it could, or I shouldn’t have said so. If you disagree, explain your reasons.

          • Neil Saunders

            Oh, yes it could! (Oh, no it couldn’t!) Oh, yes it could! (Oh, no it couldn’t!) Continue ad nauseam…

  • Andy

    Rod, everything you desire as set out above is just and whilst your heart is in the right place you are, like so many, economically illiterate. The proof of this is that you do not understand that a minimum wage prices some people out of a job.
    Please try reading Economics In One Lesson by Hazlitt. Then either write a book refuting Hazlitt or adjust your thinking.
    It is otherwise intelligent writers like you that do so much harm to the people you say you want to help. The phrase ‘Useful idiot’ comes to mind.

    • John Bindon

      What a patronisng post. Jesus. Some people on here.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Labour trashed working peoples wages with mass immigration and as long as we don’t control our borders there is no hope what so ever that the gap between rich and poor will close.

    So Rod you are going to have to look for another reason to vote Labour , to give your Labour tribalism some token cover.

  • Ed  

    The gap between rich and poor misses the point.

    The question is rather how are the poor doing? The answer to that is simply “jobs”, and Labour can’t deliver that, not when it’s importing millions of people to compete with, and drive down the wages of, those already in Britain.

    Rod, you’re on the right track, but you’ve missed how it actually works.

    Given the issue that you’re concerned about, you should actually vote UKIP.

  • The PrangWizard of England

    Sorry, Mr Liddle but your analysis is flawed and it has led you to the wrong conclusion. I don’t have the time, nor the inclination to make my case, but believe me you are wrong.

    • The PrangWizard of England

      Ed and his Marxist friends and fellow travellers, to which your name must now be added, will cause enormous damage to Britain; socialism does not work for the mass of people, it is not designed for that, it is designed to keep them in check. There is no place on the planet where it has been successful and it has taken the lives of millions and sapped the spirit of many millions more.

      You seem to be using the argument, Mr Liddle, that to get more tractors for the nation you should vote for someone like Stalin of the Soviet Union, or to get the trains to run on time vote for Hitler and never mind the collateral damage.
      You should take more water with it.

  • jim_joystique

    Good god.

    Given the utter banality that is Ed Miliband and the Labour party front bench, how anyone can vote Labour is completely beyond me.

    • Blindsideflanker

      How can any Englishman vote Labour is beyond me.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I suspect you’ve put your finger on Rod’s malady, Blind. So when Rod accused me of being a foreigner (and he meant it as an insult), could this been his oblique way of admitting he isn’t an Englishman?

      • red2black

        Some of them hate the Conservatives.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Me too. But then England is wall-to-wall sorry-assed loser, and for many of them voting Labour is their one chance of registering an protest.

  • ianess

    A ‘thinnish premise’ indeed, Rod. My experience, having lived and worked in Marxist-Leninist countries, has been that capitalism, flawed though it may be, has proven itself as the system which can raise the living standards of all. Admittedly, the members and families of the Politburo and assorted nomenklatura had it very good indeed.

    • justejudexultionis

      When did you live in Scotland?

      • ianess

        When it was a Labour fiefdom.

  • billyoblivion

    > The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially
    > and Labour is the only party with the instinct, or predilection, to address
    > that problem.

    Yeah, pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

    And what is it with you lot and your hatred of Gingers?

  • Bizarre article – as working class people know, Labour is intent on removing all possible means to achieving equality in society, and in fact they thrive on inequality because it gives them something to do. In a nutshell, Labour are the enemy of the working class, and hate equality.

    • Just read the article again – you better not be pulling my leg, Rod! Ha ha!

      • mrs 1234

        think you’re clutching at straws ukipforbritain.

  • Dauer_Gast

    I blame every Labour voter for what happened in Rotherham.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I can understand a person not voting Conservative … or Liberal or UKIP, or even not voting at all. Refusing to dignify the entire Mickey Mouse process, which after all said and done is only to head off the charge of “no taxation without representation” (although I’d willingly forgo the right to vote in exchange of being relieved of the taxation obligation). But how anyone could even consider voting Labour is beyond me. Doesn’t the gang rape of literally thousands of British children even register with you Rod? What kind of monster are you? Time for a step down the social stratum. “You want fries with that?”

    • Here comes again, this Japanese imposter and ignoramus betraying his utter ignorance of the subject, namely British politics. Total ignorance of the subject does not concern him! I mean, is this man for real?! He doesn’t even pretend that he isn’t trolling!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        One day Jock I will confront you, preferable at a Spectator public meeting, and make you admit that I’m not Japanese, but British. So don’t let your health insurance lapse.
        Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

        • The Annual Spectator Readers’ Garden Summer Tea Party, London, 2015?!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            WARNING: Identify thief operates in this area.
            Job Centre found anything yet? I would have thought Rochdale would have been crying out for a know-it-all racist failed linguist.

          • “Identify thief operates in this area” (sic) … You, Sir, are a laughing stock!

      • Freddythreepwood

        He can’t be totally ignorant. He seems to know all about Rotheram. And which party allowed it to happen.

        • But if you read his previous, historical posts carefully enough, he is in fact a Marxist himself (although anti-Labour); and in fact more than quite a few of his posts now and then are actually openly pro-Labour. About as close as an “Internet Troll” (if not also a paranoid schizophrenic) as you can possibly get!

          Only a foreign idiot would put the Cons, the Libs and UKIP under the same basket! Sorry, but I definitely would not understand the mind of someone who refuses to vote UKIP!

  • Alan Simms

    labour is no longer the working mans party . its for immigrants, the work shy, the pc brigade and the middle and above classes. ukip are now the party for the lower classes and the only party thats willing to get us out of the eu dictatorship and use the billions saved putting our country back together. all pro eu parties only offer the eu more say in our country, austerity and putting us lower class brits into more poverty. not forgetting the okay to turkey joining the eu. that should send the immigration levels soaring. turkey – 99.8% muslim, 72% of them sunnis .moving towards hardline islamic identity. on the borders of iraq, syria, iran, islamic state-isis. turkey ,the new gateway to the west (britain) do you think these career politicians give a toss about you pro eu voters when they put our country in this danger? its a game to them. farage is the only one that truely cares for britain.

  • LoveMeIamALiberal

    If you insist…. Rod, you’re insane. You’re also wrong. Inequality is decreasing, even the Guardian admits this: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/jul/10/income-gap-narrowest-margin-25-years

    • James Jones

      “Inequality is decreasing”

      Rubbish.

      That article compares the top and bottom fifths. Most of the top fifth are also losers. The real winners are the top 1% or even 0.1%. Almost everyone is being squeezed to fund ludicrous lifestyles for a few at the very top.

      Inequality is increasing. For about 35 years most of the benefits from gains in productivity have gone to a few at the top.

      • LoveMeIamALiberal

        It’s not rubbish, it’s the official measure of inequality that is used over time and in international comparisons. It takes account of income variances across a whole country (the top and bottom fifths referred to in the article are not the same measure – typical badly written piece of journalism from the Guardian). Sorry it doesn’t give you the answer you wanted. Now you may be right that the top 1% or 0.1% are becoming disproportionally richer, but what the Gini index indicates is that these people are such a small number that they don’t have a material impact on considerations of inequality across the whole country.

    • justejudexultionis

      A complete lie. The gap between the pay of ordinary workers and executives has increased massively since the 1990s.

  • john locke

    One problem…the divide never changed under the thirteen years of the last labour government

  • John Andrews

    Rod, have you read the UKIP Manifesto Rod? http://www.ukip.org/ukip_manifesto_summary There is a good deal more to it than you imply. I’m voting UKIP.

  • mrs 1234

    Pathetic and disappointing. What a shoddy argument. If you believe that Labour do anything for the poor except ensure that many stay that way you are truly insane. Social mobility plummeted under the last Labour government.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Mass population dispossession of the world’s European peoples in all of our homelands is the most destructive force and the greatest calamity that European man has ever had to face since the ice age
    A civilization can experiment with all kinds of economic policies and models and survive all kinds of disasters and emerge intact much as they were before , but demographic disinheritance and minoritisation is irreversible and forever
    As the temporary custodians of that which was passed on to us by our forefathers for safe keeping, it is not our right but our duty to defend and protect that inheritance .
    We did not inherit it from our parents, we borrowed it from our children,
    It is sacred .

    To think in terms of economic gain and material aquisitions, is to be incapable of perceiving any higher values or framework of existence.
    The surival of one’s own kind , of one’s family, relations, tribe, culture, nation, ethnic group , civilzation and race is the foremost instinct known to man . It is a nature ordained imperitive and needs no moral justification .

    • TrueNorthFree

      Dan I’m following you on Disqus because of the intelligent way you frame and express exactly what I’m thinking and feeling. Well done, Dan.

  • pp22pp

    Social divisions have never been worse thanks to Bliar’s decision to rub our noses in diversity. Voting Labout is irrational and immoral. Shame on you, Mr Liddle.

  • erikbloodaxe

    Mr Liddle, please do not use the word ‘exponential(ly)’ unless you can be bothered to understand what it means. For the record, growth can be exponential or not. ‘Almost exponentially’ has no meaning. Please tell your friends. And, please, do not vote Labour.

    • James Jones

      pedants-is-us is over there ——->

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        are us

  • Liberty

    Labour will NOT narrow the gap between rich and poor. They never have and they never will. 45-51 they appeared to do it but really bought off many with nationalisation and lots of people went black economy. I have a long dead relative who had ten shops, took around £3,000 a week in each, declared a fraction to the IR, bought all his goods for cash. Any surplus was sold off in street markets.

    VAT put paid to a lot of that but it was only in the 80s under Thatcher that black economy entrepreneurs declared in a big way, the Big Bang allowed the financial sector to make lots, stay in the UK and flaunt it. Blair/Brown carried it on but the gap grew wider because of collusion between banks and Brown whereby they made the dosh in dodgy deals and Brown taxed it to buy welfare dependents, expand the public sector and pay for masses of immigrants to vote Labour. The gap between rich and poor grew under the last Labour government. The gap has narrowed under the Tories.

    And you think that this lot will be any different? The will scare off the rich, those who make a lot now in the private sector will work less [what’s the point?], move out or dodge it in some other way thus appearing to narrow the gap. The public fat cats will still coin it, won’t be seriously rich but there will be a lot more of them. So Labour will appear to narrow the gap but only by making us all poorer.

  • ramesesthegrumbler

    I hope the Speccy isn’t going to follow the DT down the path to ‘click-bait’ journalism ..

  • The Masked Marvel

    Not insane, Rod, just sad. And not surprising at all. One hopes you’re having a good laugh at all your supporters here who think you’re not a leftie because you make politically incorrect noises about black folks and Islam.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Sorry Rod. Tribalism, pure and simple.

  • Dunstan

    You’re insane Rod.

  • michael

    All the liberal rich vote Labour …keeps ’em in cheap imported household staff.

  • MrB

    Classic – advert under Rod’s agonising ‘I just can’t stand inequality’ article is: Politicians should leave wealthy alone – they already pay fair share (debate). Assume you’re missing this one then Rod? – considering all your mates are arguing the opposite. Amazing that admit to nearly voting UKIP because ‘they don’t indulge in politically correct language’ – how old are you? Truly sad and pathetic of you. Oh and your book was beyond parody for a former Today editor! I did enjoy the Will Self review though.

  • graeme jones

    If 30-50% of the population are following the socialist pied piper, than its no surprise that 30-50% of people are not becoming richer at the same rate as the others.

    I have never heard a social talk about personal responsibility, all they do is blame others. No wonder so many are not kicking on.

  • Al

    Rod, you are so funny and bright. Don’t ruin my impression of you by doing this. Miliband may well fulfill your dream of everyone being more equal in pay but this will come with the small problem that we will ALL be poorer. Equality of chance rather than equality of pay is what we should be striving for here surely?

  • bivrost falls

    I do have some sympathy with Rob. I grew up in a working class household in the 70s .Voting Labour then was instinctive. For all its faults, the Labour party back then was made up of (mostly) men who were pragmatic and many of its members had ether fought in or experienced the War. They may have been left wing but a lot of them had a pride in this country and a close connection with the people they claimed to represent. Unfortunately that changed in the 80s when the party was taken over first by hard core Marxists and then by latte drinking trustafarians. The upshot being whilst I don’t vote Tory, I no longer regard the Labour party as being interested in ordinary working people anymore, it’s a bit of a b@#£%r really as for the first time in my adult life, I really have no idea whom I’m going to vote for.

  • Jim

    The only thing Miliband has right is that he’s identified inequality as a problem.
    He won’t solve it though, the gap widened under Labour last time why will it be different this time?
    All he will do is increase in work benefits which in effect subsidises employers wage costs, thereby holding down wages and making the boss richer, whilst increasing cost to the taxpayer.

  • br14

    Inequality has a host of causes, chief among which is the increasing supply of labour, and the consequent increase in profits among those who benefit from lower costs.

    Voting Labour isn’t likely to change that, because Labour has no intention to do anything about the labour supply. Quite the opposite. After all, they benefit electorally from keeping the majority of the population poor.

    Oddly enough – though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend such action – the best way to produce a more equal and prosperous Britain would be to return a UKIP government. Their policies would reduce labour supply, therefore increasing wages, and remove the ability of multi-national corporations to avoid paying tax in the UK, thereby increasing overall tax revenues. Their personal tax policies would reduce taxes for all.

    If the Tories presented the same policies they’d win the election at a landslide. You have to wonder why they don’t.

  • Tim Conte

    Rod makes a good point. It’s David Cameron’s weakness in fact, probably his only weakness and quite possibly the thing that will cost him a majority

  • ohforheavensake

    Rod- don’t vote for Labour. In fact, don’t vote for anyone. Go quiet for a bit, look out there at the real world, and then come back here and write something that isn’t a ranting, dyspeptic fantasy.

    Oh, and by the way: that ‘terrifying, grasping, ginger Picts’ line? You’re really rather a nasty little person, aren’t you?

  • Fenman

    Lost the plot Rod. Its people like you who will let in a 70s style socialist government that will not emulate France but the basket case that is Greece. Credibilty gone , mate.

  • John

    The only thing more insane than voting Labour would be voting Tory……..innit?
    Peace and Love
    J.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Liddle began his career at the South Wales Echo, then worked for the Labour Party, and later joined the BBC. He become editor of Today in 1998, resigning in 2002 after his employers objected to one of his articles in The Guardian.” Care to enlighten us, Rod? Once a Leftie, always a leftie.

    • When you are obviously a life-long Japanese Trotskyite yourself …

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Only in your sick mind.

        • Nothing wrong with or sick in calling a Japanese person who lives in Japan and with a Japanese passport a Japanese.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Sadly, I only have a British passport. But perhaps you could be my guarantor for my application for Japanese nationality. I’m certain that the recommend of a racist, xenophobic bigot like you would carry a lot of weight. A racist linguist, now that’s a rare animal.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Liddle; let’s get rid of this little shit.
    And I say this with all due respect. Because no respect is due.
    I’m still British, Rod. How about you?

  • orsonhinds

    “The single issue which cleaves me to Labour, even this Labour, is social division. The gap between the rich and the poor has grown almost exponentially and Labour is the only party with the instinct, or predilection, to address that problem.”

    Yes, Rod, oh wise one who votes with his big soft heart, but ‘inequality’ (that bizarre term so beloved by the soft left) grew more under the last Labour regime than at any other time. And you’re putting your faith, once again, in them. Curious. Or, perhaps, more to do with your background than your intellect. Who knows – you certainly do not.

    I remember well in 1989 at my Oxford interview the first question the Politics academic in his plush rooms asked me: “What newspaper does your father read?” “Er, um,” replied little me, wondering if there was a right answer, my father’s journey from arch leftist to hard core Telegraph-reading Tory flashing before my eyes, “I think he reads all of them,” I answered. It just made the Politics academic (in a notoriously left wing college, I might add) laugh until I thought he was going to have a seizure.

    We are what we are. I tried for a while to be a firebrand intellectual Communist for a time but soon realised that it was a load of bollocks. I might as well have tried to be gay. But it’s just not who I am. The only thing I am ashamed of in a political sense is that I was stupid enough to vote for Tony Blair in 1997 even though I knew I despised him and everything his ‘project’ stood for even then. But now I know who I am: someone who believes that you can’t have wealth-creation through aspiration and entrepreneurs if you think a meddling Big State is the only way to lift people up. There is no ‘third way’. There is welfare, of course – very necessary – and a ‘free’ healthcare system (preferably one that doesn’t bankrupt the country, but hey) – and a high class education system, of course. But that’s it. I know that now – those are my beliefs and I stick by them. I know who I am. Judging by this rather jaded column, Rod Liddle doesn’t really know who he is, or deep down he does but doesn’t necessarily like the reasons for it. I don’t know. Neither does he, it seems.

    Who are you, Rod Liddle? I mean, really, who?

  • Mary Ann

    It’s not insane to vote against the party which made to poor pay for the follies of the rich.

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