John Rentoul vs the people
John Rentoul, chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, writes that "the tax on bankers' bonuses was the final act of self-destruction" for the Labour Party, and that "Brown's reversion to class-war politics has compounded his error. The City's fury matters...And for what? It won't make Labour any more popular among the voters it needs to save its marginal seats at the election."
So according to Rentoul's argument, we would expect opinion polls to reveal that most people oppose the government's policies, right?
From what I have heard, the Government’s plans for heavier taxes on people with high incomes are fair
Don’t know 5%
Ø The Government is right, in the eyes of most voters, to tax high earners more heavily
Ø Unsurprisingly the highest proportion who agree are DEs (71%) although even 64% of ABs agree
Ø There is also a correlation between age and agreement, with older voters the most likely to agree
Ø Although Labour voters are the voter group most likely to agree, 61% of Tories do too .
Given the current economic climate and the need for the Government to reduce borrowing in the years ahead, do you support or oppose the following measures that Alistair Darling announced this week?
Requiring banks to pay a one-off extra tax on bonuses of more than £25,000
per bank employee
Don't know 10
The sub editor at the Independent summarised Rentoul's article as "Gordon Brown's party is being propelled into the wilderness by economic plans that repel voters". An improved version of this summary would be:
"Gordon Brown's party is being propelled into the wilderness by economic plans that repel 11% of voters, and are supported by 79% of voters".
And if you think 'but that argument makes no sense, Tony Blair's biographer appears to be launching an unfounded attack on Gordon Brown', then, um, you'd be right.