An open letter to the Labour party

Dear Ed,

I hope you’ll get to read this, although the likelihood is that you never will. It’s a shame really, since I was added to your mailing list by some third party and my efforts to be removed from your party mailing list has been repeatedly ignored, I thought I would take the time and effort to write this open letter in reply to your latest missive on the 2012 budget.

I am 24, I had the luxury of attending a Grammar school, before funding my way through university with a combination of my student loans and hard work. I now find myself employed as a graduate associate in financial regulation. Mr. Miliband, you claim to speak for me with your words about the budget “millions were asked to pay more, so millionaires can pay less” and so on; but really you do not, you and your party punish success, I consider myself to be successful, I hope to be successful going into the future and quite frankly, your ideas scare me.

Without resorting to a point by point dissection of your message, I would summarise your complaint as the budget penalises those on lower incomes, while reducing the burden on those with high incomes. The way I and many others see it though, is that you are in fact bitter that this budget rewards those who contribute the most and consume the least from society, while punishing the people who consume a much greater share, those people being your core voters.

Your thoughts on the lack of jobs, especially for young people misses a critical point… That many of the people you talk about are failures; such as when a child misbehaves their way through school before leaving with a mediocre assortment of qualifications barely worth the paper they are written on. Or the graduate who has a 2:2 in media studies thanks to your predecessors’ policies of getting as many people into university whether they are suited to it or not. Is it any wonder that these people enter the job-market with little chance of success? Meanwhile companies in the UK are having to employ workers from overseas since there are too few skilled workers in this country, mainly because those young people who would now be ready to work had they been able to take apprenticeships and vocational qualifications were railroaded into going to university to study hugely unsuitable degrees.

I know “banker bashing” is the fashionable thing to do, it certainly is for the Labour Party according to point number one of your plan. It’s not however a thought I subscribe to. I mean the “bankers” weren’t really responsible for the financial crisis, nor were the Tory millionaires you criticise. No, the real cause was and remains those who took credit with no clear means of paying it back so that they could own their own home and have the latest television and phone.

Meanwhile the “rich” that you would deny a small tax cut generally take private medical insurance, saving money for the NHS; they generally educate their children privately, saving more money for the education system; and are eligible for virtually no state funds, saving money for the benefits system; all the while contributing a much greater amount to the economy both through the spending of their disposable income and the indirect taxes this generates.

Gordon Brown famously talked about prudence, all the while spending as much as he could to pacify the poor and building the foundations of today’s crisis instead of using the boom years to build a trillion pound pool of cash that could sustain the country through the bust ones. This is the result, it’s painful and it is going to remain that way for a long while to come, and no amount of fanciful ideas about taxing bonuses and taxing the “rich” (I use the term loosely since I do not consider somebody earning £150,000 per year to be rich, merely comfortable) is going to make things better, instead you will merely remove the incentive to work that bit harder and make that bit more money which ultimately will all benefit the economy.

Mr. Miliband. Ultimately this budget is about making people take responsibility and pay for what they use. If that means your voters have to pay more then so be it, as “we are all in this together.”

Yours sincerely,
Callam McMillan

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