Left Watch

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The vast majority want higher taxation of the rich, says Toynbee in rebuke to Mandelson

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian:

"Mandelson is profoundly wrong and out of date to accuse others of "class war". The 50p tax rate and tax on bonuses are not some "core-vote" strategy. Polls and focus groups prove them so popular that the Tories dare not vote against them. Mandelson's claim that taxing the rich makes Labour no longer the party of "aspiration" is to grossly misunderstand the present mood. The decade-long deception that pretended mega-wealth could be "aspired" to by all is over: the real middle Britain, median earners on about £23,000, are not core-vote but the majority – and they have rumbled the rich. Their aspirations have nothing to do with letting Rothschild and Deripaska incomes rip. Remember only 10% earn over £40,000. To have any hope of salvaging this election, Labour has to know whom as well as what it stands for. That's not class war, that's basic social democratic principle, and it's good psephology. "The many not the few" is no retreat to a core vote."