Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Change that works for you: Building a fairer Britain

What does it mean? Change that works for you. There have been grumblings over this choice of slogan - the Liberator has even printed on its front page 'change that offends no one - building a blander Britain'. But I ask you, when did you last meet a slogan you did like? The liberator demands clear gold water, but doesn't offer an alternative slogan. What could a party say to clearly and immediately distinguish itself from its rivals? Property is theft? Greed is good? There is no such thing as society? No taxation without representation? Deutschland uber Alles? Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité? But liberté is so much apple pie these days, so bland; everybody says they support it.

The problem with the slogan "change that works for you - building a fairer Britain" is that it needs to be explained in terms of the substance behind it, that is the 4 steps to a fairer Britain that the Liberal Democrats are campaigning on. Those 4 steps do represent change that works for you, not just for the few, and are a path to a fairer Britain.

They are fair taxes - a personal allowance of £10,000 paid for by closing loopholes at the top and a mansion tax. Not the Tory policy of tax cuts for millionaires, but tax cuts for millions. For generations, tax cuts under Labour and Conservative have benefited the better off, and tax rises have hit everyone. This is a radical policy, Messrs Liberator, which at any other time would have had the rich screaming about incentives - as if incentives didn't work for everyone else.

A fair start for children - extra money for schools that take on disadvantaged children, to begin to give some of the same chances in life to children from all backgrounds that are currently the preserve of the better schools in the nicer areas.

Vince Cable - reforming the banks - the other parties are shying away from this - a credible plan to tackle the deficit as the economy improves - and investment in the green jobs of the future.

Political reform - it is not our society that is broken, but our political system. The political system has lost the confidence of the people, and they're not wrong. Get rid of big money and safe seats. A freedom bill and real decentralisation. The other parties have no stomach for a fraction what is necessary.

This is change that works for you, and they are steps to a fairer Britain.

Sure the Tory slogan has the word change. They want us to think that they are Barack Obama. But of course Obama is a Liberal and a Democrat. And where is their change? And who is it for?

Sure the Labour slogan has the word fairness. But they've been in government for what seems like 30 years, and where is this fairness?

So maybe it sucks to have a slogan that must be explained. At least - unlike the other parties - we have one that can be explained.

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