‘March for what we could have done’

LABOUR councillors in Camden stung by the criticism that they haven’t come up with anything radical to oppose government ordered cuts have put store in the fact many will be ‘marching for the alternative’ in London tomorrow.

This is the march, likely to be the biggest in the capital since the Iraq War, that is promoted with a flier calling for a Robin Hood tax (which could have been introduced under Labour, but wasn’t) and the closing of tax loopholes (which could have been closed under Labour, but weren’t really). Those who feel the Labour response has been a bit lacklustre may be happy to see councillors taking to the streets, but what do they do next? And how does protesting with a placard marry up with what they are doing at the Town Hall?



7 Comments on ‘March for what we could have done’

  1. Cllr Maya de Souza // March 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm //

    Good point Richard. Just in case your readers don’t know the Greens have been calling for a Tobin Tax for decades. We have also been calling for action in respect of tax avoidance and to break up the banks to reduce their stranglehold on the govt.
    How can Lab claim to be for all of this having done nothing about this
    in their 13yrs in power!

  2. Cllr Maya de Souza // March 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm //

    Good article Richard. Just in case your readers don’t know, the Greens have been calling for a Tobin Tax for decades,
    have been asking for action to stop tax avoidance and to break up the banks to reduce their stranglehold on us for many years. How can Labour say they
    are for all of this when they did nothing whilst in power? Also there are other alternatives in cuts in front line services – the Greens have put their alternative forward. Amazing that Lab did not seem to come up withy any alternative.

  3. A little disingenuous as a Tobin tax can only be introduced internationally. Brown did begin talks and Obama seemed receptive (very unlikely Bush would have agreed). Many tax loopholes were closed by Labour, but there will always be people coming up with ever more complex schemes to avoid tax.

    America’s largest corporation pays no US tax, but still qualifies for a $3.2 billion refund. These are global concerns that require global solutions.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all

  4. Cllr Don Williams // March 27, 2011 at 10:50 am //

    The march and Labour councillors’ participation will make no difference to the average Camdenite. The massive debt created by Gordon Brown and Labour has come due for payment. Most recognise this as the reason for today’s belt tightening and the need to avoid the Greek and Irish crises.
    If Labour would follow Camden Conservatives suggestions to reduce administrative costs in the Town Hall, it could protect today’s services – making no cuts – and protect Camden from Council tax rises. A little more hard work at the Town Hall could show Labour’s committment to the Camden’s residents.

  5. Theo Blackwell // March 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm //

    (1) the piece fails to suggest an alternative course of action – if it is so obvious why not say it Richard? The fact is that council are extremely limited. All of the options don’t work – ‘oppose-and-be damned’ (not setting a budget would mean less money for Camden services as we wouldn’t collect any tax); resign and let the Tories set the budget (ludicrous); use Camden’s Reserves to support services (this would only work for one year and then we would have to cut again); hike council tax (we cant this year (anyway its a 33% hike) / we’d lose a referendum)
    (2) A Tobin Tax would not save local public services, even if the will was there.
    (3) Don, Don, Don – total economic illiteracy. Enough of the cliches, Britain is not ‘like Greece or Ireland’…its the 5th largest economy in the world that got into real trouble because of the bank bail out – presumably you were against that and wouldve wanted to see the british economy tank overnight?

    • Richard Osley // March 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm //

      Missed the point of the post here a little TB. The march billed itself as calling for a Robin Hood/Tobin tax, loopholes to be closed and pretty much a ‘no cuts at all’ position. Question is: if Labour was in power in government tomorrow, would all these things that Labour councillors were marching for on Saturday be put into practice?

      …or would a Labour government revert to the relationship it had with the City before the election?

      The things on the flier could have been done under the last government, but weren’t. That’s your party’s choice.

  6. Cllr Don Williams // March 28, 2011 at 10:53 pm //

    I miss the point too of TB’s response to me. Why march when you (Labour) have it in your power to make savings in adminsitrative costs at Town Hall and save services?
    I dont get it.
    If we were in power, we know that we would be on the side of residents making Town Hall do more for less this year, the next and beyond. This would protect services today and tomorrow.
    To us residents come first and we would work overtime to show this.

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