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Douglas Carswell’s policies would put off even the most disgruntled Labour voter

CarswellDouglas Carswell is a principled man. On that most of us agree, even if we don’t agree with most of his principles. But how appealing are his principles, and his emphasis on small government in particular, to the working class voters we are in danger of losing to UKIP?

How would Carswell’s great solution of “iDemocracy” which would empower “activist consumers” to opt out of the state appeal to those whom academics characterise as “left behind” by social changes – including the atomised world of the internet?

Douglas Carswell is a man about whom even his great admirer, Charles Moore, said “many of his colleagues regard him as a lunatic.” Fortunately he has clearly set out his stall in a book, The End of Politics and the birth of iDemocracy, of which Dominic Lawson said:

as a revolutionary text, Carswell’s is right up there with the Communist Manifesto”

And fortunately for me, Daniel Finkelstein has neatly summarised in the Times the policy prescriptions contained within it:

  1. 41dzUlpFJkLThere should be a shift in taxes, cutting those paid by the rich and increasing those paid by the middle class and the poor. We shouldn’t be taking the lowest paid out of tax. “Once every household faces a similar-size bill for all that government, the question of whether we still need it all will sit centre stage.”
  2. Income tax should be replaced by taxes on consumption and property that are not progressive.
  3. The government was wrong to step in and save ordinary depositors’ cash when the Royal Bank of Scotland was about to shut cash machines. It shouldn’t do that again.
  4. The government should have cut more spending in this parliament and should cut faster in future. We should do this a great deal more quickly so that we can begin to pay back debt.
  5. Reducing how much we pay out in state pensions, which are future liabilities, is an essential part of reducing our debt.
  6. Interest rates have been too low and should be raised.
  7. The NHS should be privatised. The government shouldn’t run healthcare. Everyone should be allowed to opt out. People should have their own health accounts.
  8. This should also happen in education. Schools should be run much more like supermarkets.
  9. The education budget should be halved.
  10. The welfare budget should be halved.

So more cuts, lower taxes for the rich and higher for those “left behind” by ‘growth’, lower pensions, higher interest rates, an end to the NHS and state education as we know it, and all those small savers whose banks were saved from collapse by Labour should have lost their cash.

That’ll go down well.


  1. Matty says:

    This should be required reading for people thinking of defecting from Labour to UKIP.

  2. Ric Euteneuer says:

    This isn’t even UKIP policy, but is symptomatic of the kind of “fruitcake, loony and closet racist” that UKIP attracts – ridiculous, unworkable ‘populist’ policies, designed to appeal to a particular slice of the electorate – like introducing uniforms for cabbies, dresscodes for theatres, halving public sector spending, doubling defence spending, and denuding workers of employment protection, all of which HAVE appeared in UKIP manifesti.

  3. John reid says:

    O.k without trying to sound controversial for the sake of it, what is the most disgruntled labour voter,I know people who voted Labour all their life,stopped voting Labour in 83 and haven’t voted since,are they a labour voter ,or always voted Tory , voted Labour for the first time in 97′ ,what’s a labour voter?

    1. swatantra says:

      You say: ‘Ok, I’ll put you down as weak Labour then’. Done and dusted.

      1. John reid says:

        But what would make them not weak labour, actually having a few policies maybe?

        1. John Reid says:

          Come to think of it as Ken Livingstone didn’t back the labour candidate for mayor in 2000, or back labour, he backed the greens at the GLA assembly election, didn’t back labour at the 2001 general election, and twice didn’t back,the Labour candidates for Tower hamlets in 2010 and 2014′ that’s 5 times he’s voted else where,
          Maybe you’re right I’d call him weak labour,

          And just because he got 39,000 votes on the NEC recently, Labour got 40,000 votes in Havering in the council elections in May.

          1. Ric Euteneier says:

            Let’s just place John’s comments about Livingstone in context. Livingstone didn’t back the Labour candidate for Mayor because he was a candidate – and indeed WOULD have been the Labour candidate, had not new Labour control freakery cheated him out of the endorsement. He scored 667,877 (39%) – and 685,548 (37%) in the 2004 election of first preferences – over *3* times the Labour candidate’s total in 2000. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. And even the hoariest old New Labour supporter generally begrudgingly admits he was actually successful in his Mayoralty. He wasn’t in the Labour Party until 2003 – so why would he endorse a party who’d dismissed him ? He didn’t back the Labour candidate in 2010 and 2014 because, in both cases, it was a New Labour stitch up.

          2. John Reid says:

            Yes Livingstone did get more votes in 2004as the labour candidate, than Dobson got in 2000, but that’s cos Labour members voted for him. as for a new Labour stitch up, what ever that means regarding Tower Hamlets and John Biggs, Ed Miliband said new labour died in August 2010, nearly 4 years before the recent election, ho Ken Livingstone being the only person on the NEC who wanted Brahman re admitted and losing the vote is a stitch up I don’t know, if you feel that because even in the circumstance of a block vote robbing Livingstone the chance to stand for labour in 200 is a stitch up so its was O.K. for him not to vote labour, when Trots ousted by bringing in their own branch members of militant ,In the early 80’s I take it you feel it was O.K. for 10 labour members including Frank cook, Lord Cox and frank field to tell people to Voted for the SDP candidate in Tottenham in 1987,or vote for an Independent labour member in the Bermondsey Bye-election of 1983 ,when Rahman lost to the other candidate as Labours choice in 2010 its wasn’t due to block votes it was the NEC rules he was unsuitable to be labours choice,

            Livingstone’s being Labours choice in 2004 wasn’t put to members in a vote of who we should have, the Labour choice Nicki, Dropped out, so I take it you feel if there’s a stitch up, you feel it was O.K. for At the time Labour member Dan Hodges to Back Boris,

            I’m not disputing what you say about Livingstone having a right to stand as an independent and back who he liked, I was just raising the point who is a weak labour voter,

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