Is it just me or is the only thing that the rump of the Labour Party can think of doing when the chips are down is to introduce a windfall tax on some giant multi-national companies?
Their latest target is the energy companies who have made "obscene" profits on the back of the rise in oil and gas prices. The usual left-wing nutters have been out in force today saying that it is wrong that these companies should be allowed to make these enormous amounts of money for their "privileged" shareholders - never mind that so many happen to be mainly pension funds and small individual shareholders - just the sort of people who we need to save for the long-term to provide the funding for future pensions and prosperity.
According to these socialist economic illiterates the money should be used by the government to invest in energy conservation schemes. Given that the chief promulgators of this very short-sighted proposal appear to be trade union leaders - many of whom attended the Warwick II Labour Party/Union policy development conference this weekend - perhaps this is where Harriet Harman's suggestion on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday that "one million green collar jobs can be created" came from?
This is the politics of La-La land and shows that many on the Left are both economically and intellectually still living in a 1970s world where it was the workers against the capitalists (ie the Tories). Don't they realise that if there is not some very major capital investment in the "real" energy infrastructure of this country (not bloody pointless wind farms) the lights will be going out in more ways than one?
Where do these unionised pygmies think all this money is going to come from?
- The government? (The government does not have any money except that which it raises in taxation. How much more tax do they want us to pay as a percentage of GDP?
- The energy companies? (If they are not able to make sufficient profits to allow them to invest in replacing and developing new sources of energy and generating capacity they will not do it - at least not at anything like the rate that is required - and, being global companies, could easily go elsewhere.)
In simple terms - and it needs to be simple so these Labour neanderthals can understand it - if the Government decides to implement these windfall taxes then the energy companies will be less likely to make the investments that we so desperately need. (NB: As usual John Redwood has put the point much more succinctly!)
If Brown thinks he can save his own neck and that of the Labour Party by going through with this, then we will all be doomed to a very miserable existence in the future.