The thing about the Times is, it is very cleverly produced and run (as you would expect from a Murdoch paper) but it is also the most sneaky of all the papers. It is very subtlely right-wing while pretending to lean to the left. It plays the game very well. When it comes to spin, New Labour has nothing on the Murdoch press! They are the masters. They pay lip-service to Blair and Labour by using commentators who claim to vote Labour (Stephen Pollard, Oliver Kamm) while still being able to espouse the same right wing policies (they disguise these policies as best they can).
One aspect of the Euston Manifesto is the admirable effort by the originators to get back to leftwing basics, unfortunately they have wrapped it up in apologism for the Bush regime which is why I cannot sign it.
Daniel Finkelstein has taken the schism on the left between the Respect/SWP sympathisers (a small minority) and the rest of the Left and twisted it into the dividing line between Eustonites and non-signers. This is something the Eustonites have inadvertently allowed the Right to do. Not only is this insulting to non-signers like me, who reject Galloway, it is allowing the right to get away with the suggestion that only a minority of the Left accept the universal principles in the Euston Manifesto, which is obviously false. The Eustonites have provided plenty of reasons why the decent Left shouldn't sign.
First and foremost the lack of prescriptive solutions to the admirable aims of the Eustonites leaves the manifesto open to hijack from a disingenuous right, which is precisely what the Murdoch press will and are taking advantage of to the hilt. I mean even Oliver (£20bn cuts) Letwin claims to want to reduce inequality, so do all the Tories. With the Tories desperate to change their image, here is the perfect opportunity, a manifesto that requires no policy commitments but allows them to claim a 'left-wing' status. After claiming to be 'heir to Blair', how long before Cameron also embraces the Euston Manifesto?
The problem is of course that the Tories still have the same old policies and prejudices that so entrenched and widened inequality in the first place. As Polly Toynbee points out, the Tories with their recent poverty commission led by Ian Duncan Smith confuse the symptoms of poverty into the causes of poverty. This relies on the ideology of blaming the immorality of the poor as bringing their own downfall. This is precisely the ideology of Thatcher, nothing has changed. Not a surprise really when you ask a right-winger like Duncan Smith for the answers. If it is the immorality of the poor that causes poverty and tax cuts and less government interference is the answer, why does the US have so much poverty and Sweden so little. How long are we going to let the Tories and the Right get away with this level of dishonesty?
So the answer to poverty for the Tories, is more marriage, to combat the immorality of single parents. For a party that claims that the government should do as little as possible, they have a tremendous faith in their ability to get people, as Polly puts it; "down the aisle and to stay there". It is just plain dishonest to say tax cuts help the poor, they do not. In a country where individuals spend more on gambling and booze than the government is allowed to spend on the NHS, I think somewhere we have got our priorities wrong. There is no practical reason why a country as rich as ours should have such levels of poverty, it is a political decision to allow it (backed/forced by our right-wing media). It is about time we heard the truth that we are a low tax country and that the Cameron/Tories are liars and don't let the Murdoch press and their claims about the Euston manifesto fool you into thinking otherwise.