Letwin, the Poll Tax, and the never-changing Tories – The Labour Party

David Cameron’s policy advisor – Oliver Letwin – explicitly suggested that Scotland be used as a testing ground for the introduction of the poll tax, papers released under the 30-year rule have revealed.

The Cabinet Office minister emerges in official papers publicly released today (December 30) as the man who single-handedly kept the idea of the poll tax alive in the mid 1980s despite attempts by two senior ministers to strangle it at birth, according to The Guardian (and many other news sources).

“’If you are not willing to move to a pure residence charge in England and Wales immediately, you should not introduce a mixture of taxes but should rather use the Scots as a trail-blazer for the real thing,’ Letwin told Thatcher in a memo written in November 1985. Letwin, whose parents knew Thatcher, had got his job on the recommendation of the cabinet minister Sir Keith Joseph.”

This is interesting. Letwin got his job via the Old School Tie/Old Boy Network (in Thatcher’s case… no, it would still be the Old Boy Network), and his sponsor was Keith Joseph, one of the architects of Thatcherism, the strain of neoliberal ideology that had as its main aim the removal of any security – job, life, or health – for working class people, along with the crushing of the trade unions who had crusaded for that security (see previous articles on this site).

He then decided to use that position to lay into Scotland, and now he’s David Cameron’s policy advisor. Let’s hope any Scottish readers are paying close attention; do you really want to do anything that may lead to this monster getting back into Whitehall?

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, reacting to the revelations, said: “Oliver Letwin was a key architect of the poll tax – so enthusiastic about it he pressed Margaret Thatcher to push ahead with its introduction. Over the years he has called for further privatisation of the NHS and for public expenditure at 35 per cent of GDP. Today he is David Cameron’s policy chief at the heart of his Government. It seems that the Tory Party never changes.

“With a tax cut for millionaires and a secret plot for another VAT increase if they get in again, you just can’t trust the Tories on tax.”​

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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2 thoughts on “Letwin, the Poll Tax, and the never-changing Tories – The Labour Party

  1. aussieeh

    You can’t trust the Tory’s on Tax, You can’t trust this lot of Tory scum on anything, not one word of truth over the last four and a half years not one along with their yellow bellied accomplices who are no different. They have always been the same, remember this, ” we are only going to close 7 pits at the most.” Haven’t the British public got short memory’s. .

  2. Neil Mac

    Ah yes, Letwin! …he’s the character who, early one morning let two alleged strange men into his house allegedly to use the toilet and left them alone with his valuables which they then stole. This weird scene ended with Letwin allegedly chasing them down the street in his pyjamas.

    He is also the totally irresponsible character who, without a thought for his constituents’ confidentiality, dumped letters from them to him in his capacity as an MP in a public park litter bin.

    This man is totally and utterly unfit to be even an office tea boy, never mind a minister/advisor. A clear case of money, the nasty Tory Establishment and the “old boy” network has got him where he is today.

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