Many years ago, when This Writer first arrived in Mid Wales, I was told of an old political blackmail that – allegedly – is still used here.
Tory landlords would rent out properties to poor people, often their employees, only on the condition that they voted Conservative at general and local elections.
With that in mind, I must ask: Just what is the Conservative Party’s Economic Secretary to the Treasury suggesting to City business executives?
John Glen (that’s his name, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you never heard of him before) told them the Labour Party was a bigger threat to the economy than Brexit (a lie), saying Labour “would unravel decades of economic progress”.
Economic progress? Average wages are a fraction of what they were 10 years ago and productivity has fallen massively. That is not progress!
Mr Glen said Labour was “a party led by maverick figures” like Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell: “I don’t believe that this is a man ready to occupy 11 Downing Street.”
Others may disagree, considering the lamentable job done by the last two tenants of that particular piece of social housing.
“We must redouble our efforts in office to ensure we are building an inclusive and responsible brand of capitalism,” Mr Glen told financial service bosses, demanding that they do their utmost to stop the Shadow Chancellor from gaining ground in the Square Mile.
Who’s “we” in this scenario? And what will “we” be doing, exactly?
Is this man trying to induce City bosses to interfere in politics by persuading their clients against supporting Labour? If so, what kind of tactics are they likely to employ?
It seems clear the Tories are terrified of Labour’s current charm tactics in the City.
Mr McDonnell and members of his team, including Mr Glen’s opposite number Jonathan Reynolds, have been meeting with banks and businesses, allaying fears created by the Tories’ scaremongering.
But we all know that, when they can’t produce a decent argument, Tories get vicious.
Mr McDonnell has made his opinion of this behaviour clear on Twitter:
This is an extremely dangerous statement to come from a government minister. Urging banks & finance companies to politically interfere in our democratic process smacks of desperation by a Tory party seeking to cling onto office by any means. https://t.co/dpeehYHweW
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) June 13, 2018
What incentives are they offering to get City executives to pit their clients against Labour?