Five questions for the Labour leadership candidates

Answer these and you might yet win us over


With the Labour leadership contest getting into full swing, we all want to hear what the contenders have to say about where Labour went wrong and how it can do better. Receiving satisfactory answers means asking the right questions. What the Americans call ‘softball questions’ just won’t cut it.

With that in mind, here are some of ours:

Do you oppose the current government’s spending cuts?

Arguments over whether the previous Labour government spent too much may seem pertinent now, but by 2020 they will be largely academic. The Tories didn’t fight the 2005 election on Black Wednesday and nor will Labour contest the 2020 election on the 2008 financial crash. More pressing are the cuts coming in this parliament – cuts being pushed through for the purpose of creating an unnecessary budget surplus by the next General Election.

Whatever ‘tough decisions’ you think any government would have to make on spending, do you oppose the level of the Conservative cuts about to come?

Does the Labour party accept the principle of the free movement of labour?

A great deal of hot air is expounded on immigration by politicians who repeatedly talk about Labour must ‘addressing voters’ concerns about immigration’. This is too ambiguous, for surely there are a broad range of concerns – some perfectly reasonable and others frankly unpalatable.

A good starting point would be to know whether the potential leadership candidates accept the principle of free movement within the European Union. If yes, then we should be honest about the fact and move on to dealing with some of the local impacts of migration.

In many ways honesty about free movement is the prerequisite for trust on issues around integration and the welfare state. Otherwise we end up mired in discussions about net migration, something which (if you accept free movement within the EU) is largely beyond the control of politicians.

If you don’t accept the principle of free movement, how are you planning to negotiate British withdrawal from that covenant at European level? And what if Europe says no? Would that mean leaving the EU?

What’s the best way to tackle Britain’s poor level of social mobility?

“In every single sphere of British influence, the upper echelons of power…are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class.”

Those weren’t the words of the late Tony Benn or Dennis Skinner, but of former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major, that well known scourge of capitalism and tribune of the working class.

Elitism in Britain is now so pronounced that the coalition government’s own social mobility commission has compared it to “social engineering” in favour of the rich. Just 7 per cent of Britons are privately educated yet, according to a government report published in August, 33 per cent of MPs, 71 per cent of senior judges and 44 per cent of people on the Sunday Times Rich List went to fee-paying schools. Of the rich countries listed by the OECD, the three in which men’s earnings are most likely to resemble their fathers’ are the UK, Italy and the US – in that order.

What’s the first step in righting this wrong and stopping Britain throwing away so much working class talent?

What will you offer to working class voters who have abandoned Labour?

It isn’t only middle class families who ‘aspire’ for something better; working class households do too. Increasingly Labour is failing to connect with this section of the electorate, no doubt in part because it previously took it for granted. The question now is how to reconnect and win it back.

One of the big issues working class communities face is insecurity – be that economic insecurity or cultural insecurity around the sheer pace of change immigration brings with it.

That raises two questions: What sort of pro-worker policies should Labour embrace to reconnect with the aspirational working class? And how can free movement of labour benefit communities who currently only see it through the prism of cheap unskilled labour and neighbours who don’t speak English?

Migration is good for British GDP; how then can we ensure that neglected communities see more of the financial and cultural benefits of immigration?

Are property taxes such as the mansion tax really ‘anti-aspirational’?

Since the devastating General Election defeat just over a week ago, there has been a surge of people trying to distance themselves from policies which until recently they appeared to endorse. Listening to most pundits today, Ed Miliband got everything wrong.

A great deal of the criticism levelled at the former Labour leader is that his policies were ‘anti-aspiration’. Labour leadership contenders Tristram Hunt and Andy Burnham have already slammed Miliband’s proposed mansion tax, with the latter calling it – yes, you guessed it – ‘anti-aspiration’.

But is this really true? House prices in London increased by almost 20 per cent last year. If the value of assets is increasing more rapidly than the value of wages, it’s better to tax the assets, is it not? Those fortunate enough to be beneficiaries of Britain’s crazy house price inflation ought surely to pay their fair share, no?

On the left we mustn’t be pushed into a corner where we say that the only way to raise revenue is to make bigger and bigger spending cuts. A property millionaire is now created in Britain every seven minutes, mainly in London. A small tax on properties worth over £2 million pounds is a reasonable ask – or better, a rebanding of the council tax rates to make sure those with the most are paying more than their middle class counterparts. Wouldn’t you agree?

James Bloodworth is the editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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47 Responses to “Five questions for the Labour leadership candidates”

  1. stevep

    The debate on social mobility is welcome as is the debate on aspiration, but it is well to remember that not everyone aspires to be a journalist, doctor, politician or becoming prime minister, regardless of their social circumstances. Not everyone is capable mentally, intellectually or physically of achieving the perceived goals defining success in todays society.
    What huge amounts of “working class” people actually aspire to is a fair, decent society with secure employment paying decent wages with the prospect of it remaining the same for their kids and grandkids. We used to call it Social Democracy. Many still do.
    The questions for the Labour leadership candidates should reflect this.

  2. Mark Myword

    The right of free movement is not quite as clear cut as some seem to think. Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), specifies this right but states what it means – I quote para 3 below:

    *3. It shall entail the right, subject to limitations justified on grounds of public policy,
    public security or public health:
    (a) to accept offers of employment actually made;
    (b) to move freely within the territory of Member States for this purpose;
    (c) to stay in a Member State for the purpose of employment in accordance with the
    provisions governing the employment of nationals of that State laid down by law,
    regulation or administrative action;
    (d) to remain in the territory of a Member State after having been employed in that
    State, subject to conditions which shall be embodied in regulations to be drawn up by
    the Commission.
    4. The provisions of this article shall not apply to employment in the public service.*

    As is obvious from (a), the Treaty right is a right to take a job offer ‘actually made’. It is not a right to travel freely to search for a job. However, various regulations and legislative decisions of the EC, codified in directive EEC2004/38, have reinterpreted the right to include the freedom to search for a job. To return to the strict letter of the Treaty would not invove Treaty change – rather it would require directive change. This particular directive is contoversial for a number of other reasons so such a stricter interpretation is not impossible. I would suggest that Labour could support such an interpretation.

  3. Selohesra

    Does Labour have any non Oxbridge candidates?

  4. AlanGiles

    The woman between Yvette and Trissie – “are we keeping you up?”

  5. AlanGiles

    Well said

  6. Robert

    Look at the people who want to be leader , most are Spads in fact they all are, some are privately educated , all are now middle class not working class. Most of them accepted we needed to go to war most backed Blair sell off of the NHS, and the Post office and the Royal mail and most think Thatcher was right so labour had to follow her policies.

    No change then.

  7. Robert

    Of course that’s right but you try explaining that to the lot now looking to be leader.

  8. AlanGiles

    Ay – “theres the rub” as Shakespeare had it. Apart from Andy they look like a bunch of judgemental sanctimonious magistrates. There is a risk with AB as he goes back a fair way, and things like NHS Global can’t be forgotten but he is the only one of them that comes over as “ordinary”. I suspect Hunt will come last in the campaign – as would Umunna had he not been frit. How can you talk about “the many not the few” and “fairness” when you belong to a club that sells steaks at £150 a time?

  9. Robert

    All of them went to Oxbridge, all are spads , and all are sitting at a Progress right wing Blair-right Husting.

    Says a lot more about the labour party these days, then labour as a party of the working class.

    Sh*t whom ever takes over we are going to have the same issues, a labour party chasing the middle class swing voters..

  10. Robert

    Our Mary is it not.

  11. AlanGiles

    I guess so Robert, but I honestly wouldn’t have recognized her. I have to be frank and say I only know Trissie, Yvete and Andy by sight. That might be a problem for voters – they won’t recognize them.

  12. Robert

    Yes well that is not what has been happening, and that is the problem.

  13. SheriGBorman

    ★❦★❦$89 hourly on [email protected]//



  14. Torybushhug

    5 candidates, all Oxbridge, 4 of which went straight into a Political career, the remaining one spent a couple of years in the mean streets of academia.

    How on earth could such disconnected technocrats possibly feel they know what’s good for us?

    The metropolitan elite for years have tried to grind us down with cloying messages such as that mass immigration has enriched us all, refusing to recognise the massive detriments many of us have been concerned with. How dare the great unwashed challenge the goodness messages handed down from our glorious lefty leaders.

    Today Harperson is saying the customer must now be listened to.
    These are our principles, and if you don’t like them, we have others.

  15. Torybushhug

    ‘What huge amounts of “working class” people actually aspire to is a fair, decent society with secure employment paying decent wages ‘
    What does this abstraction actually mean in the real world?
    Those same people would say they want to CHOOSE to engage with companies with best price, which in turn means the participants in that ecosystem themselves have to have best priced wages.
    I have so many examples of lefties rejoicing in the cheap goods and services they have unearthed, the lowest priced courier, the cheap Polish Gardener, and yet in the next breath these same people say they want decent wages for all.
    Lefties simply seem unable to meld the competing aims of consumers and workers. Instead they talk in broad meaningless abstract narratives.

  16. stevep

    The problem is that “Careerists”, whether in industry, civil service or politics, often put their careers first and other considerations such as loyalty, service, other people with other aspirations and even their own families second. Aspiration has come to mean the climb up the greasy pole. As for choosing a new Labour leader, although it won`t happen, they could do worse than keeping Harriet Harmon as leader. She has stayed the course and the speech she has just delivered about how Labour must listen to people and learn from them has gone down well with me.

  17. Torybushhug

    Even if the system is tightened it will make no difference, the tidal wave of immigration will continue and this means empowers and member of the public requiring a gardener / plasterer can pay less than would otherwise be the case. Employers have no desire to take on trainees in the presence of a mass influx of workers.
    We cannot hope to build enough homes, and even if we build many more, this new shiny resource will simply act as an even greater migrant magnet.
    In the end we have to shut the border.
    It is immoral for us to go along with taking very valuable health workers from vulnerable developing nations anyway. We ought to be encouraging nurse not to come / to return home.

  18. stevep

    Yes, you are absolutely correct. but if you wish to build a fair and decent society, whatever that means to you, you have to start somewhere, because such a society doesn`t currently exist in the UK. A wider debate than currently exists is part of the process. If that includes abstract or unfashionable thoughts or concepts, then so be it. I too have benefited from cheap foreign labour, Hands up anyone who has recently purchased consumer goods such as televisions not made in the far east. Over the years I have benefited from Conservative policies in government and been disadvantaged by Labour governments and vice-versa but that doesn`t mean there isn`t room for improvement. Yes, we need to have an uncomfortable conversation, with not only the left, but ourselves:
    Are we happy with the society we currently live and work in?
    Do we actually want a better, fairer society?
    Would we be prepared to stand up for what we believe in to create a better society?
    Why aren`t we doing it?

  19. Torybushhug

    Us Brits are past masters when it comes to lip service.
    Tony Ben virtue signalled all his life, what with his re-distribution narrative only to then place millions of his wealth in trust for his kids (fck the poor) in 2000 and still leave £5m more to his kids on death.
    Countless examples of this from pious lefties.


    Well consider the fact a fat cat Banker / baby eating Tory is what it says on the tin. He does not preach one thing and do another. He likes accumulating wealth.
    On the other hand your pious all knowing lefty millionaires (Ben, Brand, Coogan, Robinson, Elton – the list is long) and wealthy elites (all those left wing academics and professors with £2m Cambridge homes and fat pensions etc) are CHARLATANS.

    They paint themselves as slightly Saintly but ACT like the fat cat Tories accumulating wealth.
    Which is worse the lefty charlatan or the Tory that admits to enjoying their wealth?
    In summary we on the right do not trust those on the left truly have a better vision for the poor and society. All you have is a flimsy narrative that disguises your personal greed. Self loathing really.
    If any of you truly believed in your manufactured self portrayal we would see you giving away a truly meaningful share of your wealth. None of you do. The obituaries give away the game, even duffle coat wearing Donald Dewar died a multi millionaire. It’s all a façade to hide your true selves.
    Instead of talking, pay more tax voluntarily, but oh no, Brand and others dress this up as merely a futile gesture and thus get to hoard their wealth.
    We wont listen to you as long as you are hypocritical to such an extent.

  20. stevep

    It is wonderful that you are contributing to the debate about creating a better society, even it is a stream of invective. At least you have something to say.
    Yes, you are right about millionaire socialists, but equally there are dirt-poor voters whom, for whatever reason, choose conservatism at every election. Politics is tribal to a certain degree and if given thought, shouldn`t be.
    Richard Nixon supposedly said, when staring at a portrait of JF Kennedy: “When America looks at you it sees what it wants to be, when it looks at me, it sees what it is”.
    Do you see yourself as the lower part of human nature which concentrates it`s efforts on self-survival, to the denigration of others, or do you see yourself as the higher part of human nature which seeks better things and instinctively understands that in order to achieve this we must all help each other? If the latter, then it might just influence your political thinking.

  21. Torybushhug

    ‘Do you see yourself as the lower part of human nature which concentrates it`s efforts on self-survival, to the denigration of others, or do you see yourself as the higher part of human nature which seeks better things and instinctively understands that in order to achieve this we must all help each other? If the latter, then it might just influence your political thinking’.

    That’s a binary vision, not relevant to me.
    I see myself as someone that would like a different type of society where GENUINE fairness is embedded.

    I believe in a rational, dignified, sceptical welfare state safety net of the kind I’ve experienced in Denmark and that was present in the UK until about 3 decades ago.
    I believe in genuine fairness, not fairness that enables a mass of cheats and spongers to play the system (I lived on a council estate for a few years, the reality is utterly different from the picture painted by the naïve left).

    Fairness is not being able to enjoy an asymmetric advantage on account of your ethnicity. Yasmin Aligh-Browne had the full force of the council and police at her disposal within 2 hours of that councillor tweeting she out to be stoned, and yet her similar disparaging remarks of people like Clarkson are ignored. 1400 school kids raped in Rotherham over 15 years, not a wimper.

    Countless cases of ethnic minority MET workers suing for compensation for ‘bullying’, It’s just all too easy for those lucky enough to be able to play the system. I worked with one. Our Manager tret us all the same but because she was from a minority she easily got massive compensation, a sum that took me years to earn. This abuse of fairness is toxic for many of us. The obliging liberal establishment has allowed this mass endemic cheating to prosper.

    Jade Goody sent packing to India to apologise for a slight racist slurr against the Big Brother Indian contestand and yet on the same show Jermaine Jacksons repeated ‘white trash’ utterances were ignored.
    Fairness is not allowing the number of homes within which no one had ever worked, to double on Labours watch.
    Labour turns capable agents into victims in need of welfare.

  22. stevep

    You are perfectly able, as I see it, to comment on the problems caused by the policies of various governments, do you feel able to offer any solutions?

  23. Why

    Why nothing on the candidates themselves, can Oxbridge graduates who have never worked in any job outside of politics really understand anything except more politics the TV studio and the taxi in-between?

  24. Cole

    Is that an issue? Attlee, Wilson and Blair went to Oxbridge – as have most Tory PMs. It’s whether they’re any use that matters.

  25. Cole

    Nothing new there. People like Pitt, Peel and Gladstone did the same. Even Churcill got himself elected very early after a few years as a soldier/journalist. Still, I’m inclined to agree they should have a proper job first – and I don’t mean in PR.

  26. Lewys Hall

    Labour (Blairites) are losing their nerve with regards to abandoning Ed’s ‘left wing’ policies.

  27. Selohesra

    Certainly pick the right person for the job but it illustrates lack of diversity in the credible candidates – at least when Blair won he faced off against Prescott & Beckett who I’m pretty sure were not Oxbridge. It seems to me that the party is moving away from being party of the workers to the party of the careerist politician

  28. lilytwin

    I agree not all of us aspire to be politicians, lawyers, barristers and the like, but there should be equal opportunity to do so. Margaret Thatcher said that everyone could aspire to get where they want if they work hard. Tony Blair talked about a meritocracy and there was no social class any more, then why are the majority of good jobs go to the privilidged? All the aspirational leadership bidders went to Oxbridge where the would have been rubbing shoulders with the right crowd. The Labour party manifesto had a piecemeal offer to increase the minimum wage to 8.00 per hour, 50% tax increase and mansion tax for those properties over 2 million and did not mention reversing austerity at all. Certainly not a socialist government any more. Now they are blaming Ed Milliband. Shameful!! I would like to ask them if they are going to join the voices of the SNp against further cuts to welfare and further funding to our councils, who by the way are also against cuts to services, but I doubt it. We will have to see. I for one will be Marching against Austerity.

  29. ak101


  30. robertcp

    My answers to the five questions. Labour should oppose most of the cuts because they are excessive. It is likely that Osborne will change his deficit reduction plan like he did in 2012. Labour should support free moverment of labour. Labour needs to think about winning back working class voters and increasing social mobility but I do not know how this can be done. The mansion tax or something similar should be retained for the reasons given by James.

  31. robertcp

    Good point. All of this aspiration and social mobility stuff can make people feel like failures.

  32. krys241

    Social Democracy in the 21st century..globalisation, migration, digitalisation, environmental shifts..the changing local community, equitable and fair citizenship?. The underclass, the working class, middleclass, uppermiddle class…valuing and recognising the contributions of communities ..equality no matter the perceived class..Labour fails to address racism and xenophobia..local gentrification to the global displacement of people, ….the shifting job market, a place of discrimination and oppressive practices, 25 years of experience/qualification lost to a cheaper less qualified worker……small business support..what is truely needed?..We need an understanding of Social Democracy in the 21st century..
    Culture: migration is a problem if it tears down the fabric and stability of the local community..migration is a problem..if the colour of our skin impacts on job or funding/training prospects…Social Engineering. ..labour does the same…employs its own kind..a few tokenistic gestures here and there ..but come on…We want to see a commitment to people for who they are,.people who valued their jobs, their careers their lifestyles on salaries,that most of the labour party would scoff at,but now sit at home being accused of being work shy,when in reality they speak enough English to know their rights…where the hell have the union been ?
    We want to see a party that recognises hypocrisy and its own. What is really going on in our industries, factories, schools, universities, prisons, health and social care services, banks and finance companies, which may I add have their own system of oppressive practices unique to the financial sector..,Where are our pensioners?…
    I dont care if you dont have a degree, masters or phd, or if you have criminal record or a couple of CCJ’s to run the country/labour you need to understand the people. sadly labour didnt really engage with community development workers..
    Next Leader needs to inspire by talking from previous experience…give examples…who lost their job why?,,,who is on 0 hours contact why?..whats happened to small businesse? connect with the people first..Labour is more than a party it is a movement of the people.

  33. AlanGiles

    I was very surprised by the actions of Tony Benn. To me, he finally gave himself away.

    I think that Cameron and Osborne are comfortable with their position and they never pretend otherwise or try to get down with the kids.

    You look at people like Chuka Umunna with his “trash” comments and knowing he belongs to exclusive clubs, Tristram Hunt and all the other Oxbridge boys (and girls) all with their superior air of entitlement and all their talk of “fairness” (never defined) just looks bogus – actors spouting their lines, and not beliving a word of them.

  34. Norfolk29

    I am amazed that the first obvious question was not”how do we make sure we pick a leader who looks and sounds like a leader?” For all Ed Miliband talents he totally failed to pass those tests. I know people who are Labour supporters who still despaired during the election that neither Ed M nor Ed B looked competent for the jobs they were seeking. If anything happens to give us a leader in the same mould again, we will simply switch off.

  35. Torybushhug

    I’m I think a pragmatist, social mobility for example is probably not going to shift in view of the fact even the most strident of ‘progressives’ pays merely lip service to it. Nothing can change in the absence of personal sacrifice. Owen Jones will not one day ensure his child does not capture a privileged position and success. As per the Millibands, his kids will access and benefit from their networks. This necessarily excludes others. No amount of state intervention will circumvent his personal private actions that will ensure his children prosper and take those best positions. One way or another his children will ensnare success. This necessarily means those positions are thus unavailable to others.

    In other words, any ‘solution’ to social mobility is unlikely to work, thus I feel it would be disingenuous (back to hypocrisy) of me to present one.
    Now I expect you would argue the solution must come from Govt, for example the setting of quotas, but again how could this possibly work when the likes of Toynbe and all the rest would still aid their kids in capturing the best jobs? Nothing will change.

    I think the only hope for more social mobility is in spreading enterprise, this is where so many from history went from humble carpenters son to running large companies etc.
    Lip service will never do, the North London liberal establishment has yet to learn this.

  36. Torybushhug

    ‘She has stayed the course and the speech she has just delivered about how Labour must listen to people and learn from them has gone down well with me’.

    Do you not recall both Blaire and Brown saying exactly this, and in both cases going on listening initiatives across the land?
    These people so far have shown themselves to be incapable of listening. Deep down they still have a quaint 1980’s student union ‘right-on’ world view. There is no way such people are capable of recognising the truth about mass immigration, it would give them severe cognitive dissonance.

  37. Torybushhug

    So once again social mobility, a meritocracy and the absence of a glass ceiling are just polite society talking points. The same old elites entrenching their advantage.

  38. Torybushhug

    ‘My answers to the five questions. Labour should oppose most of the cuts because they are excessive.’

    Cutting £1.00 out of every £100 the Govt spends is excessive?
    We pay something like £150m per day in useless interest. With lower debt we pay less interest, thus have money left for investment in the long run.

    We spend vastly more than we produce, are we really so infantile and spoilt as to not be able to cope with a bit of sensible money management? What makes us this supremely entitled?

  39. stevep

    Good point. The problem as I see it is that the Labour party has lost sight of what it once stood for, to represent and further the cause of the working class ie. the vast majority of us. It has been taken over by the middle classes and has been part of the establishment for years now. Unions who genuinely try to represent the working class are treated like a rather smelly aunty to be hidden away in the attic. The so-called “underclass” comprised of the long-term unemployed, people unable to work due to disability and the hard-core work-avoiders are either ignored or vilified.
    Many people in the UK are perfectly happy with the system as it is now, seeing it as not perfect but until something demonstrably better comes along, it`ll do.
    I think the system, establishment, political clique, call it what you will, is inherently unfair and is designed to be so to favour those with inherited wealth, the landed gentry, corporations (whether British or foreign) etc. The most the average Joe can expect is a hard climb up a greasy pole to be fed the table scraps. A decent full-time job with a fair wage seems out of the question these days.
    To change things for the better you have to have the support and the will of the vast majority of the public. The trouble with this is the British public have a long history of being propagandised and even terrorised by the establishment when it senses a possible change to the master/servant relationship.
    There is an opportunity now to at least try to change things. it is the internet. I would employ as many computer experts/geeks as possible to circumvent the mainstream media and get the message across.
    The message/manifesto is whatever we want it to be, with or without the Labour party. This is why we need open debate now about what people actually want. If the population of The UK prefer things as they are now, at least we`ll know, because it won`t be filtered through the lenses of the mainstream media.
    If people want a better, fairer society with more opportunities without having to stab someone in the back to get on then we can look at the best examples throughout the world and go from there. Political parties have gone from humble beginnings to being in positions where they can wield real power, all over Europe. Change can happen very quickly if enough people want it.

  40. stevep

    Maybe mass immigration was quite deliberate, firstly to provide enough taxpayers to pay for increasing amounts of baby-boomers reaching pension age and secondly to change the social mix and demographics of the UK.

  41. robertcp

    The deficit is keeping our economy going, so it cannot be withdrawn too quickly. I agree about us spending more than we produce but the adjustment needs to be gradual in my opinion. We will find out if I am wrong over the next five years.

  42. Torybushhug

    Steve, have you noticed the omnipresent message is that somehow we’re entitled to things being ‘better’.
    Even with something like nature documentaries we are told the next series is to be even ‘better’, with ever more dung cams. I notice this refrain everywhere and can’t help asking why we relentlessly feel everything must be better.
    Sit back and ask yourself, after all these decades of every last thing being made supposedly better, are we happier?
    When will be finally arrive at this better place and be satisfied? When will enough better be enough?

  43. stevep

    For me it will be when we take only what we need and leave the planet in a better state than we found it. It won`t happen in my lifetime but future generations might like to ponder on it.

  44. Mike Phelps

    People want fairness. But that doesn’t mean handing out more and more benefits to buy votes. People don’t want to work for £18,000, then pay tax so people who don’t bother to work get £25,000 of benefits – when you really add everything up. And that’s tax free! They want their kids to be able to get a job and a house. More and more immigrants increase competition so reduce the chances of that happening. In short, why are MPs more interested in foreigners and scroungers than ordinary Brits?

    People like the NHS, but wonder why foreigners should be treated at their expense and push their elderly mother down the waiting list. They wonder why we need to rape 3rd world countries of the few qualified people they have. People also want openness, because without that, fairness is very difficult to achieve. They’d like to know how many Philippinos work in the NHS, how many Bulgarians claim Income Support, what the average and maximum Housing Benefit claim is in Tower Hamlets, what the average rent subsidy is worth, plus a whole raft of other statistics that the political class deliberately hides from the public. Its a matter of trust. Tell us how many Romanians live in the council houses our families paid for over the years. Because, if you won’t tell us, why should we trust you or vote for you?

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