The Telegraph has exposed Labour's hypocrisy when they abolished the starting 10p rate of tax in 2007. At the time Labour denied the move would disproportionately hit the poorest - but the papers show Labour, including Gordon Brown and Ed Balls, knew full well that their move would harm the very poorest and benefit the very rich. But they went ahead anyway. The killer graphic is here:
But this was not an aberration. Under Blair/Brown the gap between rich and poor rose faster than under Thatcher. They declared it was their intention to abolish child poverty, but the pledge (like so many others) crashed and burned.
So I find it strange there are still some misguided souls in the Lib Dems who think the Labour party is in some way 'progressive' or indeed 'radical' and it is the party's duty to work only with Labour in some sort of left alliance of the deluded.
So when Richard Grayson and Linda Jack report back to the Social Liberal Forum next weekend on their talks with Ed Balls and Liam Byrne (among others) I hope they are laughed out of the hall. I'd guess they won't be because the SLF, sadly, has a blind spot to evidence that disproves their rose tinted world view of Labour. Their knee jerk reactionism to all things Conservative prevents them taking the pragmatic and balanced position of pursuing political goals that actually can be delivered by the Lib Dems in government.
By 2015 when no-one will be paying any tax on incomes less than £10,000 it will do more for helping those at the bottom end of the pay scale than anything Labour ever did and it will have been done because the Lib Dems are working with the Conservatves - not Labour.