There’s a popular game called Cards Against Humanity that shocked and delighted families around the table this Christmas. The idea is simple: one card contains the fairly innocuous opening part of a sentence and a second card is then offered that completes the phrase in a particularly vulgar, amusing and random fashion. Hilarity ensues.
The concept has clearly proven popular with the Labour party, who now use the same approach in formulating policy. Someone lays the first card, which reads “Britain’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines...” and the line is completed by Corbyn who adds “needn’t actually carry any nukes". What laughs!
Someone else, perhaps Labour’s new policy chief, Andrew Fisher (who supported the Class War party at the last election), lays a card saying “If a company isn’t paying its staff £10 per hour...” and quick as a flash Corbyn offers the conclusion “ban them from paying dividends to shareholders".
Never let it be said that ageing socialists don’t have a sense of humour. Business groups didn’t quite see the funny side, though. Simon Walker of the IoD described Corbyn’s proposed assault on the relationship between a private company and its shareholders as “bizarre and damaging”, adding “paying a dividend is not an immoral act".
At the heart of the idea is Corbyn’s concern for the low paid, but he seems blissfully unaware that dividend payments are a vital contribution to pensions or that the prospect of such a payment ensures continued investment in British companies. It is, in short, the kind of policy idea that could only have come from someone who has never once had cause to consider how businesses operate.
The Labour leader, and his London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, want a Living Wage of £10 per hour. This is higher than the £7.20 that will come into effect from April, higher than the £8 that Miliband called for and higher than the £9 that it will be from 2020.
Fail to pay the £10 rate under a Corbyn-led government and the heavy hand of the state will essentially seize your company.
The idea that such an environment would be conducive to job creation is so insane it could only have come from a card game whose premise is random absurdity.