Politics explained

Labour says it is ‘winning the battle of ideas’ – it is tough to argue

According to shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, the government’s latest U-turn on a windfall tax on the big energy companies proves that “Labour is winning the battle of ideas in Britain”.

Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that the Liberal Democrats proposed such a levy in October, there is something in what Reeves says about our country’s two major parties. Rishi Sunak’s fiscal event was more or less scripted by Reeves, and she looked suitably pleased with herself at the despatch box.

It is not, at any rate, the first time the Conservatives have adopted a policy from an opposition party. During the pandemic, there were several occasions when Labour urged the government to impose public health precautions, and ministers resisted until the situation became so dire they had to do precisely that.


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