I never said anything about a “magic money tree”. In fact, I gave no view on the appropriate scale of changes on tax and spend. For the record, I had no problem with higher taxes on those earning over £80,000 and would have had no issue with higher income tax or national insurance more generally. Nor do I object to borrowing to invest in principle. To the extent the election shows we can be braver on such things, I welcome it. I’m objecting to poor prioritisation where I think we can find better things to invest in, and I’m objecting to prioritising the better-off over people on low incomes. The latter point is if anything to the left of Labour’s manifesto, not its right.
I believe in a strong public sector and a strong private sector, and I believe both have their place. Given that this year’s manifesto did not in fact propose the virtual abolition of the private sector, I don’t think this is an especially reactionary point of view to hold. As it happens, I didn’t support every New Labour market-based reform in the public sector by any means. But I’m not about to apologise for believing that we do also need private enterprise.
On defence and foreign policy, I don’t accept there’s anything right-wing about believing in collective security with neighbouring democracies in a free alliance. Solidarity with Estonia is part of, not an exception to, my centre-left values. I am proud to stand with the Attlee Government, which helped found NATO, and every Labour Government since. I straightforwardly believe my position is more progressive than Corbyn’s historic belief that eastern Europe should be some kind of buffer zone with Putin’s Russia — never mind the will of eastern Europe’s peoples. And while I marched against the 2003 Iraq War myself, I also believe Western intervention can do much good. Sierra Leone and a free Kosovo stand testament to that.
I am a social democrat because I believe in a more equal UK in every way. I believe my politics and policies would do more to achieve that than Corbyn’s. You may disagree — that’s your prerogative. But please read what I actually said, not what you decided I said before you even finished the first paragraph.