Attempting to salvage the frittered away year and a half of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and deal an unlikely blow to the Conservatives in next month’s snap election called by Theresa May – has ever a task appeared more hopeless? But to their credit the Labour Party are at least trying, in their own characteristically dishevelled way.
And having promised the boon of four more bank holidays, to fall on the days of our more or less beloved patron saints, the Labour Party has retreated to more familiar ground as they continue to seek to woo the public, pledging more police on the streets and a new living wage.
By reversing Tory plans for capital gains tax cuts, Labour vows to allocate an extra 10,000 police officers across England and Wales. And the cost of this winning proposal? According to longtime Labour Member of Parliament Diane Abbott, a mere snip at just £300,000.
The policy would take five years to fully implement, and would not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland where policing is devolved. As the Shadow Home Secretary, Abbott of course is an expert on the nuances of the proposal, but somehow her sums seem to fall a little short.
£300,000 for an extra 10,000 police officers across five years suggests an annual salary of as little as £6 per officer. Across four years – as Abbott initially suggested as she blundered her way through an interview with LBC – each officer would come away at the end of a hard three hundred and sixty-five days’ work with the princely sum of £7.50.
Even if the 10,000 officers were employed on a staggered basis over the four or five year period, £300,000 means an average of £30 per officer, and it would be very unlike Labour to countenance discrepancies or inequalities in different officers’ rates of pay.
So unless the price of food completes a remarkable about-turn and plummets even as Britain embarks on an exit from the EU, we can expect asset seizures to become the norm under a Labour government, as 10,000 new police officers live quite literally hand-to-mouth.
The long arm of the law will indeed grow lengthier, but at the same time it will be emaciated and all bent out of shape. Cups of coffee, doughnuts, bacon sandwiches, jammie dodgers – any treats for these poverty-stricken public servants will be appreciated like never before. Perhaps at least outside of the EU, they’ll be able to feast on all that leftover red tape?