The Sketch: No eruptions, just a tax hike

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The Independent Online

"Because that is what this party is about. It's about justice. It's about fairness. Vote for us and we'll put it right." Who said that? Who doesn't say that? They're all saying it, the Labour future is to be fair for all, the Tories claim fairness for their futurity, Liberal Democrats are fair for fairness's sake. They just can't help it.

In point of fact, the quote at the beginning comes from Nick Griffin and his British National Fairness Party.

The Greens launched their manifesto yesterday in the biggest environmental day for a long time. It wasn't exactly lava flow, they are a clean and tidy niche in the modern political class. So of course, they are Fighting for Fairness. Caroline Lucas is the leader, you've probably seen her. She's nice. Is she fair?

"Other parties are clustered around savage cuts to public services," she said. That didn't sound fair. Hooray for the Greens. Their vote's going up, they say, they are winning seats in councils, the Assembly, the European Parliament. There are voters who like the particular fairness they are fighting for (a higher minimum wage, a much higher state pension and removing incentives to save for retirement).

Considering how little most people have it's surprising redistributive parties don't do better. Ah, but they are; Caroline said they were up 44 per cent and in the Euro elections in the north came within an ace of beating the other fairness and justice party (see above).

The Greens are keen on local business and local power and local... things, but are equally keen on the vast, remote and impenetrable politics of the European Union.

They want "to do things in a very different way" and that includes hiking tax by 25 per cent in one go. That's an extra, oooh, I don't know – £150bn or so?

That's one good thing. They're like bankers. They've discerned how to get their hands on other people's money and how to use it to increase their power, prestige and position. That's their bonus structure. It shows they are practical people. If they could answer one question I'd vote for them myself.

Why can't I be an MEP? The system is so tilted against people like me, it isn't fair.

PS: Is that a yes or a no? Asked yesterday whether he was "nervous" about the debate, Gordon said: "I don't think anybody goes into something new without feeling something about what's going to happen."