That scuttling sound you hear is the scraping of tiny claws as the posh rats take to the lifeboats — poshies and ladies first! Bastion of liberal middle class smugness, the Guardian has declared for the Whigs, claiming “…they are less tied to reactionary and sectional class interests than either of the other parties.” Those ‘reactionary’ ‘sectional’ class interest are presumably those of the majority of ordinary working people, who rely on the sale of their labour power to feed and house themselves. While it is no surprise to us that the Guardian favours a party best described as ‘the Tories without their kicking boots on’ (it was inevitable really considering the Guardian’s readership and political trajectory), this development has caused a minor sensation among people who really should know better.
Meanwhile the snappily named Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists has published an article explaining why socialists shouldn’t vote for the Liberal Democrats, although no socialist could in conscience vote for the LibDems, a party founded on ‘free market’ ideology. Political parties are merely the expressions of class interests. The Liberal Democrats are lash up of the party of snooty country parsons and landed factory owners (who believed they had the right to control every aspect of every waking moment of workers’ and tenants’ lives) and the virulently anti-socialist and anti-worker (former) right wing of the Labour Party. The LibDems are anti-union and anti-labour. Their economics spokesman and supposed grandee Vince Cable is a hard-right laissez-faire capitalist ideologue who has promised to limit workers’ already limited right to strike. If given the opportunity, they will cut harder and deeper than even the Tories. And like the Tories, they believe that your money is better off in the pockets of a few private individuals, rather than being put back into public services. Wherever the LibDems have power, they cut and/or privatise services. Pensioners won’t have to worry about their bus passes — there won’t be any buses for them to catch.
The Liberal Democrats were keen to climb on the Tories risible ‘Labour is the new Militant Tendency’ bandwagon, complaining that the party which grew out of the workers’ movement is — in these post Clause IV times — in thrall to the unions. Would that it were true and Labour had used the past 13 years to undo more of the damage of the Thatcher years.
Those trying to kid themselves that, on balance and despite being a party of business which has promised to attack worker’s wages and conditions and even our right to withdraw our labour, the LibDems are best able to represent the interests of the working class and that they are some sort of force for positive social change, should bear in mind that a central LibDem policy plank is the introduction of an apartheid system for migrants, with leader Nick Clegg going on like a home counties Eugène Terre’Blanche. The Liberal Democrat response to right wing media hysteria about perfidious ‘foreigners’ is to promise not only to be hard on migrants, but to corral migrants into bantustans and subject them to a pass system. We are faced with a curious situation in which people who urge the boycott of Israel on the basis it is an ‘apartheid’ state are at the same time planning to vote for a party which wants to legislate actual apartheid in Britain.
The Liberal Democrats are nothing but the ‘wet’ end of the Tory Party. Their attempts to pass themselves off as ‘progressive’ reformers does nothing to mask the fact that they are the enemy of the working class. Forget what they say — look at what they do when they are in power.