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.
As expected, the first two of the three ‘historic’ party leaders’ television ‘debates’ have be completely apolitical tosh. Instead the Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat leaders have indulged in a round robin of sound bites, each vying with the other to appear more presidential and to sound more hardcore on a number of ‘dog whistle’ populist topics — ‘immigration’, ‘law and order’ and so on. They have promised points systems, more people incarcerated under the antiquated and brutal prison regime and services slashed and burned, instead of setting out how they would deal with the cause(s) of crime and poverty.
Cameron’s Tories show their contempt for people with the totally risible slogan
VOTE FOR CHANGE
LibDem leader Nick Clegg is ‘channelling’ former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s vocal mannerisms and hand gestures in a quite disconcerting fashion. Clegg also repeatedly refers to Labour and the Conservatives as the ‘old’ parties, cheap sleight of hand from the current leader of a party which traces its ancestry back to 1678.
But which one is Obama? It’s Clegg … it’s Cameron … no it’s Clegg. It definitely is not Brown.
‘We are all in this together’ the leader of the Tory Party assures would-be supporters.
In the past year, during the worst crisis of capitalism since the Great Depression and concomitant surge in fascism of the interwar period, the ‘collective wealth of Britain’s 1,000 richest people rose 30%, the biggest annual increase in [Rich] list’s 22-year history’. How can this be? How can the personal wealth of a few have risen by more than £77bn to £333.5bn, while people are losing their jobs and their homes and even their will to live, when we are ‘all in this together’? The truth is that David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ election schtick is the same old Victorian-era bourgeois moralism in new drag. Do the right thing (and this a point which he makes repeatedly) and you will be ‘rewarded’. If you are poor and marginalised and left behind, it is because you have not done the right thing and you deserve the misery which is rightly yours. Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ is one and the same thing as Thatcher’s ‘No such thing as Society’, an ideological blueprint for renewed attacks on workers and the poor: ‘Vote for me — I’ll put your entire family out of work’. The rich get richer and the poor must get poorer to pay for it all — there must be cuts! is the Tory refrain.
Why should we be forced to pay for the crimes of our exploiters? We should refuse to pay. Let them clean up their own mess — they can foot the bill. We need look no further than Spain with over 20% unemployment (possibly rising to 30%) and Greece where wages have already been cut 30% and the EU and IMF will demand further cuts following Papandreou’s appeal for further financial aid for a glimpse of life in Cameron’s ‘Big Society’. Demonstrations of workers’ anger in Greece against the neo-liberal consensus which punishes them for the crimes of their bosses at least appear to bear some revolutionary or emancipatory potential. While millions of workers across Europe have taken to the streets since the beginning of the current recession to voice their outrage at the bosses, in the UK, 7000 people turned out to a ‘national’ demonstration in London, while ‘regional’ protests have had similarly pathetic support. Little wonder that the Tories think, should they be elected, that the success of their renewed attacks on low-income earners is going to be a lay-down misère.
The Tory Party exists to protect the interests of its rich friends and to ensure the concentration of the maximum possible wealth in the hands of a ‘lucky’ few (those fortunate enough to have been born into the ‘right’ social class, and to have attended the ‘right’ schools and to have the ‘right’ social and business connections). This is what the Tories mean by doing the right thing.
KEEP THE TORIES OUT
After Saturday’s successful antifascist action on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the so-called ‘Scottish Defence League’ has degenerated into paranoia and back-biting. According to reports they have closed their Facebook and Bebo — Bebo! — sites and from now on will only accept members who are personally vouched for by at least two active fascists, while the location of future meetings will only be revealed to specially vetted members. A section of the SDL membership are convinced that ‘spies’ within their shambolic organisation fed information about their whereabouts on Saturday to antifascists and the police. They display an (even for fascists) shocking lack of self-awareness — specifically that groups of skinhead racist thugs don’t blend into the Scottish ‘scenery’ in any context except an Orange Order ‘walk’ or the supporters of certain football clubs.
The fascist SDL is in disarray — its ability to organise has been severely degraded. The tactic of confrontation not accomodation has been vindicated yet again.