GOOD NEWS. It’s not often we can say this but the collapse of the Tory lead in the opinion polls — to just two per cent in the Sunday Times YouGov poll — means we are far less likely to get Cameron as Prime Minister later this year, when just a few months ago it seemed a foregone conclusion.
Admittedly Labour under Gordon Brown’s leadership has been far from friendly to the working class and we have no illusions that it would adopt what we would call socialist policies. Nevertheless there has been a slight left turn since last autumn’s Labour Party conference and the breach with support from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Brown recognised then that his only hope of surviving the election was to appeal to traditional “Old Labour” voters.
His gestures in that direction, like allowing councils to build a few council houses and cutting back on one out of four proposed Trident submarines, have been small and largely cosmetic — but still better than anything we would be likely to get from the Tories.
They are itching to finalise the privatisation of the NHS and education system and to make swingeing cuts to cut the current very high Government spending deficit. They blame Brown for that deficit, which was acquired by his decision to bail out the banks last year. But they know perfectly well if he had not done this, their capitalist enterprises would have been the casualties of a complete collapse of the banking system.
This is why so many capitalists are also alarmed at the prospect of a Tory election victory and why many of them are now working hard to ensure it does not happen.
The Conservative Party is the natural party of the ruling class and the rifts within it reflect the deepening divisions in the ruling class. The leadership of the Tory party now is dominated by hard-line Thatcherites who fear large Government spending deficits and believe the way out of crisis is to cut back hard on services and jobs. These are the majority of Cameron’s supporters and he dare not offend them.
They are the ones who would vote for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) if they though Cameron was going soft on the workers. We can judge their mentality when we realise that UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s offensive performance last week with a tirade of personal abuse in the European Parliament against Herman van Rompuy was Farage’s attempt to woo this wing of the Tory party.
The more moderate Tories like Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine are aware that current Tory policy would hurt more than the working class and that it would put many of them out of business. Unemployed workers don’t spend a lot, especially on reduced Tory benefit levels.
The Tories’ fortunes took another dive when their filthy rich patron Lord Ashcroft admitted publicly that he is a “non-dom” — he cites his home address, and the place where he pays taxes, as outside Britain.
There are laws against people who don’t live or pay taxes in Britain sitting in Parliament or paying huge sums of money to a political party to influence the outcome of an election. Otherwise, theoretically, rich foreigners could use their cash to install any government they liked here. Ashcroft’s admissions have made a mockery of Cameron’s latest appeal to his followers’ patriotism. Cameron has made him a leading member of the party and he desperately needs Ashcroft’s huge and illegal donations to fund his election campaign.
For the organised working class in Britain this division among our capitalist enemies is good and presents opportunities we must not let slip. We must get out campaigning to make sure the Tories do not get in and we must use the opportunity to push Brown towards genuinely working class-friendly policies.
A defeat for Cameron would also be a defeat for Murdoch and for Ashcroft. That alone would be enough reason to vote Labour but the main reason, as always, is that this is the best way to build working class confidence, awareness and unity as the essential prerequisite to building a revolutionary movement and getting rid of the whole capitalist system.