Thieves falling out

THE CON-DEM Coalition is in serious trouble but though most of our readers will have longed for its collapse this is still something we cannot take for granted or relax our efforts in the battle against austerity cuts that are damaging the lives of millions of people in Britain, especially the most vulnerable: children and young people, the elderly, the sick and disabled.

The cause of the division between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats begins with the Lib-Dems being forced to abandon their proposals to try to reform the House of Lords. They wanted to change it to a mainly elected chamber — except for the bishops who remind us that the Church of England is still an unelected and feudalistic part of our state machinery.

The changes, as the Lib-Dems proposed, would bring about a situation where it would be hard for any party to win an outright majority in both Houses. This would have translated into Britain having a permanent coalition government with the Lib-Dems probably holding the balance between alternating Labour and Tory partners for the foreseeable future.

It would be the final castration of our elected Parliament as any kind of power within the state.

Both chambers would be bound up in interminable inter-party bickering with no power to do anything much of consequence. The turn-out in elections would plummet and bourgeois democracy would be a forgotten concept for the history books.

Meanwhile the ruling class would step up its direct, unaccountable rule through the increasingly privatised civil service, police, judiciary, local authorities and so on.

Not surprisingly neither Labour nor the Tories wanted their parties marginalised like this. Ninety Tory MPs rebelled against Cameron’s half-hearted call on them to support their coalition partners.

The Lib-Dem Bill stood no chance of getting through Parliament and has now been abandoned amid much acrimony.

The Lib-Dems are retaliating by refusing to support the Tories’ plans to rearrange constituency boundaries to give themselves probably another 20 seats in the House of Commons and the Lib Dems can do us some service by making it impossible for this Bill to go through — never mind they stood by while our local authorities, health, education and social services have been butchered and the remains are now being fed to the private sector wolves.

The lesson that we must get across is that bourgeois parliamentary democracy always has been largely an illusion. Once, when the working class was much more politically aware and when it had just taken a full part in defeating Nazism and knew how to fight, it was able to win some worthwhile reforms from Parliament: the NHS, state welfare and the nationalisation of most essential services.

Those days are long gone and what was won then is now fast disappearing. If we want a government and state that represents the interests of the workers then fighting through Parliament is not enough, not nearly enough.

We must mobilise to fight in every arena — in the streets, in the markets, in the schools and universities, on the internet and even in elections but most importantly in the workplaces, where we need to educate, agitate and organise as never before.

We need to create a new different kind of state, a state created and run by the workers for the workers. Then we can find some suitable abandoned desert island to send our squabbling selfish MPs to bicker on forever, while we destroy the power of the old ruling class of fat cats, bosses, bankers and landowners forever — and make them all get proper jobs: down the mines, sweeping the streets, cleaning hospital floors and so on.