The Party from hell

by Daphne Liddle

THE TORY party leadership last week declared their intention of stepping up their assault on the working class in Britain with further cuts to benefits, wages and living standards while scrapping human rights legislation.

At the same time Prime Minister was talking nonsense about “opportunities for all”. What he meant was the sort of opportunity offered by the national lottery — one or two workers in a million who are good at grovelling may be allowed to rise above their current station while the rest of us will be ground even further down.

Cameron said if his party is elected in 2015, housing benefit — and possibly unemployment and other benefits — will be denied to those under 25.

Young people should be forced to “earn or learn” and no longer have the option of a “life on benefits”, he said.

This would put an army of angry young adults — many of them parents — on to the streets with no way to survive except by begging, stealing or overthrowing the state.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the Tories would repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the Euro- pean Convention on Human Rights if they win the 2015 general election, “in the national interest”.

She appeared to be still smarting from the time it took her to deport terrorism suspect Abu Qatada. The reality is that the Tories know that if re-elected they will have to resort to fascistic methods to control the angry working class victims of their continuing austerity measures. She has a lot more people in her sights that just one or two rogue Arabs.

Meanwhile Chancellor George Osborne is proposing further inflation of his housing price bubble — described by some economists as a Ponzi scheme — which is allowing him to claim that Britain’s economy is recovering.

As house prices rise home owners acquire more equity allowing them to borrow more. This is putting access to spending money in their pockets but it is not real wealth. It is more toxic debt that will have to be paid in the future.

Osborne’s austerity measures are still cutting living standards for most workers and reducing their spending power and so reducing productivity. If he had invested as much in raising the minimum wage as in his housing bubble it would be real money to pay debts, to spend, to stimulate demand and to raise living standards.

Osborne has announced that he will make mortgage lenders offer 95 per cent mortgages but with a guarantee that the Government (taxpayers) will underwrite 15 per cent of the cost if there are problems.

This is a guarantee that will benefit the banks, not the borrowers. It will increase the total level of public and private debt and is the sort of policy that led to the subprime mortgage collapse in the United States in 2008.

Buying a home will still be way beyond the reach of most working class people. But of those who do take on these huge mortgages, at times of rising unemployment and other economic instability, many will default on their debts through no fault of their own. House prices will crash and they will be left deep in unpayable debt with massive negative equity.

Osborne is setting our economy on course for another major crash, which some economists predict will cause the collapse of some of our biggest banks.

There is no doubt that the current Tory leadership is illiterate on economic matters — even their banking friends are trying to tell them this.

But they are fundamentalists and their ideology is to punish the working class as hard as they can. Workers would have to be mad to vote for them. But voting against them is not enough — we must mobilise to defend ourselves at every level.