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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


Tory sleaze no surprise

NO-ONE should be surprised at the current Tory sleaze scandals that are rocking the Westminster bubble these days. The Tories are, after all, the main representatives of the capitalist class in Britain, and corruption has always been the beating heart of capitalism itself. In Brecht’s imaginary city of Mahagonny the only crime was having no money at all. In British capitalism the only crime is getting caught.

In the old days, the landed gentry would look down on businessmen or indeed anyone else who actually worked for a living and claimed they “played the game” for the game’s sake and not for anything so venal as money. But it wasn’t true then and it certainly isn’t true now.

The real ethos of the public schools that teach those who are ‘born to rule’ how to behave is simply back-scratching, favours for favours, and ‘jobs for the boys’.

Although Boris Johnson has been under investigation by the standards authorities more often than any other serving politician in the last three years that, in itself, doesn’t mean much. The gold wall-paper and the venal lobbying pale into insignificance when compared with the Tory sleaze that finally sunk the Major government or the days of Lloyd George, when the “Welsh wizard” sold barrow-loads of titles and honours in the1920s to raise money for the Liberal Party.

The Tories have slipped in the opinion polls over this. The latest found that almost half of the voters think the prime minister and his party are “corrupt” in the light of a recent lobbying scandal. Some 48 per cent of voters now think the Tories are “corrupt” whilst 47 per cent think the same about Johnson. But whether Labour can benefit from this is another matter altogether.

Sir Keir Starmer has proved to be utterly useless as Labour’s leader. At Labour conference his camp told us we would see a Starmer come-back in the autumn. But few remembers his Brighton speech and no-one’s bothered to read his boring book. His only achievement has been in leading the purge of the Corbynistas in his own party that has disillusioned millions of Labour’s supporters and paralysed its campaigning activities across the country.

Some Corbynistas say stay and fight. Others are once again going down the forlorn road of trying to build a new Labour party. The fight-back has proven ineffectual so far, whilst the alternative to Labour merchants are doomed to failure as they have no serious support within the union movement.

We must, obviously, expose the Tories for their corrupt practices – but it mustn’t stop there. Venal Labour politicians and bloated union bureaucrats thrive on the jobbery of a labour movement that mimics the corrupt standards of our so-called “Mother of Parliaments”. Although the Labour Party is dominated by the class‑collaborating right-wing in the parliamentary party and the trade union movement, the possibility of their defeat exists as long as Labour retains its organisational links with the trade unions that fund it. The defeat of right‑wing union blocs in most of the major unions over the last 20 years demonstrates this possibility.

The Blairites and Zionists can be driven out of the labour movement, but only through mass pressure from the rank-and-file in the unions and Labour’s constituency parties in support of genuine socialist policies that can rally millions of working people to the Labour platform.

Meanwhile, Starmer remains Johnson’s best card. The Tory leader has little to fear at the next election. Johnson can get the Tory vote out – Starmer can’t say the same for Labour.