I’ve been watching the annual Tory Party conference and just wanted to voice my thoughts on this in comparison to the annual Labour Party conference held last week. There is a small shift in the Tory stance towards completely stripping Britain of everything that moves, or could possibly move towards a successful economy for ordinary working people in that a member of the former Labour government, Lord Adonis, is to take a look at the infrastructure needs of Britain and report back to number 10 as what should be done. This is played up as something huge, but simply talking about it doesn’t make it happen in the real world.
What is very disquieting is chancellor George Osborn is cutting back working tax credits drastically for the poorest people on the lowest minimum wage and then announcing this is going to make these people better off. Simple arithmetic shows otherwise. In the last two weeks while the news reporters were busy reporting on the surging migrants making their way into Europe and traveling their way through the Channel Tunnel into Blighty, the Tories cut child benefit to the first two children in any family. With the same breath he announced a cut in inheritance tax for the richest people in society. His justification? House prices have risen so much in the last 5 years it makes sense for these to be passed onto the relatives of those who have passed on so they aren’t penalised. It would also help if there was a proper social house building programme in place which would lower house prices and allow those who cannot afford to buy, rent a home from local councils as happened for many years in the UK. While it may make sense if your family owns property worth millions of pounds, or even modest property in London one has to look at his track record so far.
The Tories have cut benefits to the sick, imposed the hated bedroom tax (it’s a bit difficult to demonstrate against these in a wheelchair or on crutches with a heavy police presence) while at the same time making sure our so-called politically neutral queen gets her share of money in the form of a shiny, brand new state coach and year-on-year pay rises of 20-30%. They have systematically cut not just the salaries of public sector workers in health, fire service, teachers, council worker, but radically altered their pensions to a position where those workers will be worse off as they will be working longer, paying in more and getting less out when they come to retire, but also compromising the safety of those same workers while at the same time awarding themselves pay awards of 10% in 2015 on top of a 9% in 2014, 14% in 2013, 11% in 2012 and 10% in 2011.
Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Finance Minister was absolutely correct when he stated recently on BBC’s Question Time programme that this is nothing less than a class war. The Tories have declared outright war on working people, particularly those who keep the infrastructure of society working so that more people get the support when and where they need it.
The Tories keep talking about those “hard working people, doing the right thing” what they really mean is, you keep working hard for nothing while we pick your pockets and dismantle your rights and you’ll thank us for doing so. They are also saying “We’ll drive businesses to the wall so nobody can earn a living, even those who are self-employed who will be left on the sidelines in terms of being able to claim any kinds of benefits so our chums across the water can come in and completely asset strip this country of everything that could possibly move and you’ll be so grateful to work for nothing”.
Cameron has never looked so uncomfortable when confronted by news anchor Jon Snow about the contract to provide prison services to Saudi Arabia which would also include having to carry out brutal, barbaric sentencing such as lashing, cutting off limbs and beheading of those sentenced. When asked to justify this he squirmed and shifted in his seat, talked about “national security” and intelligence about a bomb that “could have potentially gone off”. Oh please, that old chestnut.
The other clue is also in that Cameron has appointed Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor to Margaret Thatcher to head the EU exit campaign. Nobody has yet been appointed to the “Remain in the EU campaign”. There is a lot of talk about Cameron renegotiating a deal with Brussels about the Ts & Cs (terms and conditions) of the UK remaining in the EU, but Cameron’s track record of negotiating is poor. He’s more comfortable making snide remarks from the sidelines rather than being honest and forthright, as outlined by his close friend Michael Ashcroft in his book, “Call me Dave”, and will happily go back on any promises he wants to.
I believe the real reason for wanting a Brexit is that in the next few years those people reaching retirement age will become eligible for the higher pension of £155 per week per person which is nearer the European norm. Taking the UK out of the EU will stop all that nonsense and pensioners can look forward to being the worst off in the whole of Europe as we’ve always been. After all, its a British tradition.
When are people going to realise that this is what we have to look forward to for the next 5 years? The UK will be completely decimated and these rich people, especially including the Royal Family who hold us in complete disdain while laughing all the way to their private bank accounts.
While I understand the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn need to get definite policies under their belts before they come into power, I very much fear there won’t be much of Britain left in 5 years’ time. The time to act must come sooner if Britain is to have any chance of real recovery and a decent society being forged.