Friday, April 09, 2010

The party of the Rich

On our way to leaflet the Springfield estate (where one of us got bitten by a dog) we noticed that the Tories had been leafletting Clapham Town ward. Their leaflet contained a photo of one of their candidates squatting and pointing to a pothole which somebody should sent to glum councillors. Also amusing to see that it contained a version of the Liberals' it's-a-two-horse-race bar chart but with the Liberals trailing in third place.

We also found evidence that the Tories had been leafletting Clapham North tube station on behalf of their parliamentary candidate in Vauxhall, a young whizz-kid. He doesn't stand a chance but it's obligatory for would-be professional politicians to first contest a no-hope seat on behalf of their party in the hope of being given a better chance next time. According to his leaflet:
A Conservative Government will build economic recovery on investment and exports, not consumer borrowing and government debt.
As if governments can control the way capitalism works rather than having to react to what capitalism throws at them. Another empty promise not worth the paper it was printed on that deserved to end up where we found it: in the gutter.

Meanwhile the Tories' shadow chancellor Boy George has been sending personal letters to individuals in marginal constituencies in which he promises to "protect those on modest incomes", including by re-linking the state pension to inceases in average earnings (rather than consumer prices as now which has been rising more slowly). We'll see. Breaking this link was one of the cuts made by Thatcher in 1980 . . . and all three main parties are promising that the cuts they will introduce if elected will be worse than under Thatcher. Or maybe they are anticipating that prices will start rising more than earnings.

The Tories are only professing concern for those on modest incomes because they can't win unless they can gain votes outside their natural constituency of the rich. And they are, and always have been, the party of the rich. As comes through from time to time, as when Cameron calls on BA workers to cross picket lines and with employers currently lining up to support his (and their) party's promise to reduce a modest Labour tax that will hit their profits.

Not only are they the party of the rich. They are rich themselves. As Cameron re-assured a "gathering of top financiers" last December:
"My father was a stockbroker, my grandfather was a stockbroker, my great-grandfather was a stockbroker".
And he's married to an aristocrat. And of course he, like many in his shadow cabinet, is an Old Etonian. What the "new", "modern" Tory Party stands for is not simply government by politicians for the rich but government for the rich by the rich.

Any person on a "modest income", i.e most people, who even thinks of voting Tory is a mug.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

many Labour politicians nowadays have far from humble origins