Socialist Worker

U-turns show up Tories’ problems

Issue No. 2288

Millionaire bankers and bosses are furious that RBS chief executive Stephen Hester has been forced to give up his obscene bonus.

David Cameron began by defending the bonus, saying it had gone through the “proper process” and was “half” last year’s.

But revulsion at the rich stuffing their wallets while millions suffer forced him to change his talk to that of “restraint”.

John Cridland, head of the CBI bosses’ club, moaned, “It’s a sad day when a strong performance cannot be recognised.”

In other words—what’s the point in having a Tory government made up of your posh friends if they can’t even protect fat cat pay?

That’s why Tory right wingers like Liam Fox are up in arms.

Such U-turns are not part of the Tories’ grand plan. They want to look after their own, while arguing that destroying ordinary people’s lives is the only way out of the economic crisis.

But their scheme isn’t going smoothly.

The latest growth figures show that Britain may plunge into a new recession. The Tories’ Welfare Reform Bill is getting a kicking in the House of Lords. The whole medical establishment has come out against the NHS “reforms”.

And the white paper on higher education seems to have been put onto the back burner.

Cameron has escaped a media frenzy over the U-turns. But the Tories do not look invincible.

The right hailed Cameron as standing up for Britain when he refused to sign up to a European treaty on greater fiscal union.

But we hear less about the fact that he has since backed down on issues like allowing European institutions to implement new plans for fiscal integration.

The Tories have benefited from a Labour opposition that doesn’t deserve the name.

Time after time the two Eds—Miliband and Balls—show their eagerness to explain how many of the Tory attacks they agree with.

The most powerful opposition to the Tories was shown by the strikes in June and November last year.

They shook the government and showed it we can fight back.

We need more mass action. Only this can stop the Tories on pensions and the rest of their austerity masterplan.

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What We Think
Sat 4 Feb 2012, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2288
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