Socialist Worker

Tory plot for ‘new workers’ party’ aims to attack unions

Issue No. 2362

An old joke went along the lines of a Tory MP saying, “My grandad knew a lot about mining—he owned loads of it.” 

But now Tory David Skelton has gone one better.

He described how his grandad worked in the Durham coalfield in the Daily Telegraph last week.

And so he went to last weekend’s Durham Miners’ Gala “to pay homage to the men and women of these tight-knit villages and to the values of hard work, community and solidarity that kept mining communities together during hard times.”

He didn’t apologise that there are no mines because the Tories shut them down.

And now he’s taken his love of miners even further—to the entire working class.

Skelton has left David Cameron’s favourite right wing think tank Policy exchange to set up a new one called Renewal.

Its first publication is “Beyond the Party of the Rich”. This argues, “As the Labour party becomes ‘latte-fied’ and ever more out of touch with its traditional working-class support base, the Conservatives can fill the gap to become the new ‘workers’ party’.”

Skelton calls for relaunching “Conservative Trade Unionists”.  That organisation shows what this is really about.

Rabid Tory Norman Tebbit chaired it in the 1970s. 

Margaret Thatcher spoke at its conference. And it helped to draft the anti-trade union legislation—along with the blacklisters of the Economic League.

Does Prince Charles meddle?

Is prince Charles behind the government policies that make our lives harder? We’ll never know—because we’re not allowed to see the letters he writes to ministers.

Judges last week upheld the attorney general’s decision to hide the letters.

The attorney general said Charles needs to appear politically neutral. Maybe not meddling in politics would help?

Liberating women?

Times columnist Sarah Vine claims the government’s plot to trash teachers’ working conditions will liberate “working women”.

But we’re not convinced Sarah Vine has her finger on the pulse of what working women think.

And her recent Times article failed to mention who her husband is—Tory education secretary Michael Gove.

The English nuke base in Scotland

Delusions of empire are alive and well in Whitehall.

The Ministry of Defence plans to designate Faslane nuclear base in Argyll and Bute as “sovereign UK territory” if the Scots have the temerity to vote for independence.

The Scottish National Party has pledged to scrap the Trident submarine facility if it wins the referendum in September next year.

The men at the ministry say it would be too costly to move it.

So, England will do a land-grab on those uppity Scots. 

The wrong kind of innocent

Barry George spent eight years in jail after being wrongly convicted of the murder of BBC presenter Jill Dando.

But a judge ruled against his bid for compensation once again last week.

His sister Michelle Diskin said, “Neither the Dando family nor our family has seen any justice.” 

During the investigation, private investigator Jonathan Rees sold police information on George to tabloids.

Who keeps tabs on private tag firms?

The security firm whose guards unlawfully killed Jimmy Mubenga now stands accused of swindling tens of millions of pounds from the government.

G4S runs electronic tags on offenders who are not in prison. 

But it may have charged for people who didn’t have tags.

Some had had their tags removed to go back to prison, some were never tagged in the first place—and some people were dead.

Ministers called in the Serious Fraud Office after G4S boycotted a voluntary investigation.

If anyone needs a tag to keep an eye on them, maybe it’s whoever fills in the invoices at G4S.

Rocketing mobile prices

Good old Vodafone, always coming up with ways to squeeze more money out of us. 

First it was tax avoidance. Now it’s changing people with pay as you go contracts by the minute instead of by the second—sending charges for calls rocketing.


Asboy the Swan

Son of Mr Asbo

  • Life in Cambridge is perfect for this aggressive bird with a taste for rowers
  • His reign of terror comes barely a year after posho boat clubs had the original Mr Asbo caught and exiled
  • Now Telegraph-reading residents say Asbo junior is following in his father’s scary webbed footsteps

Loaded editor turns over new leaf of sexism

Ex Loaded editor Martin Daubney reckons he’s turned over a new leaf.

Daubney oversaw a “nipple count” in the “magazine”. Now he claims to have “a haunting sense of regret. 

“We were severely pushing the envelope of what was considered decent. I am ashamed.”

But not too ashamed. He now works for the Sun. “No plans to drop page 3,” he announced on Twitter.



Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 16 Jul 2013, 17:51 BST
Issue No. 2362
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.