Socialist Worker

Let's make the most of politicians' dog days

Issue No. 2367

The bosses’ lobby group CBI says that Britain is on the road to better days. But you wouldn’t know it to look at the main political parties. 

Far from basking in glory, they have been stooping to desperate new lows.

First we had the undignified spectacle of the Tories and Lib Dems hijacking the will of a retired nurse.

Joan Edwards had left £520,000 to “the government”. But the governing parties decided to take the money as the biggest donations to their parties of the last quarter. 

They were caught with their grubby hands in the till and forced to hand it back. After a humiliating apology David Cameron escaped to holiday on his father-in-law’s remote Scottish estate.

The Lib Dems were in dire need of the cash. Joining the coalition cost them swathes of supporters, as well as the subsidy paid to opposition parties. They are running a deficit with no cash to fight the next election.

So what about Labour? Did it seize on the coalition parties’ woes to hammer home its opposition to their brutal policies? Did it hell. 

Leading Labour figures turned most of their fire on each other—Ed Miliband and the people they think he should sack.

Hopeless Miliband barely had a chance to wipe the yoke out of his hair from his public egging before being plunged into yet another round of infighting.

It followed weeks of public silence from him, broken only by shadow minister Chris Bryant failing to competently deliver his filthy immigrant-bashing speech.

Small wonder a new poll shows that less than half of Labour supporters are satisfied with Miliband’s leadership—but even fewer can see any alternative.

It’s as if the whole political establishment is losing its head as everything it touches goes wrong. 

The Tories’ racist van provoked an anti-racist backlash.  Their shale gas revolution is mired in controversy.

The recovery that all three parties pin their hopes on is built on sand. 

Britain’s output is up very slightly. But this has taken a new housing bubble at home and a brief period of calm in the international markets.

A shudder went across the developing economies with the US Federal Reserve’s attempts to scale back its programme of printing money this week. 

It came as a stark reminder of how easily that can be shaken.

So does the prospect of mass strikes in Greece that could derail the cuts that the whole Eurozone bailout programme is riding on.

The politicians’ brave words can’t hide the panic in their eyes or the tension on their brows. 

We need to realise their worst fears by fighting back—starting with the protest on the Tory party conference in Manchester on Sunday 29 September.


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What We Think
Tue 20 Aug 2013, 17:49 BST
Issue No. 2367
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