Socialist Worker

Hate bosses and wars? You’re not alone

Issue No. 2440

Boasting David Cameron

Boasting David Cameron (Pic: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor)


Turn on the news, and it can seem like everyone’s against you. There’s smarmy Tory prime minister David Cameron boasting that conditions for the bosses had “not been this good for a long time”. 

Perhaps he was referring to the previous night’s lavish Tory fundraising ball. Or the top banker who Cameron made a minister after he helped big firms dodge tax.

Then there’s Nigel Farage’s motley band of racists—and all the politicians desperate to outdo Ukip in bashing migrants and Muslims.

The trade unions set up the party that’s leading in the polls. 

Yet its leading figures spent the past week going on about how much they love bosses.

Privately educated shadow education secretary and baron’s son Tristram Hunt gushed that Labour was “furiously, passionately, aggressively pro business”.

Labour figures Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna rubbed it in at the British Chamber of Commerce.

Umunna hailed the bloodsucking capitalists as “national heroes”. He swore, “We will work every day, strain every sinew, to make your lives that bit easier.”

But if you’re sickened by the politicians pandering to bosses and racists, there is some good news.

You’re not alone—and polling company YouGov has the proof. It has found that voters want the opposite of what Labour’s leaders say.

More than twice as many want more spending on public services to be a higher priority than the deficit.  This proportion is even higher among swing Labour voters.

Wars led by the US are also deeply unpopular. And the biggest turnoff was being “positive about big business”. 

The majority of swing voters want Labour to “stand up to big business, supporting ordinary people against powerful corporations”.

YouGov boss Stephan Shakespeare calls these issues the “three trump cards” that could win the election for Labour.  “It’s as if the electorate are saying: we’re sick of austerity,” he wrote last month.

The relentless propaganda has taken its toll on some issues such as welfare and immigration. 

But even here the picture is contradictory.  

Some people say they are concerned about immigration in principle, but have very different views of the migrants they meet in real life.

That experience of living and working together is a good basis for building a movement that unites people against the racists. 

These figures should boost every Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition campaigner and shows the audience for a bigger left.

They should give us hope that we can build workers’ fightback and a socialist alternative. 


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What We Think
Tue 10 Feb 2015, 17:18 GMT
Issue No. 2440
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