Socialist Worker

Why the rich like their politicians boring

Issue No. 2451

 Even the politicians have noticed how boring the general election campaign is. So last week David Cameron stressed how “bloody lively” he felt about it.

This followed Tory donors complaining that his campaign had been dull, managerial and not the “slightest bit inspiring”.

It isn’t the first time a politician has tried to look a bit more human.

It echoed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s “Hell yes” reply when Jeremy Paxman asked if he was tough enough to run Britain.

The campaign has been marked by rich politicians trying to look like they’re one of us. Look—they have normal kitchens like we do! They eat breakfast! 

Some have even wheeled out their partners to give lengthy and tearful interviews about the hardships they have suffered.

In reality the lives of millionaire politicians are a world away from the lives of most people in Britain.

None of them worry about imposing more austerity because it doesn’t affect them.

The mainstream parties all back more cuts—despite figures showing that there’s more wealth in Britain than there was five years ago (see page 1).  All say we need to “control” immigration, and they scapegoat migrants for problems caused by the rich.

Little wonder that many people’s reaction to politicians is, “They’re all the same”.

Disconnect

The election campaign has shown up the huge disconnect between mainstream politicians and ordinary people. But it’s also shown an enthusiasm for something different—and this terrifies the rich.

Labour has failed to provide a real alternative to the Tories. Yet whenever Miliband sounds even slightly radical, the rich go on the offensive.

So last week Miliband talked of bringing in rent controls. It turns out this would be “voluntary”—so not much help to the millions living at the mercy of money-grabbing landlords.

Yet even this was too much for the Daily Mail newspaper. “Ed Miliband lurched further to the left,” it howled. It went on to describe Miliband’s policy as “Stalinist”.

Mainstream politicians are united in backing neoliberalism, the market and austerity.

The rich are terrified of anything that suggests there is an alternative because they know it would win support.

Miliband’s ratings go up when he talks about defending the NHS. And the Scottish National Party (SNP) is winning new members and supporters because it is talking left.

Labour and the SNP can’t be trusted to stand up for working class people.  And people deserve more than the mainstream parties are willing to give them.

That’s why Socialist Worker is supporting Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates in the general election. 

A strong vote for TUSC can help lay the basis for struggle after 7 May—whoever is in office.


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