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Tory glee over cuts masks inner tensions

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Issue 2457

It’s sickening to watch the Tories revel in their post-election rampage. The days of carefully trying to detoxify their image seem a long time ago as they gleefully push through ever more vicious attacks.

They plan to clamp down on our trade unions, tap into more of our phone calls and emails and tighten the restrictions on migrant workers.

A bonfire of regulations is planned to let bosses run roughshod over workers and the environment. And there is another raid on the benefits of people already pushed into absolute poverty.

On top of the 26 bills in the queen’s speech, they promise another £3 billion in cuts.

There can be no doubt about the threat we face from the class warriors in Whitehall—or the lack of any real opposition from Labour.

But behind their arrogance, the Tories know they have trouble ahead too. For David Cameron, the collapse of the Lib Dems and the shock Tory victory is a mixed blessing.

His mandate is weaker than in 2010, with fewer votes and a slimmer majority in parliament. 

Yet he has to push through a more extreme manifesto drawn up for coalition talks, not government.

Pledging £12 billion extra welfare cuts made a good, vicious soundbite. But even the axeman Iain Duncan Smith worries about whether he can deliver them.

The Tories need to be the party the bosses call on to govern in their interest.

But their popular support has shrivelled. And the influence of the people former leader John Major called “the bastards” and one of Cameron’s allies called “swivel-eyed loons” has grown. 

These right wingers’ priorities don’t always fit those of British capitalism—or the Tories trying to manage it. Cameron can no longer use the coalition to keep them in check.

His U-turn over scrapping the Human Rights Act was a glimpse of the tensions inside the party. 

The referendum over leaving the European Union (EU) could tear them apart.

Cameron this week had to pretend he always meant to let government ministers vote against the EU—after a day spent arguing the opposite. 

This humiliation—barely a month after the election—could just be the beginning.

The EU is crucial to bosses in Britain. Cameron can’t afford to be the prime minister that loses it for them. Yet to save it he will have to face down much of his own party.

The potential disaster for the Tories is just one of the reasons Socialist Worker calls for a vote against the bosses’ EU. 

It also means they’ll want to push through all the attacks they can before a referendum happens.

Resistance is desperately needed. It could hit our enemies harder than they let on.



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