Yes, they are all in it together….

It is not exactly the most shocking news ever that the City invest’s an awful lot of money in the Conservative Party. All political parties are, to some degree or another, merely coalitions of different interest groups. In the case of the Conservatives that coalition encompasses the remnants of the aristocracy, the actual aristocracy of Britain’s financial elite and those just below them who one day hope to be them. Thatcherism’s great success was to build a social coalition of Conservative support which had deep enough roots to sink into the lower middle and upper working class groupings. However, it looks likely that David Cameron is reversing that implementation and his government is abandoning them, throwing them to the wolves to increase the profit margins of the super rich.

This is probably not a amazing surprise either. Cameron and his clique don’t come from the right background to relate to these people and they are much more comfortable with the affluence and assumed aristocratic mentality of the City. Birds of  feather do flock together. He doesn’t understand them and they are starting to increasingly despise him – even if they remain Conservatives for the moment.

This is a great opportunity for Labour – not least because capitalism has started to cannibalise the aspirations and living standards of the vast majority of the middle, let alone the working, classes. It shouldn’t be shy of criticising the influence of the City and of finance capital in general because most people have seen through it and have had enough of it. Nor should it be scared of admitting our mistakes in being too close to this vested parasite that does not ‘create wealth’ at all but feeds off our society, sucking the marrow from its very bones.

We should not be afraid of creating a ‘us and them’ environment and pointing out to the fact that this government is committed to not just a failed capitalism but, even worse, a crony capitalism where the sole beneficiaries are those that pour their millions into Conservative coffers in gratitude. This is who David Cameron and George Osborne mean when they talk about ‘British business’ – they do not mean the vast majority of British businesses who are being crushed in the vice of Coalition economic policy and who need a more equal society to truly prosper – they mean their favoured friends. If it can master these arguments then Labour could build a democratic and hegemonic majority committed to radical social change. However, given the paucity of vision at the top of our Party, this is, in my mind, currently a very big if….

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About darrellgoodliffe

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4 responses to “Yes, they are all in it together….”

  1. Peter Harbinger says :

    Darrell, it looks like your opinion of Conservatives is made wearing blinkers. To say they primarily relate to aristocrats and wealthy and their support stops at a certain strata can’t be correct or they’d never be in power.

    The whole of the note is full of overstatements that might in reality be the exact opposite of what is happening. Capitalism isn’t cannibalising the aspirations of the population. The optimism of the last government has done that by having a large structural deficit believing that boom and bust had been abolished. This was further aggravated by low interest rates letting people get into debt buying goods from China who are now squeezing us by causing resource prices to rocket.

    It isn’t clear that the Ed’s would hammer the bankers or that their cuts would be much different. The Ed’s know the deficit needs fixing and that the bankers provide massive tax income and jobs.

    Don’t mistake me for a Conservative, I’m just thinking they’re the better of the evils and the Coalition seems to cover a broad spectrum including some that are probably left of Labour, at least as was.

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  2. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Peter,

    Well, to be fair, I qualify that with my comments on Thatcherism but its absolutely true that this is ultimately whose interests they represent.

    Tell that to middle-class families who are, for example, facing rising tuition fees then ;). Ok, I admit the boom and bust comments were a little mis-guided but it is hardly fair to say these comments caused the financial crisis, they didnt and the banks did.

    Bankers do neither of those things so I really do not know where you get that from. Anybody who is left-wing and supports this government is not left-wing – end of.

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    • Peter Harbinger says :

      Hi Darrell,
      Those rising tuition fees. I agree with Ed that the cap should be £6,000. Yet in your note you say middle class families are facing them as if it’s a going to cause real pain. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on the fees. From what I have read the amount to paid back will start at a much higher salary threshold, £21,000p.a. and the rate of repayment will be much less.

      Having such a debt might worry some people yet in reality the repayments could always be lower for many than they are now and there is a good chance many will not pay the full, or any, of the debt. I know someone who went to university and works as a hairdresser receptionists 10 years later. I doubt in the new scheme she would ever pay any debt, whereas now she is paying.

      On your point that the boom and bust comments didn’t contribute to the financial crisis. I think they did make our position worse because the govt believed that boom would continue and so kept a higher level of spending than they ought. This made us more vulnerable to turbulence which did come along in the form of the crash. It also makes the measures to fix it harder as everyone is crying for the ha’penny they got from GB.

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  3. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Peter,

    But they will still be faced with supporting their children through university and then their children will incure the debt of fees so you have a cycle of debt there.

    I will concede there is a psychological aspect to this but the point is surely that we are going to lose talented people to universitys out of fear of debt?

    On the higher level of spending I think we inherited such a run-down mess that its barely surprising we had to spend more. Same will happen next time except much worse.

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