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….