The ex-Etonian Tory leader David Cameron’s promise to lead a people’s revolution against bureaucracy and the state is funny. But only if you think the degradation of British politics into clownish demagogy is a laughing matter.
Thatcher too, promised to “cut back the state” in 18 years of power did the very opposite. Cameron won’t do any better. The most likely consequence will be to let people “start their own schools” — to allow middle class and religious groups to opt out and accelerate the decline of the existing national school system.
Cameron’s talk of “the people” disguises the fact that “the people” is divided into antagonistic social classes. It disguises the fact that the Tories want to “free” only the upper and upper middle classes.
The Cameronian circus is only the most up-front part of the demagogy that is engulfing Britain as the general election looms. The anti-immigration filth of the tabloid press is another part of it.
Against all this the Labour leaders don’t dare speak out. When a legion of capitalist “businessmen” lined up with the Tories, the New Labour leaders did not dare to question their credentials as “experts” on the overall economy.
Even so, the Labour Party is in the election backed by the trade union movement. If they assert themselves, the trade unions can influence what a Brown government will do in the period ahead — if Labour won the election. The people’s party, the Tories, on the other hand, are likely to outlaw public service strikes.
If the Tories win the election on 6 May it will be a bad day for the labour movement and a bad day for working-class people.