It’s been fun and games for the Tories this week. One of their leading MPs admits that their election manifesto contained only an edited version of their plans to cut public services and then gets kicked out of the party for spilling the beans.
Speaking at a private function millionaire Tory MP Howard Flight admitted that Conservative plans for cuts had been “sieved” to make them more acceptable to the electorate but that much more could be done after they won the election.
Howard Flight’s remarks were for the Tory faithful – the Thatcherite core who’ve made plenty since 1979 and who want to ensure that the entire burden of the capitalist crisis remains on the backs of the working class.
No one can seriously believe that Tory leader Michael Howard was unaware of the considered views of his deputy chairman who also acted as the Tories chief liaison officer with the financiers of the City of London. But once leaked Howard moved swiftly to boot Flight out of the Conservative party and he’s now running around denying that there is any hidden agenda behind their election promises.
Howard says “we won’t promise one thing before an election and do something else after an election. We won’t say one thing in private and another in public” though that’s what the Tories are all about and Flight thinks he’s done nothing wrong.
Whether Flight remains the Tory candidate for Arundel and South Downs is a matter of complete indifference to working people. But if anyone had any doubts that a Tory government would be infinitely worse than Labour’s they would have been easily dispelled by Howard Flight’s remarks.
Blair into reverse
What a difference a day makes – especially to Blair & Co who now realise they’ve got a fight on their hands to stave off the Liberal Democrats and get Labour’s core working class vote out on election day.
In the past Blair revelled in his ability to ignore the unions and the democratic will of the Labour Party. This was the man who told Labour Conference in 2003 that he could “only go one way. I’ve not got a reverse gear”.
Now he’s backed down over extending the retirement age for the time being. Now he’s promising to extend the right to four weeks paid leave to cover the traditional bank holidays.
Most employers already give their workers 20 days annual leave over and above our national public holidays. Others, the millions in poorly paid and badly organised or non-unionised labour, have their eight bank holidays deducted from their allowance or they are forced to work bank holidays without being given other days off in compensation.
This modest and long-overdue reform hasn’t fallen from the skies. It’s come from pressure from the unions and working people whose votes Blair has to get if Labour is to win a third term in office.
More pressure from the unions and the left of the labour movement must now be exerted to defeat Blair, Brown and all the other craven class-collaborators at the helm of the Labour Party and change the direction of the party and the government towards the demands of the people.