Friday, 7 August 2015

The Tories' class war

Do you agree with the right-wing policies of the UK Conservative Government?

Most Scots don’t support the Tories: the party has only one MP in Scotland, a seat secured with a majority of just 798.  So, chances are you oppose the ideology and policies of the Conservative Party.

Did you know this potentially makes you part of an ‘insurrection against democracy’?

Those exact words were to be used by Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in her address to the 1984 Tory Party conference in Brighton.  Thatcher’s comments were to be a description of anyone associated with the labour movement (the political Left), anyone who supported striking miners, anyone who opposed her Conservative Government.

In the end, her conference speech was changed after the IRA bombed the Brighton hotel in which Thatcher and other senior Tories were staying.  So, the inflammatory comments were not made in public.  They were, however, what Conservatives believed: anyone who was not with them, was against them – and anyone who was against them, was an enemy of democracy.

Such an ideology significantly upped-the-ante in terms of political dialogue.  No longer did the Tories have political opponents; they now believed anyone who disagreed with them was actually an enemy, and not just of the Tories, but of democracy itself.

The former prime minister’s original conference speech is now in the public domain through some of her personal papers having been released by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation.

Of course, it should not surprise us that Tories held such views: Thatcher had previously described striking miners as “the enemy within”, equating the workers with the Argentine army that had invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982.  Thatcher made no distinction between ‘enemies’: she believed they all had to be fought and defeated. 

In the ditched 1984 conference speech, Britain’s Tory prime minister was to have said that working-class men defending their jobs and communities were “just as dangerous” as an invading Argentine army and, indeed, were “in a way, more difficult to fight…[and] just as dangerous to liberty”.

The beliefs of Thatcher and her Tory Party in the 1980s were the beginning of the megalomania that persists today.  The Conservatives represent the establishment, and the interests of the establishment (the small, wealthy, ruling elite) must be pursued over those of the majority: anything else is seen as a challenge to democracy and anyone who opposes the Tories is an enemy that must be defeated.

UK Tory governments no longer simply implement the policies of a political ideology, they wage war – a war on the working-class (“the enemy within”) and the perceived “insurrection against democracy”.

‘The enemy within’ constitutes men and women who don’t vote Tory: men, women and children who are not wealthy; men and women who work but are paid so little they require state support to survive; men and women who find themselves without work; anyone Tories believe to be ‘not with them’.

Current UK Government austerity measures – savage cuts to essential services and public spending – is nothing short of an ideological war on the working-class. Tories are impoverishing the ‘enemy within’ to such an extent that thousands of families now rely on foodbanks to stave-off hunger.

Zero-hours contracts and poverty-level wages are designed to create a workforce too terrified to even ask for better conditions or pay.  Well-paid, well-fed workers would be a threat to the Tory ideology where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer: which, of course, would be a threat to the distorted right-wing perception of democracy.

A mainly right-wing media, owned by members of the wealthy elite that benefits from Tory policies, consistently indoctrinates the ‘enemy within’ into believing there is no alternative to austerity or to the structure of society that keeps the rich at the top and the poor very-much at the bottom.

Newspapers echo the Tory doctrine established by Thatcher – those of the political Left are dangerous subversives conducting an insurrection against democracy – while the vulnerable, the unemployed and the poor are skivers and spongers too lazy to get off their backsides and work.  Television, too, is compliant in the indoctrination – Channel 5 currently produces an output of programmes almost entirely featuring the words ‘benefits’, ‘welfare’ or ‘dole’.

Recently, it has been revealed that two police forces – one believed to be Police Scotland – have been illegally monitoring the communications of journalists in attempts to identify sources.  Of course, the reporters being spied-on do not work for the right-wing newspapers that support the Tory ‘defenders of democracy’.  Those targeted by police are investigative journalists working on stories that the government and the establishment would rather the public did not know about.

This is Britain in the 21st Century: a state where the government operates in the interests of a very small group of wealthy people, who, in turn, fund the party of government.  Britain in the 21st Century has a government that believes opponents are ‘enemies’ who must be defeated, and the ‘enemy within’ is actually the majority of the population.

Scotland within the British Union has a government with just one MP representing the party of government, yet the Tories say we, the people, are the ones conducting an “insurrection against democracy”.

The UK Tory Government is waging a class war, and it’s time the majority – the working-class – fought back, by all means possible.

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