YESTERDAY the new leader of the Tory Party, David Cameron publicly disowned the Tory Party manifesto, written for the last general election, just seven months ago – by himself.
Showing the same trademark flexibility in relation to principles as Labour Prime Minister Blair, Cameron, in the twinkling of an eye, turned himself from being a right wing Tory who advocated giving the middle class financial inducements to quit the NHS and go to private medicine, into a right wing Blairite who favours more and more private companies being given fat contracts by the government to do NHS work.
Since the end result is the same – the privatisation of the NHS, what is remarkable about the policy change is the ardent desire of the leaders of the Tory party to be indistinguishable from Blair.
In this situation the very flexible if not elastic Cameron is just the man for the job.
After all, in an earlier life, Cameron was the Treasury adviser to Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, at the time when Britain was driven out of the EU Exchange Rate Mechanism and onto 15 per cent interest rates, suffering over 100,000 middle class home repossessions in the process.
Cameron is now positioning the Tory Party to be at Blair’s shoulder, if not at his beck-and-call.
He has already spelt out, on a number of occasions, that the Tories intend to make sure that Blair’s education policy, to create an education market, and his policy to ‘reform’ Incapacity benefits out of existence are carried in the House of Commons by Tory votes, preventing the 100 or so Labour MPs who will not vote for these policies defeating the Blair government.
In fact, Cameron is making the Tory party available to help Blair carry through his entire privatisation programme, against the wishes of a large number of Labour MPs and in the teeth of opposition from the Trade Unions.
Cameron is making it clear that he favours a national government alongside Blair, to push through all the anti-working class measures that will have to be passed, to make sure that the working class carries the entire burden of the rapidly growing economic crisis.
Blair for his part has been only too happy to have his supporters declare that he far prefers Cameron to his supposed number two, Gordon Brown.
This developing national arrangement will split the Labour party and the trade unions as soon as the Tories carry Blair’s anti-working class policies in the House of Commons.
The Tories are still unsure that they would win a general election. Their preference is to see Blair and Cameron go to the country as a national unity government.
The trade unions must now take action to prevent this growing alliance between Blair and Cameron developing into a national government along the lines of the Ramsay Mac Donald national government which emerged after the 1929 crash, in 1931, to split the Labour party and to cut the dole and pensions.
The trade unions must take action to defend wages, pensions, jobs and basic rights, and to smash the privatisation offensive. They must call a general strike to bring down the Blair government, to go forward to a workers’ government, that will carry out socialist policies, end the privatisation programme and bar the way to any return of the Tories.
This is the way forward. Trade unionists and youth must attend the News Line-Gate Gourmet sacked workers conference on January 29 (see front page ad) to discuss this policy, and the way forward.