PM BORIS Johnson delivered a speech to the Tory faithful yesterday that was immediately dismissed by Matthew Lesh, head of the research at the right-wing Adam Smith Institute, as ‘bombastic but vacuous and economically illiterate’.
It certainly didn’t satisfy the immediate demands of the bosses and bankers for tax cuts and austerity.
His entire speech was carefully constructed to be an hour-long string of jokes interspersed with tub-thumping boasts that it was capitalism that had ‘saved’ the UK from the coronavirus pandemic saying that vaccines were a triumph of capitalism and that: ‘It was the private sector that made it possible. Behind those vaccines are companies and shareholders – yes, bankers.’
It wasn’t capitalism that developed vaccines but massive public investment and scientists at publicly funded universities and the roll-out was down to the incredible efforts of NHS workers not bankers and shareholders!
In fact, capitalism with its drive to reopen regardless of the cost in human lives is responsible for the thousands of unnecessary deaths in the UK.
Slipped in between the schoolboy gags, Johnson made a very brief mention of the UK national debt standing at a record breaking £2.2 trillion and the £470 billion spent bailing-out British capitalism in the pandemic but he swiftly passed on to insisting that the Tories would ‘fix’ the economy with new technology.
This echoes the speech by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier in the conference that the ‘structural weakness’ in the economy would be fixed by creating 2,000 jobs in AI.
No wonder the leading bosses’ organisation was raging about economic illiteracy when what they want are tax cuts for the rich not all this nonsense about ‘levelling up’.
Johnson made great play about how he had ‘the guts’ to make the UK a high wage economy boasting that ‘after a decade of stagnation, wages are going up’.
In fact, wages are not increasing as the Tories boast, the apparent increase in average wages is solely down to the fact that the statistics showing around 8% average increase is based on last year’s average taken during the pandemic when over 11 million workers were furloughed and low-paid jobs were wiped out.
Any wage increases barely bring the average back to what it was in 2019 and with inflation running at over 4% workers are experiencing wage cuts not increases.
When not boasting about non-existing wage increases Johnson was making sure that his speech contained no reference to the immediate crisis facing millions of workers and young people.
No mention of the savage £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit on the very day of his speech.
No mention of the raging inflation that means workers and their families face a winter where they will be unable to afford heating and where food is priced out of their reach.
In fact the entire world crisis was entirely absent from a speech that was squarely aimed at lifting the morale of the Tory delegates and ignoring the fast impending crash.
Despite boasting that he would fix British capitalism transforming it into a high-tech powerhouse Johnson was forced to admit that this ‘will take time’.
In fact, it will never happen as inflation and recession take hold in what has been likened to a ‘meteorite’ hitting the economy.
The real Tory strategy was outlined by Sunak on Monday, when he declared the priority was to cut the national debt by slashing public spending and waging an austerity war on the working class.
On Tuesday, Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel announced new police state powers to be used against striking trade unionists and workers protesting about having the capitalist crisis dumped on them.
These were the authentic Tory plans for saving bankrupt British capitalism – vicious austerity imposed by force by the capitalist state.
His speech may have been greeted rapturously by the Tory Party faithful, but the working class will treat it with contempt as they face the reality of their lives being shattered by all the massive austerity cuts to rescue a bankrupt capitalist system.
Workers will demand that their trade union organisations take action against this Tory government by calling a general strike to kick them out and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.