Lord Jones and Sir Richard Branson turn on Brown

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TWO of the Brown government’s big business backers Lord Digby Jones, the ex-CBI boss and Richard Branson, the Thatcherite businessman have unsurprisingly turned-coat.

No doubt they support the government’s pay freeze for Royal Mail workers, which is obviously a wage cut, but they are filled with rage at the idea that billionaires and millionaires will have to pay 50 per cent tax on their salaries above £150,000.

Digby Jones is one of Brown’s ‘goats’ (a member of his ‘government of all the talents’). He served as an unelected Labour government trade minister until he had to get out, after he admitted that with a general election approaching he was not prepared to give an assurance that he would vote Labour.

The ex-Labour government trade minister and Richard Branson are leading the attack from the right on Gordon Brown’s plan to increase the taxation of the rich, accusing Brown of having ‘a thirst for revenge’ against the City that would undermine the country’s economic recovery.

Since Brown is the PM who has already spent £150bn of the taxpayers money propping up the bankers and has pledged to spend £700bn in the next four years on the same cause, Jones’ charge is obviously absolutely ludicrous.

Through the likes of Jones and Branson the ruling ing class is making it clear that it is the working class and the middle class that must pay up to prop up bankrupt British capitalism – the ruling class is to carry on as usual, living in the lap of luxury, unaffected by the crisis. £150,000 a year is after all £3,000 a week, at a time when the Jobseekers Allowance is £60 a week and the minimum wage is £5.73 an hour for 22 year olds and over, for 18-21s is £4.77 an hour and for under 18s is £3.53 an hour!

Sir Richard Branson has warned that Britain’s status as a global business and finance hub is now at risk, due to Brown’s tax measure.

This is another ridiculous joke – the British global business and financial hub has revealed itself to be so completely bankrupted that it must be buried.

Even Sir Richard’s private railways enjoy massive state subsidies.

Having used Brown to loot the taxpayers of hundreds of billions of pounds for the bankers, the Bransons and the Joneses want to move back to the Tories so that the working class and the middle class can be plundered on an even bigger scale.

However, there are some alliances that are not being broken. On May 16th Lord Digby Jones will be ‘marching for jobs’ in Birmingham arm-in-arm with Unite union leaders Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson.

In fact, Jones is going to call for manufacturing industry to be put on a two-day week with the government paying for short-time working.

Woodley and Simpson refuse to defend jobs and plants from closure, they refuse to support occupations, and want nothing to do with nationalisation or socialism. They have made an alliance with Jones and the bosses, on the programme of the CBI!

The Unite leaders have confirmed that on May 16th, arm-in-arm, marching for jobs will be ‘Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, Unite joint general secretaries, Brendan Barber, TUC, plus leading figures from the world of business and politics, including former trade minister and first time marcher Digby Jones, alongside thousands of workers from across the UK . . .

‘Unite is pressing for the government to implement a short-time working subsidy to keep people in work and off the dole.’ Once again this is Lord Jones’ programme.

Unite members must insist that the invitation to Jones and his friends be cancelled, and that the policies that the march is called on are scrapped, and in their place there is a pledge to defend every job, to fight wage cuts, and to fight mass sackings and closures with occupations and the demand for the nationalisation of the major industries.

There must be a struggle for socialist policies and socialism!