THE Tory Party annual conference opened on Monday and was immediately defined by ministers speaking to a near empty hall, as delegates couldn’t be bothered to listen to empty pledges from a Rishi Sunak government that is dying on its feet.
Meanwhile, the real action around this conference was taking place on the outside, as the rival groupings made their pitch for a future Tory Party rising out of the ashes of the present one.
First up was the Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO) founded last year by top Tory donor Lord Cruddas after Boris Johnson and Liz Truss were kicked out of office by their own MPs.
Cruddas, who has previously donated millions to the Conservative Party, speaking at a ‘gala dinner’ attended by former Home Secretary Priti Patel and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, urged donors to stop giving money to the Tory Party unless ordinary members are given control over MP selection and a vote on all party policies.
Patel spoke saying party members ‘needed to take back control’.
These few thousand party members were responsible for voting in Truss as leader and Prime Minister for 49 days last year.
On the eve of the Tory conference, Sky News reported leaked messages in which members of the CDO called for Rishi Sunak to be ‘shunted’ from office.
On Monday, while Tory cabinet ministers spoke to a near-empty main hall, Truss drew a massive crowd with hundreds queuing to hear her speak at the ‘Great British Growth Rally’ event she hosted.
Her speech consisted of calling on members to ‘unleash their inner conservative’ and demanding corporation tax be cut and government spending slashed.
She was joined at the rally by allies and former cabinet ministers Patel and Jacob Rees-Mogg while Farage once again turned up in the audience and lent his enthusiastic support to Truss and her dedication to tax cuts for the rich along with huge cuts in government spending on ‘luxuries’ like the NHS.
Farage told the press that he ‘100% believed in her’ and that Tory MPs had made a ‘huge mistake’ by ousting her.
Farage and Truss clearly hope people will forget that when she tried to put her unfunded tax cuts for the rich into practice last year she immediately crashed the pound, as international finance capitalists sold off all their investments in UK government bonds at the prospect of billions being added to the already massive, and unaffordable, national debt.
This time round, Truss is promising to pay for the tax cuts by slashing all spending on hospitals, schools, and benefits in order to ‘shrink the state’ to a size that bankrupt capitalism can afford – which is precisely nothing.
The presence of Farage at the Tory conference fringe meetings, and the adulation heaped on him by Tory MPs and members, is a sign that this section of the Tory Party is preparing for a new stage after the collapse of Sunak’s government.
This stage is to build an extra-parliamentary wing of the Tory Party – foot soldiers for the capitalist state.
The great asset that Farage brings to Truss and those now intent on ditching parliamentary democracy is his proven ability to organise the most backward nationalist elements.
Bound together with a reactionary belief in upholding ‘British values’, and an ingrained hatred of refugees, foreigners and trade unions who represent the ‘enemy within’, this is the natural breeding ground for street fighters to be used against the working class, strikers and demonstrators – all those who threaten the capitalist state.
The working class must take warning from this new development.
The capitalist class will not surrender its profits willingly.
Facing economic collapse, the ruling class is preparing to fight it out on the streets with workers, and this Tory conference is part of the preparations for a sharp turn towards organising the forces to physically smash the working class and its unions.
The working class is far more powerful than all the plots and schemes being carried out by the capitalist class for a class war to the finish.
The time is long overdue for the TUC to use this strength by calling a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.