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The Tories. The "party of working people"

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  • silverhand
    replied
    Originally posted by devilchicken
    As a former engineer, my father maintains (to this day) an almost murderous hatred for Margaret Thatcher.
    Sensible fellow! My wife's uncle & him would get on like a house on fire!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Groakes
    replied
    The political agenda has been stolen by economists. In Australia these days, and probably everywhere else in the "west", nothing can be done unless it "benefits" the Economy. And god forbid that it should be bad for the economy (like tackling carbon emmissions etc). Of course, the economists' views only extend to the next fiscal quarter.

    So social infrastructure (like education, health, welfare) which are all "cost centres" suffer or are restructured in such a way as to minimise their cash costs. The fact that a healthy, well educated population would be good for the economy in generational timespans just doesn't cut the quarterly mustard.

    Instead we have a society built around driving and maintaining economic growth - that is, the increased value of goods and services produced by the "nation". This means that primary goal of governments has become to increase Gross Domestic Product as opposed to looking after its constituents. The only way to increase GDP is foster consumption and consumerism in the population and to commoditise all goods and services to a monetary value. So services like childcare, healthcare (basically anything with a "care" suffix) and education (mindcare?) are forced to put a meaningless monetary value against the services they deliver in a no-win battle to justify their existence in the economy. Production must be quantified in monetary terms and quality of life cannot be entered into a spreadsheet.

    This why communism failed. Capitalism succeed in defining the struggle in economic terms and communism could not compete. Economics is a tool of capitalism.

    To drive consumerism, it was then necessary to define "happiness" in terms of consumption. That is to confuse "happiness" for "pleasure". This has been the role of advertisers. They have created a symbology (?) showing "happy shiny people" with THINGS. And possession of these THINGS is what has made these idealised people happy. This influences people to buy things they don't need and can't afford. Which doesn't actually make them any happier, though they may achieve some pleasure in the momentary purchase. Because they have failed to achieve the happiness ideal portrayed by the advertising industry they have to purchase something else, something new.

    Unfortunately, like social and environmental benefits, the social and environmental costs of activities that drive economic growth are also hidden or are longterm costs that will not be recognized for generations.
    So governments chant the mantra that economic growth equals social responsibility and the population is "happy" so long as they can get their new mobile phone, or LCD TV, or DVD recorder.... And a "happy" population doesn't need to change the status quo....

    Personally, I blame Milton Friedmann (and Ayn Rand )

    Leave a comment:


  • johneffay
    replied
    Originally posted by Mikey_C
    I always used to say that the worst sort of Tory was the working class Tory. They were never motivated by economic self-interest like upper class Tories, but were corrupted by nationalism and racism.
    Or had been somehow brainwashed into the belief that a vote for the Labour Party was a vote for the Kremlin.

    Thatcher, eh? I never thought that I would ever despise a British Prime Minister more than I do Margaret Thatcher, but then along came Blair. At least Thatcher and her pals were fairly upfront about what they were doing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mikey_C
    replied
    I always used to say that the worst sort of Tory was the working class Tory. They were never motivated by economic self-interest like upper class Tories, but were corrupted by nationalism and racism.

    Of course, that was back in the days when there were clearly discernible differences between the parties. There are voters around nowadays who can't even remember Margaret Thatcher. New Labour has given the convincing impression of being the party of big business and warmongering. Racists and nationalists will go to the BNP or UKIP.

    Which just leaves Cameron and Brown to slug it out in the so-called "centre ground" (which is the post-Thatcher neoliberal consensus) spouting assorted lies and rubbish to befuddle the deluded. Let's face it - they are all puppets of the "rich and powerful" whatever they choose to say.

    Cameron's just a comedian so far as us old socialists can see, but, in the absence of any other (credible) alternative, some people might just believe him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rymdolov
    replied
    The largest right-wing party here in Sweden pulled just the same stunt before the election last autumn - and now we have a right-wing government! The last time they were in power they cut back the public sector, lowered taxes for the rich, etc, etc (inspired by Reagan and Thatcher). So it's true that many people have no memories.

    The moral is: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF EMPTY RHETORICS! UK CITIZENS BE WARNED!

    Leave a comment:


  • devilchicken
    replied
    Originally posted by silverhand
    Excuse me, but do they think we've got no memories? The party of the working class!! The party that when in power closed down ship yards, steel mills, coal mines & threw thousands out of work & destroyed communities. The party that having lost three general elections off the trot is suddenly going all "touchy feely" I think not. Judge them by their actions in power not their claims when out of power. There are ex-mining communities around here that are suffering with drug problems they never had before becuase the mine-the only reason for the village's existence-is gone. Despite all government assurances about re-generation nothing has happened. I can criticise my own party; the Labour Party, for not doing enough once in power, but the damage had already been done by those "friends of the working class" the Conservative Party. Rant Over.
    As a former engineer, my father maintains (to this day) an almost murderous hatred for Margaret Thatcher.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Apparently, a third of those who classified themselves as 'working class' used to vote for Mrs Thatcher.

    I note they say 'working people' rather than 'Working Class'. As an ex-PR bod, I guess 'Dave' Cameron knows all about the importance of spinning a new brand to the consumer.

    Leave a comment:


  • silverhand
    replied
    Excuse me, but do they think we've got no memories? The party of the working class!! The party that when in power closed down ship yards, steel mills, coal mines & threw thousands out of work & destroyed communities. The party that having lost three general elections off the trot is suddenly going all "touchy feely" I think not. Judge them by their actions in power not their claims when out of power. There are ex-mining communities around here that are suffering with drug problems they never had before becuase the mine-the only reason for the village's existence-is gone. Despite all government assurances about re-generation nothing has happened. I can criticise my own party; the Labour Party, for not doing enough once in power, but the damage had already been done by those "friends of the working class" the Conservative Party. Rant Over.

    Leave a comment:


  • johneffay
    replied
    Originally posted by devilchicken
    Perhaps I'm a little out of touch here - have they given up on the whole "green Tory" thing, or are they trying and failing miserably to appeal to as broad a base as possible?
    The latter. This is very reminiscent of New Labour's claim to be the 'party of business' a couple of elections back.

    All the major parties have 'gone green' over here now and you can only get so many bites from one bone...

    Leave a comment:


  • devilchicken
    started a topic The Tories. The "party of working people"

    The Tories. The "party of working people"

    Tories 'party of working people'

    David Cameron reflected on his first year in charge

    The Tories will become the party that represents working people rather than the rich and powerful, David Cameron has said in his New Year message.
    The Tory leader also promises that next year his party will set out its alternative policies in more detail.
    He warns that 2007 will be the year "Labour's dark side comes to the fore".
    Shadow home secretary David Davis said he will head a new Tory taskforce, which the party says will study how to reverse a decline in social mobility.
    Writing in The Sunday Times he said the tax and benefits regime, business red tape and failings in education were responsible for holding people back.
    "A youngster born into the bottom quarter of society half a century ago was more likely to get on and work their way up to a higher economic class than those making their way today," he said.
    2006 was the year in which the Conservative Party moved back into the mainstream of British politics - a modern, compassionate voice for change, optimism and hope


    David Cameron


    Mr Cameron said that Gordon Brown taking over from Tony Blair would usher in "an onslaught of negative campaigning and the politics of fear and division."

    The "real battle for Britain's future" would begin next year, he said.
    "2006 was the year in which the Conservative Party moved back into the mainstream of British politics - a modern, compassionate voice for change, optimism and hope," he said.
    "In 2007, we must move into a new gear - setting out in detail our clear, positive alternative to a Labour government whose incompetence and untrustworthiness is beginning to disgust the working people it was elected to serve."
    Mr Cameron was responding to criticism that the party lacks policies.
    Working people "want something done about the cost of living," he said.
    "Council tax and utility bills keep going up and it's becoming harder for families to make ends meet."
    He warned that Mr Brown would "pile on the pressure with still more tax rises".
    "We must show that unlike Labour we will be a party that is for working people, not rich and powerful vested interests," he said.
    The Tory idea of "social responsibility" would make life better than Labour's "state control", he added.
    Perhaps I'm a little out of touch here - have they given up on the whole "green Tory" thing, or are they trying and failing miserably to appeal to as broad a base as possible?
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