‘If there is a class war – and there is – it is important that it should be handled with subtlety and skill. … it is not freedom that Conservatives want; what they want is the sort of freedom that will maintain existing inequalities or restore lost ones.’ (Maurice Cowling – British neoconservative in his Conservative Essays, 1978)
‘There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” (Warren Buffett, estimated ‘worth’ $44billion, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, quoted in The New York Times, November 26, 2006.[i]
And the coalition government has been winning its covert class war against the poor, the unemployed, people on benefits, whether for reasons of disability, lack of jobs, or inadequate pay. The bedroom tax is merely the most obvious example – financially-pointless, mean-spirited and nasty, and irrational and cruel, given the shortage of small houses for rent or sale.
At the last election, the Conservatives got 50% of their funding from the financial sector. Predictably, the coalition government did its funders’ bidding and blamed the Labour Party for the global financial crisis, while protecting the financial sector from any serious reform, so it’s free to wreck the economy again at the public’s expense.
We live in a democracy in the shadow of plutocracy – the rule of the rich. 85% of our newspapers are owned by right-wing plutocrats and non-UK taxpayers, and their mouthpieces’ headlines give their game away everyday.
When politicians wring their hands over finding an extra £8 billion to fund the NHS, remember this: the combined wealth of the richest thousand people in the UK is £547 billion, up 5% on last year, which is more than 4 times the size of the cost of the NHS (£127 billion) last year. Which of these figures can’t we afford? (Sources: Sunday Times Rich List, and Office of National Statistics.)
We need proportional representation plus an assault on the media plutocrats.