Pantomime season has arrived early this year. Ten wannabes have thrown their considerable egos into the ring to try and win the approval of a privileged group of predominantly male, white upper class twits and millionaires commonly known as the Conservative Parliamentary Group of MPs. The potential candidates were asked to prove their worthiness by acting out the roles of one of the Panto classics, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It all ended in turmoil and recriminations however as four of the candidates demanded the role of Dopey, completely misunderstanding the character, and none of them wanted to play Bashful as it was completely beyond their capabilities.
Michael Gove insisted he was the best candidate because his acquaintance with illegal drugs equipped him to play Sneezy, Happy, Sleepy and Dopey all at once but seven of the other ten contenders then all assured us they were just as familiar with illegal drugs as the bold Michael so he shouldn’t get to hog the limelight. Sajid Javid and Mark Harper have strenuously denied any illegal drug use in their past lives but if the job interview requires murky secrets they will offer them up soon. Bookies favourite Boris Johnson has remained silent about his own illegal drug abusing past but then again he has refused to hold a public launch at all so far clearly adhering to the sage advice of the wise former President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
The truth is the only role all of the ten candidates are equipped to play is that of the Evil Queen, the Wicked Witch. For each and every one of these ten tawdry Tories are austerity loving, benefit cutting, trade union bashing and millionaire serving lackeys. Every one of them stands unashamedly on a record of disgraceful poverty and inequality in the midst of plenty. Despite being the
5th largest economy in the world 14 million citizens live in poverty, including 8 million working-age adults, 4 million children and 1.9 million pensioners.
Under their watch they have supported every cut in public services expenditure and every reduction in welfare provision while endorsing tax cuts for individual millionaires and multi-national corporations.
In 2009 at the start of the austerity period ushered in because the rich bankers over-indulged themselves in the trough of greed and bumper bonuses and bankrupted UK Incorporated the wealth of the richest 1,000 amounted to £258 billion. An obscene amount of wealth amongst only 1,000 individuals at that time. But after nine years of austerity cuts and Government claims of ‘all sharing the pain’ the combined wealth of the richest 1,000 across the UK has rocketed to £724 billion while the average worker has lost on average £18,500 in real terms over the same period.
Over a million disabled citizens have faced cruel benefit sanctions designed to humiliate them and force them into early graves and food banks now regularly hand out well over a million meals a week to benefit recipients and low paid workers alike as the chaos caused by the callous Universal Credit scheme kicks in .
No wonder a UN expert on poverty was compelled to investigate the UK and conclude that Tory austerity was causing “Unnecessary Misery”. The UN Special Rapporteur, Professor Philip Aston, travelled all across the UK and interviewed hundreds of families and individuals struggling to make ends meet and studied hundreds of social reports, charity submissions and government responses. His findings were shameful:
“In the fifth richest country in the world, this is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one” https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/un-envoy-brexit-will-drive-more-into-poverty-1.792686.
The ten Tory leadership candidates are all unfit to lead the UK. They have collectively and individually supported and defended austerity policies which have been responsible for more than 130,000 premature deaths since 2012 according to rigorous academic research .
The poorest members of society have been subjected to the unfair bedroom tax, bullying and harassment by the under-staffed and over-worked DWP, the introduction of Universal Credit with 6 week delays in claims and the imposition of deadly and unjust benefit sanctions. The rich have been treated to tax cuts.
These Tawdry Ten deserve nothing but contempt and disdain. They epitomise why many believe the word ‘Politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning many and the word ‘tics’, meaning blood sucking parasites.
It is preposterous and wholly undemocratic that the millionaire Tory MPs and their tiny party of acolytes dotted across the UK, there are only 160,000 Conservative Party members in the UK, should decide who should be the next Prime Minister. Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there are over 46 million people registered to vote. They are the only ones entitled to decide who the next Prime Minister should be.
When Gordon Brown assumed the role of PM after war criminal Blair stood down in 2007 many argued he had no credibility as he had not been elected Prime Minister by the public. It was a constant weakness which undermined Brown and the irony is some of the loudest proponents of a General Election to decide a new PM were several of the current Tory leadership candidates who now refuse to subject themselves to proper democratic accountability.
There is a public e-petition live just now which demands a general election to decide who should be Prime Minister after Theresa May’s demise. It has almost 45,000 signatures. If it attracts 100,000 signatures it will have to be considered for a full debate in Parliament. I have signed that petition and I urge you do sign it also. Remember the wise observation of the celebrated philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill (1806-1873):
I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative.
160,000 stupid and selfish Conservatives must not be allowed to select the next Prime Minister. That is the democratic right of the 46 million registered electors across the UK.
Demand a General Election immediately after the Tories pick their new leader.
This article was written by our Political Adviser, Tommy Sherridan and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or policy of Solidarity as a whole