Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

Ah. Brexit. The Tory Birthday present with a bomb inside that nobody wants to be left holding when the clock stops ticking. How did we ever get here?

 

Since Thatcher purged her ‘wet’ One Nation cabinet members and dropped her drawers for corporate lobbyists, there has been a growing fringe of hardcore Neoliberals in the Conservative party. Their ultimate goal is what they see is Thatcher’s dream: a state that is no more than custodians of the military and parts of the judiciary. Everything else not only owned and ran by private capital, but hardly regulated at all and paying peppercorn tax at a rate of something close to zero percent. Globalisation moved this dystopian fantasy into view, because it meant easy movement of capital and cheap labour. If they could only remove pesky, burdensome “red tape” like paying workers’ a legal minimum rate or having them work less than 12 hour days, the sun may yet rise on their utopia.

 

The two previous insurmountable barriers to this Randian wet dream were: parliamentary accountability, and the dreaded EU. With the gleeful assistance of Rupert Murdoch and his cronies, the first was mostly neutered with the creation of New Labour. Blair would keep the seat warm and not renovate the façade, so as soon as a financial crash came, the Tories could continue rabidly asset-stripping and moving towards their promised land. 2010 came, and the Neoliberals, who by now had significantly infected all three major political parties, attempted to seize the spoils of crisis. The never-less-than hysterical right-wing press managed to force David Cameron over the line in coalition with the relatively cowed Neoliberal Democrats. The narrative to justify the asset-stripping was as obvious as it was false: the crash was caused by too much public spending and not so much the bankers that supported and financially propped up the Tory party. And of course, this narrative was forced home day after day along with classic divide-and-rule bogeymen: chiefly the right’s old favourite scapegoats of the poor and foreigners. They compressed the complexities of an entire sovereign currency issuing nation’s budgeting into “living within our means”, as if the international markets may at any minute decide to call in our debts by seizing the entire island and repatriating British citizens to Calais.

 

Needless to say, Britons’ general apathy and/or lack of critical thinking capabilities meant that this worked like a charm. Perhaps the biggest success of the Tories’ seven years (so far) of enriching the elites and impoverishing most others was that they simultaneously oversaw the slowest recovery on record, while maintaining an impression of competence with most of the public, but also foisting blame for any adverse side-effects of their warped strategy on two targets: the last Labour administration, and the EU: the hardcore Neoliberals’ nemesis. This proved to be a very misguided strategy for David Cameron, a man so naturally smug with imagined superiority he practically glistened like a plump ham joint basted with privilege.

 

When 2015 rolled into view and things hadn’t demonstrably improved in the economy, Cameron called in master of ad hominem campaigning, Lynton Crosby, who successfully flung enough dung about a Labour-SNP coalition to squeak the shyster back into office, minus his coalition partners. This was actually bad news to Cameron, who had gambled that he would once more be in a coalition with the Lib Dems, absolving him of the obligation to hold the EU referendum. Cameron of course had previous for bombastic hubris, but kept on rolling the dice as he lost the house and car, by deciding Crosby’s tactics of campaigning would be well suited to the ‘remain’ campaign. ‘Project Fear’ generally involved patronising any waverers to death; evoking black rain, locusts and the earth being drowned in a tide of molten metal, rather than attempting to succinctly explain the positive aspects of being within the European Union. It didn’t help that another prominent feature of the now failed campaign was George Osborne’s delirious cocaine smirk.

 

Disaster was predictable: the ‘Leave’ campaign simply used Conservative tactics against them: form a fallacious narrative of blame against a large entity, easy to sloganise on memes and news bulletins and repeat the demonstrable lies endlessly with greater vigour. They had the added benefit of appearing to be the underdog fighting the Establishment (despite having many of the more extreme and unpleasant members of the Establishment in their camp). The result was a new triumph for the kind of aggressive demagoguery that Donald Trump would later utilise in an even more debased strategy of trash-talking anyone who disagreed as if he was a worried boxer at an endless weigh-in, and implying any contradictory evidence to his agenda was filtered through a lens of opposition and couldn’t be trusted (ironically calling out the very real elite bias in the mainstream media, but twisting it to suit his own purpose with a deftness that belies his generally astounding lack of tact or intellect).

 

Cameron of course scuttled away at the first sign of hard work as his historic election victory was immediately forgotten and his name forever associated with the most stupendous act of economic suicide this nation has ever inflicted on itself. We had a few weeks in which we genuinely had to imagine our next leader would be a clown, a goblin or a batty old reactionary. It’s hard to remember just how much of a collective sigh the nation emitted when we discovered it was only to be the failed Home Secretary; a minister with worrying authoritarian instincts who repeatedly failed her own immigration targets, made up stories and bought anti-immigrant vans to whip up her nationalist wing, and seemingly had an obsession with ignoring judicial oversight. Her nickname of ‘submarine’ to indicate she tended to duck under the surface when things got tough, was not analysed in the press at the time.

 

Leaving out the failed press hatchet jobs on Jeremy Corbyn being exposed to the full in the snap election, just what the hell are the government doing right now? We’re a year down the line from Article 50 and still we’re going round the mulberry bush with the “best deal for the country” nonsense. May can’t support or endorse any position without outraging one section of her MPs, and the wider picture is that the Neoliberal hardcore earlier referred to earlier, comprising of people like John Redwood, Iain Duncan-Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg, see their one glorious opportunity for extricating the UK from any remaining handbrake to their low-tax, low-regulation, rentier’s paradise, and they’re not going to let the opportunity slip. They’d rather take down their own PM (and, potentially, party) than compromise now. If it all goes wrong, they’ll use the press to foist the blame onto Hammond, May and the ‘treacherous remoaners’ no doubt. And, if their dearest wish comes to pass, amid the economic ruin, disgraced minister Liam Fox will be desperately offering up every UK public asset to American venture capitalist parasites. This will be ‘disaster capitalism”s finest hour, if the Brexiteers just play it right. That’s what’s it stake with this fiasco. Be warned, whichever way you voted. The worst will not be the wreckage, but the looters which follow.

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These current times seem very reminiscent of the dying days of the Major administration. Remember when they were under fire from all sections of the media, even print, couldn’t get any Tory legislation passed, and people were just itching to boot them out of office for a fresh start? Now we regularly see sacrificial ministers wheeled out to be plucked like quivering chickens by the usually gentle and convivial Andrew Marr; answering questions in the irritatingly evasive manner of a suspect waiting for their lawyer to arrive. Mistress Mayhem AKA The Maybot ™ AKA The Feeding Seal has discovered that, much to her chagrin, the left were right all along: that her honeymoon period was almost entirely superficial, down to a combination of soft interviewing, the lauding of her by the press and their relentless hatchet jobs and character assassinations on her opposite number.

 

The inescapable problem for the Tories is that they have boxed themselves in with their narrow ideological obsessions. When the global financial crash struck in 2008, Gordon Brown was at the helm, and by 2010, following his clandestine insult of a voter being inadvertently broadcast, it should have been a cakewalk for the Tories, and they almost even blew that. As it was, the coalition with the LibDems should have suited David Cameron down to the ground. He could play to his natural liberal instincts and put into place his own vision for the country, which may have been closer to a LibDem vision than a Thatcherite Tory one.

 

Unfortunately for him, his party had been packed with raving neoliberals since Thatcher’s day, itching for further privatisation, deregulation and tax cuts for big business. ‘One Nation’ patrician conservatism was outdated; an anachronism. This may not have been too much of an issue if Cameron was smart, dedicated and strong, but he proved to be none of those things as he gave the Chancellor’s job to his old Bullingdon chum George Osborne, rather than the eminently better-qualified LibDem Vince Cable. Suddenly, we went from “coalition in service of the country in its hour of need” to “coalition in service of forwarding the interests of Tory party hard ideologues and big donors”.

 

Osborne was a proper neoliberal in the strictest sense: socially and economically. He idolised Thatcher, and embodied the worst Tory instincts that come with mindless privilege and a cocaine addiction. As far as he was concerned, he could ‘learn’ the chancellorship ‘on the job’, and soon treated cutting expenditure as some kind of game of Monopoly. Some Tories have been accused of reducing the state’s role to ‘custodian of the military’ and using war simply as a colonial tool. Osborne took a similarly reckless myopic approach to the treasury, seemingly taking gleeful abandon in slashing benefits to non-Tory voters, and privatising everything he could lay his hands on, even bragging of it as an end in itself. He clearly understood ‘disaster capitalism’, and the opportunities it presents for furthering nefarious ideological agendas which would otherwise prove publically unpalatable. As long as he kept blowing the ‘deficit’ trumpet, the Emperor’s clothes could remain just about visible to the oblivious masses.

 

When Cameron quietly dropped his ‘Big Society’ idea, most came to the reductive conclusion that Cameron was simply an empty vessel: an acceptable housewife-friendly face to front the completion of the UK’s asset stripping by the Tory neoliberals; a leader whose background in PR would stand him in good stead for bullshitting his way through the myriad social and economic issues Osborne’s demented slashing and burning would wreak.

 

Now though, finally, the tide seems to be turning. Whether the reality of Brexit fallout has been grasped, or people have just seen through the contradictory rhetoric of “all in it together”, the Tories have lost their majority, despite again being investigated of cheating on election expenditure, and having huge swathes of the mainstream media dancing to their tune.

 

Separating Theresa May’s abysmal campaign from the effectiveness of the party in general, an obviously oversimplified hypothesis of their failings would be that they do not know how not to do what they’ve done since Thatcher’s day, despite society and events moving on immeasurably. When Thatcher was handing every public asset to the private sector, it was new. You could disagree with it, but you couldn’t prove categorically that it would fail. Memories of the ‘Winter of Discontent’ sustained Thatcher’s crushing of trade unions and selling off of state monopolies: the context has changed in these last 40 years. Neoliberalism is a discredited economic ideology and a busted flush: 2008 was its natural death.

 

But rather than be flexible, the Tory ideologues have only one thought process: more privatisation and deregulation. Only, there is hardly anything left to sell, and it is now hugely unpopular with the general public. Their ‘zombie neoliberalism’ is fooling no one. People can see the connection between the Grenfell Tower disaster and the wider narrative where people are only valued for their economic power and big business literally gets away with murder in pursuit of profit.

 

They no longer have an aura of competence, or a plausible narrative for their plundering of state assets. How can they say more cuts are necessary when they’ve had 7 years to deal with the deficit and failed miserably? Who will be inspired to welcome more misery and cutbacks when they’ve seen no positive results from the 7 years they’ve already endured? Did they really think nobody would notice the stealth abolition of the NHS?

 

The Conservatives have managed to alienate and piss off most of the public sector, including the people we tend to value the most: doctors, police and firefighters, while propagating a culture of racism, class discord and anti-intellectualism. And the only plan they have to satiate these people is to tell them to suck it up because Brexit is the only thing that matters in the world, but they can’t tell us anything about what its aftermath will look like.

 

Perhaps I’m jumping the gun: record numbers still voted for the worst manifesto I have ever known from a major party, and a leader who is seemingly terrified of people unless they’re subservient acolytes. But a leopard can’t change its spots. Either the Tories start ripping off more Labour policies, or they will continue claiming the state can’t do anything positive other than bending over for big business. I cannot see either inspiring again, particularly when it becomes clear that Brexit was a huge mistake. A purge of the neoliberals may take a decade, but surely it is the only cure for this death spiral for the party that seemed unassailable just a fortnight ago.

I’d like to take issue with something I’ve seen repeated quite often in the media in recent days: revisionism amongst Tory supporters or MPs. It goes like this; they’ll talk of the unnecessary election called hubristically by May that has almost inevitably backfired and left Brexit negotiations in doubt at a critical time for the UK.

 

Now as much as I have no respect for May or her actions, there wasn’t a Tory in the country who wasn’t like a nodding dog at the announcement that there would be a snap election “in the national interest”. They gleefully parroted the line that opposition parties were talking of hindering the Brexit process so it was entirely appropriate to spend £130 million on a General Election, despite an actual law forbidding it for another 3 years.

 

Of course this was, like Cameron’s coup de grace with the Brexit referendum, entirely self-serving for May and the Conservative party. Learning precisely nothing from Cameron’s idiotic assertion that nothing bad could possibly come from gambling the whole nation’s economic future on a single roll of the dice, she not only repeated that feat, but also used the exact same tactics in reducing a series of complex arguments to binary choices and simple-minded slogans and bullshit smearmongering – “Project Fear” all over again.

 

But let’s not pretend this is all about the arrogance and delusion of one woman: the whole party was behind this. They’d seen the polls and could not resist the temptation, but this wasn’t just about getting a comfortable majority, or even humiliating their opposition party; this was about snuffing out the only credible threat to the ‘Neoliberal consensus’ for the last 30 years. If they crushed Corbyn, who was actually proposing rolling back corporate dominance and raising taxes on the very richest, their core purpose would not be challenged again, even from an opposition party.

 

Their eyes lit up and they greedily made the grab so thoughtlessly, they hadn’t even considered that they might have to actually make a credible manifesto and have some kind of debates over issues other than fucking Brexit. They looked at the hysterical press slurs at Corbyn, they heard the Labour MPs flouncing out of the Commons and giving up getting re-elected, and made a calculated gamble that for 7 weeks they could make up any old shit for a manifesto, while treating their own voters like mugs, and the rest of us as imbeciles who might get excited and inspired by a cold and unapproachable woman ignoring our questions and crow-barring the same two catchphrases in to every conference, as if she had made bets for a university drinking game.

 

May has now proved herself to be not only a “bloody difficult woman”, but a “stupendously hubristic woman” who learnt nothing from her predecessor’s fall from grace, but instead allowed the press’ preferential treatment of her and lauding of her Brexit intransigence delude her into thinking she was some kind of  a queen; impatient for her glorious coronation.

 

I have to admit I am slightly baffled by her haste in hustling for the DUP to prop her up. Surely she realises that the persistent connection of Corbyn to Irish terrorists will now be even more laughable as an attack method; not to mention the insane risk to the Northern Irish power-sharing agreement by having one side prop up the supposed mediator for the Assembly agreement. The fact she has already described the DUP (despite their clear connection to loyalist paramilitaries) as ‘friends’ is incredible, considering she wouldn’t stop making reference to the fact that Corbyn specifically referred to Hamas as ‘friends’ when seeking negotiations for peace with them.

 

Which makes me wonder: what’s she actually playing at? She must surely know when politically engaged moderate Tory voters begin to research the DUP’s views on homosexuality, climate change and creationism (amongst others), they will be revolted, and turned off the Conservatives. Associations will be permanently made between the parties, which generally damages the party ‘brand’ for more than one election cycle.

 

So does the conspiracy theory contain perhaps a kernel of truth? Did May call the election as an all-or-nothing shot, where she would either get Erdogan-style dictator status in her own little one-party state, or be relieved of the inevitable disasterpiece of Brexit? I’m coming round to this theory more with every development, even if I’m not entirely convinced yet.

 

Whatever happens, we now have a genuine alternative narrative to dismantle the failed neoliberal system in the mainstream, and Corbyn will only grow in stature as this atrocious and offensive coalition of chaos staggers on, in the death throes of their destructive ideology we may finally be able to lay to rest for good. So, young people, you were neglected, ignored and patronised, but now you’ve rescued us, the people who most believed in you. We have all been vindicated. iVive la revolucion!

It’s important to give a few days between a horrible event occurring and commenting on it. When the referendum result came through, I found myself lashing out at various people I had no business attacking, and promptly banned myself from social media for the weekend, which kind of worked.

So now the dust is settling on the stupidest decision the British public has probably ever made, and there is a complete absence of any political leadership, just when it is surely needed most.

David Cameron, the privileged PR guy who once said he should be PM because he’d “be good at it”, has proven that assertion absolutely false, by calling a referendum simply to iron out internal party issues and allow him to squeak an election win against the odds. Now his arrogance and immaturity has cost him everything. No longer allowed to sail into the sunset with a positive political legacy, he has been forced to resign in disgrace, having lost any credibility by calling the needless referendum, and then losing it. The fact he has vowed to continue until October, despite refusing to deal with Brexit negotiations, is a mark of the hubris and petulance of the man. He will go down as the Prime Minister who lost the ‘Unionist’ from the ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’; as once Article 50 is triggered, Scotland will surely call a second referendum, where they will vote for independence to stay in the EU, while the rest of the Tory Britain will finally finish Thatcher’s dream of killing off any and all things with ‘Union’ in their description.

Plenty of turkeys seemingly voted for Christmas, as parts of Wales and Cornwall, big recipients of EU funds, voted out. Better the devil you know, or, to put it another way, better to be fisted by Westminster than patronisingly patted on the back by Europe.

Other than the obvious lies about NHS funding and immigration reductions gobbed out of loudhalers by the lead Brexiteers, other things irked me about this result: the complete lack of exit strategy, proving more evident by the day; the fact that a number of people I spoke to who voted leave tended to preface it with ‘I don’t really get into politics’; the gloaty sneering about the result as if it was a rugby match, rather than something which would negatively affect generations to come. I’d be a complete berk to suggest everyone who voted Leave was a xenophobe or racist, but it is indisputable that the Leave campaign would not have won without the racist vote.

As I watched the tediously long-winded campaign unwind, I knew one thing for certain: the ‘Leave’ team could not win without pandering to fears about immigration. You never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator, as the saying goes. Fears about mass immigration are not fabricated or undue, but, as many like me tried to argue, leaving the EU would not reduce immigration in any circumstance. Were we to leave the EU, our economy could not afford to leave the European Economic Area, therefore, like other non-EU members trading in the EEA like Norway and Switzerland, we would have to accept the freedom of movement principle.

If, somehow, we decided to shoot ourselves in both feet and cut our noses off by leaving the EEA, big business would simply import far more non-EU nationals than EU nationals, and lobby for regulations to be relaxed to ‘save the economy’ (and their profit margins). These are the fundamental tenets of the church of Neoliberalism: Capital is God, and must be fluid. Capital potential can be reduced if worker supply is reduced, or, Heaven forbid, big business has to pay to train British natives. Therefore, the lobbyists call the shots. If the Brexiteers don’t like this, join the rest of us who actually get off our arses and try to change it, rather than constantly posting anti-immigrant rhetoric and falling for divide-and-rule every time.

Joining Cameron in the cowardice sweepstakes was Boris Johnson, who shocked everyone by pulling out of the Tory leadership race at the last minute. So two men who manoeuvred specifically to stay PM, and become PM, had both failed miserably, and gutlessly ran away, leaving others to clean up their considerable mess.

Meanwhile, the opposition have decided to react to this vacuum of leadership with the most embarrassing coup attempt since, well, Boris Johnson’s! But that’s a discussion for another time.

It’s always best to leave a couple of days after a big shock, to let your emotions settle.

When I saw the first exit polls just after 10pm on Friday, the colour drained from my face. Every poll, and logic, suggested a hung parliament, with the Tories scraping a few more seats by virtue of Murdoch’s hatchet job on Ed Miliband. Nothing had suggested a near majority. I trembled and scoffed. It would likely not be quite as disastrous as that. Paddy Ashdown said much the same. We were wrong: it was much, much worse.

Every person who had suffered under this coalition hoping for some respite was metaphorically kidney-punched: a Conservative majority. Slim, but clear. I’ve felt nothing but abject despair since it was confirmed. I woke up the next morning in a bleak fugue.

Over the last five years, unless you were in an insulated middle-class bubble, many things have steadily declined. Good independent businesses closing down. Vastly increased homelessness. NHS staff at breaking point. Teachers abandoning the profession in droves. Creative people lamenting their lack of opportunities. This is just my own personal experiences, I’m sure there are many more tragic stories all across the country.

Even in our glorious cash-cow capital, the locals are being eased out of sight to make room for oligarchs laundering their dirty money on top-end property. Authentic cockneys will soon be talked about in misty-eyed rhetoric.

How could this happen? How could this despicable bunch of crooks con over eleven million people into voting them in without restraint? How could people who had suffered from the banking crash trust the party funded directly by those culprits of the crash to put things right? Were they condoning the almost-unheralded transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the super-rich, while advocating the asphyxiation of the welfare system?

I heard a lot of people talking about this result in terms of a rugby match: “Hard cheese Reds, the Blues have got the reins for the next five years, better luck next time!”; as if there will be no dire consequences even for them in this next Parliament. They do not seem to have grasped what a catastrophe this is for the entire nation. But I digress.

I don’t expect the majority of the country to empathise with ‘bleeding heart liberals’; some people, despite their vulnerability, are simply cold, hard-headed bastards who believe everyone can make it big if they just ‘pull their socks up’. As admirable as that can-do attitude is, it’s got nothing to do with competence in office.

So tell me, how can a government that wasn’t trusted last time and failed at every one of its OWN targets, be approved to carry on without restraints this time? What’s the message?

“Well you made a right balls-up of that last term, what with doubling the national debt, missing the deficit targets and losing the AAA credit rating with the slowest recovery on record, but I guess those pesky Lib Dems were the cause of most of that. Without them around, you’re bound not to do anything to jeopardise the economy or the NHS, and you certainly wouldn’t allow another banking crash like Labour did.”

You guessed it folks, that slowest recovery on record was not linked to any significant wage growth, so it’s going to be predominantly private debt, mostly mortgages taken on by people on modest salaries through the truly imbecilic ‘Help-to-Buy’ bribe. The next crash is not far away, and neither is the demise of the NHS.

By voting Tory, people have essentially approved the scandalous ‘Health and Social Care Bill’, which will see the NHS almost certainly introduce charging in this parliament, barring a bombastic series of protests. And don’t forget, those charges will be going chiefly into the pockets of the American healthcare conglomerates who have filled the Tory coffers for the last five years. I would not be surprised to also see the knocking of the end of the ‘Universal service’ for Royal Mail. It was inevitable the minute it was privatised.

Don’t forget: David Cameron, as nice as people seem to believe he is, has said explicitly that he believes everything bar the military and parts of the judiciary should be privatised, either directly or through outsourcing. Hello G4S police militia, Serco surveillance, Capita Workfare, and Tesco Social Services.

The last government even managed to privatise things that stretched the limits of morality: blood supplies and ambulance services among them. This obsessive privatisation will mean that the rest of the postwar consensus will be flogged off like cheap trinkets at a market stall, with the worst part being that it will prove almost impossible to reverse. Even if outsourced providers prove more appalling than they already have been, the public sector may not have the right skills to take the services back, even if the electorate wise up and demand it.

So all we can do is wait for the inevitable financial crash in the next couple of years, whether we’re in the EU or not, and watch the corporate media blame Cameron, and anoint Boris the Clown to resurrect the Tories in time for an inexplicable re-election in 2020. And that’s even before we mention the horror of TTIP.

I know we should fight, but I feel like we’ve been fighting hard for five years and it’s been rewarded with an even worse future. I think I’ve lost faith. We’ll go on fighting, but we’ll go down with a deliberately sunken ship.

When I hear David Cameron spout the latest of his tiresome catchphrases: “hard-working families”; “long-term plan”; “Britain paying its way”, I can never get the image of his Public Relations background out of my head. He is a political PR Tickle-Me-Elmo.

“Mr Cameron, me and my partner are struggling to keep a roof over our heads with these record rent rises. What can you do to…”

“Help-to-buy!”

“Umm okay, but I don’t see how that helps…”

“Aspiration nation! Own your own home and find fulfilment!”

“David, are you actually listening to me?”

“Our long-term plan is working! Don’t let Labour ruin it like they did when they caused the global financial crash!”

*sound of footsteps hurrying away*

The most complimentary thing anybody said about Margaret Thatcher is that she was a ‘conviction’ politician. It sounds impressive, even if she had to manufacture a war and move the ‘wets’ who disagreed with her handing over of assets to spivs and speculators out of the cabinet, to carry through her ‘convictions’. Since the Patron Saint of Greed was ushered out by her own party, the leaders following in her wake have had a conundrum: how can one be a conviction politician anymore, when one’s party is largely financed by the financial and corporate sector, who also own most of the national media? John Major found this an impossible job. Some may argue his convictions ensured the peace process in Ireland was carried through, but other than this he was brought down essentially by the Tory far-right factions demanding more, despite them having carte-blanche for the whole of Thatcher’s tenure. From the most successful elected Prime Minister in recent history in terms of outright votes, Major finished as a lame duck PM, with the country glad to cast out the sleaze-ridden Conservatives for a new start under a Labour government.

Tony Blair, despite his anointment as the new hope, turned out to just be a sublimely presented corporate spokesperson. Unlike Major, Blair had a more balanced party, but he himself was the hollow messiah. He stood for nothing but winning elections. Having researched Labour’s many defeats to Thatcher and Major, Blair imagined that the electorate fully supported the Neoliberal consensus, while the financial and corporate sectors liked having their bellies tickled. Unfortunately, it seems the fraud supreme was right, and each following Prime Minister is nothing more than a totem of corporate supremacy, with very little wriggle-room for radical redistribution or renationalisation policies. When he called himself the ‘heir to Blair’, Cameron was essentially revealing what many suspected: he was made Conservative leader to be the acceptable PR-friendly face of the continuing corporate takeover of all public assets. Much like Blair was put in place solely to appease the sceptical City of London and finally win Labour an election, Cameron was appointed solely to appease the sceptical electorate and finally win the Tories an election. And he failed, but was propped up anyway.

We can all see what his mission was: utilise the five years of power to privatise Royal Mail and the NHS, and put in place the building blocks to privatise schools and higher education, as well as the criminal justice system, then attempt to be re-elected to finish the job. This Neoliberal project is bigger than Cameron. It is his corporate donors and the City of London who insist it is completed, Cameron is merely a shiny spokesperson to lie to the voters about the Tories’ intentions. You only have to reference the Circle Healthcare Hinchingbrooke hospital debacle to see that the Tories are enacting ‘pay-as-you-go’ policies for donors, at the expense of the general public.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-31104003

Circle, of course, bankrolled the office of Andrew Lansley, progenitor of the 2012 Health and Social Care Bill that opened up swathes of the NHS to private providers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6989408/Andrew-Lansley-bankrolled-by-private-healthcare-provider.html

So when we see the increasingly desperate shots at the Leader of the Opposition, coupled with a complete lack of intellectual depth when answering complex social questions, we can see that Cameron has reached his limits. Even he cannot defend the indefensible, despite being a housewives’ favourite.

The previously unelectable Ed Miliband has seemingly been boosted by the transparent attempts to demonise and lampoon him in the Murdoch press, but he has also sounded like he actually has ideas to tackle social problems. When he stated in a recent speech that the welfare state and NHS “did not appear because nice politicians came long, but because the public demanded it”, he instantly invigorated my interest. Imagine, a modern politician not saying they have all the answers, but saying that public will can shape the country instead. Little chance one might think under our two-party First-Past-The-Post tactical voting nightmare, but perhaps Ed might prove better than the lesser of two evils. I for one do not trust the current Labour party to dismantle any significant aspects of the Neoliberal project, but if truly progressive parties like the Greens could enter into a coalition, maybe the crushing tide of crony corporate plutarchy might finally start to turn.

Henry Thomas Buckle’s attributed aphorism about small minds discussing people, average minds discussing events and great minds discussing ideas gets me thinking about the modern political landscape.

I often hear people, despite not having the option to vote for a Prime Minister, describing how the two party leaders come across. The fact that only two leaders are scrutinized in depth is a measure of the shameful anachronism that is the First-Past-The-Post voting system, but that is for another discussion. Apparently, David Cameron looks genuine, and Ed Milliband looks weird. For a lot of people I’ve been talking to, this discourse replaces the actual policies enacted by Cameron’s government, or the manifesto pledges of Miliband’s opposition. ‘Ideas’ are rejected in favour of ‘people’, with a little sprinkling of ‘events’: the banking crash; spun as a failure of the welfare state, and apparently not widely repudiated by the electorate.

Meanwhile, the opposition looks to make hay from Cameron’s background: more ‘personality politics’, at the expense of appealing to people’s intellect by rigorously taking apart disastrous economic and social policies. The ridiculous mainstream media have basically painted this election as Miliband the geek versus Cameron the toff: playground politics for an electorate they clearly believe are simple-minded.