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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 December 2012

The rotten establishment - of a rotten system

Just as arrogant bankers flaunted their wealth while they helped crash the economy, so establishment politicians, press barons and some police have had their arrogance and contempt for 'the plebs' - the mass of working people in Britain - revealed in a seemingly ceaseless series of revelations of corruption and abuse of power.

From hacking, to Hillsborough, to blacklisting and blatant robbing of the public, Britain's establishment are spoilt rotten by power, and working people are getting sick of it.

Leveson report will not end abuse

Even Leveson's tame report exposed the rotten and corrupt relationships between different parts of the British state's establishment.

Appalling abuses took place with impunity as press, politicians and senior police enjoyed cosy relationships.

The media is now full of debate about a 'free press'. But we don't have a free press! Do ordinary people own our big newspapers? Of course not. Rich people do, and they do it to buy power and influence.

Murdoch owns four papers and satellite TV. The press barons are part of the ruling establishment and use their media to defend their rotten system, a system founded on the wealth of a few and impoverishment of the many.

They are the image of George Orwell's 'trash' media from "1984". Poisoning people and setting one group against the other to deflect the flak from themselves.

Leveson hoped his report would be accepted by all three political parties. That in itself indicates its' timidity.

It is little more than a beefed up version of what exists and allowed such abuses in the first place.

After the experience of toothless watchdogs like gas price regulator, OfGem, who'd imagine OfHack would be any more effective? However, media barons are demanding that they police the press, and there is a serious attempt to bury his report by them and many politicians.

Click here for the Socialist Party's analysis of the Leveson report

Con-Dem coalition in crisis


The enquiry into press abuse has provoked further divisions in the Con-Dem coalition. Nick Clegg, desperately seeking to create distance from his Tory partners spoke in opposition to Cameron's response.

Can their coalition survive until 2015? If met by a determined trade union and workers' movement, then no. But faced with a Labour opposition that agrees with cuts they may still be able to drag on.

Economic failure:

The coalition's austerity programme is miserably failing. It is pushing millions out of work or nearer to poverty.

The economy is grinding to a halt, yet the deficit is not reducing. They now admit the pain will go on for another decade!

All that unites the coalition is agreement that working people must be made to pay for the crisis.

So, in his budget Osborne will impose more cuts and job losses and allow real wages to decline further while trying to pass the blame onto the unemployed.

He will offer a sop of a weak measure against the wealthy to try to avoid escalating the outrage already felt by people.

Byelections: Voters reject establishment

It was a disaster for the coalition as they were hammered in the recent three byelections in Rotherham, Middlesborough and Croydon North.

In shocking results, Tory votes plummeted leaving them with a second, fourth and fifth place, almost losing two deposits.

The Liberals suffered even more for being the Tories' lapdogs. Coming third, fourth and eighth!

They did lose two deposits and saw their share of the vote over the last six by elections fall from 19% to 7%.

They fell behind Ukip who replaced them as the main protest vote recipient. Many LibDems in the Coalition 'jungle' must think: 'I'm a Liberal - get me out of here'!

Right wing Tories are now urging their party to do a deal with Ukip to avoid electoral Armageddon in two years time.

Fear of defeat has led to the Tories planning to loot state assets even faster proposing ever more ridiculous privatisations.

In a wider comment on the political establishment, there was little enthusiasm for the opposition either. Labour leaders had repeated their intention to continue Con-Dem cuts.

Labour won all three byelections but on small turnouts, meaning only roughly 16% of the possible electorate felt motivated enough to trust them to combat the Con-Dems.

As Tories cuddle Ukip, so Labour are wooing the Liberals. There's not much sign of political principle around! It makes you wonder if they all think the same, why do they exist?

The job of Socialists in the years ahead is to replace the disillusionment felt by millions with a view of how we can change things.

MPs: Still at the trough

As well as an arrangement where MPs rent houses from each other -which helps them get their hands on a nice London property- MPs are still suffering from 'expenses dependency'.

Money they paid back when public pressure put the heat on them has since often been quietly refunded.

Sir John Butterfill got 15,000 back after returning money used to help run his servants' quarters. Cheryl Gillan, former Welsh secretary, was refunded 4.47 for pet food. (What's shocking is that they even bother to claim it!)

Employment minister Mark Hoban said the "unemployed have taken benefits for granted as a way of life and must roll up their sleeves and stop playing the system".

Is that the same Hoban who claimed 35 for a toilet roll holder, 100 for a chrome shower rack and 79 for four silk cushion covers at his second home?

These real 'benefit dependents' will vote soon to cut the money of many of the poorest people in Britain. The trouble is they think everybody else is as rotten as they are.

Employers' illegal blacklists

The scandal of workers being blacklisted merely for being trade unionists or even for just raising health and safety concerns has deepened in recent days.

Ian Kerr, the only person to have been convicted, gave evidence to parliament.

Kerr was Chief Executive of the Consulting association which coordinated blacklisting on behalf of 44 of the largest construction firms in the UK.

Many workers have had their lives ruined by blacklisting. Kerr admitted how widespread it was.

Seasoned trade unionists may not have been too surprised at bosses' dirty tricks, but to find that just being professional and giving safety advice on buildings etc must have been a shock to many workers.

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In The Socialist 5 December 2012:


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