Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/711/14224
Tories stand for the 1%... We need a voice for the 99%!
Only one week after the government's budget of new, swingeing cuts in jobs and services, accompanied by huge tax breaks for the rich and big business, it's been revealed that super-rich Tory party donors had earlier wined and dined with the prime minister, David Cameron. This 'cash for access' expose is just another example of the rottenness of the capitalist political system and how the establishment parties are completely intertwined with big business, as Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist explains.
'Cam dine with me' is secret influence. Millions of pounds change hands and, I have no doubt, favours for millionaires ensue. Just look at the cut in the top rate of income tax and the cut in corporation tax for example.
I'm not surprised it still goes on - capitalist politics is not about organising society and its resources to benefit the majority; it's about a thin privileged layer - the 1% - buying individual influence for measures to benefit individuals, a tiny minority - and done at the expense of the 99%.
But four dinners in Downing Street, or even one at Chequers, isn't only what is really rotten in politics.
There's a thousand more ties from the playing fields of Eton, via Oxbridge, to the Bar and the boardroom, where the tiny minority who rule the country mix and form allegiances. As David Cameron said: "I have known most of those attending for many years".
That layer of capitalist politicians have a loyalty to a system that brings wealth and security to a tiny fraction of the country - at the expense of poverty and insecurity for millions. That's what needs challenging.
And Labour, with its ties to business interests, involving so many ex-Cabinet ministers in directorships and lobbying firms, is little different.
Trade unions should break with labour and instead discuss funding a radical socialist alternative - the trade unionist and socialist coalition - that condemns the corruption and patronage in parliament and big business.
He who pays the piper...
A handful of the guests at four dinner parties at Number 10 had given £18 million to the Tory party - and also, apparently, money to climate change deniers and eurosceptics. They included hedge fund traders, oil traders and the odd billionaire city businessman.
According to Tory MP Andrew Tyrie: "Prior to 1997 about 6% of public companies made donations to the Conservative party, but 50% of knighthoods and peerages went to the directors of companies who made such donations. A coincidence? I doubt it."
But was it much different under Labour? As the party progressively embraced Tory and big business policies, particularly in the 1990s, so did it ape their fundraising methods.
Labour Party conference stopped being 'a parliament for the labour and trade union movement' and filled up with corporate sponsors paying thousands of pounds for seats at dinner tables with Labour leaders in what used to be called "a specially designed commercial package for business visitors to conference". One such company donating £36,000 for dinner tickets and conference tables, was Enron - the company involved in the world's largest securities fraud!
In The Socialist 28 March 2012:
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