Cameron Will Continue Waging War on Working People

Today in the UK, people are waking up to their first week of a five-year rule under a Conservative majority government. It’s been the first time the Tories have managed to form such a government since 1992. Only 37 percent of those who bothered to vote actually voted Conservative. In fact, the current administration is in government with 24 percent of support from all those who were eligible to vote.

Under the UK’s ‘first past the post system’, the Scottish Nationalist party gained 56 seats with 4.8 percent of votes cast. The Greens gained one seat with a share of 3.8 percent. Under a system of proportional representation, the Greens would now have 25 seats in the new parliament. With the current system, a party could theoretically gain the most number of seats nationally but fail to gain a single seat. This is the nature of the ‘democratic’ voting system in the UK.

What the UK now has in store is five years of an ideologically driven administration that will push through its welfare-cutting, pro-privatisation policies wrapped up in talk of a need for austerity and presided over by a millionaire-dominated cabinet which represents the interests of the richest echelons of global capital.

Out of those who voted Tory, a good deal comprised people of relatively modest means: people who will have been led to believe that ordinary people’s interests equate with the ‘national interest’ as defined by Tory politicians. These are people who for some strange reason believe that more privatisation, more deregulation, more austerity, more inequality, more concentration of wealth and more attacks on the public sector will be good for them as individuals and good for the economy.

The acceptance of this ideology is not just down to Tory methods of persuasion but is also due to its perpetuation by the corporate mainstream media and the other main political parties, which have fully embraced neoliberalism. However, many people feel that the Tories can be best trusted to see through such things, unlike Labour (Tory-lite) or the Liberal Democrats who might mismanage, waver or may not be quite as committed to the neoliberal cause. As a party by the rich, for the rich of and of the rich, they may have a point.

What we can now expect to see is the attempted completion of a project that had begun under Thatcher in the eighties: the complete subservience of ordinary working people to the needs of powerful corporations, the tax-evading corporate dole-scrounging super rich and the neoliberal agenda they have imposed on people. And key to securing this is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The European Commission tries to sell TTIP by claiming that the agreement will increase GDP by one percent and will entail massive job creation. These claims are not supported even by its own studies, which predict a growth rate of just 0.01 percent GDP over the next ten years and the potential loss of jobs in several sectors. Corporations are lobbying EU-US trade negotiators to use the deal to weaken food safety and restrictions on GM food and agriculture as well as labour, health and environmental standards, among other things. Through certain regulatory and investor trade dispute stipulations, the outcome would entail the by passing of any existing democratic processes in order to push through the ultimate corporate power grab.

This proposed trade agreement (and others like it being negotiated across the world) is based on a firm belief in ‘the market’ (a euphemism for subsidies for the rich, cronyism, rigged markets and cartels) and the intense ideological dislike of state intervention and state provision of goods and services. The economic doctrine that underpins this belief attempts to convince people that they can prosper by having austerity imposed on them and by submitting to neo-liberalism and ‘free’ trade: a smokescreen the financial-corporate elites hide behind while continuing to enrich themselves.

Current negotiations over ‘free’ trade agreements have little to do with free trade. They are more concerned with loosening regulatory barriers and bypassing any current democratic processes that hinder their profits. These deals could allow large corporations to destroy competition, enforce privatisations and secure lucrative government procurement markets and siphon off wealth to the detriment of smaller, locally based firms and producers. We see this from TTIP, to the US-India Knowledge Agreement on Agriculture, CETA, TPP and beyond.

Cameron: handmaiden to the rich

Whether based in New York, London, Berlin or Delhi, the planet’s super rich and their corporations comprise a global elite whose members have to varying extents been incorporated into the Anglo-US system of trade and finance. For them, the ability to ‘do business’ (exploit labour – or automate – and make profits) is what matters, not national identity or the capacity to empathise with an ordinary working person that was born on the same land mass and who will lose their livelihood.

Notions of the ‘national interest’ that governments churn out are merely rhetorical devices to be used to rally the masses. And notions of being ‘against the national interest’ are used to curtail of destroy dissent, as we currently see happening with Greenpeace in India.

In order ‘to do business’, government machinery has been corrupted and bent to serve their ends. In turn, organisations that were intended to be ‘by’ and ‘for’ ordinary working people to challenge capital have been successfully infiltrated and dealt with.

The global takeover of agriculture by powerful agribusiness, the selling off and privatisation of assets built with public toil and money and secretive corporate-driven trade agreements represent a massive corporate heist of wealth and power across the world.

Whether it concerns rich oligarchs in the US or India’s billionaire business men, corporate profits and personal gain trump any notion of the ‘national interest’. 300,000 dead farmers in India who killed themselves or the ranks of the unemployed in Spain or Greece are regarded as mere ‘collateral damage’ in what is ultimately a war on working people and the environment itself.

Looting economies for personal gain is disguised as ‘free trade’. Austerity is sold as ‘growth’. Massive profits is ‘wealth creation’. Ecological degradation is ‘progress’. From Obama in the US to Cameron in the UK or Modi in India, their neoliberal agenda betrays them as handmaidens to the rich.

In Britain expect to see militarism, brutality and imperialism continuing to be sold under the banner of ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘democracy’. Expect more cronyism, an increasingly wider revolving door to facilitate the flow between private interests and government, more insidious lobbying by big business and a continued free for all in the corrupt City of London.

Some 11,334,000 voted Conservative in the UK last Thursday. The other 53 million in the country now face having deal with the outcome for the next five years.

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

More articles by:

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

March 22, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Italy, Germany and the EU’s Future
David Rosen
The Further Adventures of the President and the Porn Star
Gary Leupp
Trump, the Crown Prince and the Whole Ugly Big Picture
The Hudson Report
Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons and Debt in Antiquity
Steve Martinot
The Properties of Property
Binoy Kampmark
Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Surveillance Capitalism
Jeff Berg
Russian to Judgment
Gregory Barrett
POSSESSED! Europe’s American Demon Must Be Exorcised
Robby Sherwin
What Do We Do About Facebook?
Sam Husseini
Trump Spokesperson Commemorates Invading Iraq by Claiming U.S. Doesn’t Dictate to Other Countries; State Dept. Defends Invasion
Rob Okun
Students: Time is Ripe to Add Gender to Gun Debate
Michael Barker
Tory Profiteering in Russia and Putin’s Debt of Gratitude
March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us