By Mark Edward Taylor
I am very grateful to Laura, one of the bar staff at the Approach Tavern Bethnal Green, who shared the following quote with me:
Just how do the Tories get away with it? Since they were founded as a modern political force in 1834, the Conservatives have acted as the parliamentary wing of the wealthy elite. When I was at university, a one-time very senior Tory figure put it succinctly at an off-the-record gathering: the Conservative Party, he explained, was a “coalition of privileged interests. Its main purpose is to defend that privilege. And the way it wins elections is by giving just enough to just enough other people”.
This quote sums it up beautifully. The Tories are masters of keeping control and releasing just enough to continue in power. Former Prime Minister David Cameron could not hold the privileged coalition together and called the EU referendum. This was a gamble he lost. The Tories were running scared of the Ukippers. Who knows what price and lost opportunities this gamble will cost…
There is now a general election to try and shore up a small Conservative majority. Theresa May is gambling now to keep hold of her influential position. The slogan of strong and stable is there to defend the privileged. She has ample support from a media dominated by a right-wing bias and a national broadcaster (BBC) scared of upsetting the powerful right. Just how did Nigel Farage manage to get so much airtime? Mrs May has decided to let the people choose the country’s direction, perhaps the same fate may befall her as the last time a prime minister elected to give the people a choice. Strong and stable could become weak and wobbly… thank-you Eddie Mair.
Giving just enough can be highlighted with the immense wealth of the elite, when compared to the low wages large sections of the population suffer. This can be shown with the inequality gap. The difference the highest and the lowest incomes. The United Kingdom has the largest equality gap in the European Union. As the quote above states; the modern Tory Party has a longer history than most other political forces in Great Britain. They have a strong patriotic streak and a close attachment to the Church of England. No wonder the C of E is sometimes referred to as the Conservative Party at Prayer. The monarch is head of the C of E so, criticising the monarch or the Church is deemed seditious. Elites protecting elites.
Wrestling control from the Tories is never easy. Labour has had a few good runs over my lifetime. Trade Unions can push the Tories into giving workers more, Also, the courts can make the government think again plus technology and events give the Tories uncomfortable moments. Clearly some members of the Tory Party had enough of European laws and directives. They don’t like being told what to do. They want to have it all their own way. And, by and large, they do. Giving just enough to just enough people who believe in them or are hoodwinked that they are best placed to govern in the national interest. It will be interesting to see, if we ever leave the EU, by undoing 44 years of membership….who will the Tory Party have to blame for all the ills of the world… nothing like heaping the onus on a eurocrat…
Uber, the Californian based app for linking passengers to car drivers (and taking a financial cut for doing this) has widely reported links to Conservative Party hierarchy.
The business model of Uber has the same ethos as the Tories. Just give enough and keep the lion’s share for yourself. Drivers earn barely sufficient to manage, swallow all the vehicle investment costs, insurance with no protection of employment. The company knows there is always someone else willing to drive for them as they will be rewarded with just enough…
I am writing this piece one week before polling day 2017. There is an opportunity to take power from the Conservatives, or limit their power by withdrawing their majority. As the campaign has gone on, Labour has made inroads into a large Tory poll lead, but pollsters recent results have left something to be desired… As the manifestos were published, Labour caught the imagination with a radical programme to benefit working class people.
The Tory manifesto has been a mean spirited mess. Flip flopping and taking still more from the just about managing. Perhaps, and I sincerely hope, the British people have had enough of a party giving them just enough… it is time for the many and not the few.