The Con Dem coalition has persuaded us that it is working very unconvincingly. The antics of Vince Cable, formerly a respected and credible politician as Lib Dems go, is starting the unravelling. Having lead on the tuition fees debacle trying to face in both directions he has now confided in Daily Telegraph hacks his deep dissatisfaction. It is drawing out other Lib Dems. “The student fees saga is a ‘train wreck'” says one.
Cable was not considered to have an outsize ego but his comments to his supposed young mother constituents suggests otherwise. The Independent points to other eminent and respected politicians whose over-sized egos have clouded their judgement at a crucial time. Clare Short’s posturing over Iraq and failing to follow up her threat of resignation at the key moment necessary, as Robin Cook did is cited as a recent example. Vince claimed he had the power to bring the coalition down, Now he’s gone and apologised. For saying what he really thinks? Credibility is ebbing away as he joins the ranks of opportunist politicians of all hues.
Of course such an eventuality as this is, or should be, gift to the opposition. Problem is that the opposition does not sit in parliament or lead the trades unions. The present need for unity in fighting a class-based attack on working people is not being led from places supposedly representing them. A younger generation have seen the need for protest and it is they who have taken a lead both on the streets and taking part in a new form of defence in cyber space. Those wanting to support them are presently either outside or on the margins of the Labour Party and Unions. The mention of strike action sends Ed Milibilly scuttling for cover. What the Union leader said in his tete-a-tete at no 10 was uninspired according to his own account after the event.
COMMENT by Adam Humphreys
Their rage was almost tangible; it was a cry of frustration brought
about by betrayal not just from this toxic coalition of opportunists
but from the wider political establishment. On Thursday MP’s rubber
stamped the tripling of tuition fees, a policy that would delight even
the most zealous neo-cons in the white house. The message behind the
move is simple ‘pay your taxes and pay for everything’ the gloves are
now well and truly off, the coalition is out to dismantle post war
society. Those who think this is simply an issue of who pays for
university funding are mistaken – it isn’t. On the agenda are vicious
regressive policies such as US style workfare schemes forcing people
into miserably paid employment, cuts in social services such as
home care, early learning centres for children, freezing, reducing or
eradicating the minimum wage – not forgetting their ultimate aim which
is to create a US style health system. It’s been said that peaceful
protest is perfectly acceptable. In truth what this means is action
or protest that is anaemic, muted and changes nothing. People
protested against the Iraq war but they did it anyway. As the three
main political parties have abandoned, ignored and lied to us there is
only one viable course of action that remains, and that is to take
direct action that forces this coalition to the negotiating table. In
order for this to happen we need co-ordinated and sustained industrial
action involving all sectors of the trade union movement.
In lay mans terms a general strike!
(Source Socialist Labour Party)