This year's Tory party conference was just as stage-managed as usual. But this time round, it featured two new acts.
One took the form of a series of fringe meetings, which stirred the party’s factional hornets’ nest. The warring factions were given the chance of offloading their venom with vociferous calls for May to either slam the door in the EU’s face, or face dismissal. It seemed as if the UKIP bigots were back in the Tory womb. In any case, their xenophobic hysteria is certainly alive and kicking within Tory ranks - the same hysteria which has been driving British politics ever since Cameron took office, only to produce the present Brexit mess!
The other act took place in the conference's usually half-empty main hall. May's very own dancing number was followed by the inevitable self-congratulation about her alleged "achievements" in office. But worse was still to come, when, after endless references to what she called the "national interest" - that is, the interests of British capital - she went back to her worn out, hypocritical motto, about building a "country that works for everyone"!
Lies and fools’ gold
And what a pack of lies that is! As if this society was "working" for those of us actually doing all the work! Wages have been frozen for years and standards of living are going down the drain, aided by Brexit inflation!
In fact, May's education secretary, Damian Hinds, was blatantly lying when he backed up his department’s claim that Britain had the "world’s 3rd highest expenditure on education per head". As it turns out, this ignoramus was quite simply counting as "public expenditure" the loans that students will have to repay throughout their working lives (for university fees which are among the world's highest!) and the public school fees that the wealthy fork out for their cherished offspring!
To bolster May's benevolent image, health secretary, Matt Hancock was called in to prescribe his own quack medicine against the ongoing disaster in social care: a one-off £240m injection for this winter. Never mind that the social care budget has been cut by £7bn since 2010 and that an additional £700m cut is already planned for the coming year! £240m worth of fools’ gold, that's what it is - to cover criminal lies which cost lives!
Last, but not least, came May's “cure” for the housing crisis. She pledged to repeal the cap on local councils' borrowing, but won't make up for the 55% cut in their budget since 2010! As to the £2bn “extra funding” she promised for new social housing, it will be spread over the whole of the next decade! Yet more fools’ gold, worth £133/yr for each one of the 1.5m households which are currently on waiting lists! And of course, May did not say a word about the rising poverty among those forced to pay extortionate private rents, nor about the 400 homeless who died prematurely on Britain's streets over the past year!
Making society work for us, workers
So no, this society is not "working for everyone". In fact it's not working at all, if the general state of public services - and, especially the NHS - is anything to go by. It is a society which is run by the capitalists for the capitalists.
And, as if this wasn't bad enough, this government and their masters in the City are now busy preparing the ground to make the working class pay for their Brexit mess.
Of course, both May and her hard-Brexiteer rivals are still claiming that Brexit will bring Britain wonderful new "opportunities" for British capital and more jobs for the working class. And they were quick to hail the invitation made by Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, for Britain to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as heralding the return to Britain's imperial past that they all hark back to.
Except that they did not mention the small print in Shinzo Abe's invitation. In his view, Britain's main attraction is as "gateway" to the huge EU market for Japanese companies. But of course, once Brexit is implemented, that attraction will disappear and this great "opportunity" will come at a high price!
In fact, British-based car manufacturers are far less optimistic about the opportunities offered by the Asian market. Hasn't JLR just announced that, due to a slump in orders for its luxury SUVs from China, it was closing its Solihull plant for 2 weeks at the end of the month? And this is after sacking 1,000 temps due to Brexit "uncertainty" and moving the Castle Bromwich plant onto a 3-day week.
Across the whole economy, the bosses are gearing up for Brexit. With the help of their politicians, they intend to pass whatever costs Brexit will involve for them onto the rest of us - to ensure that this society carries on "working" for them. So isn't it high time we turned the tables on them, by using our collective strength to make society "work" for us, instead?