Johnson versus Hunt - the latest game in town now dominates newspaper headlines and TV screens. As if nothing else could possibly be more important today! Never mind that this is really a game of liars' poker - or, to put it another way, that it is a beauty contest between two millionaire politicians doubling as professional liars!
And why should we care? There's absolutely nothing for us workers in their grotesque tit-for-tat. After all, it is primarily addressed to the 160,000 members of the Tory party. Who else would want to vote for such characters, anyway?
But that's precisely where the catch lies. It's as if the idle, well-to-do population of some Middle England shire town was about to decide on the fate of the tens of millions of us who make up the working class and produce everything in this society! And yes, this is how this crazy political system works: if it is "democratic", it is only democratic for the wealthy, and obviously not for the rest of us!
Their agenda is based on lies
This beauty contest is just the latest outcome of the past three years of on-going guerilla warfare within the Tory party over Brexit: on top of the chaos they have caused in the economy, the rising prices, the big manufacturers' crab-walking out of Britain and the resulting loss of jobs, the Tory rivals are now fighting it out in order to decide which faction is finally going to make it to the top-dog job!
However, the fact is that the remaining two contenders in the ring both have a long record of reckless irresponsibility and systematic use of lies to mobilise support and conceal their own agendas.
That Johnson is a serial liar is well-known. Wasn't he sacked from the Times, as a young journalist, for falsifying facts in the early days of his career? Didn't he invent the notorious £350m/wk "Brexit dividend" for the NHS, during the referendum campaign? And hasn't he just lied, yet again, by presenting a pledge to provide schools with an annual £5,000 per pupil as a “major giveaway", when it would add less than one tenth of a percent to their funding?
As for Hunt, his lies may have been less prominent, but they were no less significant. Wasn't he caught having close ties with Murdoch just as he was meant to oversee his bid for BSkyB? Wasn't he also caught fiddling his expenses as an MP? Worst of all, wasn't he exposed for lying about the findings of a report, which he used to turn the screw on NHS junior doctors, thereby causing their first strike in 40 years?
Facing up to their mess
However, the Johnsons and the Hunts of this world can't possibly conceal the real interests they defend, in addition to their own, of course. For these smalltime millionaires, there is only one camp - that of big business and its profits.
So, Johnson came up with the pledge to cut taxes by an annual £20bn - with the bulk of the cuts benefiting (as usual) the wealthiest minority.
As for Hunt, who keeps referring to his own great "entrepreneurial" skills, his idea of public services, especially the NHS, is that their funds should go straight into private coffers. In fact, this was how, as Health Secretary, he managed to accelerate the (on-going) collapse of the NHS.
Just as significant is their total indifference to the increasing social dereliction which is spreading across the country. Over the last week alone, two damning facts emerged in this respect and neither candidate had anything to say about them.
The first is that, two years after the Grenfell Tower fire, the repair work to replace Grenfell-type inflammable cladding on almost 400 housing developments has, in most cases, still not even started. How many more deaths will it take for this essential and urgent work to be done?
The other fact is that due to decades of austerity, life expectancy has officially started to go down in Britain, just as it has been falling in the US - but unlike the rest of Europe, where it is still rising.
So much for the "benefits" of Brexit. Contrary to the lies peddled by the likes of Johnson and Hunt and others, it was never the EU that prompted British governments to starve public services and infrastructure of funding. Nor was it the EU which has been driving up poverty and ill-health across Britain. No, all that is the direct consequence of British politicians' determination to use public funds to line the pockets of Britain's very own private sharks!
With or without Brexit, the capitalists' parasitism on society and the complacency of their politicians are lethal hazards. Whether they get away with it, though, depends only on the rest of us, workers, because we are the only class which has an interest in cutting them down to size and which has the collective strength to do so!