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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cut bankers' bonuses and MPs' pay, not hospitals and schools.

Where a political party decides to launch its manifesto says a lot.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launched theirs last weekend on the streets of Cardiff, amongst ordinary working-class people from all over Wales. We "cleaned up politics" by putting an MP in the bin with his inflated pay and bogus expenses, and invited passers-by to sign a petition in support of our demands.

The Lib Dems, however, launched theirs in the City of London, surrounded on all sides by those profiteering pirates whose greed brought the recession down on our heads.

In the Guardian today, the Tories are described as "the party of choice for rich bankers" said Nick Clegg, Westminster-educated leader of the Lib Dems and himself son of a rich banker. Labour's credibility has been used up and big business is warming up its other team to push through its agenda. But you can't help but detect in the criticism a certain amount of jealousy. The Lib Dems would love to regain their place as capitalism's second eleven and they might not be too far from their goal: according to a poll in the Guardian today, Labour and the Lib Dems are in joint second place. The Labour Party - lost to working people for over a decade now - could be destroyed even as a useful vehicle for the ruling capitalist class is a possibility. That's the legacy of Blair, Brown and New Labour.

But the Lib Dems won't change the situation for us. They've said they'll participate in savage cuts and, like all the other main parties, they plan to hand back the banks to the same irresponsible gamblers that brought about the recession. At most they'll insist their boardroom meetings aare smaller by dividing up the biggest banks. If we want change we'll have to change things ourselves: and more an more people are deciding to do that. The percentage of people intending to vote for parties other than the main three has risen from a very low figure, steady at 1 or 2% for decades, to 12% according to the Guardian/ICM polls. And that figure would rise as a new confidence in a new political organisation for ordinary working class people grew.

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