In a way, you have to admire the Tories. If only Labour Governments would set about the power of the Capitalist State, in the interests of workers, in the way the Tories have done over recent weeks. The reason they don't, of course, is that Labour Governments have always been stuffed full of people committed to a continuation of Capitalism, and who see the Capitalist State as the instrument for being able to achieve that.
Of course, the Tories are not setting about the power of the Capitalist State in the interests of workers. The trouble, for them, is that they are not doing it in the interests of Capital either. That leaves them in a bit of a pickle. The actions of the Tories can only be seen - as with those of other similar parties in Europe - as being a form of right-wing populism, which they employed as a means of getting elected, and, having got elected, they are now trapped, having to carry out their programme, in order to keep their electoral base, and party faithful on side. In Britain, that causes further problems, because the other half of the Government, the Liberals, did not fight the election on such policies - on the contrary they were strident in their opposition to them - and their electoral support, and Party base has fractured, and is disintegrating.
But, this poses a problem for the most dominant section of Capital - Big Capital - too. It rules via a thousand invisible golden strings that tie its interests to the ruling strata of the State. A myriad of friendship, social, financial, educational and familial interconnections form a web of interdependence between Big Capital and the State. It is via these methods that its interests are absorbed and represented in the corridors of power. This is normally enough to ensure that its interests are those that determine the policy of the State, and through it the Government.
Its unlikely that Big Capital is going to resort to such measures to sweep the Liberal-Tories from Government, in order to overcome the economic damage that the Government is doing, and the danger it poses for Capital. For now, they are using the normal methods of a bureaucracy to frustrate and undermine. Before the election, one of the Tories shining stars was Michael Gove,, who was repeatedly put forward on Newsnight, and other programmes because he always seemed to have his finger on the button, and to be a safe pair of hands. He also led the way in announcing changes when the Government was formed. But, over the last few weeks, we have seen much less of him. He seemed to be less of a safe pair of hands, when he came to Parliament with a dodgy dossier of School building programmes - not just once but, several times shown to be wrong! It could, of course, just be incompetence, but anyone who has worked in the Public Sector, or who has studied how bureaucracies operate, would not be surprised if he'd been set up, because the proposals damaged vested interests.
But, it has to be said that the Tories also seem to know their onions when it comes to dealing with bureaucrats - after all many of them have had to deal with them in Local Councils, and so, having originally asked for proposals based on 25% cuts, they know that the usual response is to put forward suggestions that will be rejected, in the knowledge that a much reduced set of cuts, more to the liking of the bureaucrats, will be agreed, so they responded by also asking for proposals based on 40% cuts, a tactic that was also used in Local Government, by the new Communities Minister, Eric The Pickle.
But, the Government has not relented. Instead they have stepped up their own attacks. This time, Communities Minister, Eric Pickles, has announced the scrapping of the Audit Commission. He may regret it. The State bureaucracy is less concerned when it is Manual workers, or low paid clerical staff, getting axed, they can usually work around that to justify some reorganisation that results in more pay for the higher ups out of it. But, when its the jobs of the higher ups themselves that are being scrapped - not in the ones and twos that they themselves welcome from time to time so they can take early retirement, and pocket huge redundancy and pension pay-outs, but wholesale clearance - then they are likely to respond. And these are very well-paid, very well connected people to upset. As Accountants, and Accountants who deal with high finance, these are the kinds of people who are directly connected by those golden threads to Big Capital. Its not just the effect it has on them, but the psychological effect it has on all of those connected to them.
I would not at all be surprised if, over coming weeks, Mr Pickles was to find himself in some kind of situation similar to that of his colleague Michael Gove.. If I was Pickles I would keep my eyes peeled, or he might find himself being made to look a bit of a Gherkin