Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Tories Kosovan Style Social Cleansing Policies

Not my words, but those of Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has responded to the Tories proposals for capping Housing Benefit, by saying,

"What we will not see and we will not accept any kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London. On my watch, you are not going to see thousands of families evicted from the place where they have been living and have put down roots."


Ordinary Liberals must be feeling a bit travel sick. They started off a few months ago posing as some kind of Left alternative to Labour, now they find themselves in the van with a Tory Party to the Right of Boris Johnson!!! That's one hell of a lurch. Its not just on this issue either. The Liberals have always proclaimed their progressive stance towards Europe. But, now they are holding hands with a Tory Party that ditched the old Right-wing parties in Europe to form an alliance with various fascists and other nut jobs in the EU parliament. But, apparently, even that isn't far enough Right for some of the Tories backwoodsmen. Over the last few days, Douglas Carswell MP has usurped the role of Bill Cash in putting forward the Tory Eurosceptic position, getting himself in front of the TV cameras at every opportunity. For Carswell, even a right-wing Tory party under Cameron is still selling out.

Of course, its no wonder that Boris is speaking out. The tories policies from Day One appear to have been marked by a significant degree of amateurism and lack of thought. In fact, anyone who has spent time in Government of one kind or another might be cynical enough to beleive that some of that could be down to them not having the fullest co-operation of some of those sections of the bureaucratic State apparatus they are seeking to throw on to the Dole. The proposals on Housing Benefit appear to be just the latest in a line of policies that seem to have been rushed out, almost as though they were designed on the back of a fag packet to meet the narrow minded concerns of Daily Mail and Daily express readers, rather than as part of any well-thought out strategy. The immigration Cap was another such policy. Already, Vince Cable has had to embarass the government, of which he is a part, over that, in relaying the concerns of Big Capital, particularly in London, that they are finding it already difficult to recruit trhe high-level talent they require. Boris is just reflecting a similar concern of Big Capital in London that recognises the danger. The majority of workers in Inner London receiving Housing Benefit, are not the picture of scroungers presented by the Mail and express and their ilk. They are workers in low status, low-paid employment - and some not so low paid - who cannot afford the ridiculously inflated house prices in London, and who forced into renting find themselves entitled to Housing benefit to cover similarly ridiculously extortionate rents. If the Housing Benefit is cut, they will have to move out, and possibly give up their jobs. Big Capital realises that if that happens, large numbers of currently unseen workers, who make the City tick, will disappear. Either, things will grind to a halt, or else they will be faced with a labour shortage and the need to significantly increase wages.

This is, in fact, a good example of why Big Capital needs the Welfare State, and why it created it. The welfare State, in this case via Housing Benefit, is the means by which Big Capital ensures the supply and reproduction of Labour-Power of the type and quantity it requires, where it wants it, and at the same time socialises the cost of that via the Capitalist State. Boris in the centre of Big Capital is representing its interests, whilst Cameron is trapped by the right-wing populist politics he needed to win over the Express readers to get elected.

The vileness of that kind of politics was represented the other week by the odious David Starkey, who presented a report on the BBC's "This Week", arguing that the poor had no right to live in desirable areas where they could not afford to live. Yet, even then the argument was put forward by Dianne Abotte that the logic of this proposal was to force workers out of these areas, and create the kinds of problems only now being considered. But, apparently, Boris is not alone.

As, The BBC Reports, as many as a dozen London Tory MP's, have already had a meeting to oppose the proposals and call for exemptions. This is not the Tory Government of Maggie Thatcher - and even she found that the State continued to grow under her Government - it is racked with divisions, and those divisions, at least in part, reflect divisions within its class base. Workers should take heart from that, and redouble their efforts to defeat it, now. An early victory for workers will set the tone for future struggles.

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