Friday, 2 June 2017

The Tories Are Still The Party of Pinochet

In 1999, Tony Blair described the Tories as the party of “foxhunting, Pinochet and hereditary peers - the uneatable, the unspeakable and the unelectable.” Nearly twenty years later, the Tories have become even more reactionary, as they, along with their benefactor Trump, set their compass for the 19th century, as the rest of the world moves forward in the 21st. By their friends shall ye know them, and for the Tories now, as in 1999, they are noted by their support for the world's dictators, for their hostility towards any kind of democratic accountability, and rule of law, as their claim that even the Crown Prosecution Service is politically biased against them demonstrates.

In 1973, the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by the Chilean Military under General Pinochet, supported by the CIA. Allende was a Stalinist, leading a Popular Frontist government, whose politics were a version of the mild left-wing social democracy, being promoted by Stalinists, in Europe, during the 1970's, no more left-wing than was being advocated by the Bennites. In fact, the overthrow of the Allende Government is one of the biggest indictments of that strand of left social-democracy proposed by Stalinists, and left social-democrats such as the Bennites, and the Militant Tendency/Socialist Party. It shows what happens when you try to implement even a mildly left social-democratic agenda, without having the working class actively mobilised, arms in hand, behind you. It is just another example of that lesson that was learned by the workers in the Paris Commune.

The forces of reaction will shed no tears for democracy, or the rule of law, when it comes to protecting the interests of the ruling class against the democratic decisions of the rest of society. Pinochet's regime was one of the most foul. It murdered in cold blood, thousands of Chilean men, women and children, including burning alive some of its victims. The regime was, at the same time feted by right-wing ideologues. Milton Friedman's monetarists of the Chicago School, saw the Pinochet regime as an opportunity to see what happened when their policies were fully implemented without inconvenient things such as democracy getting in the way of them. Thatcher, as a supporter of both the Austerian School of Mises and Hayek, and of the Monetarist School of Friedman, became an ardent friend and supporter of Pinochet.

Even, when Pinochet was being sought for arrest and detention across Europe, to be brought to trial in Chile, the Tories continued to offer him support. And, given the closeness of Thatcher's relation with this vile butcher, its not surprising that they might be concerned at what his trial would reveal about their connections to him.

But, of course, its not just Pinochet that the Tories have a history of supporting. In many ways they never changed their attitude from the days of the British Empire, when millions were kept as colonial slaves, and tortured and murdered without any oversight or accountability. Churchill's attitude to Gandhi's pacifistic opposition, for example, was to recommend that Britain line up 100 of his supporters against a wall and shoot them. Churchill, of course had taken a similar attitude in the 1920's, to the miners in Tonypandy in Wales, where he sent in the troops to break the strike.  A similar approach was taken by Thatcher in the 1984-5 Miners Strike, where she imposed effective martial law on mining communities, and used troops in police uniforms without identification numbers to attack striking miners, such as at The Battle of Orgreave.  No wonder again, the Tories have blocked any Inquiry into Orgreave, just as for a quarter of a century they stood in the way of justice for the victims of Hillsborough.

In the 1920's, and 1930's, the Tories and their supporters in the Tory Press were ardent supporters of Mussolini, and of Hitler, until such time as the interests of British capital were threatened by them. In much the same way that over the last 20 years the more reactionary sections of the Tory press backed the ultra right-wing, ultra nationalist wing of the Tory Party and their xenophobic attacks on immigration, and the EU, and then fawned over Farage and his basket of deplorables, the same sections of the Tory Press not only backed Mussolini and Hitler, but also backed Moseley and his blackshirts in Britain.

In the time of Thatcher, the right-wing Tory government of Edward Heath was painted as being not so bad after all, and in the time of May, the government of Cameron is being painted up in the same way. But, of course, it was Cameron who took the Tories out of their grouping with other European centre-right parties, and into a coalition with all of the European neo-Nazi, and ultra right forces in the European Parliament.

The only difference is that May has more openly proclaimed herself as a strong and stable leader, as a new Fuhrer or Il Duce, throwing off the cloak of democracy and constitutionalism as they shouted down the judges for daring to suggest that parliament should exercise oversight of her government's plans for Brexit. It was no coincidence that May's first trip was to supplicate herself at the feet of that second pillar of world reaction, Donald Trump. She was only outdone by Nigel Farage, whose connections to Trump, and their shared admiration of Vladimir Putin, the first pillar of world reaction, is apparently making him too a potential person of interest for the FBI

One of Trump's first appointments, General Mike Flynn, had to step down because of those same enquiries into his links with Putin's Russia, and it turned out that Flynn was also acting as a lobbyist in Washington for another of these strong and stable leaders, the dictator Erdogan in Turkey. Only days after her sycophantic visit to Trump, May herself then made a pilgrimage to this other strong and stable, and equally deplorable dictator Erdogan. In part, of course, its not just that these strong and stable reactionary politicians share so much in common, but also that May, knowing that Britain will be economically crucified when it leaves the EU, is desperate to try to scrape a few pennies together in deals with any Tom, Dick or Harry in a vain hope of making up some of the losses.

That is also why, one of her lieutenants, Liam Fox, went to see that other murderous dictator, Duterte, in the Philippines, and talked about their “shared values”! And, shortly after, May went to visit the medieval despots in Saudi Arabia and the other gulf monarchies, whose practices make even Pinochet seem like a namby pamby liberal. And, of course, despite the fact that 95% of Islamist terror attacks are carried out by Sunnis, with only 5% carried out by Shia, and it was Saudi Arabia that provided most of the 9/11 attackers, that it is Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that provides the weapons, finance and training for ISIS, and other jihadists, as well as financing the promotion of Wahhabism across the globe, Donald Trump also paid homage to the Saudi King, and lined up with him and those forces against Iran!

One of the reasons that May called this election was the possibility that up to thirty of her MP's could have been removed from Parliament and charged with criminal offences over the 2015 General Election, which would have left her in a minority. As it turned out, after the election was called, the CPS decided against pressing charges against most of those MP's, not on the basis that nothing had been done wrong, but on the basis that, because Tory HQ had told them that what they were doing was legal, it would be difficult to prove that they knowingly broke the law. Now, the CPS has decided to bring charges against one of those MP's. Now, the Tories, in what even some bourgeois commentators are describing as a worrying development, especially following the Tories attacks over the courts intervention on Brexit, are claiming that this action by the CPS is “politically motivated”.

That is precisely the kind of disregard for the constitution, of the rule of law, and arrogant attitude that we would expect from a Tory Party that is headed deeper and deeper into the realm of reaction. It is once again looking to return to the 19th, if not even the 18th. Century, with its John Bull policies such as bringing back fox hunting. If some of its MP's had their way they would bring back capital punishment too, especially as they openly declare they are in favour of assassination by drone strike, of people without trial, who are not even in this country, and so not presenting any kind of immediate threat to it. We couldn't be surprised to see them next talking about hanging people for sheep stealing, or with their deluded colonial era vision, proposing transportation of trades unionists to Australia!

The CPS were rightly accused of running scared in the original refusal to bring charges against Tory MP's. That they have done so now, is not a sign of political motivation, but of the CPS growing a backbone against the pressure applied to them by the Tories. The same pressure is being applied on a wide scale, as a result of the overwhelming bias towards the Tories in the media, which has been well documented. Even David Dimbledy, who is not renowned for being pro-Labour in his sympathies on Question Time etc., has come out to talk about the over media bias against Corbyn. And, in another example of that pressure from the Tories, and willingness of the media to succumb to it, the BBC has banned Liar, Liar from its chart shows .

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