What an anti-climax. After the leaders debate last week I was expecting for the election campaign to start but it seems we might have to wait. There’s a lack of big ideas from the main parties and it’s down to the minor parties to scrap over the extreme right wing and the mildly progressive votes. In Class War we want the working class vote but don’t expect any major gains.
The reason there’s so little going on is because of a combination of factors. The Easter break is one but the other is that the two main parties are both appealing for middle ground – 70% of the electorate that consists of their core vote and the people they feel could swing marginal constituencies. That’s 70% of the people who will vote of course. The turnout might be low in which case they’re speaking to perhaps just over half of the population. Everybody else wants something different.
On TV and in the newspapers we keep hearing about the big election issues but they’re not really. Immigration, the NHS, Austerity, benefits etc. These aren’t big issues. They’re tiny when you look at things from an ideological perspective. The big issue is capitalism and what we can do to get rid of it. The issues they talk about are big within the ideological framework but are crucially altered because of it. In capitalism we look at human beings, normally individual human beings, and consider their worth in the system and to society as a whole. Think of any debate at this election that doesn’t have this at its core. Immigrants – the debate seems to be whether they are a drain or not on resources. The NHS – the debate seems to be about whether we can afford to keep it in public hands or whether it would be better run by private industry. Austerity – this whole debate is about money. Benefits – this debate seems to be about the tiny number of people who defraud the system and tightening it up. Of course the Tories and Labour would go much further than that on benefits. They would reduce the number of people able to claim certain things.
What we’re missing out on is the way capitalism alters our perspectives. If we were truly worried about the drain on resources caused by some people we would look at the mega wealthy. The rich are the people who provide us with low wages, pay low taxes and as a result take disproportionate amounts of wealth from our society. They are the scroungers. But because we have to work to survive we are taught to thank our lucky stars and them for giving us opportunities. What we have is a society and a government by the rich and for the rich. It isn’t for us and as a result practically everything we see around us looks to be broken. We are told to blame the wrong people though.
If you own a car and a part breaks you can get it fixed. Another time a different part might break and you go back to the garage. If everything breaks at once you need a new car. This is the stage we’re at. We need a new political and economic system. It needs to work for all of us. None of the parties are saying this. In fact they’re all saying it but in the case of Labour, the Tories and lib Dems we know what they mean – more of the same. They use phrases like ‘hard working people’ and people who ‘play by the rules’. What they mean is for us to blame people they consider don’t work hard or play by the rules. But the rules are bollocks and working hard isn’t what gets you money – it really depends what you work at doing.
In Croydon South at least people can vote for something different. I want to sweep aside this shite in favour of an alternative system where people have more control over their affairs. Where equality isn’t about opportunity but about tangible benefits that make a difference. I want a system where we judge people fondly as fellow human beings and not simply as a drain on resources. There is no justification for capitalism. The rich didn’t get there because they worked harder. The powerful are the people who stole from the rest of us and they make the laws to keep themselves in place. It’s time we sorted them out.