Class war

Simon Pearson is taking sides already.

 

The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland declared last Friday that the Conservatives had started a class war, and the Guardian’s Frances Ryan echoed this on Monday. As someone who identifies with the far left, I’m pleased to see the term “class war” making a comeback in the news. We would argue it’s always been a state of class war. It is controversial, but it fits, as the Tufton Street extremists appear to have seized control of conservative ideology during this government’s dying days. But we shouldn’t get the celebration started just yet. Like a wounded animal, the Tory government is in a dangerous predicament right now, but celebrating the fall of an oppressive regime is not without its own dangers.

Zero credibility

The likelihood of Prime Minister Liz Truss calling a snap election is low. According to the fixed-term parliament act, the next general election must take place no later than January 2025. The current government has plenty of time to sabotage public services, further reduce taxes for its city buddies, and abandon the commitment to net zero in favour of unregulated growth. The unbudgeted tax cuts announced by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng demonstrate the scorched earth policy this government is prepared to leave for an incoming Labour government. This is the embodiment of ideological conflict. It could have been different. Instead of leaving future generations with billions of pounds of public debt, an additional windfall tax on the energy giants would have been the better, more progressive option.

Ms. Truss’s performance on local radio yesterday (Thursday, 29 September) demonstrated the lack of thought behind policies introduced last week. Lifting the moratorium on shale gas to increase domestic energy output is misguided and motivated largely by high gas prices that make extraction now financially viable for their friends in the fossil fuel business. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new climate minister and a sceptic of green energy and a decrier of ‘climate alarmism‘, argues that fracking is beneficial to the nation and will increase national wealth. Frack off.  

It is safe to say that it is not looking out for the interests of the people who live in the fracking zones, many of whom reside in the so-called former’red-wall’. Local consent has been mentioned, despite mounting evidence that fracking will be forced through as a national infrastructure project. Ms. Truss failed to provide specifics to concerned residents in fracking zones on how local consent would be sought for a particular location. Putin’s purported ‘weaponization’ of energy is no excuse for the cabinet to kowtow to the ‘Net Zero Campaign Group’ and its chief climate denier, Steve Barker, and increase fossil fuel use.

As someone who identifies with the far left, I’m pleased to see the term “class war” making a comeback in the news. We would argue it’s always been a state of class war.

Broken

Tom Harwood, a devotee of the broken right, tweeted on September 26 that the United Kingdom was the only significant country without a far-right movement in its parliament. Evidence would suggest otherwise, as creeping fascism has been evident for a long period of Tory rule, from the fanatics of the European Research Group, who pushed the destructive Brexit process, to the COVID Recovery Group, which was happy to see the bodies piled high to keep the economy going, to the Common Sense Group and its inflated war on woke. Truss is one of those dangerous ideologues who started left of centre then stomped to the hard right, hiding behind the moniker ‘small-state libertarian‘. If the Tories now have a leader who genuinely personifies these values, then perhaps they finally have their leader. The kind of leader they deserved, one who would bring this reckless project to a fiery end.

For the time being, this dangerous Tory government remains in power.

You need to pick a side in the upcoming battle between the classes.

Choose now!

You’re either for eco-socialism and the green economy; public ownership of utilities like rail, post, energy, and water; and adequately supported health and public services.

Or you can side with those who call for a society where dissent is crushed and the welfare state is demolished, where deregulation is king, where workers have no right to strike, where wages are kept low, where climate change evidence is disregarded, and where tax cuts benefit only the wealthiest.

Think about it: do you really want to live in a country where the wealthy become richer and everyone else gets poorer? The only people that come out ahead under the Tories are the capitalists, the bankers (remember them, the ones responsible for the 2008 economic catastrophe), the exceedingly wealthy, and big business.

Have you picked a side?

I know mine!


We at the Anti*Capitalist Resistance wish to hear your views, too. If you have an opinion about either this or another piece we have published, please contact us at editorial@anticapitalistresistance.org to share your comments, criticisms and ideas. We will consider any email marked for publication for “Letters to ACR” or as a future ACR article.


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Simon Pearson is on the Editorial Board of the Anti*Capitalist Resistance and is a Midlands-based political activist.


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