In my opinion the word fairness has no place in any sentence which mentions or is related to the Tories. However I watched Theresa May deliver her opening gambit on 13/07/16 when she accepted the role of Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader outside No 10 Downing Street. Splattered all over this speech were the words ‘fair’, ‘fairness’ and ‘caring’ in an attempt to convince us that her new government will adopt these concepts and somehow be more compassionate and more caring than the previous administration. This speech was so constipated with the word ‘fair’ that if it had been written for the internet it would have been penalised by Google for having been utterly cluttered up with a glut of keywords and would have received an accordingly low page ranking. The speech left me thinking about whether or not any Conservative Government leave alone this one could deliver Theresa May’s promises of ‘a fairer Britain’ and ‘fairness for all’ these ideas and catchphrases that so littered this Prime Ministers opening speech outside No 10 Downing Street as she assumed office.
The Metamorphosis of Theresa May
In fact the whole speech made me feel quite sick because it was so overtly designed to appeal to voters, littered as it was with references to the word ‘fairness’, ‘a fairer Britain’, ‘Britain for all’, ‘caring Britain’. One could not help believing that the speech was actually coming from a incoming Labour Party Prime Minister. But no wait a minute this was Theresa May the Tory Leader and Prime Minister who has seemingly had a massive make-over during her election campaign, either that or she has come to her senses overnight and realised that everything that she and her Party ever stood for previously was pretty un-charitable in fact damn right nasty.
It is one of the wonders of nature that never fails to amaze me how a Tory Minister can metamorphically change from a seemingly nasty politician into a beautiful Tory Prime Minister almost overnight. A similar thing happened in the case of Margaret Thatcher. They both managed to emerge from their state of metamorphosis displaying a whole range of grafted on virtues that they had never ever shown before. The most notable of all these grafted on virtues being a compassionate and reasonable side to their personalities. It is strange how this occurs just as they are about to challenge for, or resume, the role of Prime Minister. It now appears that Theresa May has just had a massive make-over in the style of Margaret Thatcher during her own Leadership Campaign in an obvious attempt to make her more palatable to voters. The easy, casual references she made to the concept of ‘fairness’, dropping it in at every opportunity, was just a sickening bore and an indication of how false Theresa May’s Government will be.
Theresa May, the ‘fair’ Pirate, stealing from the Left
This name dropping session that we witnessed on 13/07/16 has been deployed by her simply in an attempt to steal ground from the Labour Party as it becomes more apparent that both the general public (not to mention all Scotland as a separate case) and the Labour Party Membership desire a more left-wing stance from the Labour Party than has been in recent times. Theresa May can see the real threat that the political continents are again separating again. Previously, when they were close together the threat was lessened as Labour under Blair/Brown became almost a close friend and neighbour. The Tories were always eventually going to win on the right, it really came down to who could hold that ground on the right the longest. Since right wing politics has always been a staple diet to the Tories it was always going to be their territory eventually, being their homelands the Labour Party was only ever a visitor with visitor’s rights. However politics is again moving apart as Labour have become repelled from the right and are now on a true course again heading to the left again. To counter this new threat Ms May has assumed (almost overnight a new compassionate side in an attempt to fool you (public and voters) into believing that the Conservatives can deliver on policies for a fairer Britain and fairness for all. The reality is just that she is soliciting for a broader appeal for her party and herself of course and trying to steal ground from the left or nullify the threat that it poses to her.
Theresa May is a shrewd politician of that there is no doubt and she has seen the political barometer moving over to the political left. Yet however persuasive she attempts to be about caring for all it remains quite unconvincingly false and fabricated. Theresa May’s Government will have no more concern about a ‘fairer Britain’ than she or her Party ever had in the past, it is just a very convenient catch-all-phrase to forward her Party’s and her political aspirations as she looks to the next General Election and a longer term in office .
So what are Theresa May’s ideas about fairness and can she really hope to deliver on these?
Are we seeing history repeat itself ?
So right from the start we have seen her start in office attempting to fudge party boundaries in an attempt to manipulate a broader appeal for her and her party by simply paying lip-service to the notions and concept of fairness without having any real understanding of what it actually is nor understanding what that fairness represents. This is a political makeover in the scale of which has not been seen since Margaret Thatcher decided to re-branded herself in the 80s, grafting onto herself a totally unauthentic and pretty unconvincing caring /more compassionate side. Surely we are not going to be fooled in the same way all over again? It very much appears that Theresa May has been looking at Mrs Thatcher in order to shape her own career as she takes office in the same role. Surely this cannot be history repeating itself?
Can Tories policies ever be fair at all?
Well this is simple to answer. No ! No matter how much they want to re-brand themselves or pay lip-service to that concepts which Theresa May so casually referenced, bandied about and seemingly took ownership of: truth is they will always remain a party without a true social conscience, determined to; press ahead with privatization of NHS services, determined to privatise utilities, have private ownership of our services, they would scrap minimum wage if they could, they believe in the power of market forces, there are unwilling to invest in social infrastructure, they abhor public spending. So how can they ever claim to have a social conscience or represent a fairer Britain, fairer for all?
The Conservatives are still a Party that is be funded by a select few with vested interests to get policies through government. Traditionally they represent the wealthy classes. Conservative policies traditionally hit the poorest in our society, they cut benefits to the poorest and they increase the potential of the richest few to get richer. That has always been there reason d’etre. So how can they suddenly graft on a new fairer , more caring side? Well truth is they cannot but they will attempt to deceive voters that they can.
A Change in cabinet is one thing but to deliver on Theresa May’s promises to the electorate is yet another: these promises would be impossible for any Tory Government to deliver
Theresa May may have re-shuffled to pack and told us to pick any card and it would say on it the word ‘fair’ but she would have to be a magician of the highest order to make her ideas come true because at the core of any form of makeover of the Conservatives lie a strong set of Tory principles. Unless you actually got rid of these by actually employing Labour Party Ministers and then change the name of the Conservative Party to the er —–‘the Labour Party’, then unless you do that nothing is really going to change at all.
There may be some tinkering here and there and some softening of their stance in one or 2 areas whilst hardening it in other areas. Or they may slow processes down for a while such as the Austerity Programme but this is more about what Brexit has forced upon them rather than a conscious decision. for example they may slow down changes in NHS reform or changes to education. They may do this for a while until they can maybe persuade voters that a leopard can really change its spots. I believe that they are probably thinking along the lines of let’s get the rough and choppy waters of a complicated exit from Europe via Brexit out of the way first because we do not want voters to suffer too much too early on in this New Government and we will save our harder line policies for much later in our term in office. After all their austerity programme will, or may, have to go on freeze for a while because they may need to support the economy and banks with public funds.
All in all I get the feeling that Theresa May will not want to radically change anything for a while but just lull voters into false sense of security at least until the next election. After all that’s what Ms May will want most of all a full term in office and not just the dregs that Cameron has left her. So we are witnessing this new administration use as many nice, catch-all phrases as they can to lure and mesmerize voters to convince that the Conservatives are the Party offering a fair deal for Britain and a fair deal for all in an attempt to steal the moral high ground from the Labour Party. Here we see a new government led by Theresa May with a real intent to deceive voters in order to hang onto power. The real intent here is to give Theresa and her Party THE OPPORTUNITY TO HOLD POWER FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 5 YEARS after a new General election is called. The politics of Theresa May are going to be like attending a Masked Ball with real intent hidden behind a mask of palliatives. charm and good manners with the real intent disguised. Theresa May’s new makeover and her idea of a fairer Britain certainly means something different and should not be taken at face value..
But underneath all this is the fact that Conservative Party values will always get in the way of implementation of the concept of ‘fairness’ and Theresa May should know this before so recklessly pirating the concept. Is she then simply giving Lip-Service to these values of fairness to court a broader appeal? I believe that to be so. The concept of fair and fairness are simply not achievable by a Conservative Administration despite how genuinely Theresa May believes in them or whether they are simply a convenient catch-all-phrase for the moment to propel her towards another term in office and a vain attempt to endear herself to the voting public.
What are the real issues and obstacles to a Tory Government achieving a ‘fairer Britain’
Quite simply the Conservatives do not believe in public spending: they will always seek to make cuts here. They have never believed in nor understood the concept of the NHS probably because they did not invent it. They do not believe in Public Ownership of Services or Utilities because it takes funding partly through government which they believe increases tax burden on citizens. They believe in tax cuts for the wealthy, they endorse forms of exploitation in workforce. They limit free speech and undermine the rights of our trade unions. They believe that Market Forces should guide economic principles which is often profit for the financiers rather than the workers and leads to exploitation in the pursuit of profit..
Conversely fairness for all is about everyone having a stake in society.
So realistically Theresa May has no hope at all of leading a Tory Government whose policies can bring about a fairer Britain with fairness for all. To do this she would be overturning and standing on its head all that which the Conservatives have traditionally stood for. She would have to undo all the wrong doing of previous Conservative Administrations and indeed those of a right-wing Labour Governments as well. She would have to introduce and educate the Conservative Movement to accept previously un-pallatable notions of public ownership and public spending, increase the tax burden so hated by all Tories and basically leave the NHS alone and increase level of investment in it to acceptable standards to allow it to flourish. Right Theresa when will this all happen? Its something suggesting you may be a miracle maker but in reality a government led by Theresa May will never take us to Nevernever Land.
Firstly and one of the biggest obstacles for Theresa May to achieve a fairer Britain would be to reverse the policies and legislation of previous Tory Governments in particular those of Margaret Thatcher from 70 & 80s. A Fairer Britain cannot be achieved without taking back into public ownership the utilities and the railways which were sold off under Margaret Thatcher’s reign. In fact I intend to do a series of articles about this very issue challenging the legality of this and the way it was done and challenging notions about the profitability of publicly ownership of utilities and railways.. More about that at a later date.
To ensure a stake in society we need a fairer society and to feel we all have a stake in the country. Its no good saying here are the keys to an empty mansion but look we have already taken out anything of any significant value, so the mansion is totally empty even before you can move in. and if you do move in its going to cost you an arm and a leg to furnish it and then you have to pay us the rent for the privilege of living there. You can still live there though in abject poverty without any means to furnish any part of the house again but simply paying us our dues. This is Theresa May’s idea of fairness for all, her idea for ‘a fairer Britain’. A bare house/mansion with no real means to make improvements. The only way that you are going to be able to make improvements is if you can have means to improve your future this in reality means bringing back profitable organizations back into public ownership, the utilities and the railways for example. These could make money for you to make the improvements you need:to furnish your house so to speak. This is what I would consider a be a fair and equal stake in the Britain, a real ‘fairer Britain’ where things are working to benefit all and not just the few. Where industries like transport and utilities are generating capital to re-invest back into society and its infrastructure not simply generating profits for shareholders and fat cat executives. You can rest assured that Theresa May’s Cabinet will not have anything this radical on their agenda for a ‘fairer Britain’. As I am sure that no Tory Administration ever would.. No: instead Theresa’s ambitions for a fairer Britain end with just handing you the keys to a derelict mansion-house where you can live in the freezing cold, nursing and caressing the empty gesture that it is. Theresa May’s idea of fairness for all and a fairer Britain amounts to nothing of any substance just an empty, worthless gesture of mere words alone. What good is living in a derelict mansion just simply believing that you have been treated fairly.
Real fairness is about giving everyone a stake in the country that we live in. It’s no good having a stake or giving you the idea of a stake if there is nothing of value at all left to have a stake in: this is what currently exists in Britain. The Safe was already robbed by the previous Tory Administrations led by Margaret Thatcher in the 80’s and 90’s so despite the over used Tory Joke about the Brown administration have plundered the Safe of the Bank of England and left a letter saying there is nothing left: the reality is that the Tories had already pulled off this heist many years ahead of them and taken anything of real value in this nation and sold it off cheap: all that was left for Blair/Brown administration was just what was left over from this first robbery, namely the Petty Cash Tin.
To give ordinary people a stake in this Britain they need the means to generate capital for re-investment in the infrastructure. Once this is in place and money is coming in then we can go on develop outside the house, improve the garden and the surroundings and then the town, the world. You have to start with the basic building blocks and this is what has been denied to us by previous Tory administrations dating back to Margaret Thatcher and endorsed by Blair/Brown Labour. Meanwhile all we have witnessed is the big con that took place selling off these industries to private enterprises. We witnessed the overnight growth and success of the utilities and railways, lining the pockets of the fat cats and the already wealthy. We had been misinformed that these organizations were not profitable. As a result we witnessed a hike up in prices for the ordinary people, we witnessed and are still witnessing pricing cartels pretending to offer choice and fair deals. We were told that prices would fall because of competition and market forces offering greater consumer choice. This proved to be the great con because instead we got price fixing and cartels where all these companies are interested in doing is improving profits for their shareholders at the expense of all; rich or poor. Its about time we all came to our senses and realised we were duped particularly by the Conservative Governments of Margaret Thatcher. Recently there has been cases showing that public ownership is successful and it generates capital but recent governments don’t want you to see this because it undermines all they stand for. The money that these companies are generating for their shareholders and fat cat executives, this is the capital that it required to build up our house, our town our societies. This is the capital that Margaret Thatcher robbed you of, this is the stake in the country that we all should have! This alone will bring about a ‘fairer Britain’. So when a government comes to power and actually says it will give ‘fairness to all’ this is what it must do to achieve this.
Ordinary people need a real stake in this country but they will not get one from Theresa May’s Government no matter how much she would like to convince you that you can because she will always be tripped up by the limited scope of a Conservative Administration and their strongly held mantra: no to public sector investment. But to be fair this also a big ask for any Labour government as well because to do this the labour movement would have to support a motion to bring back a commitment, at least in part, to support Clause IV of the Labour Party Constitution. Without this there would be no commitment to take ownership of the railways or utilities. We would be left with yet another, ineffectual right wing administration without teeth as we witnessed under Blair/Brown.