13 Days Remaining

Saturday 4th
posted by Morning Star in Editorial

"DON'T look here. Look over there" - that sums up the Tory leadership's desperate efforts to obscure its fallback position of a coalition government with Ukip.

Yes, the Tories would love to rule alone, but repeating the "Tory majority" mantra while refusing to rule out alliance with Ukip leaves the outcome on the table.

Andy Burnham insists that the Tories come clean over Ukip, especially over the likely effects on NHS privatisation, but chief whip Michael Gove prefers to dwell on a possible link-up between Labour and the SNP, which he terms "a lethal cocktail."

As much as Ed Miliband issues similar "we're fighting for a Labour majority" statements, there would be nothing shameful in allying himself with all or any of the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green and Respect parliamentary groups. 

Each has laid its cards on the table from day one, insisting that it will under no circumstances prop up a Tory-led minority.

That is what David Cameron and his privately educated cabal from the privileged elite finds so "lethal."

His attempt to cast the SNP as the new "enemy within" seeking to destabilise the state has two aims - to strengthen the public image of the SNP in Scotland against its main rival Labour and to portray his own party as sole defender of English interests in key election battlegrounds across England.

Tory insistence that the SNP would drag Labour "well to the left" is a tempting but largely illusory vision.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon certainly gave a self-assured and impressive performance in the seven leader TV debate and, along with Plaid and the Greens, opposes wasting £100 billion of public finance on a replacement for the Trident nuclear submarine system.

But the SNP record in office is not radically more left-wing than the positions but forward by Miliband's team for the general election.

While Sturgeon was the standout success in Thursday evening's debate, Miliband also did well, mocking the efforts of Cameron and his batman Nick Clegg to pose as political rivals.

"They're both blaming each other and they're right" may well have been prepared before the debate but it hit the mark, confirming the joint role of the Tories and Liberal Democrats in stitching up working people through the coalition's austerity agenda.

Plaid leader Leanne Wood was less prominent, but her spirited putdown of Nigel Farage, accusing him of scaremongering and telling him he should be ashamed of himself for his comments on HIV was a high-point.

For all Clegg's efforts to pose as the voice of decency against his Cabinet bedfellow Cameron, he is doomed.

However, his party has not changed its spots and it will have some MPs - albeit a reduced number - after the election which will again offer to the Tories as lobby fodder to screw working people.

Coalition priorities were highlighted by the letter in the Daily Telegraph from a hundred boardroom bosses - tax dodgers, Tory Party donors, gong recipients and profiteers from low pay and zero-hours contracts - gagging for more of the same.

Times have changed since the private banking system torpedoed the economy. Corporate endorsement is no longer the answer to a maiden politician's prayers.

Cosy complacency expressed by the beneficiaries of the austerity assault on workers' living standards has forced a more class inspired response by Labour.

That can only augur well for the party's bid to replace the conservative coalition, whether alone in office or supported by other anti-Tory forces.