What is so extraordinary about the fallout from the local elections is how far the wider Tory leadership is in denial.
The Tory right immediately went on the rampage demanding a harder line on crime, immigration and Europe, as though the loss of jobs, falling incomes and absence of growth were nothing to do with it.
A Daily Mail front page headline last week said: "Now stick up for Tory values" - as though privatisation of all public services, liquidation of the welfare state and the social cleansing of inner cities via housing benefit cuts were not enough.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps claimed on the radio that if the government hadn't pursued its economic course we would now be in the state that Greece is in.
Boris Johnson advised David Cameron that the secret was "to remain bone dry on the economy accompanied by compassionate Conservatism."
It's difficult to know which is worse, since the only people Johnson seems compassionate towards are his bankers in the City.
Cameron, we are told, is going to argue alongside Nick Clegg that "the fight to rebalance the economy remains the glue that keeps the two parties together in government."
Well, that's certainly news since there's no rebalancing of the economy and any glue left is set to come apart.
The Labour gains of 823 seats are obviously a triumph that makes the party not only dominant in local government but on track to regain government in 2015 - or sooner when the glue finally comes unstuck.
But an overall turnout of less than a third shows that too large a part of this came from Tory abstentions and too little from the inspiration of an alternative Labour vision.
Labour's policy review remains stranded on a beach somewhere and the gaping political void which is Tory economic policy has not been filled by a Labour strategy for jobs and growth which cries out to be heard.
Labour needs to state loud and clear the overriding need for a new activist role for the state against the excesses and abuses of market fundamentalism, nailing in particular endless austerity, colossal deficits in traded goods that make the British standard of living unsustainable, overreliance on still growing mountains of private debt and grotesque levels of inequality.
We urgently need a plan to shift the bankers from their preoccupation with property, overseas speculation and tax avoidance and make finance the servant of industry as the driving force for a major revival of British manufacturing.
The economic news last week was all agog at this sudden surge of shareholders in revolt.
The insurer Aviva's CEO Andrew Moss had his proposed remuneration package rejected by 54 per cent of the shareholders, as had RBS, Shell & GlaxoSmithKline in recent years.
The Aviva shareholders certainly had enough to complain about.
Since Moss took over in 2007, revenues fell by 19 per cent and profits by 16 per cent. The dividend slumped 21 per cent and the share price by no less than 62 per cent. Yet total executive pay over the same period ballooned by 90 per cent.
Shareholders were therefore outraged at the proposal to award him another £46,000 plus a £2.2 million "golden hello" package for another board member joining from another company.
So what effect did this majority revolt against pay excess have?
Zilch, because when new Labour introduced the shareholder vote a decade ago it made it voluntary, not binding.
This farce has been played out in other companies too. This year shareholders complained vigorously against pay and bonus excesses at Barclays, satellite firm Inmarsat and Capital Shopping Centres as well as at Citigroup and UBS abroad - all to no effect whatever.
Barclays CEO Bob Diamond still got his £17m intact and Barclays remuneration committee chairwoman Alison Carnwath, though heavily criticised, was still reappointed.
Both of them, after all the empty hullaballoo, must have been laughing all the way to the bank.
So what should be done to replace this pointless facade?
Vince Cable is said to want to give shareholders a binding vote on pay and to raise to 75 per cent the threshold for approval of corporate pay policies.
However George Osborne and the Tory right will probably force him to water that down.
What the TUC proposes for the employees is one seat on the executive remuneration committee. But that is pure tokenism. Anything short of a 50-50 sharing between shareholder and employee representatives, as on German supervisory boards, will be purely for show and will not command confidence.
But even that does not get to the real heart of the problem.
Instead of trying to check eye-watering excesses for one tiny elite group, what is really required is to bring the whole issue of company awards on to a single level playing field.
Instead of executive pay being fixed by cronies selected by the chairman himself, staff pay by individual personal contracts and manual pay by collective bargaining, what is needed is whole-company pay bargaining involving representatives from all grades within the company, including the board, meeting together to determine pay awards across the organisation.
Nobody knows exactly what happened to cause MI6 spy Gareth Williams's body to be found padlocked in a holdall.
But suspicions are increasing that a third party was responsible and that the involvement of MI6 officers, in particular officers in the Met's counter-terrorism branch SO15, cannot be ruled out.
Unaccountably, they failed to report him missing for seven days, which is extraordinary for someone engaged in sensitive work at GCHQ. The explanation given by his line manager lacked all credibility, according to the coroner.
SO15 failed to inform the senior investigating officer about nine memory sticks and a black holdall found at his MI6 office until two days before the end of the inquest.
No formal statements were taken by SO15 officers who interviewed Williams's colleagues. And the family reported that he had complained of "friction" at MI6 at the time of his death.
None of this points directly to MI6 involvement in his death, but it does fit into a pattern that is beginning to emerge of MI6 acting as a law unto itself.
Significantly the Intelligence Services Act 1994 provided immunity to MI6 officers for acts abroad which, if committed in Britain, would be in breach of the criminal law - shades of James Bond.
That protection from legal accountability abroad may readily have induced a culture that they were similarly free from normal constraints at home as well.
Secrecy may well be necessary in parts of MI6's work, but it is highly corrosive of the operation of the regular mechanisms of accountability.
It may be part of this culture of being above the law that allowed MI6 to render Libyan dissidents to the torture chambers of Gadaffi, with the MI6 officer Sir Mark Allen able to write cringeingly to the Libyan tyrant about this affair that "the delivery of this cargo [sic] was the least that we could do for you."
Similarly there is now mounting evidence of the involvement of MI6 officers in the questioning of victims whose torture was secured by their removal to countries known to regularly resort to such practices.
What all this reveals is the weakness of the management controls in respect of MI6, at both the administrative and ministerial levels.
It is also clear that the intelligence services committee, made up of senior MPs appointed by and reporting to the Prime Minister, is a wholly inadequate supervisory body which needs to be replaced by a body reporting directly to Parliament and equipped with radically greater powers of analysis and intervention.
For more of Michael Meacher's writing visit www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/
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