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Star Comment: Full marks for crassness

Wales Secretary David Jones is more interested in catching out an ex-soldier than in hearing about the human price of his party's cruel bedroom tax

A double whammy of crass Toryism hits today. First, the shameful news that Welsh Secretary David Jones was more interested in catching out ex-soldier Chris Caruana than hearing about the human price of the hated bedroom tax from one of the people it affects.

It reflects the fantasy-land bubble in which politicians such as the Clwyd West MP exist that his first response in a face-to-face meeting with one of his government’s victims was to challenge them on their party affiliation.

For Jones scoring political points might be the most important thing but in the real world it is the desperate scramble to scrape together enough cash to eat and pay the bills that occupies the mind.


Jones’s own dad was a British army officer.

And he seems to have inherited more than just his father’s surname judging by his attitude towards a former member of the poor bloody infantry.

Surely it matters not a jot whether someone is a Labour Party member when that person is threatened with eviction through a government policy inflicted on thousands of people deemed to have a “spare bedroom.”

Or does this encounter simply betray the Tories’ true agenda of rewarding their rich friends while shafting those who would never vote Conservative anyway?

Jones should apologise to Mr Caruana — and the cruel, class-war bedroom tax must be attacked until it is reversed.


Nothing to hide

Hysterical comparisons by a Derbyshire Tory councillor between being asked to declare his Freemason membership and fascism reflect the hypocrisy of those who would try to define democratic trade union membership as some kind of shadowy private shame.

Not educated as to the arcane rituals which see members of the Establishment linked by funny handshakes and mutual class interests, the Morning Star will not speculate as to their content.

But we will hazard a guess that the cut and thrust of vibrant trade unionism is a far healthier environment.

However it would be worth the ignoble councillor, rather than bleating about his unique right to shroud his interests in secrecy, reflecting on the fact that fascism singled out trade unionists, Communists and socialists alongside Jews, gays, Gypsies, the disabled and, yes, Freemasons.

Perhaps he’s in the wrong party given that members of the class constantly defended by the Tories were in the 20th century among the first to throw their lot in with the nazis and fascists when they thought that working people had a realistic chance of challenging their interests.

Rather than moaning about his rights being trampled, his time would be better spent by having a word with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to ask him to back off from his undemocratic anti-union crusade.

It was Pickles who fired the first shot by demanding that councillors’ trade union membership must be declared as if it were a badge of dishonour.

Derbyshire councillors have merely called his bluff by widening that definition to include Freemasons.

And quite rightly too. Unlike their cagey Tory colleague, Labour members are happy to wear their trade union colours openly and with pride.


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