The idea that the new prime minister is a "compassionate Conservative", intent on reducing inequality, and even in favour of introducing, at long last, an element of co-determination into industrial management, is currently being propounded by the Tory press. May`s speech on her first day in office promised all the usual nonsense about her government`s willingness to address social justice issues and economic hardship, but her record in giving wholehearted support to Cameron`s callous austerity programme suggests otherwise. Her response to the current practice of employers, desperate to increase profits and ignore the need to pay the minimum wage, cutting hours, as exemplified by the "outsourcing giant ISS" and tax office cleaners, will be revealing (Morning Star, 23/07/16).
"Compassionate Conservatism" has never, in fact, existed. Even the founder of the concept of "One Nation" Toryism, Disraeli, whose 1874-80 administration passed thirteen major reforms, all ostensibly to improve the lives of ordinary people, was an imposter, tricking working class males into voting for him; historians generally agree that those reforms were more "window-dressing" than causes of significant improvement. Similarly, May`s co-determination policy is unlikely to reduce the pay-gap, as it did in West Germany, when FTSE 100 CEOs in Britain are paid 183 times more than their average employee.
The truth is that "One Nation" Toryism always has been an attempt to woo working class voters, rather than a serious attempt to change society. It will take more than May`s "window-dressing" to reduce the obscenely large gaps between the pay of workers and bosses, or to end the tax avoidance policies of most businesses.
Leaders of parties claiming to be in favour of " social justice" do not push for more grammar and free schools, when the inevitable consequences lead to more challenging schools for the majority.
"Compassionate Conservatism"! What would Jim Royle`s response to that ridiculous concept be, I wonder!!
As Corbyn himself said, it`s the "duty and responsibility of every Labour MP to get behind the party", so it`s good to see the return of Sarah Champion to the fold (Morning Star, 26/07/16). Presumably she accepts the point that Labour isn`t working because Labour MPs constantly attack their democratically elected leader. What a shame they cannot display the same amount of contempt, both for the party which has been totally responsible for the most callous six years of government in recent history, and for its new leader who, unlike Corbyn, and in her own words about Gordon Brown in 2007, is clearly "running scared of the people`s verdict".
Corbyn, I am sure, could develop his point further and state that is the duty of every elected Labour MP to serve in the shadow cabinet, if invited. A refusal to do so should automatically lead to, if not expulsion from the party, at least reselection at constituency level. They were elected on a "Labour ticket", so any independent action by them is simply undemocratic; if they didn`t agree with the leader`s policies, they should have stood as independent candidates in the election. Anticipation of the Tory media`s reaction to Corbyn`s leadership should have led them to rally round from the start!