Scottish Independence The Conservative-Labour Coalition

The Conservative-Labour Coalition

George Galloway often describes the Conservative Party and Labour Party as “two cheeks of the same arse.” This has been long apparent to all Scots, who observe with daily bemusement as the BBC, the disgraced propaganda machine of the UK establishment, promotes a pro-Conservative policy south of the border, but a pro-Labour policy in Scotland.

Across the world, people are increasingly waking up to the charade of two-party politics, when they are offered a choice, every four or five years, of voting for a “blue party” or a “red party”. In Scotland, it is now common to derisively refer to the Labour Party as the “Red Tories”.

Not everyone was slow to see through the smoke and mirrors of modern politics. Ever insightful, George Orwell described the mainstream Labour Party in the 1940s as being “fatally in thrall to a reactionary establishment.” As his biographer, David John Taylor, points out, “even in the post-1945 era, Orwell was notably lukewarm about the Labour leader Clement Attlee” and “the ILP was the only British political party he felt able to support.”

But as more and more people are waking up to the charade and coalition politics are becoming increasingly common even in the United Kingdom, despite the “first past the post” electoral system, could the unthinkable happen? In order to stop political power slipping into the hands of people outside the establishment elite, could we see a Conservative-Labour coalition at Westminster?

As usual, Scotland is politically ahead of the rest of the United Kingdom – and a Conservative-Labour coalition would raise few eyebrows north of the border. We have already seen Conservative-Labour coalitions in the Dundee and Stirling councils, solely to keep out the SNP.

During the independence referendum campaign, the three “unionist” parties joined forces to scare Scottish voters into thinking we were “better together”. Conservative and Labour Party members campaigned together in what became known as “Project Fear”. As the referendum results came in, Conservative and Labour politicians high-fived each other at polling stations. Labour MP Jim Murphy even embraced former Scottish Tory leader Baroness Goldie in Clydebank.

But I have a little evidence of my own to prove that the Labour Party is indeed the Conservative Party. Jim Murphy happens to be my member of parliament and I wrote to him after reading a very disturbing story in The Guardian on 4 August 2014.

Published on the centenary of the start of the First World War, the newspaper report told the story of the sad death of David Clapson, a former British soldier who had served in Northern Ireland: “David Clapson was found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he wasn’t taking the search for work seriously. He had an empty stomach, and just £3.44 to his name.”

The Guardian describes the tragic events leading up to the lonely and needless death of Mr Clapson: “We know that David Clapson was actively searching for work when he died because a pile of CVs he had just printed out was found a few metres from his body. The last time he spoke to his sister, a few days before he died, he told her he was waiting to hear back about an application he had made to the supermarket chain Lidl.

“But officials at the Jobcentre believed he was not taking his search for work seriously enough, and early last July, they sanctioned him – cutting off his benefit payments entirely, as a punishment for his failure to attend two appointments. Clapson, 59, who had diabetes, died in his flat in Stevenage on 20 July 2013, from diabetic ketoacidosis (caused by an acute lack of insulin).

“When Gill Thompson, his younger sister, discovered his body, she found his electricity had been cut off (meaning that the fridge where he kept his insulin was no longer working). There was very little left to eat in the flat – six tea bags, an out-of-date tin of sardines and a can of tomato soup. His pay-as-you-go mobile phone had just 5p credit left on it and he had only £3.44 in his bank account. The autopsy notes reveal that his stomach was empty.”

I was very disturbed by this story and also by the malicious actions of the Department for Work and Pensions in stopping the benefit payments to David Clapson in his hour of need. This was someone who had already paid into the fund and now needed some of the money back in his hour of need. How could this possibly be legal? Is this not extortion of money from a citizen by the British state?

I was sufficiently concerned to contact my representative, Jim Murphy MP, and sent him the following letter by e-mail on 4 August 2014:

Dear Mr Murphy

I was extremely concerned to read in today’s papers, on the centenary of the start of the First World War, that a former British serviceman, David Clapson, had been found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he was not taking the search for work seriously. This was later found out to be not the case.

I would like you to ask a question in Parliament about the legal validity of stopping benefits to people. The said individual had paid national insurance contributions all his life – like many others facing the same fate up and down the country today. I daresay that their parents and grandparents also did the same. So how can it possibly be legal for the Department for Work and Pensions to withhold this money as part of the social contract? This sounds to me like confiscation of money by the state.

I would like to know the exact legal standing for a government department being allowed to withhold money from individuals who have been found to have faithfully paid into the system over many years. As my representative, I request that you put this question directly to the relevant minister in Parliament.

Jim Murphy refused.

But I was giving a Labour MP, a member of HM Opposition, ammunition to score political brownie points over a supposedly rival party! Even if Jim Murphy secretly agreed with the state persecution of David Clapson, as I am sure he does, at least he could say that he was “only acting on behalf of a constituent” in raising this matter in Parliament.

The fact that my Labour MP actively refused to even speak up in such an important matter as the sad death of a British soldier, for fear of damaging a Conservative minister (the nationally reviled Iain Duncan Smith), proves beyond doubt that the Conservative Party and Labour Party are, indeed, “two cheeks of the same arse” – and that arse is our faux Westminster parliament pedalling the myth of a two-party system.

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