New 'cash for access' revelations go to the heart of David Cameron's government, writes Dan Poulton.
"If you're unhappy about something, we will listen to you and put it into the policy committee at number 10,” Tory Party co-treasurer Peter Cruddas told undercover reporters at the Sunday Times, posing as prospective donors, the paper revealed on Sunday.
“You do really pick up a lot of information...things will open up for you,” he assured them, but stressed that “it's no good scratching around” with five figure donations, and that £100,000 would be the “minimum” amount required.
This comes just days after Osborne's budget cut the top rate of income tax and slashed corporation tax whilst threatening a £10 billion raid on benefits. Newsnight's Paul Mason calculated that the budget will unleash austerity cuts of £13 billion.
The 'cash for Cameron' scandal highlights the warped priorities of this Tory led government. Their NHS 'reform' bill amounts to a steady privatisation of healthcare and has faced strong criticism across the board, with 7 in 10 hospital doctors rejecting the proposals and top practitioners announcing that they will stand as pro-NHS candidates in future elections.
Meanwhile public sector unions and political campaign groups including the Coalition of Resistance have protested against this massive attack on a central pillar of the welfare state.
Cameron and his clique have refused to listen to the anger of the general public, but not just because it would make their donor access scheme uncompetitive. Private healthcare bosses have furnished the Tories with over £750,000 of donations, according to The Mirror. Clearly “things opened up” for these donors too.
This scandal raises a crucial question. Do we want a society where policy decisions are influenced by the highest bidder or where the democratic will of the majority sets the agenda?
The Tories' nepotistic strategy is clear, and they are committed to enacting it, no matter what. We have to be equally clear and committed to our own strategy of building mass resistance to austerity and corruption from below.
Dan is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. His most recent documentary was The New Scramble For Africa and his documentaries have appeared regularly on the Islam Channel. He is an organiser for Counterfire and a regular contributor to Counterfire site.
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