Republished from "New Worker", the weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain.
PRIME Minister David Cameron has had a hard week, first the President of the United States has launched a bitter attack on him over Libya and then his own mother joined the Liberal Democrats.
President Obama came to power nearly eight years ago on a pledge that he would not embark on any more foreign wars, and he blames Cameron and former French President Nicholas Sarkozy for dragging him reluctantly into the attack on Libya. It smacks of naughty boys caught out stealing sweets — when it all goes wrong and they get caught blaming each other: “It’s not my fault — he made me do it”.
It is also a back-handed way of admitting that the war against Libya has turned into a disaster — for the imperialists as well as for the Libyan people. There is no regret for the bombing of Libya and the casualties that caused, nor for the brutal murder of Colonel Gaddafi. For the imperialists the real disaster is that their conquest of that country is not complete. There is still an active resistance, their best allies in the region are extreme right-wing Muslim fanatics who are impossible to control, and taking over the huge Libyan oil reserves is proving more complicated and expensive than they had hoped. Had everything gone the way the imperialists hoped, Obama would be happily taking the credit.
Closer to home George Osborne and Boris Johnson are prancing about pretending to be human because they assume that after the 23rd June referendum on the European Union Cameron’s job will be up for grabs. Osborne, through the London Evening Standard last Tuesday announced a £100 million project for rough sleepers in London that will provide accommodation for 2,000 people who have already been taken into homelessness crisis centres and “are ready to move on”.
It is hard to imagine anything more cynical. Osborne’s policies have created London’s homelessness crisis. Housing benefit cuts plus the demolition of thousands of good council homes to make way for luxury flats for sale to very rich investors have thrown thousands of Londoners on to the streets and now he expects them to be grateful for a bed in some crowded hostel.
Boris Johnson is no better; this man who idolises Roman emperors has cynically decided to oppose Britain staying in the European Union as soon the opinion polls told him that that was the way the wind is blowing. He too has contributed to London’s housing crisis by enabling the destruction of council estates and allowing the construction of luxury tower blocks.
All along both banks of the Thames downstream as far as Gravesend there are hundreds of glowing red lights at night, each one signally a construction crane and a new tower block going up. A river view adds value to an apartment but that river is turning into a sunless drain surrounded by giant walls of glass and concrete that few Londoners now can ever catch a glimpse of, even though they may live and work just a few yards from it.
If Johnson were ever to become Prime Minister he would try to govern like a Roman emperor. There would be plenty of circuses for the masses but not much bread. Civil liberties would not exist for rebellious slaves. If Cameron does resign after the 23rd June referendum we must demand an immediate general election.