General Election: the starting gun is fired

What did you make of the “leaders” television debate last night? Communist Party campaigners will be on the streets this Saturday in Croydon North and elsewhere where we are standing asking what you think.  My immediate response was to take some encouragement from Miliband’s attacks on zero hours contracts and the need to strengthen tenants’ rights and pleasure from Cameron’s obvious discomfort at the entire process – he was clearly trying to ooze confidence but only managed, as usual, to ooze. The anti-austerity sense talked by the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru was also encouraging. Needless to say, the Sun, Times, Mail and Torygraph saw it all as a great triumph for Cameron, but the speed with which they posted up their headlines confirmed that these had already been dictated by their owners prior to the start of the debate. For how much longer must we put up with this affront to democracy? It should be unlawful not only for anyone not domiciled in the UK and paying UK taxes to own a newspaper but for any national newspaper to be structured in any way other than as a co-operative owned by the readers. There would, of course, still be right wing rags like the Daily Mail spouting nonsense, but at least it would be nonsense their dwindling readership came up with. The two most significant omissions from the debate for me were the failure of anyone to speak up for restoring trade union rights and the fact that only the Green mentioned global warming. So it will be five more years of fiddling while Rome burns – for ‘fiddling’ read carbon omissions, for ‘Rome’ read the world. Meanwhile, whoever ‘wins’, let’s hope Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite, sticks with his resolve  to hold unlawful strikes if the next government seeks to enforce a higher threshold on strike ballots.

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