Editorial: Blunkett is guilty
David Blunkett is unquestionably guilty. We are not referring to all the inconsequential fuss about the ex-lover, her nanny, a visa and free rail tickets. No. The important position that Blunkett has abused is his own professed core belief in self-help which he has summed up by saying “Old Labour is the idea that you did things to people, New Labour is about enabling people to do things for themselves.”
Despite his experience of working class poverty, suffering and injustice in childhood, the political course he has followed, and is now transforming into government policies with his cabinet colleagues, in no way enables people to “do things for themselves”.
Blunkett has participated in fast-tracking British capitalism towards as much profit as possible, and because of this, New Labour has continued to “do things to people” which the minister declares he deplores. New Labour helps coerce people to work for employers who extract surplus value which is pocketed by parasitical shareholders. It restricts people from accessing goods and services with laws and enforcement, unless they’re capable of paying. It compels children to be conditioned (“educated”) into becoming the next generation of wage and salary slaves for employers to prey on. It assists in forcing upon us pollution, inequality, deprivation, stress, prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, inferior food, warfare, increased levels of cancer, corporate patenting of plant, animal and human genes and inevitable periodic economic downturns. It seeks to comprehensively pry and spy on us. It insists on imposing ID cards (or “entitlement cards” which reveals their true purpose). It makes a human being from one part of the world (the Philippines) who wants to work as a nanny in this part obtain a permanent residency visa, or face being deported
All this is still done to us, despite Blunkett’s claim to want people free “to do things for themselves”, because his government, like any other, has no option but to put business profits before voters’ needs. As Home Secretary he has fiercely condemned the “scourge of drugs” and traffickers “making multi-million pound profits out of the misery of others”, yet he ignores the scourge of approved capitalists doing exactly the same thing. Bogus Blunkett, who said of his appointment: “As new Home Secretary I will be looking to listen and learn”, certainly won’t be listening to criticism of minority class ownership of the means of production and distribution, nor learning from history that governments don’t control capitalism — it is capitalism that controls governments.
Blunkett’s philosophy of “hand up rather than hand-out” welfarism, self-help, giving everyone an opportunity to succeed, and “participatory democracy” is worthless within capitalism where, at any stage, only a tiny few will prosper and hold sway at the expense of everyone else.
In a recent Observer (6 October) interview, the Home Secretary said “I do look back with a smile that many of the people who were in socialist societies [at Sheffield University during the 60s] ended up as being chief executive of some of our major companies. Like me I suppose”. Yes David, just like you. Corporate chiefs running the business side of British capitalism while you’re administering its political side. Still, when your cut from its profits is around £250,000 per annum with all manner of lucrative perks, grinning must be irresistible for an electoral hoodwinker working hand in glove with the boss class.