‘How the value of our public services contrasts to the whiff of corruption surrounding Tory politicians, the state and big business’, Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths remarked at the weekend. He was commenting after the party’s executive and election committees reviewed the biggest ongoing CP election campaign since the early 1980s.
He urged all labour movement campaigners to emphasise the urgent need for more investment in democratically accountable health, social care, education, housing and environmental services rather than ‘bailing out big business yet again with hundreds of billions of pounds of public money’. ‘Cronyism and corruption are as old as capitalism itself’, Mr Griffiths accused, ‘but made far worse by the multiple modern-day tie-ups between the economic power of big business and the political power of the capitalist state’.
He pointed to government contracts, public money, privatisation, party funding and the revolving door between politicians, advisors, ex-civil servants and company appointments as ‘blatant examples of state-monopoly capitalism in action’. Choosing his words carefully, the CP leader said that reports of clandestine and questionable corporate lobbying of senior government ministers by ex-prime ministers should come as no surprise.
‘Since the days of Lloyd George and Stanley Baldwin, if not before, British ex-ministers have used their connections to enrich themselves and their business sponsors at the expense of honest taxpayers’, he declared.
A top priority in the Welsh and Scottish parliamentary and English local elections should be to root out cronyism and corruption from every area of public life, by ensuring transparency and accountability at every level of government, Britain’s Communists insisted.
‘That is one of the main reasons why Communists are urgently needed in our parliamentary and council chambers from May 6’, the party’s election coordinator Andy Chaffer added, ‘because our candidates are incorruptible in their opposition to the capitalist system itself’.
The CP meetings finalised plans for action to publicise Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28 and to hold a May Day election rally on May 1.