Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1156/33346

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2021

Tory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

Terry Fields and Dave Nellist - two Militant MPS, photo Dave Sinclair

Terry Fields and Dave Nellist - two Militant MPS, photo Dave Sinclair   (Click to enlarge)

Parliament has been embroiled in turmoil surrounding Tory MP Owen Paterson's rule-breaking lobbying, and Boris Johnson's failed attempts to contain the fall out. Johnson was even compelled to tell press at the COP26 summit the UK is not "remotely a corrupt country". With public trust in parliament and capitalist political representatives at an all-time low, we print an edited extract from Dave Nellist, Socialist Party member and Labour MP from 1983-1992, from Socialism the podcast.

Paterson was paid over £100,000 a year on top of his parliamentary salary of £82,000 a year - three times the average wage in Britain. The Times recently revealed that one of the two companies he was working for, over the last 18 months, got £500 million of Covid contracts from the government. There's now been a new document released which names another ten Tory MPs who over the same period lobbied the government and got preferential treatment for £1.5 billion worth of Covid contracts.

It's an illustration of how Tory MPs in particular use the position of being a member of parliament, not only to make themselves lots of extra money, but to make the private firms they're working for a huge amount of money.

Johnson's attempt to protect Paterson was such a blatant rigging of parliament that even the previous Tory prime minister John Major described Boris Johnson as "politically corrupt".

When ordinary families are facing wages that have fallen behind rising rent, fuel, energy and food prices - and MPs on three times the wage of well-paid workers, are then earning tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds a year extra - it has caused a huge amount of anger amongst working people.

In the 1980s, three Labour MPs were supporters of the Militant newspaper, the predecessor to the Socialist Party: Pat Wall in Bradford, Terry Fields in Liverpool Broadgreen, and myself in Coventry. We all agreed with our local Labour parties before we were elected that we would not make a personal profit by going to Parliament.

We took the average wage of skilled workers in the areas we represented. The easiest to explain is Terry; Terry was a firefighter for 27 years before he became a socialist MP, he stayed on his firefighter's wage as an MP.

For me in Coventry, the engineering union used to do a survey of wage levels every three months. With them, we picked the ten biggest engineering factories in Coventry and got a quarterly assessment of a skilled worker's rate. That's what my family took as a wage. In addition, we produced five reports a year for nine years showing my income and how it was distributed, and on what I was doing as an MP.

There's the idea which is definitely promoted by capitalism and the capitalist media that somehow MPs are special, and they're better if they have outside interests. That somehow taking on directorships and consultancies, or if they're lawyers to carry on with a law practice and so on, gives them a wider view of society.

As socialists we have a different view. We actually think it would be a lot better if elected representatives in public positions, like MPs, were made up of ordinary people like HGV drivers, cleaners or nurses.

We treated getting elected as an MP like being elected as a shop steward or a union rep in a workplace where you wouldn't get three times the wages of the people you worked with! You wouldn't be insulated from their problems. You'd be sharing in those day-to-day problems.

Dave is the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which the Socialist Party is a part of alongside the RMT trade union and others. TUSC is preparing to stand candidates in the council elections in May against councillors - Labour, Tory or others - who continue to carry out austerity attacks on working-class communities.

We invite trade unionists and community campaigners, who are prepared to pledge to oppose the council cuts, to stand with us as part of TUSC. We hope this can be a step towards building a new, mass working-class party to fight in our interests, not those of the bosses.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 17 November 2021:


NHS

Cuts drag NHS to brink

NHS workers must take action now to save our NHS

Outsourced Barts health workers in strike ballot for a pay rise

Health and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

Fund the fight for socialism


News

London MPs' second home swindle while workers and students struggle

Tory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

University bosses' pay piles up while workers are forced to strike


COP26

Youth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

Sunak's climate finance agenda typifies capitalism's COP26 failure


China

China: Bureaucracy grapples with new crises


International

Ten years on - where has Podemos's radicalism gone?

Belarus refugees - caught between a rock and a hard place


Workplace news

S Wales Stagecoach bus drivers win 10.50 an hour

DVLA ballot turnout falls short of threshold

Striking Scunthorpe steel scaffs up the ante

Leeds cab drivers protest against taxi rank move

Fresh strikes on East Midlands Railway

An appeal to trade union members to stand as anti-cuts candidates

Clarks workers fight 'fire-and-rehire' pay cut

London couriers take action

St Mungo's report fails to address bullying and victimisation of workers


Campaigns

Resisting evictions in east London

Leeds solidarity protest says stop Sudan coup

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Why am I coming to Socialism 2021?

Birmingham People's Budget


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 November 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Sleaze:

triangleSleaze and pay a toxic mix for Tories

triangleFight together for a pay rise

triangleCapitalist sleaze and cronyism

triangleGreensill scandal, Corruption ... Build a socialist alternative

Workers:

triangleSomers 'slaughterhouse' Forge

triangleTrade unionists in the USA fighting back

triangleWakefield TUSC - Fighting for low-paid workers and NHS

triangleTrade unions and the fight against council cuts

Tory:

triangleIt's my party, and I'll lie if I want to

triangleTory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

triangleTories on the ropes - Build a workers' alternative

MPs:

triangleLondon MPs' second home swindle while workers and students struggle

triangleNews in brief

Socialist:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Do wage rises cause inflation?

Parliament:

triangleChartism: The world's first working-class movement

TUSC:

triangleFormer MP colleague of Jeremy Corbyn to stand in Birmingham Erdington by-election

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

27/1/22

Birmingham

Former MP colleague of Jeremy Corbyn to stand in Birmingham Erdington by-election

26/1/22

The Socialist

We need a workers' alternative to big business Tories and Labour

26/1/22

Government

News in brief

26/1/22

Protest

Lords reject parts of anti-protest bill

26/1/22

Nationalise

Social care providers put profit before residents' needs - nationalise care now

26/1/22

Tax

Cost of living crisis

19/1/22

NHS

Tories hand cash to private health profiteers

19/1/22

TUSC

Want to fight austerity?

19/1/22

NHS

Tory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

19/1/22

Socialist

Tories on the ropes - Build a workers' alternative

19/1/22

Covid

No trust in Tories to keep us safe

19/1/22

Vaccine

Employers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

19/1/22

Inequality

News in brief

19/1/22

Welfare state

Mutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers' party

13/1/22

Socialist Party

Pamphlet: What the Socialist Party stands for

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999