Billions have been handed out by the Tories to friends and associates on Test and Trace and PPE contracts, and for poor results. Yet the “Tory sleaze” row has come to focus on Boris Johnson’s redecoration of his Downing Street flat.
He gets £30,000 a year public money for redecorating his rent-free accommodation; he scrabbled for more only because he chose especially expensive redecoration; and he may well have broken political-donations law in doing so. There’s nothing unfair about him being pilloried.
But his tens of thousands should not overshadow the billions, handed out sleazily but probably within the law.
Or the hundreds of billions pumped every year from workers’ labour to feed profits, dividends, interest, and big pay-outs for bosses. That capitalist extraction of “surplus value” is “normal”, “legal”, indeed celebrated and glorified, and yet is the great machine of inequality and privilege.
Switch off the pump of surplus value from which all the backhanders and pay-offs flow! Take the banks and majority industry into public ownership, under workers’ and democratic control, with managers elected, accountable, and on workers’ wages.