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Philip Hammond: As far as businesses are concerned, he seems to think “The Way” can only by the TORY way.

Paul Mason is to be congratulated for this discovery. He explains:

The image is a passage quoted from the Politico website. It states:

“Hammond… urged industry to back the Tories. “I know you don’t engage in party political activity but I expect you to face up to when the principles that undermine our economic structure and your business are placed at risk,” Hammond said. “You have to decide to combat this menace or collaborate with it and let it get into power.”

I’ll leave it to Mr Mason to explain why Mr Hammond was wrong to say these things at a £400-a-head dinner that was part of the Conservative conference on October 2, and why he should relinquish his role as Chancellor for having done so:

In business, a fiduciary is a company representative who is placed in a position of trust – to run the company in the best interests of the owners or shareholders, and not to put their own interests or those of any others first – including political organisations like the Conservative Party.

At this event – whatever it was – Mr Hammond was clearly asking chief executive officers of Britain’s businesses to conspire against the Labour Party, for the benefit of the Conservatives.

“Extraparliamentary resistance” is a thorny issue. Some would say that certain firms carry out such resistance as a matter of course, fiduciary duty be damned.

Financial institutions certainly seem biased against Labour. If a Labour administration comes into office, they seem very quick to change their predictions about the economic well-being of the country, in the face of all the evidence.

(Historically, the UK has always benefited from Labour governments. The Attlee administration on 1945-51 heralded decades of improvements in the UK economy and living standards across the board, that was ended by the Thatcherite neoliberal revolution of 1979 onwards.)

But it is unforgivable for a senior Conservative minister actually to come out an appeal for businesses to work against another political party.

As a government minister, his only duty is to work with businesses – no matter what their political colour – for the benefit of the country as a whole.

His speech demonstrates that his only concern is the benefit of the Conservative Party.

That is unacceptable.

He should resign – or be sacked.

Neither is likely to happen, of course. Theresa May – herself under heavy fire for the ineptness of her government since she took over in 2016 – simply doesn’t have enough talent at hand to replace him.

Isn’t that the most serious indictment against the Conservatives of all?


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