When questioned during the election campaign by a nurse who hadn’t received a pay rise in eight years as to why this was the case, Theresa May responded with the almost insulting retort of “there is no magic money tree”. Andrew Macknight of the Newcastle Marxists looks at the hypocrisy of the Tories and their rich friends when they tell us that there’s no money.
When questioned during the election campaign by a nurse who hadn’t received a pay rise in eight years as to why this was the case, Theresa May responded with the almost insulting retort of “there is no magic money tree”. This being spouted by the woman who began her election campaign wearing shoes with diamonds in their heels.
This ‘money tree’ retort soon become the stick of choice that the Tories insisted on beating Jeremy Corbyn with over Labour’s manifesto promises.
Firstly, however, this accusation is this rather ironic coming from a Tory government which has borrowed more in its seven years of power than every Labour government in history combined.
More importantly, it is also incorrect. The “magic money tree” can be found in the tax havens of Panama and the Cayman Islands. It’s estimated that around £20 trillion is held in offshore bank accounts by corporations and Britain’s wealthiest 1%, all with the assistance of the Tories – wealth that has been created by workers and that Labour, rightfully, wants to redistribute to fund vital public services. The issue isn’t whether the money is there, but who it belongs to.
The magic money tree was always bountiful when it was deemed right to give MPs an 11% pay rise. Meanwhile, NHS wages have been stagnant for the better part of a decade.
There was also plenty to go around in terms of a bombing campaign in Syria and enough to fund the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. All of this when chief executives of FTSE 100 companies earn 386 times more than workers on the national living wage.
The Tories’ magic money tree is us – the working class! It is through the labour of workers that all the wealth in society is produced. Yet due to private ownership the bulk of that wealth ends up in the pockets of the rich. The answer is nationalisation of the banks, major industries, and corporations – under workers control and management – as part of a socialist plan of production.