Government of the one per cent,
by the one per cent, for the one percent:
Permanent Austerity: Smoke and Mirrors.
The new feudalism is ...
Because - after nearly four years in office - Osborne still has a £20bn 'black hole', the welfare budget is lined up for a further hit of £12bn.
Public sector net debt as
of Janusary 2014 ...
... was £1,239.6 billion (74.6% of GDP). This compares with a PSND ex of £1,158.4 billion (72.6% of GDP) at the end of January 2013.
But, because the Tories cling to the bankrupt theory of trickle down, tax
breaks for the rich are an essential component of something called 'growth'.
Therefore, evicting the poor from their homes is a price worth paying.
But there is a wider agenda than simply cutting the welfare budget.
The growth of the working poor - insecure part-time work and zero hour contracts - is symptomatic of the coalition's attack on
This is presented as an interim, short-term problem to be cured when the economy starts to grow.
However, it may well be a longer-term trend with a different objective in mind: competing with
The new 'flexibility' overturns the post-war redistributionist policies - lowering inequality - returning to Victorian times when charity WAS welfare.
Because 'free markets' must not be subsidised by the taxpayer, the energy 'market' in the UK is expected to levy it's investment costs from the consumer.
However when it comes to building a new generation of power stations, the private sector expects the market to be rigged by a 'strike price' for the
electricity produced. [SP]
It also expects the clean-up of the dangerous waste to be, er, 'socialised'.
(Thorium - a much safer alternative to nuclear, btw - is not considered: it does not produce weapons grade plutonium for that horrendously expensive
pretence that it's still 1913, and the UK is still a world power: Trident.)
The manner in which the wealthy expect government support no longer extended to the poor was well illustrated by
Alistair Darling who reported this interchange with the-then chairman of RBS in 2008:
‘I remember being summoned out of the meeting to talk to Tom McKillop and he said things were just terrible, that money was pouring out of the door.
‘He said, “What are you going to do about it?” Which I thought was a quite remarkable thing to say – what are YOU going to do about it! ...
Having destroyed much of Britain's industrial base in the 1980s -
Gdn - in the insane belief that the City of London
could replace it - a fantasy also bought into by the, er, socialist who believed that boom and bust had ended.
Since 2008, however, there's been much chatter about 'rebalancing' the economy away from the chimera of banking-finance.
The problem with rebalancing is two-fold: a UK investment-led recovery would require more (short-term) government borrowing, mainly because corporate capital
is sitting on it's wealth.
So, where would you turn if your name was George Osborne and you wanted 'growth'?
The answer is Help to Buy.
In an era of low interest rates rising house prices provide an alternative.
This is especially the case in regard to pension annuities, which are now very poor value thanks both to low interests rates, and
Enter the Buy To Let bubble -
[Gdn] - now dwarfs the rest of the housing market.
Rebalancing the economy? Forget it. Housing IS the economy.
The reality behind the 'free market' rhetoric begins to emerge:
... demands for the rollback of government intervention in the economy have always been one sided. The government is called on to lesson regulations and
intervention in the economy only when it will benefit the economic elites.
Thus labour and environmental regulations were attacked by neoliberals as
distorting the price mechanisms of the free market and were seen as examples of how government intervention in the economy always leads to inefficiency.
Yet the same neoliberals were surprisingly quiet in 2001 when President Bush approved a massive bailout for the airline industry.
Surely if government intervention in the economy distorts prices and subverts the more efficient market mechanisms then they would oppose such “government
overreach” as a gross violation of neoliberal theory?
Here is where we can apply Harvey’s insight about neoliberalism as more of a practical attempt to restore elite
class power than as a theoretical project driven by the works of Hayek or Friedman.
Thus we end up in practice with a kind of one sided neoliberalism, where government intervention is bad if it would protect labour or the
environment, but government intervention is good if it will help economic elites.’ ...
Capitalism – Neoliberalism, Plutonomy, and Neo-feudalism
George Osborne faces £20bn black hole
Marching towards New China
FT 06 Mar 2014
According to the FT, the OBR 'model' suggests that balancing the books via recovery alone is no longer an option.
Given that there are more people 'employed' (LOL) than there were in 2008, but producing less in GDP terms ought to suggest otherwise, but if there's no
spare capacity in the economy, it's all smoke and mirrors.
Further, it suggests that politicians confuse the actual deficit - 'expected to be close to £111bn in 2013-14' - with
the 'cyclically adjusted deficit' currently circa £85bn.
The probability that Osborne & Co want permanent austerity - for reasons concerned with the continued security of the one per cent - is not considered by the FT
for obvious reasons.
The fact that infrastructure projects are big on announcements, but short on
implementation adds force to the argument that 'growth' is not a priority.
Furthermore, the failure of both funding for
lending, and quantitative easing, to promote growth -
quite the reverse in the case of QE - suggests smoke and mirrors hiding the real agenda.
The evidence also suggests a future Labour Government will not threaten the position of the one per cent, probably because action in this arena is a
local v global contest which national governments can no longer win.
Expect austerity to continue because, behind the politics of deception - such as Iain Dumbo Smith's bogus Universal Credit - living standards have got to
be brought down to the point where the UK (and other EU countries like Greece, Italy and Spain) can compete with
The Duke’s Lodge ... another chapter in the expulsion of Londoners
Another five years of Toffsville should see the country well and truly down the pan. For the rest of us that is.
Does the British electorate want another term in government by these right wing sadistic clowns, lying and cheating themselves into power aided and abetted
by that classic of liar, Clegg.
We've had Toffsville since at least 1661, give or take the few years after 1906 and 1945.
It will continue as Toffsville until there's a land value tax, and one which cannot be avoided by registering your gaff on the Cayman Islands.
Tories from Toffsville bask in the (implicit?) knowledge that
dominance hierarchy will always gain them votes from people
who they despise.
However, the Tories are no longer the party of the feudal squirearchy: the new feudalism has lost any notion of
Anarcho capitalism - the line of travel implict within neoliberalism - brooks no
sentimentality towards 'the serfs' - as the bedroom tax confirms.
A Thoroughly Stratified World
Time to Fess Up, Dave
David Mellor exposes the essence of Cameronism, and not only in regard to the 'reform' of EU.
Has this whole thing really just been a cynical PR ploy? Nothing more than a delaying tactic, to get him through a general election as a supposed Euro sceptic,
so that he can then, all being well, pop up afterwards, and ask for a few superficial, meaningless concessions, before he finally recommends a yes vote in the
Essentially, Cameron is unable to tell people the unvarnished - and in the short term unpopular - reality of Britain's current position, probably
because he doesn't realise it himself.
Even when he was paddling around on the edge of the floods, the body language spoke of a guy vastly out-of-touch with the reality of what people were
The mystery is how a once hard-headed party has put up with his innane babble for so long.
Not that he is alone on the British political scene - quite the opposite - we have a jovial buffoon leading UKIP, and a follower rather than a leader in
charge of the Labour Party.
I won't waste time on Clegg. He will probably end up - like Neil Kinnock - in Brussels.
Contrast these four pigmies with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Huff Post 28 Feb 2014
Cameron: 'no exceptions' in US-EU free trade talks
"The wrong sort of recovery"
In parallel with questions regarding the sustainability of Osborne's recovery, Jeremy Warner reminds us that the elephant in the
room is education which, as the Making Education Work report points out, lacks any consistent
long-term goals due to the fact that education ministers come and go, initiating 'multiple initiatives' which have all failed - except Michael
Gove's of course (LOL) - to offer the skills necessary to prevent the reliance on inward migration to fill the gaps.
There is, however, a second elephant in the room: a libertarian culture - generated by the likes of Rupert Murdoch - under the
terms of which it gets harder for schools to oppose an 'I want it all, I want it now' hedonism.
The culture shift necessary may be beyond politicians' abilities to comprehend, let alone contest, nevertheless the effort will one day
have to be made.
Why George Osborne won't be cheering too loudly about the latest GDP figures
Vince Cable and his supporters are well aware there are key components of the recovery that are still Awol.
Business investment kept falling last year when it was supposed to take over from consumer spending as one of the main drivers of growth.
Export growth has stuttered to a halt, leaving us with a persistent balance of payments problem before the country really starts to spend and suck in
huge amounts of imports ...
Gdn 28 Jan 2014
Britain's economic recovery: unbalanced and unsustainable
... the only route to sustainable, balanced growth is via gains in productivity and incomes, and regrettably, we are not yet there.
The economy has been juiced to give Coalition parties a boost ahead of the election, but with the deficit not yet tackled, glaring gaps in industrial
competitiveness, severe supply side constraints, and a runaway housing market, we are still a million miles away from economic salvation.
Tel 28 Jan 2014
Longest fall in living standards for 50 years
Skills shortage 'will hit recovery'
Two different levels of economic mismanagement
UK economy growing at fastest rate since 2007
A broken schools system ...
Education 'fails to deliver skills for global success'
Secret Teacher: help, I'm drowning in admin
UK literacy and numeracy standards slip down international tables
London free school headteacher with no teaching qualifications quits
UK Skills Shortage Could Put Economic Recovery in Jeopardy
Science and maths teacher shortage may loom for England
'Extravagant' academy school bosses blow thousands on luxury ...
100 academics savage (Gove's) 'conveyor-belt curriculum' for schools
The Importance of Knowing How