Government of the one per cent,
by the one per cent, for the one percent:
Permanent Austerity - Smoke and Mirrors.
The new feudalism is ...
After nearly four years in office Osborne still has a £20bn 'black hole', so the welfare budget is lined up for a further hit of £12bn.
Public sector net debt as
of January 2014 ...
... was £1,239.6 billion (74.6% of GDP) ...
Furthermore, the IFS is of the opinion that the national debt will only return to pre-crisis levels in the mid-2030s.
Higher taxes on the rich are out of the question, however, because the Tories cling to the bankrupt
trickle down theory of wealth, despite the fact that wealth is more
likely to 'flood' out to tax havens.
Therefore, evicting the poor from their homes is the 'only' alternative.
But there is a wider agenda here 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, like austerity, 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 instead to Victorian times when charity WAS welfare.
Socialising the 'free' markets
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
It also expects the clean-up of the nuclear waste to be 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 that, er, 'socialist' chancellor 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, rather than investing.
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 to banks and building societies for those with savings.
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] - which 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
Staff threaten to boycott new tests for four year olds.
The Stalinist from Whitehall Knows Best
Just as compassion cannot be measured - turned into targets - in the NHS, so in education: the ability to think critically - based on sifting
the sources - is equally difficult to turn into a target. [ACG]
This confirms the dangers inherent in the DfE's obsession with increased testing, and at younger and younger ages.
According to the i, Gove and his boffins are planning ...
... new tests for four-year-olds designed to be taken when they start school ...
Teachers are also opposed to the phonics test at six; while the i also reported that Ofsted want a return to national curriculum tests at age
There are a raft of problems with the tri-partisan Stalinisation of schooling.
2. What cannot be measured won't be taught/learned;
3. The assumption that phonics and reading are the same thing; and ...
4. The stresses and strains placed on both children and teachers, and especially the injection of what the NUT calls ...
" ... an unhealthy environment of competition (which does little) but engender a feeling of failure in children and [put] pressure on teachers ... "
i 21 Apr 2014
'Demented Dalek On Speed'
Primary school tests to be toughened
Focus on fact is stifling schools
Laureate attacks poetry teaching
Lessons of the Soviet Union should have been learnt
Our children tested to destruction
Rose Report into Primary Education
This education system fails children by teaching them to parrot, not think
What's counted and what counts
What is education for?
OAPs To Get Government Death Date Estimate ...
What's the difference between a Nazi and a neoliberal?
Pensions minister suggests most people underestimate how long they will live, resulting in poor financial projections ...
The former believed in euthanasia for people who were 'a burden' - the old, the disabled, and non-Aryans.
The latter believe you should create the circumstances under which people will 'top'
Huff Post 17 Apr 2014
The looming pensions crisis government is ignoring
My faith in the Church of England
Social Darwinist Dave has a message for us plebs this Easter: get faith, get a moral code.
Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn't talk about these things. I completely disagree.
Apparently it makes "a difference to people's lives".
Well that's certainly true, Dave, as charities like the Trussell Trust and Shelter will confirm, you and your pal Osborne have made an enormous
difference to people lives.
The richer are richer and the poor, well, they are poorer. But that's Herbert Spencer for you.
They are the objects of the charity and compassion you talk about so glibly.
Will IDS and Lord Freud be buying into the new 'moral code', btw?
Or are people who use food banks still scroungers?
I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and,
frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives ...
Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none - and we
should be confident in standing up to defend them ...
Church Times 16 Apr 2014
Let us praise: David Cameron acclaims his and Britain’s Christian faith
David Cameron says he is evangelical about his Christian faith
David Cameron puts God back into politics
Dispelling Myths About EU-US Trade Deal Negotiations
We are all stakeholders, Mr Kamall
Syed Kamall's comments on the TTIP makes reference to discussions with 'stakeholders' but does not
say exactly who they are.
However, the mainstream media's deafening silence on these negotiations is such that most people have no idea what's taking place, and will - as usual - be
confronted by 'fait accompli'.
Demands for a referendum will come too late, just as the 'stakeholders' intend.
Our local MP made the following comments in a letter dated 6 March 2014:
" ... the TTIP is a once in a generation opportunity which ... has the potential to deliver £10 billion to the UK economy each year ... "
If the TTIP negotiations cover issues other than trade, it becomes known as a "mixed agreement" and will have to be ratified by the British Parliament.
"You asked if there would be a referendum on the TTIP. It is relatively uncontroversial, supported by all major political parties, and would entail a
minimal loss of sovereignty while increasing our trade and exports; therefore I don't think we need one ..."
Even if it remains purely a trade agreement, it will still need to be ratified by UK as a Member State of the EU.
Therefore, the British Parliament will have the authority to instruct the British Government to block ratification in Brussels ...
Huff Post 15 Apr 2014
End of Democracy
Night & Fog
Rules on unemployment benefits tightened to end 'signing on' culture
If you can't afford a laptop - go to your local library, if it's still open. Looks like a lot of folk are not going to get any more JSA. Which will be the
whole point of the exercise.
Esther McVey, the employment minister, will launch a significant government push on welfare this week by saying that unemployed people must prepare for their
first interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser by preparing a CV.
They must also set up an email address and register on the government's jobs website ...
Gdn 07 Apr 2014
Arbeit Macht Frei
Help to Work is a costly way of punishing the jobless
Job market instability revealed by surge in self-employment
More than two in five new jobs created since mid-2010 have been self-employed
Think welfare spending is spiralling out of control? You're wrong
Fraud investigators called in as a 'third of a million'
vacancies listed on Government's Jobmatch site are claimed to be fake