Friday, 18 June 2010

The Mad Axeman Cometh

I have to admit, this government does not believe in wasting time. Already, they have announced £2 billion in cuts which, presumably, will do us the world of good. Even better news of course, is that there are worse cuts to come. With all the talk about the necessity of tightening our belts and near-masochistic ramblings about living within our means, it should be remembered that none of this crisis is the fault of ordinary people living lives of excess, but bad gambling by a bunch of greedy bankers. These initial cuts will cost a lot of workers their jobs; the cuts to come will cost us a lot more. I enclose below a picture of the Chancellor of the Exchequer:


  1. Sorry to see that Sheffield Forgemasters have lost their loan for £80 Million that the labour Government promised them. Sheffield Forgemasters needed this loan to build the huge presses to make the forgings for the new Nukes we are building,(Power Stations that is) the work will now go overseas, a big shame when we could have done it in South Yorkshire. As for amost of the other cuts, I agree with them !

  2. The trouble is, Chas, that these huge sums of money saved are only a drop in the ocean of UK debt. Edwina Curry was bandying a figure of £156 billion worth of debt on "Any Questions" yesterday. These cuts will save less than a tenth of that. How is the remaining 90+% to be paid off?

  3. Did not realise that the situation was that bad Geoff, I need to get up to date with circumstances. I still think that we need to manufacture in the UK and export which brings funds into the country from overseas !

  4. I agree, Chas, but that's easier said than done. In the 1960s, 50% of the UK workforce was employed in the manufacturing sector. Today, the figure is about 15%. All this has happened because multinationals have moved their operations to the Far East, where labour costs are cheaper.

  5. People love cutbacks in the public sector, with their jobs for life, gold-plated pensions and pen-pushing indolence. Serves them right ~ they've had it easy for far too long. Except, having been made surplus myself from the civil service, I know it's not a job for life. The average civil service pension is £4800 per year (it's less than £4000 for local authority workers) and most public sector workers I know work very hard.

    Getting rid of public sector workers comes at a price, not just the redundancies, but also benefits that some will certainly have to claim. Their seriously reduced spending power will obviously have an impact upon the economy and consequently the private sector. But it doesn't end there.

    Cutbacks in building hospitals, schools, roads, railways, tramways, etc, will have a serious effect on the private sector companies that would have been awarded all that work. Shelving public sector IT projects will have a similar effect on the IT industry. With fewer jobs opportunities, it will as usual be the young people who are trying to get a foothold on the job market who will suffer the most, although many established workers won't be exempt from the consequences. Remember that these are now private sector jobs we're talking about. All this further reduced spending power will damage the economy even more, and thus a vicious circle is created that is very difficult to get out of. More of our businesses will move abroad, with permanent consequences for our long term economic health. You can't just put businesses on hold until the economy gets better.

    What the ConDems are proposing is economic anorexia. Trite clichés such as "we can't spend what we don't have" always get a round of applause on programmes like "Any Questions?" and "Question Time" from an audience who, for the most part, will have mortgages, and HP on cars, furniture, new kitchens, bathrooms, etc, and with well-used credit cards in their pockets. Everyone believes in such platitudes that they heard at their grandparents' knee, but hardly anyone lives by them.

    None of this is speculation: it's what happened in the 1980s under that walking disaster, Margaret Thatcher, who thought she could run the country like a grocer's shop. But how many small businesses, including grocers, operate on credit? Most I'd say.

    Politicians like talking about "tough" choices which they say will affect us all. I'll believe that when I bump into ministers shopping at Lidl. But in reality there's another agenda here: workers fearful of losing their jobs are less likely to be troublesome by demanding decent wages and better conditions of service, backed up by strike action if necessary. They'll be told they should be grateful for having a job, as though the employer has bestowed charity on them, rather than having simply purchased their labour without which the business can't survive.

    Yet another crisis of capitalism. I'm getting rather sick of them.