Monday, 18 October 2010

The Storm Clouds Gather

This is the make it or break it week for the UK economy for years to come. I was out on Saturday morning in Camberwell giving out leaflets for the Coalition of Resistance rally on Wednesday night at Downing St and people's reactions were interesting. There were, of course, those who were totally apathetic or one or two who expressed themselves in favour of the cuts - but generally speaking the response was positive. One man who worked in local government said that "we need to be more like the French". A woman from Ireland told me how bad the situation was there now and I said that I knew all about it and have been following it closely. Ireland's model is the one which this government is following and so far has produced misery for the Irish people.

I will be leafleting the TUC rally tomorrow at Westminster City Hall from 12 and hoping that many of those trade unionists will attend the rally on Wednesday. As France faces its largest upheaval in years, I cannot believe that the TUC bureaucrats are not calling a demonstration until March! Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

In the interim two significant pieces of news and an announcement. Lib Dem Voice reveals that 35% of the party's membership are unhappy with the leadership and 20% have little enthusiasm for the party or are considering resigning from it. I suspect that those figures will soon rise. Being a Lib Dem at present is being the equivalent of being the slave in an S&M relationship, with the only difference that they have no way of expressing their wish for the relevant painful activity to stop. Instead Simon Hughest is wheeled out as the original Pantomime Dame to promise that "it will be all right children."

Then in today's Guardian David Blanchflower, former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Committee warns that the measures about to be taken in the Comprehensive Spending Review will be "disastrous" for the economy. Blanchflower is one of the most perceptive economists in the UK and has been proved right on several issues in recent years. But will Osborne and the "deficit delighters" listen? Of course not. Not until it is way too late and even then they will be convinced of their own rigtheousness, like some 21st century equivalent of the Puritans. Not until the poor have felt the lash of the whip and the real taste of poverty can it be said that their measures are effictive, or at least that is how they regard it.

Finally to provide some sanity among all this madness, Michael Albert, author of 'Life after Capitalism' is having a UK tour and is speaking about participatory economics as an alternative to capitalism. Never have alternatives been more necessary as Osborne and his crew steer the sinking ship into the rocks and the storm clouds gather overhead

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