Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/520/3763

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2008

100 people pack London world economy meeting

IN RESPONSE to the current global shocks to the world economy, more than 100 people packed the all-London Socialist Party public meeting on 7 February.

Manny Thain

A third of those present were young people, with a quarter of the audience attending a Socialist Party event for the first time. Many came after seeing our posters, others came with local party members.

Lynn Walsh, editor of the magazine Socialism Today, outlined the causes of the financial turmoil - kick-started by the US subprime mortgage crisis - now working their way through global markets.

It is impossible to predict exactly how far and for how long the effects will spread. What is clear, however, is that working-class people will pay the heaviest price in home repossessions, job losses, attacks on wage levels and cutbacks in public and social services.

In a wide-ranging discussion, the parasitic nature of finance capital was highlighted, with the collapse of the Enron energy company in the 1990s given as an example.

The main difference is that the Enron scandal was largely contained, whereas the current crisis is systemic, spreading to the wider economy.

The question was raised: would the nationalisation of Northern Rock just bail out big business? The Socialist Party's approach is radically different to the demands of some establishment politicians and economists.

Northern Rock should be run for people's needs, providing cheap loans to working- and middle-class families. Compensation in the event of nationalisation should go only to small-scale shareholders. No compensation should go to parasitic hedge funds that buy shares to cream off profits.

Several contributions focused on the effects of recession on the lives of working-class people. Glenn Kelly pointed out that two million homes have been repossessed in the US. Given the inflated housing bubble in Britain, a repetition here would be devastating.

The US government is giving a $300 rebate to each worker to try to stimulate growth. Could similar measures be taken in Britain? It was stressed that the only safeguard against pay restraint was strong union organisation, above all, united action across the public sector.

Jim Horton highlighted the impact of credit card and mortgage debt. Most people going to the Citizens Advice Bureau go for debt-related reasons - before the full scale of economic slowdown has hit Britain.

Nancy Taaffe pointed out that less than 20 years ago, when the Berlin wall was brought down, politicians and commentators claimed victory for capitalism. Now, they are paralysed with fear. This impacts on attitudes to the demands we raise.

A few years ago we called for nationalisation of Rover when the car company faced closure. Some saw that as utopian and many on the left did not raise it. Today, it is commonplace to demand the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

One speaker, critical of our position, demanded to know what the exact scale of the economic crisis would be, when it would arrive in Britain, and its effects on working-class consciousness.

He said we underestimate both the potential for China to rescue the world economy and the amount of profit in the system which could stave off recession. He did not, however, offer any answers, leaving the impression that this current global shock will not be far-reaching. In short, he sided with the most optimistic capitalist commentators.

Lynn agreed that measures to stimulate economies can have a limited effect: in 2000-01, pumping in liquidity staved off a global recession. But it shored up trouble for the future - today. China's dependence on exports ties it to the US economy, and it will be hit by US recession.

Another fundamental problem is that the profits have not been mainly reinvested in industry or infrastructure. They have boosted more speculative activity, adding fuel to the global financial fires.

The current turmoil is opening up a questioning of the system, as shown by the turnout at this meeting. It is the responsibility of socialists to argue the case for democratic planning of the economy and ownership of its main parts by and on behalf of the working class and society as a whole. Only that would put an end to the cycles of boom and bust perpetuated by profit-driven capitalism.

265 was raised from the fighting fund appeal, with 50 more raised from raffle ticket sales.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 February 2008:

Stop NHS privatisation now!


Local Government workers

Birmingham council workers' biggest strike for decades

'Single status' in the West Midlands

Bosses prepare to force through more cuts

Newham workers angry at councillors


Socialist Students

Uni Fees must be fought!

Feature: The great university swindle


War and terrorism

War and occupation in Iraq


Socialist Party news and analysis

Defend abortion rights

Millionaire welcomes economic recession!

Northern Rock

Liverpool's tale of two cities

Cardiff marches to save schools

100 people pack London world economy meeting


Transport

Cuts and backlogs cause delays

Tangled web at Metronet


International socialist news and analysis

Polish miners gain strike victory due to iron determination

Chad conflict - part of a wider power struggle


Interview

Prison officers: Fighting for trade union rights

Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Comment

Comment: Opportunist blunder further splits Church of England


Workplace news and analysis

Land Registry staff vote for action

London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Organise and fight back!

Shelter staff ballot for action


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 February 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Economy:

triangleAmber warning lights flash on British economy

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Britain:

triangleTamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

triangleTory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

triangleThem & Us

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

Nationalisation:

triangleObituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

triangleManchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

Socialist:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

Working-class:

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

Socialist Party:

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

Northern Rock:

triangleTories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

China:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Capitalism:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2