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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 October 2009

Darling you're talking rubbish!

WHAT A turnaround. Just a couple of weeks ago, chancellor Alistair Darling, claimed he could see the green shoots of economic recovery. Many media commentators said so too. Then the Office for National Statistics reported that the British economy shrank again during July-September by a further 0.4% - down 6% over 18 months of uninterrupted decline, the longest downturn since quarterly records began in 1955.

Manny Thain

Manufacturing output and construction have fallen by nearly 15%. Investment in new plant has been cut massively, weakening the economy for years to come. An estimated 100 billion worth of output has been lost, leading some economists to say that it will be 2012 before levels recover to those of last spring.

Government policies have completely failed. Nearly 1 trillion has been spent bailing out the banks, guaranteeing top bankers' phenomenal bonuses but little else. A further 175 billion has gone on 'quantitative easing', which may have boosted share prices but credit for small businesses and individuals remains tightly squeezed.

Now, the government and opposition parties are turning the screws on essential public services, wages and jobs. Already, there are 600,000 fewer people in work than at the start of the recession; one in three companies have frozen pay and one in ten have cut pay (The Independent, 24 October).

Of course, statistics for any individual month can register some temporary respite. But it is clear that we are in the midst of a long, painful and protracted recession. Any claims of recovery by Darling should be given as much credence as Gordon Brown's boast that he had ended 'boom and bust' when he was chancellor - before the whole world went into financial meltdown.

In his Alistair-through-the-looking-glass world, Darling is either in complete denial or he's lying through his teeth. The working class will have to wage a determined fightback against this attempt to make us pay for the capitalists' crisis.

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In The Socialist 28 October 2009:

Support postal workers

Support post workers, this is no time to equivocate

Postal strike reports: Defending the service


Anti-racism

BBC Question Time panel - Workers' voice denied against BNP

BBC Griffin protest: Jobs and homes, not racism!

Far right shut out of Newport by mass protest


Socialism 2009

Socialism 2009 forum - can we build a party for working class people?


Youth fight for jobs

Huddersfield march for jobs

Young musicians support YFJ

Cardiff Socialist Student elected


Anti-war

Afghanistan: anti-war demo

Tamil Solidarity fights for boat refugees


Socialist Party news and analysis

Darling you're talking rubbish!

Energy giant 'fanciful to the point of paranoia'


Marxist analysis

80th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash: Capitalist failure - then and now


Workplace news and analysis

Strikes sweep across Yorkshire

Leeds bin strike: 92% vote to reject council's 'final' offer

Battle for jobs in Land Registry

Ex Ford/Visteon pensioners protest in Swansea

Leicester uni cuts protest


Socialist Party feature

Call centres - public services on the cheap


Marxist analysis: history

Newport Rising 1839


Comment

Daily Mail homophobia


Socialist Party reviews

Film review - Capitalism: a love story

Conspirator: Lenin in Exile


 

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