Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/599/8294
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.
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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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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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
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 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
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'
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
Daily Mail homophobia
Socialist Party reviews
Film review - Capitalism: a love story
Conspirator: Lenin in Exile
The Socialist 28 October 2009 |
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