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From: The Socialist issue 813, 4 June 2014: Workers can win: Victory for $15 campaign in Seattle

Search site for keywords: Capitalism - Taxes - IMF - Bankers - Globalisation - Unemployment

Inclusive capitalism? You're having a laugh!

John Sharpe

If you're going to have a press conference, have a dear one. Get the mayor of the City of London and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild to organise it.

Book the Mansion House in the City of London, wheel in Prince Charles to open it and line up your main speakers: former US President Bill Clinton, Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief and Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor.

Oh, and get the Financial Times in as a co-sponsor and invite an audience of 200 financiers representing a third of the world's liquid assets and the chief executives of multinational companies such as UBS, GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever.

Lady de Rothschild (an investment banker don't you know) ticks off her check list: date, venue, speakers, catchy name.

Name! We need a name. 'All bosses are evil'? 'Ruthless exploiters of the working masses'? 'Capitalism is crisis'?

Nearly, not quite there though. 'Inclusive Capitalism', yes, that's the one. Warm, touchy feely and, as de Rothschild admitted, an oxymoron. Two words that don't belong next to each other.

Bankers and the big capitalists know that everyone hates them and they are starting to feel nervous. If it carries on like this, they fear, it could really kick off and they'd lose the lot.

Sections of them, at least, feel the need to perhaps curtail some of the "excesses". We're all nice really and promise to be good in the future. So they organised the conference 'Inclusive Capitalism' to spread the message.

Prince Charles recalled during the fall of the Berlin Wall there was a "certain amount of shouting about the triumph of capitalism over communism". He worried that if society didn't change "we might end up coming full circle."

Lagarde tried to frighten them with threats of tougher regulation and tighter supervision, railed against "growing inequality" and called for a change in culture. Even making income and property taxes "more progressive".

This from the IMF, whose bailouts during the recession (on her watch) were tied to massive privatisations, raising taxes for workers, cutting taxes for the rich and corporations, dismantling of the welfare state and the dumping of millions of youth into unemployment!

Carney joined in by demanding the "too-big-to-fail-banks" should be broken up and rather shockingly called for measures to curb bankers pay.

Globalisation is "amplifying the rewards of the superstar... now is the time to be famous or fortunate."

As a PR exercise it was a success. Blanket, wall to wall uncritical coverage on TV, radio and in the papers. De Rothschild must know she has made it now she's been interviewed on 5 Live.

All this effort will amount to nought. All the glitzy fanfares are just so much smoke and mirrors. Their worst nightmares will come true.

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