Another budget and of course there will be more spending cuts; it is inevitable, because the job is not yet complete. Over the last 30 odd years the Tory’s and their Neo-Liberal Capitalism has been hell bent on returning the mode and means of production to an 19th century form. Neo Liberal Capitalist ideology and all those who support and advocate it are everywhere. In the Americas, in the EU, in Asia, in the UK and even in Scotland, all hand in hand and perpetuating the descent into the oblivion of global corporate control and the creation of the ultimate flexible workforce.
The only areas for growth left for the privateers, is in the privatisation of all our public services, including the NHS and Education. They already own our industry and banking, the limited public services we are left with now, will soon be gone.
Why do you think funding to local government has been reducing continually over the years? Why sell off all the council houses? Why do you think the Tory’s introduced the council tax freeze? It is all designed to destroy local services and democracy. Leave local Councils with little control over finances and turn them into no more than managers, to force through the privatisation of all our local services. Why are they systematically destroying our Social Security?
This all began of course in 80’s at the same time when personnel departments were re-branded as Human Resources. I was reminded the other day of that very thing. A point we should all be making to our employers, we are people, human beings not resources. A resource is metal, paper, wood, nails, screws, rivets and the building blocks of industry, not the people who actually create the wealth. We are not a resource to be traded on the stock market, to be bought and sold, we are not slaves.
But I digress. Thankfully, they have not yet managed to create a dystopian world that is a truly liberal free market. Where free market competition is the only way to produce growth and efficiency, where free, lightly regulated competition between nations, regions, companies and ultimately the individual is the norm.
There are still far too many public services existing within the UK and the EU. Far too much local government control over services. This all needs to be reduced first and foremost, then increasingly centralised, leading to a complete eradication. There is a very worrying trend, especially here in Scotland for this type of centralisation. The Police, Fire, Ambulance and Further education. There is even talk emanating from some quarters in Scotland that local government needs to be reduced from 32 local areas to between 6 or 8. This is also what creating mayors in the major cities in England is intended to create. Reduce the number of local authorities, reduce their powers and make them ripe for privatisation. This centralisation creates the very basis for that privatisation and opens the door to the privateers to come and plunder our services.
They are getting ever closer to fully creating the competition between individuals that they need to introduce the ultimate flexible workforce. The long term mass unemployment since the 80’s and the free movement of people has served them well in this respect. This is all designed to create conflict within the working class. Workers blame the unemployed and migrants for their lack of real job opportunities and decent wages. All the while the ruling elite, continue to create the climate for the ultimate flexible workforce. With, temporary agency work, zero hours, part time contracts and forcing people into pseudo self-employment. This self-employment is a very worrying trend. Self-employed people will not combine in Unions and will not organise themselves to fight for better conditions, but as individuals will only look to themselves.
This drive to the individualist, consumer driven society is frightening. The speed in which we have been bought and sold into this individualism since Thatcher, is a phenomenon that is spellbinding.
The destruction of Social Security is a pre-requisite of course for this and what do we find here, Universal Credit, Bedroom tax, the destruction of social housing, the benefit cap, social cleansing of the more affluent parts of our cities and towns, Benefit Sanctions, WCA’s and the increase in food banks and charities having to pick up the pieces. The alienation of the unemployed, disabled, the poor and the whole “We are for hardworking people” is all part of this decline.
No longer is there talk of mass unemployment. It is “we now have more people in employment than ever before.” “We have created x number of jobs since x.” This Tory tactic is now even being used by the Scottish Government to cover up the effects of local Government job losses. What type of job, at what pay and what terms and conditions, are never disclosed. This is just more ammunition with which the unemployed and disabled can be further stigmatised.
The Privatisation of all public services and national industries is of course the ultimate goal. Neo-Liberal theory states that all public services and industries are inherently inefficient. The public sector must be brutally downsized because it does not and cannot obey the basic law of competing for profits or market share. Privatisation has been one of the major economic transformations of the past thirty odd years. In the EU the trend began in Britain and has spread quickly throughout the world.
They say: Only the free market has the ability to efficiently run and maintain services and industry. The greatest issue facing us of course is the fact that we are on a planet with finite resources whilst we adhere to a capitalist system of perpetual growth using up the resources at ever increasing quantities, to fulfil the needs of the individualist consumer.
At some point the human race will need to face up to the fact that it cannot continue this destruction. That our throw away individualistic consumerism has to end. It has to end or we have to end. Mother Nature will see to that.
After the war infrastructure and public services required very large investment outlays. Steel, Coal, Shipbuilding, Railways, Transport and Power grids etc, required huge sums of money, to get them back on their feet and creating profit. That is why public monopolies were the obvious solution. The privateers held onto their money, sat back and allowed this public investment and nationalisation. Safe in the knowledge that at some point in the future privatisation would be on offer and they could then move in. Why should they invest in re-building infrastructure and industry, when the public purse was going to create the very industries and services for them to later plunder?
The UK in 1984: Public companies contributed over 7 billion pounds to the treasury. Where is this money going now? I am not an economist so cannot give figures for what that 7 billion pounds would equate to now, but you get the idea. When the East Coast Rail franchise was re-nationalised, because the privateer National Express jumped ship, even though the nationalised company returned over £1 billion to the exchequer.
And now this warning from the Stock Market on the privateers Virgin and Stagecoach.
“The wheels came off Stagecoach yesterday after a City broker said its East Coast rail franchise was facing an uphill battle only a year after it took it over. The stock fell 14.8p, or 5.4 per cent, to 258.6p, the top faller in the mid-tier FTSE 250, as HSBC downgraded the Perth, Scotland-based bus and train company to ‘reduce’ from ‘hold’.
HSBC said Virgin Trains East Coast, which Stagecoach and joint venture partner Virgin launched after taking over the contract from a state-run company in March last year, was already showing signs of weakness.”
Who has benefited from the privatisation of our industries and reaps these profits now? The privateers and investment bankers. Look at North Sea oil, the first industry Thatcher sold, and how many billions have they gained in profit over the years. But what happens when it all goes wrong? You just have to look at the railways and the banking sector. When these private companies fail, who has to pick up the pieces, me and you, the ordinary tax payer? When they are back into profit, they are re-sold. This is ever the case.
The free movement of capital states that only by freeing up the financial markets and corporations can economic growth and stability be achieved. What they actually mean is that it gives companies the ability to freely relocate their businesses and finance to a more profitable less regulated country.
Allows companies to move its finances to a country with a more “liberal” taxation policy. Amazon, Vodaphone, Google, Starbucks etc, etc, etc. Gives banking and financial systems the ability to exploit tax loopholes, create offshore banks, non-transparent and lighter regulation, etc, etc.
We are continually being blinded by the dream of a Social Democracy that will somehow tame this capitalism and provide a better living for the weak, the poor and the working class. A dream of a Social Democracy that will at the same time provide for the poorest, placate the aspirations of the middle class, whilst still allowing the ruling elite and global corporations free reign to increase their wealth.
You can hope, pray and even vote for a Social Democratic Government to come and save you. It might even come to pass; it did just before and after the war. It came to us and created nearly full employment, created Social Security, the NHS and nationalised Transport, Banking and Industry. I have been fortunate enough to have lived and benefited from that time. But because its very foundations were based on a capitalist construct that only allowed it to happen to eventually benefit private finance at the time. It is being stolen from us all in front of our blinkered eyes.
Social Democracy has always been and will remain only a buffer between the ruling classes, global corporations and the working class. Social democracy in the 20th Century has been used to prevent the full emancipation of the working class. It has been used as a sop to placate the working class and to prevent them from taking the control they truly deserve. We create the wealth, we create the products, but we just don’t control the means of production or government.
Until such time that the working class understands the power that truly it has. Understands that without us nothing in this world is possible, without our labour and input. Until we realise that we are worth more than just our base labour value. Until we wake up and realise that our so called democracy is a complete sham that only serves the ruling elite and global corporations, we are doomed to infantile dreams of Social Democracy coming to save us.
Until we actually take control and destroy the chains that bind us, we will be nothing but a human resource. A resource to be bought and sold just like any other commodity.