Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Osborne's clueless meanderings

It was hardly surprising, but cheering, to read in the newspaper that Gormless George is regarded as the most incompetent member of the Cabinet.  Dimwit Dave clearly relies heavily upon the innumerate fool's political skills, further reinforcing one's impression that this foul Cabinet is an extension of an elitist sixth-form debating society, whereby the precocious little fools spout platitudes about how suffering and deprivation are good for the proles.  The only problem is that this is for real.

Osborne spouts on about there being no alternative to the current direction of economic policy, despite every indication being that the double-dip could turn into a depression of a magnitude that will make the 1930s seem like a period of explosive growth.  This is the equivalent of a child's toy with a single message that is repeated every time its spring is pulled - completely decontexualised and an image that should not be lingered over.  In the much-praised private sector, which we are all supposed to be in fealty to, this level of performance would result in a P45 and a suggestion that the protagonist should stick to tasks more suited to his skill set.

The economy has parallels with the 1930s but with the added spice of massive personal indebtedness brought on by a property price bubble and easy credit, fostered through Thatcher's deregulations of the 1980s and exacerbated by New Labour's belief that illusion flowed through to finance as well as politics.  Osborne, with his uneducated and ahistoric rightist cheer-leaders, is stuck in a delusion that the only way to get the economy moving again is through cutting the state to let a thousand incompetent bankers flourish.

As with all myths, this is partly based in reality.  The post-war period saw economies functioning at close to full capacity, and the theory of public expenditure "crowding out" the private sector gained credence as the 1970s unravelled.  The elephant in Georgie's closet is that this theory only works when there is competition for resources and the economy is working at close to maximum capability.  Not a difficult concept, but it does suggest that Plan B is not merely feasible but necessary.

The Bank of England, at the behest of the Treasury, has been printing money in billions - with a view to propping up house prices and stopping any more banks from going bankrupt.  This has all been presented as a means of encouraging small businesses to invest and people to buy homes - however this doesn't work when banks are (logically) rebuilding their balance sheets and safety.  So the next proposition is to cut taxes to business and individuals.

As anyone with a basic grasp of inductive reasoning can grasp, tax cuts at a time of debt and uncertainty will result in people doing exactly the same as the banks - paying down their overdrafts, mortgages while praying that the moronic policy position doesn't cost them their livelihoods.  So this won't result in short-term, or even medium-term spending, and the mythical increases in demand that will refloat the economy.  Reducing personal indebtedness is a desirable outcome from a whole-society angle, but it doesn't achieve the requirement of putting people back to work.

The complete failure of Osborne's economic policy is clear - and the entire deficit-reduction strategy's credibility is tending to zero.  There is a clear and present danger that a downward spiral has been created - whereby more and deeper cuts will be deemed necessary and desirable and thus making it impossible to create a recovery.  This is fine for those at the top of the tree who have insulated themselves from the consequences of such a destructive and self-serving nihilism, but is a complete dereliction of duty on the part of government.

Instead, there are a number of propositions that could form the basis of a genuine recovery strategy, but which are completely counter to the selfish and grasping approach allied to a hatred of any publicly-held infrastructure.  These are based around the recognition that the biggest contribution to financial recovery comes from sustainable growth, and from the possibility of exploiting the current climate to create a different approach to social and economic cohesion.

Firstly, in the short-term, printing money doesn't work.  However, we have cheap money available, which could be used to fund public investment projects directly.  These will generally repay over a 20- to 30-year period, and financing them through bonds sold to pension funds (who should be looking for long-term assets), and the public, would be much better than the multi-billion PFI fraud that doesn't even give the taxpayer anything at the end.  Roads, sewers, energy and other networks need to be modernised, and this would be a perfect programme of public works.

Secondly, the banks are not inviolate, and the City of London does not require special pleading.  The current calls for U-turns over airport expansion are symptomatic of the attitude that nothing happens outside the South-East of England.  Instead, there needs to be an approach that improves infrastructure and the quality of life outside this charmed elite - as well as the connectivity to and from the rest of the world that will be further denied if everything is concentrated on Heathrow.  Governing beyond the M25 is a tall order for this bunch of chancers, but it is a prerequisite for genuine balanced growth.

Thirdly, policy needs to focus on 30 years out - so that energy choices are made with a view to reducing carbon dependence, land-use planning based around reducing the need for physical mobility over long distances for essential tasks, and there is a sustainable housing, education and health policy, provided much more by the state without the adjuncts of profit and snoutage that seem to pervade all public-service delivery today.  A recognition that the state is there to provide an overall framework for individuals, communities and companies to operate within is less a counsel of despair than the anal fixation with the private sector that the current government demonstrates.

Too much to hope for?  This is gradualism, but with increasing evidence that the entire edifice of the Tory party is built on sand the choice is for a U-turn now or a much more radical, revolutionary upheaval down the line.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Port, biscuits and cheese and the Tory Revolution

This has been a great week for connoisseurs of the contemporary Conservative Party.  It is difficult to know where to start - so the beginning is conventional but probably sensible.

On Monday, Nick the Lapdog bowed to the inevitable and abandoned the cross-party consensus on turning the House of Lords into a slightly-less anachronistic revising chamber.  Labour's scheming and connivance now looks a good tactic, as it has exposed the mendacious lickspittles of the shires as the canting dribblers that they are.  However, Clegg needs to wake up and recognise that whereas he has managed to drag his party through the mill in the name of the Coalition, Cameron and his cronies neither can nor want to do the same thing.  Nothing like exposing human shields for what they are.

Somebody, perhaps, might have kindly reminded Clegg that the only kind of whipping the average Tory backbencher aspires to is well documented in the current sub-literary phenomena of "erotica".  As many Tory backbenchers are as far away from average as ever, this may be redundant.

There have been a number of snarling Tory responses to the refusal of the Liberal Democrats to deliver the pro-Tory rearrangement of constituency boundaries.  To see Hamster-face wrapping himself up in the Chartist banner is risible beyond parody - equalisation of constituency boundaries is a theoretical goal up there with nuclear fusion and the Tory proposals would have made the Republicans in 1990s Texas blush and suggest that the Boundary Commission took lessons from North Korea.

Hamster-face himself has been eclipsed by the publicity-seeking scrote who pretends to be Mayor of London while not making bald bids for the Tory leadership.  Johnson's self-identification with relative British success in the International Sports Day is "just Boris being Boris" but he will come down to earth with a bump when the reality of a triple-dip recession bites later in the year.  In the meantime he will continue to make friends with bankers and others whose probity is matched only by his own.

The imminent Corby by-election marks the end of the bizarre political career of Louise Mensch.  The publicity has been immense without vast expense - admiring and semi-critical broadsheet profiles, the admission of ingestion of industrial quantities of narcotics and the clear assumption that she would walk into a senior Ministerial post have been amusing - but she will be the Widdecombe of our generation rather than the Theresa May in the end.

However, the denouement for the week that caused all intelligent citizens to cringe behind the sofa was a documentary entitled Young, Bright and on the Right.  This followed two "atypical" student Tories through a progress in Oxford and Cambridge student Tory politics - a Hogarthian experience for the Oxford one, whose proletarian background and evident issues resulted in him betraying his victorious rivals to the national press.  The Cambridge example came from a liberal background, but spent his time sucking up to the bloods and plotting greatness through organising catering supplies for Tory parties, doubtless hoping that his Lidl loyalty card did not get discovered - while resembling both Hague and Johnson, leading to speculation that they might have had some encounter in the past that even Mary Shelley would have blanched at.

If the future of the Tory party relies on parodies of the current Bullingdon set, then they are hopefully doomed as evolution passes them by.  However, the immediate priority should be the destruction of the current administration; Clegg has indicated that his party will not be prepared to march into enemy fire in future, and this means that at some stage the Neanderthals will insist on Cameron kicking the Liberals out of government as the price of his leadership.  This can only assist the rebirth of a left politics with a reasonable chance of success - and at some stage I will consider what will be necessary for Labour to assume a vanguard role in the forward march.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Bread, circuses and Tory hubris

To watch and listen to all the mainstream media you would be forgiven for thinking that everything is for the best in the best off all possible worlds.  The Middle East is not degenerating into religious and civil warfare, there is no potential for a triple-dip recession, the programme of economic, political and social modernisation pioneered by the Coalition is proceeding to the sunlit uplands of Tory Democracy and the England cricket team remains all-conquering.

We are in the middle of the Olympic denial zone.  After predictions of meltdown within London's creaking and neglected infrastructure, not too much has happened beyond the destruction of much of the economy during the peak tourist season, for which Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson have told those facing bankruptcy to rejoice.  Good performances by an elite showered with taxpayers' money on top of corporate whoredom are celebrated as some form of national regeneration.  The weather has even improved slightly.

The Tories are even now contemplating their next move.  Clearly flush from their success in denying Lords reform, and the probability of Cameron pandering to his neanderthal, self-interested backbench scum, the aim is now on their part to ditch the Coalition before the next election to take whatever credit they can salvage from the incompetence, graft and cupidity of Osborne's disastrous economic mismanagement (tax cuts for the rich that the Mail will big up as encouraging entrepreneurship) - just in time for an election.

They will do what they always do, wrapping themselves in manufactured patriotism.  Perhaps the time has come to call their bluff - especially since the agenda appears to be to promote the next stage of their social repression and economic pillage after the Olympics are out of the way.  Picking off the remaining unionised workforce and cutting even more deeply is their agenda - which may well make 2012 the Second Winter of Discontent.

Having denied myself blogging for most of the last month out of sheer inability to come up with appropriately bilious language - the time is now ripe to identify the numerous and irretrievable failures and ineptitude, along with the simony and hypocrisy that underpins this bunch of wasters.  UK successes are not down to them - UK failures are definitely the responsibility of the crony cretins.