John Wight says grim British living standards ensure that the general election next month is the most important in a generation.
One million people, many of them in work, forced to rely on foodbanks; 1 in 4 children living in poverty; homelessness, including rough sleeping, at a 30-year high; real wages down; the worst housing crisis of any advanced industrialized economy; the NHS in crisis; the most ramshackle, anarchic and expensive rail system in Europe; the highest prison population in western Europe; crime up; suicides up - all this as as the combined wealth of the richest 1000 people in Britain increased by 183 percent over the same decade in which 120,000 people have died as a direct result of austerity.
This grim toll ensures that the general election on Dec. 12 is the most important and seminal in a generation.
Brexit of course will figure front and center for many people when casting their vote. The issue has polarized British society over these past three years, corroding social cohesion as the country grapples with what is inarguably the most severe political and constitutional crisis it has faced in generations. What is crucial to grasp is the fact that Brexit is not in a Tony Benn exit from the EU. Instead it is a disaster capitalist project of the right, dripping in nativism, English nationalism and xenophobia, exposing the dire consequences of a country that has yet to honestly or properly address its colonial and imperial past.
[Ron: I disagree. This is a biased political polimic. It reeks of City of London financial rhetoric and elitist British (and Scottish) attitudes and sentiments. The desire of a majority of Britons to retain a traditional education system, employment prospects, a viable NHS, and other British national customs and traditions is NOT "nativist" or "xenophobic". Ad hominem is not valid argument.].
But, no matter, Labour and Jeremy Corbyn's fortunes in this election will be bound up not with Brexit or even Corbyn's personal qualities as a putative prime minister. Instead, as in 2017, Labour's fortunes will be bound up with their manifesto for transformational change.
If this manifesto is anything like the one Labour fought the election on two years, it will be one that plants its colours squarely on the side of working people, the low waged and the vulnerable, pledging to reverse decades in which successive governments have worshipped at the altar of the free market, allowing blind economic forces to dictate every aspect of government policy, embracing thereby the economy as a tyrant over the lives of ordinary working people rather than as a servant of their needs.
[Ron: I disagree. Arguably Labour is no longer a genuine workers' party. It is a neo-Marxist
In this regard austerity, rolled out as the answer to the global financial crash of 2007-08, had absolutely nothing to do with economics and everything to do with ideology - specifically the unleashing of a class war with the objective of transferring wealth from poor and working people to the rich and affluent, using the crash as a pretext.
The Price We Pay for Civilization
The Tory political and media establishment accuses Corbyn of wishing to drag the country back to the 1970s, a supposed decade of doom and gloom in Britain. This is nonsense. I grew up in the 1970s and for working people it was a veritable paradise compared to today. Free dental care, eye care, school meals for all children, decent wages and conditions, trade union rights, a sense of community that is sorely lacking now. And thinking about it, to label these things as "free" is a misnomer. They weren't free. They were paid for out of general taxation - and taxation, as every smart person knows, is the price we pay for civilisation.
Yes, there was a rising tide of industrial action by the unions, but in contradistinction to the right's historical narrative of the period, this labour unrest came about in response to the spike in inflation that had arrived on the back of the liberalization of the global financial system, beginning in the early 1970s and exacerbated by the Nixon administration's decision to abandon the gold standard in 1971. This measure was taken in response to the economic drain on the U.S. economy and the value of the dollar internationally as a result of the war in Vietnam. The result for British workers was downward pressure on wages.
As revealed by Cambridge academics Ken Coutts and Graham Gudgin in a report on this causation: "The freeing up of finance led to a huge, and eventually unsustainable, expansion of household borrowing. This temporarily accelerated the growth of consumer spending and hence GDP and of house prices, but in 2008 contributed to a banking crisis and the longest recession for over a century."
[Ron: Be aware that the so-called "freeing up of finance" was actually bankster organised excessive creation of fiat currency ("money") which necessarily resulted in a decrease in the value of "money" already in circulation. This created an appearance of increased value of standard housing but in reality it merely signalled the decrease in the value of the "money" in circulation. This meant that those who owned houses and physical assets tended to have their assets maintain their value while wages did not increase in value to the same extent, if at all. Moreover, the new "freeing up of finance" ushered in an era in which financial manipulation created fortunes for wealthy banksters, corporatists and financial manipulators at the expense of the general population. At the same time Thatcherite policies created a lot of unemployment and kept wages low. ].
Later in the same report, on the issue of industrial relations, the authors have this to say:
"Common sense indicates that less [industrial] disruption should be a good thing in itself but not necessarily if the result has been a weakening of wage bargaining power that has allowed a resurgence of extreme income inequality. We note that the UK economy grew consistently and well through the 1950s and 1960s even with poor industrial relations, as it did in the USA with extra-ordinarily high strike levels by British standards."
Corbyn, with a manifesto that will do less to drag Britain back to the 1970s and more to move it out of the 1870s, has reignited the kind of class and political consciousness we haven't seen in decades, challenging three decades of permanent government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. And it is for this reason that he's been so fiercely attacked and demonized by those whose power and privileges are predicated on mass political somnolence.
Meanwhile, when it comes to foreign policy, just consider the difference between a government that slavishly attaches itself to the coattails of President Donald Trump in Washington and a leader of the opposition who, if elected prime minister, will not.
[Ron: I disagree. This author fails to understand what President Trump is doing. Trump is freeing the US and other countries prepared to follow his lead, from the negative, globalist, corporatist control of global trade. If the UK achieves a clean Brexit it will be able to once more act as a sovereign nation able to conclude free trade agreements with the US and other nations, including the EU. That will eliminate the suffocating neo-Marxist bureaucratic control by Brussels that has strangled UK industry, trade and legislation for decades.].
And this is without taking into account the prospect of bringing a long awaited curtain down on the disgraceful cozying up to a bloodsoaked Saudi kleptocracy, blind support for the apartheid State of Israel, and the propensity for military instead of diplomatic intervention as a means by which to sustain influence on the world stage.
[Ron: I disagree. President Trump is winding down US military actions in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The US Deep State establishment and MSM are fighting that descalation tooth and nail. To suggest that Trump has a propensity for military intervention is an obvious lie.].
In 2010 the Tories came to power and unleashed war on society, turning the lives of millions of British people and their families upside down in service to a callously and consciously cruel belief that poverty marked out its victims as perpetrators of their own condition. Thus the demonisation that accompanied austerity shaped public apathy if not consensus when it came to its implementation as being necessary in order to trim the fact of a bloated public sector and purify the poor and disadvantaged with pain.
We may not be materially affected by austerity, by food banks, benefit sanctions, zero hours contracts, and by attacks on the disabled. However our humanity obliges us to be offended by it. You don't have to be a migrant to resent their depiction as the enemy within.
[Ron: This is cretinous polemics! A majority of UK voters have been depicted as stupid, uneducated, racist bigots because they wish to limit and control migrantion in order to preserve their jobs and their customs and traditions instead of being overrun by foreign refugees and migrants. That is a reasonable attitude. Failure to have that attitude amounts to national suicide. A somewhat silent majority of English people are being steadily disadvantaged and even impoverished by excessive numbers of so-called refugees and migrants that the political elite in Parliament and London have encouraged to flood into the UK for many years under both the Blair Labour government and the Tory government. It has not just been a Tory policy. A majority of the UK population have voted to have a say in their future. The neo-Marxist Labour party will not give them that say, nor would Tory parliamentarians under Mrs May. The Brexit party will give that majority of voters a say in their future and any Tory party under Boris Johnson will have to do that also.]
And you do not need to be among the ranks of growing number of rough sleepers on our streets to understand that no one should be allowed to fall that far. The savage consequences of austerity impacts all of us; the normalization of so much injustice and cruelty chips away at our own humanity, and that more than anything is unforgivable.
It is why, if nothing else, the success of the Tories in turning us into passive spectators of the mass experiment in human despair they have inflicted on the most vulnerable in society should be foremost in our minds when we cast our vote on Dec. 12.
[Ron: This author is either naive or worse. The Blair Labour government was instrumental in accelerating immigration, unemployment and the impoverishment of the general UK population long before the Tories returned to power. Blair was also instrumental in creating the disastrous US/UK war on Iraq. The Corban labor party is anti Brexit which means it is opposed to the wisheds of a majority of the UK population.].
[Colour fonts, bolding and comments in square brackets added.].
John Wight is an independent journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This article was first published on Medium.
British Politician: Elites Want Unlimited Migration to Create Third World West - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/British-Politician-Elites-Want-Unlimited-Migration-to-Create-Third-World-West.shtml
UN Demands Brussels Ignore ‘Resistance’ to Mass Migration, Share Unlimited Arrivals Across Bloc - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/UN-Demands-Brussels-Ignore-Resistance-to-Mass-Migration-Share-Unlimited-Arrivals-Across-Bloc.shtml
The Aim of the Global Pact on Migration - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/The-Aim-of-the-Global-Pact-on-Migration.shtml