Saturday 18 May 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels: , , , , , ,
Posted by Jake on Saturday, May 18, 2013 with No comments | Labels: , , , , , ,

An earlier Tory chancellor during an earlier crisis claimed "If it isn't hurting it isn't working". This, together with the fib from a later Tory prime minister "We are all in it together", is used to convince the majority of us ripped-off Britons to keep taking the painful poverty pill while the elite take the opportunity to reinforce their positions. 

As Lord Young, former Tory minister and advisor to David Cameron, said "a recession can be an excellent time to start a business. Factors of production such as premises and labour can be cheaper". Young just said it as it is: bust businesses leave empty buildings and sacked employees who can be got on the cheap.

It was ever thus: when a ship sinks although all the passengers start off 'in it together' it is the passengers in the lower decks that drown first. The water eventually reaches the middle class, creeping up so they don't notice until it is too late. Giving the upper class time to float away in the lifeboats, taking their luggage and hampers, rowed by their more essential servants.

The sinking of the UK economy was made apparent by a release in May 2013 from the OECD and the Office of National Statistics. This shows that austerity did not improve our position relative to our competitor countries. In the period from 2005 to 2011 the disposable income per head in the UK fell from fifth to twelfth place in the OECD. France, much criticised for eschewing austerity, in the same period moved from four places below the UK to four places above.

Equally telling from these figures is the fact that in this period the UK disposable income grew by just 7%, compared with 22% in France and 19% in Germany.

It would be unfair to say that the slogan "If it isn't hurting it isn't working" is untrue. The fact is it is working - but we are misled as to what this is all 'working' towards. If you thought 'working' meant bringing prosperity back to all Britons you'd be wrong. The objective of all the hurting is to use the banker induced crisis as another smokescreen for taking back pay, pension, and employment rights, and to cut back health and education and other public services for those who can't afford to go private. 

This rise in inequality, most rapid during the last Labour government, can be seen in graphs produced by the Resolution Foundation's report "Squeezed Britain 2013". As an example, the two graphs below show how low and middle incomes have ceased to be sufficient to buy a home:

Houses once owned by their occupiers are now owned by their landlords. 

Prosperity was once used to justify excessive pay to fill the pockets of the 'excellent' few (such as the financiers who mis-sold to their customers and crashed the economy). Now Austerity is being used to achieve the same end: a means to squeeze ordinary Britons into the pockets of the 1%.


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