Saturday, 2 March 2013
Rampaging Right Fiddles As We Burn.
The banking crisis in 2008 showed us all the utter lunacy of the free market, no holds barred neoliberal economic policies that have plagued the world for the last 30 years. There was no mistaking why the crisis happened despite the claims to the contrary coming from the right. Deregulation of the finance industry had encouraged greed, stupidity and outright criminality right at the heart of the world's economic system and, after the crisis hit, failed to do anything about it. Effectively the argument as to whether neoliberal economics made any sense at all was over and the verdict was damning. Right-wingers, however, did not throw in the towel as you would expect. In Britain the Tories managed, with support from an opportunistic LibDem party, to make a last ditch rearguard action against reality and to force through policies designed to make the victims of the neoliberal failure pay for it. In the United States the Republicans failed to field an even remotely credible candidate in the Presidential election and lost badly. Their answer is to block President Obama at every turn and to force massive cuts in the budget that will harm the ordinary citizen but leave their vast fortunes unscathed. On both sides of the Atlantic unscrupulous right-wing politicians are willing to countenance economic disaster for the majority in order to protect their own narrow interests. Wedded to an economic system designed to promote these narrow interests during the good times, it is hardly surprising that the greedy and selfish would seek to protect those same interests during the bad times. For them neoliberal economics is a no-brainer since its central tennant - heads I win, tails you lose - serves their insatiable lust for money. In Britain nothing, not a triple-dip recession, a loss of the AAA credit rating or rioting in the streets will divert the Tories from their utterly sefish course. They will starve the needy, persecute the disabled and steal whatever they can get their hands on in order to maintain an economic system that this country can no longer afford. The Tories have proven, once and for all, that they are not a political party in any real sense - they are simply an expensive and wholly irrelevant interest group unfit to govern now or at any time in the future.