progress is not the elimination of struggle, but rather a change in its terms’ - Aneurin Bevan

jobs not cuts?

Yesterdays new data from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Office of National Statistics shows that the recovery is still fragile and that there's been a slight fall in industrial production due to the bad weather in January.

Today's letter in The Guardian - signed by a number of Labour MPs, trade unionists and economists - calls for a second stimulus. The word "stimulus" is problematic, as Hopi Sen has noted (not once, but twice) because the letter is not calling for the government to boost short-term consumer demand, but to secure investment for the medium- to long-term objective of a green economy.

Rather than "savage cuts" as proposed by the Tories and Liberals, we need sustained support for the economy, with the priority being jobs. However, there is a particular constituency that stands in the way. Paul Myners, the City Minister spoke out about the risk of further financial turmoil, and the failure of free-market fundamentalism, earlier this week:
"One of the injustices of the crisis is that the story did not end with the swimmer being taken out to sea. That swimmer, the financial industry, did not get pulled out on its own. It dragged with it the savings of our families; the jobs of our workers; the viability of millions of small businesses. And faced then with unprecedented, sweeping and irreparable damage to the real economy, governments around the world had no choice but to send out the most expensive flotilla of lifeboats ever assembled to save the system."

The bailout for the financial system, Myners added, had been the most expensive public subsidy in UK history, dwarfing anything paid to farmers or the defence industry.

"But in the process of saving it, we protected those very market fundamentalists who caused the crisis from the consequence of their actions. The risk is now that their confidence has not been sufficiently dented; that they have not truly learned their lesson. And the danger is that they could put us all at risk again."
Indeed, the speculators have been circling around Greece and the other so-called PIGS, with the Party of European Socialists pushing for a transaction tax to stem the tide...


  1. But look at the mess we are in, the Tories or the Liberals did not do this, the hand of Brown is all over it. Sorry 43 years I spent in the Labour party was wasted we ended up with a Lover of Thatcher/.

  2. But Gordon Brown wasn't running the global economy, he was running the Treasury - and that department though significant, did not control the banking sector or tell investors how to behave.

    Your 43 years in the Labour Party was not wasted - there have been fewer job losses, business failures, and repossessions than in the Tory recessions because of a Labour government taking action to stop financial meltdown.

    This could have been the worst collapse since the '30s, but for Brown challenging Thatcherite orthodoxy and insisting that the banks give the taxpayer an equity stake in return for being rescued. There are fewer people out of work and more people in work than under the Tories - if they get back in office they will say to hell with the rest of us, because they are the real friends of the bankers and big businessmen.

  3. ha ha ha , your telling me that a bloke who stands up In Parliament and says we are the party of no more boom and bust, while we in the real world are saying hold on the housing bubble has exploded and along comes Mandy and tells us the housing market will find it's own level.

    then the same bloke stand up and tells us look the 10 tax fiasco was a mistake, I did not know it would cause this. the bloke who has removed income support from the most needy.

    I think my 43 years were not only wasted it was down right stolen.

    Brown made this mess by dam well playing with the regulations which caused the banking mess, playing games in the hope that banking would carry on long enough for him to get elected again.

    brown is nothing but a hypocrite

    as for unemployment add those that cannot claim the JSA to those that can and we have nearer six million unemployed playing with statistic.