Posts Tagged ‘Norman Lamont’

Corbyn Criticizes the Tory Budget

October 30, 2018

The main news story today is Philip Hammond’s budget. Details of it were released a few days, and it’s been discussed ever since. In it, Hammond, dubbed by some ‘Phil the Bleak’, is trying to convince the voting public that austerity is coming to an end, and more money is going to be pumped into welfare services like mental health and the NHS, and town centre shopping in the high street will be revitalized as business rates for the shops in those areas will be dropped.

It’s strange how all these promises were suddenly made just when the Tory party is seriously challenged by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, and is being widely attacked for its colossal ineptitude and massive divisions over Brexit, and the immense hardship it is causing with Universal Credit. I don’t doubt that the Tory press will hail – or in the case of the Daily Mail, heil, the budget as a genuine boost to the economy, which should be enthusiastically embraced by all right-thinking Brits. Just like I can remember the Sun’s headline screaming the benefits of Norman Lamont’s budget back in the late ’80s or first years of the ’90s: ‘The Lager of Lamont’. Which pretty much shows the level the Scum is aimed at – drunken yobs. And for ordinary people, you have to be drunk to think there’s any substance or real benefit in the budget.

Mike’s extensively critiqued it on his blog over the past few days. Yesterday he put up a piece showing that it was all a tissue of lies. Despite his claim that austerity is over, public sector pay is not going to rise, nor are benefits, the bedroom tax ain’t going to be repealed and there aren’t going to be 20,000 more police on our streets.

Furthermore, the tax cuts he’s promising will only really benefit the rich. As Mike points out, this is another swindle to decrease the amount the state takes in tax, which is then redistributed as benefits to the poor, or spent on public services.

But the Tories are still going to introduce 7 billion pounds’ worth of cuts. Hammond also said that

Brexit would not affect spending plans because he had assumed an “average-type free trade deal” between the UK and EU after Brexit, and had £4.2 billion in reserve in the case of a no-deal scenario.

Mike ends his piece by stating that this is also a piece of deception, saying

But you can bet that this will not be enough to deal with the consequences of a Tory Brexit. They want harmful effects because they will then be able to justify harsh cuts to your rights and living standards.

About the only welcome announcement in the whole sorry mess was the decision to stop using hugely-wasteful Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes.

One of Mike’s many excellent commenters, Barry Davies, points out that the PF1 and PF2 deals would simply become PPP, so there’s really no change there.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/10/29/its-phil-the-bleaks-fantasy-budget-would-you-buy-anything-hes-offering-before-brexit/

Actually, I think all Hammond’s promises are worthless for the same reason Mike does: their provisional. They only have force until Brexit occurs in March, when I full expect Hammond to announce that the terrible deal forced upon Britain by the European Union will mean that they’ll have to reverse their policies and start cutting benefits, public services and again reverse their spending on the NHS.

It’s all lies, from a government of liars, who lie and lie again without qualm of conscience.

Jeremy Corbyn has already responded. This little video from RT UK, posted yesterday shows him denouncing it as ‘a broken budget’. He says

The Prime Minister says austerity is over. This, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is a broken promise budget. What we’ve heard today are half measures and quick fixes while austerity grinds on and far from people’s hard work and sacrifices having paid off as the Chancellor claims, this government has frittered it away in ideological tax cuts to the richest in our society. This budget won’t undo the damage done by 8 years of austerity and doesn’t begin to measure up to the scale of the job that needs to be done to rebuild Britain. The government claims austerity has worked, so now they can end it, but that is absolutely the opposite of the truth, austerity needs to end because it has failed.

Corbyn’s right: austerity has failed. It’s failed working people, the poor, the disabled, the long-term sick, and the unemployed. But it’s done wonders for the rich, who’ve benefited massively from the Tories’ tax cuts, and privatization of public services, including the NHS. And, of course, the provision of cheap labour through the welfare to work industry, pay freezes and the removal of workers’ rights. Reforms all intended to make workers easy to hire and discard, and create a cowed workforce in constant fear of the sack and starvation, which will accept any work, no matter how precarious or poorly paid.

And as you can see from the video, when Corbyn laid into the budget, he was greeted with the usual Tory sneers and laughter, especially from Hammond and the Maybot, who jerked and spasmed as if she was suffering a short-circuit. Well, the Tories always find working class poverty a great laugh. You just have to remember how Cameron and IDS had a right good guffaw in parliament when one woman’s suffering due to the benefit cuts was read out.

Well, let’s cut their cackling short, and vote them out at the earliest opportunity.

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The EU, Corporate Power, and the ‘Democratic Deficit’ at the Heart of Europe

January 16, 2014

Last night I reblogged and commented on Mike’s piece, over at Vox Political, on the forthcoming American-EU trade agreement, the TTIP, and how this will lead to further destruction of the British welfare state, the NHS and British national sovereignty and democracy in favour of multinational corporations, all thoroughly backed by George Osborne. Robin Ramsay, the editor of Lobster, is an opponent of the EU, though from a Left-wing, rather than Conservative perspective. His opposition to the EU is based on the way it undermines national sovereignty in the interests of multinational big business. As well as running articles on the propaganda campaigns by Edward Heath and his successors to persuade the British public to accept membership of the EEC, as it then was, Lobster has also published reviews of a number of books critically analysing the EU, its policies, and the role and immense power of big business within it. One of these was of the book Europe Inc: Regional and Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power, by Belen Balanya, Ann Doherty, Olivier Hoedeman, Adam Ma’anit and Erik Wesselius, published by Pluto Press in 2000, published in Lobster 39, Summer 2000.

The book was produced by the European Corporate Observatory, which had a website at http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/. The magazine considered the book ‘a devastating analysis of the various forums attached to the EU, which ensure that corporate opinion prevails’ and states as an aside that there are 10,000 corporate lobbyists in Brussels. The book provides immense information on the role of the Bilderbergers and other elite groups, such as the European Round Table of Industrialists and their PR firms, in setting up and managing the European Union.

The review begins with a very telling anecdote taken from Norman Lamont’s memoir of his period as Chancellor, In Office, about his meeting with the Dutch Finance Minister, Wim Kok. During their conversation the question came up, whether the European electorate themselves should vote on joining the single currency. According to Lamont, Kok was very firmly against letting the European peoples’ have a say in this vital question:

‘If we let Parliaments interfere (sic) in this matter then they may vote against the single currency and Europe will never find its destiny.’ This little snippet can be found on page 23 of Lamont’s book.

The single currency has been a disaster, and the austerity imposed by the EU authorities on countries such as Greece to manage the fiscal crisis created by the banking crisis has led to immense suffering and unemployment. Nevertheless, the big corporate interests that seek to control the European economy continue their demands for even greater control of the international economy. Osborne’s championing of the TTIP will give this to them, and cause even greater damage to the lives and livelihoods of everyone else in Britain and Europe.