Honey for the bees
Musician and Occupier, Tom Moriarty reflects on George Osborne’s Autumn Statement
It is the day after the budget, well the Autumn Statement, and what can I say. Without going into the details one can say that this statement is more to do with the character of the man as oppose to the character of the politics. I have always worried about him. He seems someone who delights in deceit, revels in his power to dish out bad news, loves the fact he has risen to such lofty heights…if we can call a senior politician that. He is both superior and inferior and that makes him a very dangerous man. It is they who, given other circumstances, made up the henchman of the Reich, those zealots who saw their actions as a necessary evil and in fact most probably not evil, just necessary. And so we see it with this Autumn Statement and the Tory line of being prepared to make the ‘tough decisions.’ Not so tough in reality, a simple and very ‘public hanging of the public’ and, as is always the case, a measure of demonizing sections of society in order that the ‘rabble’ turn on their own. It was a statement about shirkers and skivers, and workers and strivers. There were those that should be rewarded for getting up and going to work and those lazy leeching neighbors who were still in bed soaking up benefits. And so benefits were cut although, as is the way of politicians and particularly this one, masquerading as a 1% increase. That will mean little in an environment of 3% inflation. For the rest of society, very little, apart from the cancelling of an ill-fated and much lambasted 3p fuel duty. Crumbs at the table.
And so it is that society continues to pick up the tab for the bankers 5 years on from the financial collapse. In fact, as if with pride of knowing at least something with some certainty, it was confirmed that austerity, the cause of this prolonged recession, will continue until 2017/18! Whoo hoo! Such a fun time to look forward to. This is not the place to go into the deep social consequences of 10 years of austerity but needless to say society does not fare so well in many of the metrics that measure its health. One hopes that there will have at least been by then a government change that can see the wood for the trees or the honey for the bees.
For now we saw an interpretation of the national economic metrics that surely only he could justify in his very singular mind based on political ambition and his awareness of the tendency for history to only remember the result, not the match. And so it was that supposedly the national debt was coming down as was the deficit and GDP was going up. None of this of course tallies with the wealth of statistics published about the health of the economy. I can only imagine that he has learned, perhaps at school, that if you’re going to tell a lie, make it a big lie and tell it with conviction and without shame – thereby throwing all other commentators into the shadow of doubt. He may have pulled some rabbits out of the bag with the raiding of the Post Office pension fund for the public purse, the estimated 4G spectrum sell-off income and made-up interest from made-up QE money, but the fear is that temporary plasters only make the infection worse and without deeper and more structural change we will all (well most of us) be suffering for a very long time.