the “hore” into Shoreditch
June 2015: The door to the modest Islington terraced house creaked open. From behind a black burqa, a pair of eyes gleamed with contempt. My Arabic was rusty but there was no mistaking the sentiment – I could discern the words “neoliberal” and possibly “analogue”, hissed at me in what sounded like a rasping West Country accent …
"socialism doesn't work."
Of course, but you can make things seem better for a few years to the uneducated masses - and then blame the cuts and hard times caused by repaying the debts you ran up and the mess you left the economy in on the next party in power....cue next cycle of socialism!
"That's why debt under the austere balance-the-books Conservatives has now almost TRIPLED to £1,300,000,000."
The debt under the Conservatives has barely grown at all - to suggest it could triple in 4 months is clearly baloney. The markets know keeping out a Labour government is good economic news - hence why the FTSE was up 2.3% and Sterling up 1.5% against the Dollar when they won.
The previous coalition inherited a massive budget deficit and a declining economy from the previous socialist regime - and have rapidly reversed both trends. Of course it takes a while to reverse the profligacy of 3 previous governments and costs money to get rid of the million useless employees that they hired. You can't instantly turn off the money tap when you take over power.
If Labour were in power we would by their own admission be in a much worse budget position as they would not have cut spending.
That's why debt under the austere balance-the-books Conservatives has now almost TRIPLED to £1,300,000,000.
Maybe that was the cost of all the champagne parties that the conservatives held to celebrate the Corbyn appointment. Because there is nobody more pleased about it then them.
I think the idea of the austerity (which is a European mainly German led policy that the gov has got on board with) is to slow down the rate at which that debt was increasing.
I guess if the debt is inevitably increasing then the better plan is to borrow even more money and spray it around like there's no tomorrow.
People like to complain about it, but the only alternative that Corbyn or anyone seems to have is to become the new Greece.
"Yes because when the Tories got in, there was no Debt and then they crashed the economy....you utter fuckwit!"
On which planet is that? On this one the budget deficit has been cut by 2/3 and the UK economy has outperformed almost everyone of our peers since the Conservatives were elected.
>Of course, but you can make things seem better for a few years to the uneducated masses - and then blame the cuts and hard times caused by repaying the debts you ran up and the mess you left the economy in on the next party in power....cue next cycle of socialism!
Which country exactly has the highest debt per capita in Europe (Geographically), Right! Now STFU.
Oh, noooooooo, let me mince you ...
The UK has been ruled by neo-liberals since the end of the 1970's, now you can tell me what you want, but the state the UK is in now is hilarious. You have a housing bubble and a financial bubble as SOLE contributors towards GDP, the highest debt per capita, by a few miles, now, please, what possibly could go wrong ?
And you know what ? All the blame for this situation is Maggies first tenure.
Yes, I will get the downvotes from the BNP, Cons(excuse my French), UKIP, Lib Dems and Labour backers ... as usual, the dilusionary fucktards! You know what, I don't care, feel free.
Shit, now I need a new keyboard!
I'm afraid the housing bubble is fuelled by the massive buy-to-let market (British housing is about the best ROI out there). The result is a bidding war for every property that comes up for sale. This is something that Labour pledges to expand to satisfy their hatred of anything owned by anybody actually in the country except them. If you look at the continent, where housing prices are more stable, one of the more obvious differences is that buy-to-let is stomped on heavily (no letting unless 40% equity is held by the landlord, massive capital gains taxes on property transfers, large stamp duties, etc).
I'd remind you that Maggie only got her first tenure 'cos Callaghan made a pigs ear of the economy.
As for where we are now, Blair / Brown inherited an economy in surplus. Sweaty Gordon proceeded to spend the lot and borrow more, while borrowing even more off balance sheet and flogging off anything he could find, regardless of the current market for it. Economic mishandling of breathtaking incompetence, even by Labour's standards. Come the next recession, the country was skint and the credit lines already maxed out. Still, it could be worse, we could be in the same boat now as France under Hollande, so there's a bullet dodged and no mistake.
Still there is hope. Corbyn has managed to align his policies with the Scots twationalists. Of course, one of the things the sweaty loons will require as part of a deal to prop up Stalin and co will be another referendum in the first term. Hopefully they'll win it (they ruddy well should unless they really are the greatest "down with evvrryfing" protest vote pre-Corbyn). Losing the Scots seats from parliament will render Labour unelectable in perpetuity. I reckon Corbyn is actually stupid enough to do this.
 If they decide to have a joint HQ, I'd suggest that an apt location would be Barking.
Chirac inherited an economy in surplus, with debt hugely under control and shrinking, thanks to no other than ... Hollande and GSK and, to be fair, quite a few others. Chirac went on a spending frenzy, all while privatizing core infrastructure ... after the first year alone, debt had reached an unprecedented peak, and when all that was sell-able had been sold, Mr Short, aka Sakozy, came in to spend even more and have private firms handle more and more services to the public, further reducing the state's inbound cashflow.
Then came the subprime crisis.
Hollande is a neo-liberal and I do not like him, but I have to admit that he is doing pretty well, economically speaking, given the circumstances. He has done f* all to revert the damage caused by Chirac and Sarkozy, though, hence the neo-liberal tag and why I do not like him.
Which part of "During Blair's 10 years in office there were 40 successive quarters of economic growth, lasting until the second quarter of 2008" do you not understand ? How many quarters are there in 10 years ? Now, where did you get your BS, I may ask.
Or "This extended period of growth ended in 2008 when the United Kingdom suddenly entered a recession – its first for nearly two decades – brought about by the global financial crisis." What is a global financial crisis, or a bank bailing out, because it was "over-lending" funds it did not have the capital to back up to poor bastards?
Source wikipedia, you have none.
I hate Tony Blair with a passion for reasons I cannot express or my comment will be censored (poodles, magpies and Lafontine's fox come to mind).
Now, why is the UK in such a poor state compared to countries like France ? Ohh, on the surface it looks all rosy "o'er 'ere", but you and I know the economic state is desperate, the financial markets refuse to see reality ... the pound has even gained against the euro, so the collapse will be even worse when time comes.
Maybe because France has, despite having had Chirac and Sarkozy on spending frenzies, managed to at least keep production from local companies in control. Ok, some of these have their financial HQ's in tax havens, but France is not the slave of big foreign corps that hold their entire industry, the economy is diversified, plus, they have a big tourism sector.
Germany has a high quality, highly qualified, and profitable production sector.
why is the UK in such a poor state compared to countries like France
Have you ever been to France? Half the population is employed by the state (on extremely generous terms), which is rapidly running out of money to pay them. A third of the rest work 'cash in hand' to avoid the punitive taxes necessary to support the first half. And FYI the UK's manufacturing sector provides a substantially larger fraction of GDP than does its French equivalent.
But then you (apparently - I suspect you may be a version of AmanfromMars implemented on an Amstrad) believe Hollande to be a "neoliberal" (whatever the fuck that means, apart from being a generalised lefty cuss word). Who would you consider to be a genuine left-wing politician? Tsipras? Corbyn? Trotsky? You are John McDonnell and I claim my £10.
the "massive buy to let market" is fuelled by a £14,000,000,000 government subsidy, the deliberate lack of social housing and the fact that 40% of the council houses sold off are now in the hands of private landlords, many of them the same ministers and their immediate families who oversaw the sell-off.
It's a national disgrace.
"the deliberate lack of social housing and the fact that 40% of the council houses sold off are now in the hands of private landlords,"
Great. They should all be sold off and the money spent on reducing the national debt, or infrastructure investment.
"It's a national disgrace."
No it isn't. It's not the governments job to provide housing. The tax payer shouldn't be paying for any housing except in an emergency. The welfare state is meant to be a safety net, not a hammock.
Want a house? Get qualifications and a job...
"Sweaty Gordon proceeded to spend the lot and borrow more"
Government debt was paid down considerably during Labour's tenure, so much so that even with a round of borrowing at the end plus a decade's inflation, the government still owed less than when Labour came into power.
I'm not saying that everything that was done was right but Labour are not the ones rapidly increasing the UK's debt levels. (Private debt is mostly on the feet of the banks and economic cycles mostly happen despite anything the government does)
Andy why did Healy have to go to the IMF? Because Ted Heath had spent all the money (sounds familiar?).
Why did Heath spend all the money? Because of the oil crisis and his mishandling of the miners' strike.
Why was there an oil crisis? Because of the West's support for Israel.
Never simple, is it? Not even the proximate causes like those.
Good old leftie darling Wedgie Benn was quite happy to use inheritance tax avoidance schemes so as to pay virtually no tax on his £5M estate. That doesn't include things he had gifted to his children 15 years earlier. You do realise Hilary Benn is a 4th generation career MP, who says nepotism is dead ?
animals comrades are equal, but some animals comrades are more equal than others.
Wilson on the telly explaining about devaluation and "the pound in your pocket".
Of course the joke was on all of us when it turned out, years later, that the civil servants had somehow miscalculated the country's financial woes by over 100% and that the whole thing was completely unnecessary. Still, I'm sure we can trust their figures nowadays.
On the other hand, pulling in money doesn't lead to inflation either.
Maggie and chums were frantically shrinking the money supply in the late 70s/early 80s but inflation showed no signs of budging.
The problem is that money can be created and destroyed by banks as well as the treasury (created by making loans and destroyed by not giving out new ones as old ones come out) and they have far more leverage over the economy than the government does.
QE is pretty much a case of the banks destroying money as fast as the treasury is creating it.
> I'm old enough to remember The Winter of Discontent, socialism doesn't work.
Well no, a purely socialist government doesn't. Nor does a purely capitalist government, a purely libertarian government, or any form of government which takes a particular idealism to the extreme. That's why you look at all of them and try take the best parts of all and leave the parts which would cause problems. If you find something you thought would work well isn't working, try something else, ideally chosen by looking at what results other people get from what they've adopted in the past.
"Well no, a purely socialist government doesn't. Nor does..."
Rampant protectionism and trying to run the UK as a command economy - it wasn't labour governments doing that most of the time.
The reality is that the UK has lurched so far to the right since the 1950s that even "lefty labour" is only slightly left-leaning. I just hope that the western world doesn't sleepwalk into totalitarian government being in charge.
"It just needs a never ending supply of naive teens and twenty somethings dreaming of a utopia all paid for by fairydust and moonbeams who believe it does." - never were truer words spoken. I was one of those starry-eyed teens in the 60s, believing in Harold and his white-hot technology. Eventually, I grew up. The last Labour government nearly destroyed this country, another one now could finish the job.
Let's follow through this rationale: because one (or many) economies with socialist qualities have had failures, all further economies incorporating similar principles are not worth considering.
So, where does that leave capitalism? There is nowt substantially different now than in 2008, so the cycle will inevitably continue and there will be another crash. Thus, capitalism is..not worth considering either?
Maybe - and hear me out here - we could debate the merits of both systems and work towards a compromise, where we balance the needs of the overall citizenry with the 'needs' of a few to make loads of money. Rather than ignorantly ignoring an entire side of the political spectrum because you remember some bad stuff about it once.
Just a thought.
"I'm old enough to remember The Winter of Discontent, socialism doesn't work."
I'm old enough to remember the banking crisis. Capitalism doesn't work.
Or maybe we can't use isolated events resulting from complex geopolitical trends to write off things that disagree with our personal belief systems.
... back in 1941:
The mentality of the English left-wing intelligentsia can be studied in half a dozen weekly and monthly papers. The immediately striking thing about all these papers is their generally negative, querulous attitude, their complete lack at all times of any constructive suggestion. There is little in them except the irresponsible carping of people who have never been and never expect to be in a position of power. Another marked characteristic is the emotional shallowness of people who live in a world of ideas and have little contact with physical reality. Many intellectuals of the Left were flabbily pacifist up to 1935, shrieked for war against Germany in the years 1935-9, and then promptly cooled off when the war started. It is broadly though not precisely true that the people who were most ‘anti-Fascist’ during the Spanish Civil War are most defeatist now. And underlying this is the really important fact about so many of the English intelligentsia – their severance from the common culture of the country.
In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box ...
Yes, the line about an enormous desire to spend other people's money was a good one. Far better to simply give other people's money away to the banking sector, the American and other offshore corporates, the foreign governments who own our railways and power generators, in the form of tax breaks and subsidies.
After all it's the poor, the sick and the disabled who are paying for all this, and the brilliant thing is the more of our money the Tories give away to their friends, the more poor there are to foot the bill! We have 4,000,000 children living in poverty in this country. Hilarious! And with the new Working Tax Credit cuts taking up to £1,000 a year from the poorest working families in the UK we will have even more. Trebles all round !
It really is like the gift that keeps on giving, after all if the rich paid their way we'd one day run out of rich people like has already happened never.
"Sharing a Ginsters cheese and onion pasty from the microwave were Billy Bragg and Brian Eno. In the corner, revolutionary film maker Ken Loach was petting his whippet as an admiring Jeremy Hardy chuckled." made me do a proper nose snort, however! Ew!
Very easy to find a cursory google search revealed that in 2013-14 3.7 million children were living in poverty:
It's almost like you couldn't be bothered.
"Very easy to find a cursory google search revealed that in 2013-14 3.7 million children were living in poverty:"
Only if you go by the measure introduced by Labour in 2010 - which defines a child as being poor when it lives in a household with an income below 60% of the UK's average. That's hardly starvation level when you look at incomes globally.
Ian Duncan Smith has already pointed out that this Labour invention is deeply flawed and plans to scrap it.
"If you feel that the problems don't start until people are scouring rubbish tips for food, then you are part of the problem."
The welfare state should be a safety net, not a hammock. If you cant be bothered to support yourself, I don't see why tax payers should have to subsidise your lifestyle any more than the bare minimum to keep you housed and fed - not necessarily in comfort. Don't like not being able to afford Sky TV, trips to the pub and 40 fags a day? Not my problem.
so a family having a 50in TV, X-Boxes/Playstations and holiday abroad every year is living in Poverty?
Real poverty hardly exists in this country.
My father grew up in real poverty. 5 kids sleeping in one room, 4 in the next along with his parents. No running water and a toilet at the bottom of the garden. This was in Cardiff in the 1920's.
What I'm trying to say that any measure of poverty is very subjective. The Barnardo's figure is big because it suits an org like them to Embiggen the numbers. How do I know this? Well, according to their measurements my Son and his family are living in poverty. They aren't. They live quite happily on their income from a smallholding in Dorset. And yes, they have the TV etc
They felt that to be labelled as living in poverty was an insult to them.
I do agree that it is in the nature of charities to exaggerate the scale of the issue, if a more conservative (government) figure is needed then the one quoted by the DWP at 2.3million would seem to be more realistic. - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33266799
I was not really agreeing or dsiagreeing with the precis just demonstrating how easy it was to cite the figure. In all honesty the above figure is still probably too high and is more a result of trying to provide a flat level of income rather than comparing it to the local cost of living as in the Dorset AC's case.
If these kids today are in poverty, then I grew up in abject poverty.
The reason I had this childhood is because my party-parents smoked and drank their way through any spare cash.
I don't think this has changed for poor kids over the years.
But, of course, it's always somebody else's fault isn't it?
Change the government, put a socialist crew in and spent public money like it's going out of fashion, and then what excuse will people use?
... but you may also enjoy Nick Cohen's contribution today, 74 years after the Orwell essay quoted:
We have a politician at the forefront of one of Europe’s great parties telling Poles that their country has no right to defend itself against an expansionist Russia. The man I suppose I now have to call the leader of the British Left is defending a classically reactionary power. Those who have kept their eyes open won’t be shocked. Opposition to the West is the first, last and only foreign policy priority of many on the Left. It accounts for its disorientating alliances with movements any 20th-century socialist would have no trouble in labelling as extreme right-wing.
Not just Corbyn and his supporters but much of the liberal Left announce their political correctness and seize on the smallest sexist or racist “gaffe” of their opponents. Without pausing for breath, they move on to defend radical Islamist movements which believe in the subjugation of women and the murder of homosexuals. They will denounce the anti-Semitism of white neo-Nazis, but justify Islamist anti-Semites who actually murder Jews in Copenhagen and Paris. In a telling vignette ...
I think he accused Cameron today of being a poverty denier right? Problem is, good! Because poverty doesn't exist in this country, it exists in many countries around the world, the ones you see video footage of with starving, malnourished children in. Unless your starving and becoming so thin it's not healthy, your not in poverty.
Thanks for the correction. Upward thumb (and I mean that in the NICEST possible way) to your good self and to HMHB.
One of John Peel's favourite bands.
The story goes they turned down being transported by helicopter to make an appearance on TV because Tranmere Rovers were playing that evening. That's unbeatable class.
Comrade Corbyn's election to glorious leader and then the mass resignations, has to be the biggest Labour implosion since, well Miliband stood as PM elect. The Tories must be p!ssing themselves laughing, LibDems see visions of them being the true shadow government and UKIP waiting in the wings for by-elections to pick off the dead and dying Labour MP's, as nobody will risk voting for them, just incase Corbyn gets in by the back door !
To be fair, as a Scot, I'm quite aware of- and happy to slag off- the up-its-own-arse, everything-defined-in-relation-to-London attitude.
But even I would have mistaken her accent for "West Country" until recently, when I found out she was actually from Berkshire, and that was a fairly typical accent there when she was growing up 60 years ago.
In my defence (a) I suspect that accent has died out among the younger generation- or been diluted into bland "South East England-ness" and (b) Central Scotland *is* significantly further from the West Country than Shoreditch. ;-) (##)
(##) Except it probably isn't if you view it from the weirdly-distorting effect of the Laahdaahn bubble where distances grow logarithmically less signifcant in importance as you move away from the sun that shines out of its arse. Thus, the West Country (far, far away) and Scotland (far, far, far away) are a comparable distance apart to that between the not-enough-room-to-swing-a-mouse newbuild apartment in Hammersmith you're paying an obscene rent on (the one that's "worth" £850,000) and the shop down the road you're going to visit buy the latest pair of sh***y overpriced "classic" trainers you saw on Sabotage Times.
No party since Labour lost office has stood on an election manifesto which promised to reduce debt, because they knew it was impossible, and that includes Labour.
All of them stood on a platform to reduce the *deficit* - i.e. the annual percentage overspend which makes the debt go up further.
Debt is a bit like the water in a bath. The deficit is the tap left on. The so called 'austerity' measures have been to slightly turn down the tap, with the pulling out of the plug being a distant goal for a future government.The bath is still filling up. The tap is turned up so high that nobody - not even the tories - dared promise to turn it off in the next term in parliament.
Whether you like or hate the tories, to criticisise them for not reducing debt indicates you don't really understand - like most people it seems. Some people expected them to reduce the deficit further than they have, but when people call what we are living in today 'austerity', I think how stupid that must seem to people who lived through the post-war years when that word had real meaning.
.....its Derivatives in Futures ‽ .
I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of GCHQ* going all novel and neoradical and practising effective virtual, and the much deeper sublime and darker hearts and minds capture web arts, with that Steve Bong excursion and incursion into Registered space.
Somebody had to do it, so well played, El Reg. Finally, intelligence services acting intelligently for the greater good, rather than for the minor bad, GCHQ? Although one can easily see, especially in these sorts of odd and particularly peculiar cases, how simple it would be and therefore is, to deny any and all knowledge and involvement in such an obscure shielded information operation/phishing expedition/phorming mission.
And probably most assuredly quite wise considering how revolutionary such proaction can be , and therefore most certainly is.
Bravo. Let’s be having acres more of it in the fields of IT and Media Command and Control of Virtual Machinery in Human Terrain.
* Hmmm? ….. And if not the likes of a GCHQ, who and/or what are leads operating systems with intelligence? Money, honey?
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