There is a desperate attempt to grab the rhetorical kudos of growth. Such focus upon the ends (which, is only a façade), blurs the means and the effects such policies have upon the mass. Of course, we are told these policies affect us all, that we are all shouldering our slice of the pain; but attention to the facts and detail, the government’s policies couldn’t be further from the truth.
Cameron attacked what he terms the “enemies of enterprise”. Included within this list are civil servants, the very civil servants he is wasting money teaching how to implement his ‘big society’. Utter fail Cameron, get Gove in to give them a ‘back to basics’ class. Repeat after me: B I G S O C I E T Y = C U T S.
In another classic case of discourse reversal, the whole construction of the enemies of enterprise acts as a legitimation tool to justify the government’s attacks on the mass, whilst constructing the banking/financial/private sector as our saviour but also our damsel in distress. We are told that only through very generous schemes, tax breaks and heavy cuts can our society be fixed; the CBI and the City are busy threatening the people (when in fact, it is directed at their chums in power) they will spit out their gold plated dummies and move if those damn ‘restrictive’ taxes aren’t lifted (I know; if only they weren’t such out of touch morons). Let them go. We have many, many, many talented unemployed undergraduates for instance who could do the job better. We shouldn’t be led to believe that only a Chile doctrine can allow our society to function. We should not decide our economy on the basis of a few self centred privileged egos, who without the corruption would be nothing.
Rhetoric is central to masking the actual power relations/operations. Consider the following quote from Cameron on how the government will ‘rebalance’ the economy:
“less debt, more saving; less borrowing, more investment; less dependence on financial services, more new industries, exports and trade”.
- Capitalism is based on debt, as long as you have such a system talking up the possibility of less debt is pointless. In fact, you know one of the most debt ridden systems, despite their infuriating high bonuses, are the bankers. They offset their loses/debt through corporation tax, sadly us ordinary people have to be more prudent or face the consequence of losing our homes or jobs – of course, now, we have to worry about the government taking them as well whilst bankers/companies are set to get extended rights to naked share selling and investing from abroad into the UK and avoiding the additional corporation tax – losing billions! Of course, we must remember we are all in this ‘together’.
- Investment? Oh that’s right, those £81bn cuts. Forgot about that. Jeez.
- LESS DEPENDENT ON FINANCIAL SERVICES? Given what I have said, I can’t see how that needs much further rebuttal. We are firmly rooted in financial services, and the ‘enemies of enterprise’ no doubt include those against the current relations shaping the financial services. In fact, the governor of the Bank of England may now be on that list, given his desire to restructure the regulation of the banking system. If only.
- Trade, oh yes. Obviously, it is important for Cameron and co. to take a heap of arms dealers in the middle of a revolutionary uprising across Middle East/North Africa, whilst weapons WE provided are being used to massacre protesters.
The central theme to these points is the influence our current political economy of neoliberalism has upon our reality. Consider trade, I am not saying trade is a problem per se, but as it stands it is shaped by an emphasis on profit without considering the consequences, as illustrated by our continuous exports to regimes such as Libya (and note, STILL Saudi Arabia even though they have banned protests). Of course, another central problem is the actual type of growth. As a Green, the GDP growth is an essential problem for social, economic and environmental sustainability. Things such as environmental damage and income discrepancies are seen as productive under GDP; as long as we carry on pretending this is a good measure of ‘progress’ we are doomed to fail.
David Cameron is basically saying we need more of the same, we need a back to business approach. He tries to make such a strategy look different, innovative; but when you look at the actual policy direction of this government they are leading us back down the same path we have just came through, and it will only be a matter of time that path becomes a cul-de-sac.