I haven’t blogged in some time; infrequent blog posts are sadly becoming the norm!
As most people know, there is an international occupy movement against the unfairness of the international response, and the greed and inequality entrenched within the political system, to the economic crisis. However, people are having their demands responded to with media rhetorical friendly patronising comments such as Francis Maude suggesting strikers on November the 30th undertake a ‘token’ 15 minute strike. Yes, you can tell he misses the point. People’s livelihoods aren’t tokens.
Then George Osborne argued that the Eurozone crisis was somehow providing evidence that the austerity measures within Britain are working and just:
Britain is impacted by what has happened. There is no doubt that growth in Britain, jobs in Britain have been hit by what is going on in the eurozone, but it is all the more reason that we in Britain weather this difficult storm by taking the difficult decisions we took – on our own terms, rather than being forced to do so by the markets, like France and Italy are – and I think it reminds everyone why we have had to take these difficult decisions, to keep Britain as protected as possible from what is going on.
Now, for one thing Britain doesn’t operate within a bubble, and whilst it appears that Osborne recognises this, he constructs the international markets naively. Most importantly, the Eurozone itself is conditioned by neoliberal constraints, so to then argue that austerity neoliberal driven policies are being shown to work by the Eurozone crisis is laudable.The global economy is meshed within a system where certain constraints and events are interconnected. The Eurozone responded the same way that Britain did, to cut and impose stringent criteria upon bailout recipients; these countries have also largely progressed under neoliberal driven policies for many years before- France is a good example. To argue that just because Britain is not in the Eurozone that it is somehow immune from the market and international system pressure is rather naive, and ignores the structural factors that influence such policies. However, obviously, ideological vendettas against the most vulnerable and poorest in society is another reason for the Tories drawing blood.
Essentially, the Eurozone suffers from the same capitalist constraints of ‘needing’ to ensure mass consumption, endless production of false needs, circulating in the falling rate of profit as capital costs increase, labour forces are deregulated and downsized and fewer people can afford to buy products. Credit rating agencies and the markets are involved in a cest pool of capitalist forces, ensuring that countries such as Greece and Italy alongside the UK are backed into a corner and forced to comply with debt and deficit reduction practices that hurt the poorest most, whilst during ‘boom’ years, countries such as France failed to comply with the Eurozone restrictions upon debt and deficit levels, themselves.
No matter if an attempted austerity led bailout fails, they try again; no matter if an international movement criticising the governmental policies around the world forms, they try to carry on with business as usual; no matter that the Eurozone is defined by neoliberal capitalist tendencies, Osborne will try to still argue that it supports the ‘wonders’ of his failing stupid illogical policy direction. Importantly, however, it isn’t just the system/structural relations that influence government directions, ideology plays an essential interdependent role too.