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Uncreative destruction

But it’s something else living in a working neighbourhood, which in normal times flails along with its collective head just above the water, being gradually and through the systematic application of government policy suffering a kind of collective punishment; and the organic commerce which had evolved to serve it beginning to go down with it. The top end of Cheetham Hill Road was always low-margin. Shops would come and go, but there always seemed to be somebody else ready to have a try. These days it’s looking more than a bit gap toothed. It’s an odd feeling watching economic repression imposed around you; like living in the middle of a crime in progress.

Jamie on the consequences in his own neighbourhood of the ConDems’ economic policies.

How the Irish get burned on debt repayal



But I pointed out to him that the money the Irish people were repaying by accepting decreases in government spending and increases in taxes was simply going to the central bank and from there it was being destroyed. I explained that what had happened was that the central bank had created a load of new money and thrown it into the crumbling Irish banking sector. Now the Irish people were paying back this newly created money so that it could be destroyed by the central bank.

Victory to the public sector workers

Today public sector workers in the UK are on strike. According to a BBC poll,
the majority of the British public supports them:

An opinion poll commissioned by BBC News suggests 61% of people believe public sector workers are justified in going on strike over pension changes.

[...]

Younger people, it also suggests, are considerably more supportive of the strikes than pensioners; almost four in five 18 to 24-year-olds back the action, a little under half of over-65s do.

Half a million public sector jobs have already been lost and the ConDem government yesterday confirmed that more cuts were coming, which may mean another 300,000 people losing their jobs as the UK is to cut its way to becoming a growth orientated export driven economy. Those workers who haven’t lost their jobs have to swallow pay freezes (extended by two years of below inflation salary growth yesterday), less pension and having to work longer to get their pension (brought forward yesterday). These are all cuts supposedly driven by the government’s desire to bring down Britain’s debt, yet what was also revealed yesterday was that it’ll have to borrow up to 100 billion in the next few years, or more than 30 billion over what needed to be borrowed in Labour’s plans until 2014 if their policies had been maintained…

Instead these and other ineffectual crisis measures (certain tax cuts, less protection for workers against being fired, undosweiter) are ideologically driven, a wish list of their pals in the City. These measures are not intended to solve the crisis, but to get a bigger share of the country’s wealth to the one percent, while everybody else suffers. It’s simply fat cats stuffing their pockets. The public workers strike is the next major act of resistance against this agenda, after protests earlier this year by other affected groups, including an earleir union led day of protest in March for which half a million people turned up.

Your Happening World (21)

The work experience programme set up by the ConDem government is a scam where large companies get free employees at the taxpayer’s expense it turns out, to the surprise of absolutely no-one. Meanwhile the people suckered into it get no experience, take the place of people who’d actually be paid to stack shelves and are threatened by the loss of their unemployment benefits if they back out. It’s like the apprentice only with the offer of a minimum wage job at the end.

Eurozone bond markets suffered a mass sell-off on Tuesday as investor fears spread beyond Italy and Spain to triple A-rated France, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. Yeah, there’s a surprise. Oddly enoguh throwing first Greece, then Italy to the wolves has not meant the rest of the countries in the EU troika are now safe…

But at least Europe is made safe for Goldman Sachs. The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By replacing the scandal-surfing Silvio Berlusconi, Italy has dislodged the undislodgeable. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, it has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic.

Occupy Wall Street: Chaotic Good. We tried to play by the rules and got ignored. Occupy Wall Street has thrown out the rule book.

Serpents: a public service announcement by Jack Crow.

That new Greek government seems kinda fascist

Mark Ames shows were certain of Greece’s new ministers are coming from:

See the guy in the photo there, dangling an ax from his left hand? That’s Greece’s new “Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks” Makis Voridis captured back in the 1980s, when he led a fascist student group called “Student Alternative” at the University of Athens law school. It’s 1985, and Minister Voridis, dressed like some Kajagoogoo Nazi, is caught on camera patrolling the campus with his fellow fascists, hunting for suspected leftist students to bash. Voridis was booted out of law school that year, and sued by Greece’s National Association of Students for taking part in violent attacks on non-fascist law students.

With all the propaganda we’ve been fed about Greece’s new “austerity” government being staffed by non-ideological “technocrats,” it may come as a surprise that fascists are now considered “technocrats” to the mainstream media and Western banking interests. Then again, history shows that fascists have always been favored by the 1-percenters to deliver the austerity medicine.

Because the elected Greek government could not be trusted enough to act against it’s population’s interests, the EU has now installed a new “technocratic” government with added fascists. Poetic, really. As Ames also shows, the Greek military meanwhile is bought off with new toys: tanks and warships beause austerity doesn’t mean having to stop buying unnecessary weaponry.