Tuesday 18 September 2012

The Premature Death Of 'Neoliberalism' Is Announced. Again.

Peter Wilby clings to the forlorn hope that the Brits will finally do as he wants and embrace socialism:
British elections are won by parties that occupy the centre ground, Blairites will say. Miliband should seize it. George Osborne's public spending cuts – the effects of which have hardly been felt so far – will do the rest. The only danger to Labour is that the Lib Dems dump Nick Clegg and, by 2015, detach themselves from their coalition partners sufficiently to re-establish their centrist credentials.
The LibDems are 'centrist'? Who knew?

But then, I suppose to an old unreconstructed Marxist like Wilby, they probably are...
But Miliband should question this analysis and look around him. France has elected a president who promised a 75% tax rate on the wealthy, a retirement age of 60 (down from 62), a "Tobin tax" on financial transactions, more social homes, 60,000 more teachers, a public investment bank, and subsidised jobs for the young. In Greece, the leftwing Syriza party increased its vote by 12% in May and another 10% in June. Now, a general election campaign in the Netherlands (voting takes place next week) has seen a surge in support for the Socialist party, which wants to raise income tax to 65% on top earners. Meanwhile, the centre-right Christian Democrats, once the natural governing party, could be down to just 12 seats.
This is like a man on a listing ship looking at one that’s actually sinking beneath the waves and saying ‘Come on! That one looks much better!’.
Houses have provided stores of wealth for the majority of Britons born before 1970. Equally, pension funds that carry defined benefits (almost wholly closed to newly recruited private sector workers) provide a steady income or, for those in their 50s and early 60s, the prospect of it. But younger generations struggle to access both pension schemes and houses. Home ownership rates among theunder-45s are lower than they were in 1960. The steepest decline is among those aged 18 to 30. In 1997, nearly 35% owned their own homes. Now it's fewer than 20%, a proportion that is projected to fall to barely 10% by 2020.
Ahhh, yes! An appeal to the youth to blame their troubles on the older generation who 'had it all and didn't have to struggle' always goes down well, eh?
More and more voters, therefore, will be worrying about jobs, benefits, rents, and debt interest rates, not about the value of houses, pensions or shares. The neoliberal attempt to create mass capitalism has hit the buffers. Political parties that stand on what has been called "the centre ground" for the past three decades can afford to abandon it. If the left parties can develop a coherent economic alternative, they will find an increasingly receptive audience who, in the words of Franklin Roosevelt, have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Sadly for Peter, the yoof would rather loot Footlocker than usher in The Great People's Revolution...


Noggin the Nog said...

The 'centre' has not won an election in the UK for as long as I can remember.

If by centre you mean opportunist, populist, unpricipled Johnny come lately type politics, then maybe.

Winning also seems to defined as recieving around 17 % of the populations vote.

The twat in power now didn't win either, nor did the previous twat.

Quiet_Man said...

The only way I'd embrace socialism is with my hands around its throat till it stops breathing. As an ideology it has been responsible for more deaths in the last century than any other, kept nations in poverty and under guard, it made the Nazi's look like total amateurs in the atrocities it permitted and its followers excused.

Anonymouslemming said...

Isn't 1997 when Labour came to power? So before labour came to power, home ownership in this demographic was higher than now.

The change happened over 15 years. 13 years of that was under Labour rule. So surely Labour should be to blame for a high percentage of this problem.

Tell me again why this is an argument in favour of voting for them ?

Anonymous said...

British elections are never won. They are simply lost by the current incumbents who have royally p*ssed off the people in this country by their arrogance, ineptitude, refusal to listen, corruption, perversions and lies. This causes the population to vote them out of office in the hope that one of the other lot can do better. Unfortunately, with the "One size fits all" box of politicians we have these days, these hopes are somewhat forlorn. Apart from one or two, whose principles have seen them permanently exiled to the back benches, I struggle to name any politician, who has included the words 'your responsibilities' in any sentence with the words 'your rights'. Labour is controlled by uncaring greedy neandethals like Bob Crow who shows his manhood by looking forward to the day a frail old lady dies so he can have a party - probably because this will mean there will then be no-one left alive with bigger balls than he has! The Tories are using Parliament as an off-shoot of the Bullingdon Club and trying to foster international recognition by giving money we don't have to countries which don't need it, don't want it or use it to buy weapons and aircraft to further subdue their citizens, and Cameron wonders why he's falling in the domestic popularity stakes. The LibDems are led by someone who accepts his pension from his previous masters knowing that if he were to criticise them, that pension will be cancelled, so he remains a political prostitute. None of the current Party leaders or senior members has any allegiance to this country or its progress. Why else would our power supplies be in the hands of other countries, our defences reduced to a token force almost as low as those getting Job Seekers Allowance, and now almost giving away our main defence industry in a one-sided partnership. They claim to see Europe as 'the future'. What they don't say is that they see Europe as 'their' future and not 'ours'. That is why elections lead to change of Government. No-one really wins. Especially the voters.

David Gillies said...

I almost hope Wilby gets his way. It would serve him and others like him right. Hollande is going to destroy any vestige of hope for recovery that France had and any further lurch towards Socialism and Euro-dependency on the part of the Greeks will see food riots, martial law and mass death when the prudent Northerners finally say enough is enough. Just because people vote for Wilby's catastrophic idiocy doesn't legitimise it. But it does spice the inevitable denouement with a nice flavour of Schadenfreude. H. L. Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

JuliaM said...

"If by centre you mean opportunist, populist, unpricipled Johnny come lately type politics, then maybe."

It's Wilby's term - who knows what the old loon means by it?

"As an ideology it has been responsible for more deaths in the last century than any other..."

Quite so.

"Tell me again why this is an argument in favour of voting for them ?"


"...I struggle to name any politician, who has included the words 'your responsibilities' in any sentence with the words 'your rights'."