This should surely be the last straw for the political establishment: Truss, Coffey and Kwarteng defending their budget proposals in the face of a second, shortly followed by a third, spooking of the financial markets this week. The Tory constituency of speculators and bankers must be tearing their hair out!
All it took was for Kwarteng to announce he’d bring forward to 31 October, his full Autumn Budget, complete with a plan to fund his £43bn in tax cuts!
This again destabilised gilts, which in turn threatened pension funds... again. Hallowe’en came early! And when the Bank of England’s intervention didn’t work to calm things, the economists were throwing their hands up. The BOE made matters worse when it said it’d stop buying bonds on Friday and then said that it wouldn’t... And now the economy is officially going into recession, shrunk by 0.3% this quarter.
The pundits overseeing the capitalist financial markets are all saying that Truss and her right-wing fundamentalists, with their revised version of Thatcherism, are now a “real material risk” to the stability of the world financial system. Even ultra-right, anti-abortion, former culture secretary Nadine Dorries finds them too much! She warned Truss not to “veer too far to the right”!
Yet there they are in Downing Street, and there they remain! After all, the “Mother of all Democracies” has installed them! Will they respond to the pressure of their own Tory peers, or even the financial experts of their sacred capitalist system? Not very likely!
The only U-turn so far, is Kwarteng’s restoration of the 45% tax rate, after being told off by the IMF. And while not a U-turn, he has now appointed a non-clone as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies’ analysis of his budget just states the obvious: his tax giveaways will mean “big and painful” public spending cuts (£60 billions-worth) at least. It’s feed the rich and starve the poor - quite simply, them, or us.
Labour and tory united
Minister Chris Philp summoned up the courage in the Commons on Tuesday to draw his plastic sword against the working class. Wiping sweat off his brow, he declared that it was “striking workers” who were responsible for crashing the pound and sending shock waves into the financial markets!
And then came the next instalment of this sorry saga: the vote against the 1.25% increase in National Insurance Contributions. Yes, this was Johnson’s “Health and Social Care Levy”, which was meant to provide an extra £12bn per year for the NHS and care sector, whose state of collapse gets worse by the day. It’s now been cut.
Needless to say, the “true party of business”, aka Labour, which is also adamantly against tax increases, voted alongside the “untrue party of business” aka Truss et al, to abolish the levy!
New anti-social Unhealthy Secretary, Theresa Coffey says it’s “all good”. It will “put money back in people’s pockets” and help “grow” the economy. She then added that free school meals really weren’t needed either, so that’s another cut to come.
Let’s go all out!
Maybe the Truss government is inadvertently doing this politics favour. Because she has got rid of all the niceties, which disguise the real nature of this unequal and exploitative class system.
And Kwarteng, in his turn, is just exposing much more explicitly what was always there: capitalism’s inbuilt economic faults, which have got worse with its increasing age, causing it constantly to lurch in and out of crisis spreading anarchy, chaos and confusion!
Today, he and Truss look just like that top-hatted caricature of a “monster capitalist” stuffing itself with banknotes - even if they don’t wear the hat. Their fanatical policies have nothing to do with “economic growth” and everything to do with profit growth for those companies which benefit out of war and indeed, out of crisis: weapons’ manufacturers and oil, gas and energy giants - and potential shale-frackers.
All this may look more like farce than tragedy, but the trouble is that they are in power, and thus can do their worst in terms of a new austerity.
Unfortunately for them they’ve been foolish enough to declare war on mobilised, striking workers, the one force which could really be their undoing!
The working class should waste no time in responding in kind and declare war on them - and behind them, the real culprits who own and parasitise society!
Up to now, strikes have been timid, with minimal effect. They haven’t even had the social and economic impact of the compulsory mourning lock-down 4 weeks ago! But with an even worse cost-of-living crisis to come, it’s surely time for an all-out, determined and maximum force strike, across all sectors. The stakes are too high for us to lose this fight - and that will be the only way to win it.