Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Austerity Regime Leads To Breakdown In Social Cohesion


Didn't David Cameron looked pissed off having been dragged back to gritty, sweltering, seething, burning London from his lovely £10,000/week 18th Century Tuscan holiday villa near Montevarchi! His answer to the rioters who have spread from Tottenham to almost every corner of London and up to Birmingham and Liverpool is one dimensional: he's going to go all Bashar al-Assad on them. Tonight the police on the streets of London will increase from 6,000 to 16,000.

As he said he's recalling Parliament-- no doubt to force Labour to embrace his harsh plans for repression-- he muttered something about rebuilding the burning communities... but nothing about the roots causes of the three days of rioting. It surely went beyond one instance of police brutality in the extra-judicial murder of community activist Mark Duggan. That was a spark in Tottenham-- a spark that set off hours of peaceful-- if unreported-- protest. But the conflagration that followed, there and beyond, has much more to do with a breakdown of social cohesion in the U.K. There's a hopelessness brought on by Cameron's enthusiastic buy-in to world capital's insistence on an Austerity Regime. Cameron was the first major embraceor of the concept, a concept that the GOP feels will serve their nefarious purposes here in the U.S. as well, regardless of how disastrously it has failed-- in every way-- in the U.K.

From the closure of youth clubs and youth projects to staggering unemployment and cutbacks in life-or-death public services, the poor in England see themselves as victims of the banksters and the political hacks, like Cameron, who the banksters control. Who remembers Janis Joplin singing "If you ain't got nothin', you ain't got nothin' to lose" (Bobby McGee by Kris Kristofferson)? Probably next to no one who's taken to the streets in London in the last few nights. I'm guess they just have the sentiments expressed in the song coursing through their body as a human emotion.

By dragging the country, a very different country now, back towards reactionary Thatcherism, Cameron has opened up dangerous social and economic faultlines that bode ill for a country he is ill-prepared to govern. The Tories insist England has entered "an age of economic austerity, rising individualism, and a reduction in the Christian ethic of ‘love thy neighbour'." For all Governor Perry's pious and inappropriate invocations last weekend as he was about to toss his hat into the Republican presidential nomination ring, this is precisely what we can expect to see coming our way. Republicans-- who, after all, have more guns than England could ever imagine, welcome it even more gladly than they welcomed the S&P downgrade and yesterday's stock market meltdown. Push-back in this country is taking a peaceful approach so far-- tonight in Wisconsin, yesterday outside the offices of right-wing Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY).
[Elaine] Epstein said she showed up at an afternoon rally Monday outside Rep. Nan Hayworth's office here to protest the congresswoman's support for a Republican budget proposal she says puts Medicare in jeopardy.

"People under 55, she just threw them under the bus," Epstein, a retiree from Somers, said. "She didn't say that, but I'm reading between the lines. I'm afraid for my children and grandchildren."

"I'm really concerned that Nan Hayworth and her Republican colleagues believe we should be balancing the budget on the backs of the people who can least afford it," said Mel Tanzman of Mohegan Lake.

Chanting "Jobs, Not Cuts," protesters targeted the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

"We want them held accountable for what they voted for, which in the case of Nan Hayworth is she wanted to make Medicare into a voucher system," said Joe Mayhew, a member of the Working Families Party and political and legislative coordinator for the Communication Workers of America Local 1103. "That's the Republican plan."

After 8 years of Bush's bumbling incompetence, it looked like experience was no longer required for the presidency. So now we're stuck with a weak, inexperienced, untested, vacillating leader here in America, likely to have to face challenges far above anything he's prepared for-- and with nowhere to turn to except, like Cameron, the smiling, salivating forces of repression.

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At 6:05 AM, Blogger woid said...

When you ain't got nothing you got nothing to lose — Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose — Kris Kristofferson, Me & Bobby McGee

London's Burning, Dial 999 — The Clash

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Barry Brenesal said...

Weak, vacillating, Howie? Obama is a wall of granite who gets what he wants: more and more aggregate executive power, less transparency through the courts, more wealth in the hands of his friends who deserve it by virtue of already having been rich.

Granted, this will probably be argued for many years to come, but I think Obama's conservative record in the Senate pretty much shows his sympathies.

At 6:54 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

This might be a good time to acknowledge that Woid designed the lovely Obama poster above.

At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, the GOPs nefarious purposes in the UK", the GOP has there ridiculous agenda like the democrats, which have nothing to do with the common person..but your own English tyrants have stolen from the productive classes for centuries. They have taken this booty, and reinforced a slavish dependence on government for food housing electricity and medicine and now the English cconsider these things as rights! LMFAO. Britain is broke and they are trying to fund beat their dead horse of an economy alive. Welkl guess what if you penalize the people who produce, and over incentive the people who barely produce, you end up with a broke welfare state. You want more government well you got it. Corruption, nepotism, misallocation of resources. Why on earth would you ever think a human could be trusted with the power of government.


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