Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sickness unto Debt.

Another government, another politician called Brown(e) and someone else who wants to shaft anyone who would favour stupid things such as intellectual growth or the advancement of British academia over good business acumen. While we at the Lion applaud Lord Browne for his novel and outside-the-box approach to higher education, one can’t help but wonder if he happened to learn joined up thinking in his own time at university.

Lord Browne (played by the love-child of George W Bush and Pierce Brosnan, assuming George Bush could get it up without starting a war), has announced his plan to cut funding for the education of what he considers are not “priority subjects”. But don’t worry, John Browne is not like George Bush in the sense that ol’ Dubya is a cynical playboy descendent of crypto-fascist senators, born with a silver spoon in every orifice, the Bible one hand and a bottle of Johnny Walker in the other, rather Lord Browne is just a nasty little neo-Thatcherite with a reputation for firing people who disagree with him and ruthlessly cutting costs. The esteemed peer of Her Majesty’s government has no experience in education and is an entrepreneur who has over 40 years of experience at BP, that same company which, earlier this year, broke the world.

Browne’s plans to remove limits on how much a university may charge students in tuition fees could lead to fees being hiked up to £90,000 over 3 years. Read that number again. Ninety thousand pounds. That’s enough for a house in the suburbs. Or enough Johnny Walker to sink the Belfast. Lord Browne has defended his proposals claiming that “These reforms will put students in the driving seat of a revolutionary new system.” Although it is technically true, not all students will be empowered by these ‘reforms’ and the system is only ‘revolutionary’ in the Thatcherite sense of the word. As I recall, Wat Tyler was a revolutionary, and things didn’t go so well for him. These proposals are a part of the cuts agenda that could decimate the welfare state and reinforce a system of affirmative action for rich-white-men.

The kind of educational system favoured by Browne could have been drawn up by Allan Bloom, an elitist system where intellectuals pump out ‘great ideas’ which everyone else just memorises. If one considers where Lord Browne’s cuts and ‘Glorious Revolutionary Ideas’ may take the education system, one ends up with a dystopia that Orwell would have killed to dream up. David Cameron has given full backing to this proposal. It’s nice to have a Prime Minister who will do the best thing for the downtrodden common man while sipping brandy at the Bullingdon and braying like a newly neutered pony.

It’s ironic that the government is supposedly dedicated to cutting the deficit so that our children won’t have to live with the burden of our actions. While Con-Dem policy on education appears to be “Let’s ensure that our children have to live with the burden of our actions.” This eases us gently into the main point of this bilious tirade. To ensure that you don’t have to live with this little scheme of Browne’s (which our Paramount Leader James Johnston detailed in the last issue) then you’re going to need to do a little walking. This communal stroll will take place on the 10th of November, to enjoy the London sunshine, take in some sites on the way, and to kick arse all around the room and down the stairs.

This is a short interlude to let our heads break the surface of hatred for a moment, to add the perfunctory note that Lord Browne’s report does have some good bits. Like the Curate’s Egg. On the other hand, the Curate’s Egg was still rotten, and it doesn’t matter how good the good bits are, you still throw a rotten egg away. Or at someone. Like Lord Browne. In fact, if any readers happen to have any rotten eggs, by all means bring them along on the march.

On a more serious note, it is important to remember our status in this. When one mentions the word ‘students’ a whole list of pejorative phrases and negative images float into the mind of the public in general. This kind of activism is the kind of gesture that shows that students in London and across the nation are not going to take these cuts lying down. In a time when political apathy is almost a badge of honour in many circles, showing that university students have a social conscience and are prepared to march and declare their opposition to unfair or unjust proposals. It is, if not an obligation, then most definitely your right as a student and a British citizen to protest. Change in government policies should come from the affected making their stance known. If the government is out of line, then you need to tell them so. If they will not police themselves, it falls to the public to express their dissent.

No good can come of this government, as it espouses the maxim “From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed”. Lord Browne proposes to treat institutions of learning and high thought as a business. He pays no heed to the importance of the arts or culture in our society. Short of actually calling him a bellowing philistine ninny, we will instead simply say that Lord Browne intends to take institutions like Cambridge, Oxford and the towering latter-day Athens of Heythrop and treat them as a business because the cocaine barrel happens to be running low. It is interesting to note that Lord Browne (whose title, I just noticed, makes him sound like a Brummie pimp) put Physics as one of the “priority” subjects, as this happens to be the degree that he read at Cambridge. It also happens to be a favourite of predatory recruiters into the City, who will snap up scientific types like a vulture over carrion. Strange, then, that Philosophy, a subject that promotes individual thought and betterment of oneself and the world, has been relegated to the status of secondary priority and would, under Lord Browne’s proposal, have its funding cut. As Nietzsche once wrote “The Philistine detests all education that makes for loneliness, has an aim above money-making and requires a long time.”

The Browne report on its own merits could be deemed barbaric in its aggression towards the arts, but when considered as part of the cuts agenda of the Con-Dems it is constitutive of the ongoing annihilation of remnants of social democracy which began in 1979. Since Browne’s proposals carry the potential to hike tuition fees for medical students well over £100,000 we should think of our position at this point as defending what remains of an exemplary system of higher education. If Browne’s report becomes reality (not just a hideous speculative fantasy) then a new age of debt-ridden life of wage-slavery for students is ushered in. The deficit is cut, well done, jolly good show boys, now it’s the people who are carrying the strain.

At the risk of sounding like a thundering demagogue, I would say that it is your duty to attend this demonstration. It’s relevant to you; yes YOU holding this paper in your sweaty little hand, because you don’t want to see yourself in debt for the next 40 years. It’s important for the country and for the university you attend. I do, of course, hate to think in such callous terms, but think of the money. The f*cking debt you would be in would be bloody outrageous. Nobody likes being in debt. Especially not to David Cameron, that simpering toff gleefully rubbing his palms together and salivating, all the while perspiring with pleasure at the thought of a system that rations education according to affluence rather than intelligence.

And furthermore, if sticking it to the Conservative Party doesn’t make you want to attend, then nothing will. Just conjure up an image of Lord Browne sharing a sweaty roll in the hay with David Cameron in a pile of banknotes paid by students toiling endlessly to pay off their debt, and feel your social conscience grow proud and erect. (Writer’s note: That is the worst sentence I have ever written in my whole life and I hate myself) It is absolutely vital to the core of education, the furthering of intellectual pursuits and the struggle for knowledge, that these proposals be opposed with the utmost sincerity and tenacity by students across the country.

Written by JT White and Joshua Ferguson, October 24th 2010, for Heythrop's student newspaper the Lion originally.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Economic S&M.

The Safeword is Class.

The man in the picture above should look familiar, not only because it's a portrait of King William IV, but because David Cameron is descendant of William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan. So on top of a family of stockbrokers worth millions Cameron is "blessed" with blood that links him to the dysfunctional gene-pool of Buckingham Palace and the family values of Henry VIII. Though Cameron's ancestry came in handy when he was looking to find work at the Conservative Research Department. The rest of the cabinet are predominantly rich, white and male as well as being part of the Old Boy Network. So we should not be surprised by the aggression of this government, as seen in the Spending Review, towards the remnants of social democracy. But now the Con-Dem Coalition has finally stepped out of the darkness for us to behold in all of it's hypocritical and decadent splendor.

The Spending Review was delivered by George Osborne and was greeted with a demonstration in Whitehall, organised by many groups and political parties united under the grass-roots umbrella organisation the Coalition of Resistance. Students marched against the Browne review and the massive rise in tuition fees that would result from it. Trade unions marched against job cuts, potential declines in safety standards and increases in work hours. One of the slogan of the march was "Can't Pay, Won't Pay" which is an allusion to a play by Dario Fo and to the poll tax riots of 1990, which helped topple the Iron Lady. Naturally the media largely ignored the march and only commented with contempt. ITV News claimed that only 200 people were at the demonstration in Whitehall, whilst it looked to people who were there that there may have been as many as 3,000 people. Jesse Jackson and Tony Benn gave speeches at the demonstration, along with Bob Crow and Caroline Lucas.

The prescription of savage cuts has been referred to as economic masochism, the problem with that is it still assumes George Osborne, the artful oik, was being truthful when he said "We're all in this together." Economic sadism would be a much fairer characterisation as the pain is not self-inflicted by the masses. £7 billion in cuts to benefits, specifically income replacement benefits, which will hit the dole queue of disabled people, single-mums and low-earners hard. Of course, the bankers will get the £7 billion in bonuses this year because we can't have a few white-collar coke heads living off of cat food now can we? You can forget about collecting the £100 billion in taxes that escapes the Inland Revenue every year. Let alone touching the £4 trillion accumulated in paintings, antiques and pensions by the richest 10% of Brits. Instead we're looking at a VAT hike, a laughable levy on the banks and a hefty dose of austerity.

The Tory on Top.

There is a context to the current state of affairs, for just over 30 years the orthodoxy of politics and economics has been Thatcherite in character. Thatcherism could be summed up as a cocktail of monetarist economics, business-orientated individualism and Victorian moralising - on top of a passionate hatred of all things unionised and European. Cameron and Osborne, just like Blair and Brown before them, are thoroughly dedicated to the doctrines of Thatcherism. It's a complete falsehood that 'New Labour' was too left-wing and spent too much. This is only one of many falsehoods which is repeated by the mass-media. Actually tax-revenues and public spending were rising at the same rate for about 10 years, which is normal. In the recession tax-revenue collapsed and public spending became less sustainable as a result. By increasing economic growth tax-revenue could return to, or even exceed, pre-recession levels. As public spending is a vital aspect of furthering growth and development it should not be slashed.

The workers' share of GDP peaked in 1967 and Britain became increasingly egalitarian throughout the 1970s. A strong labour movement led to wages rising with high rates of productivity and contributed to the fall of Ted Heath. Since 1979 the workers' share of GDP has been in decline, Britain has become increasingly unequal ever since. The labour movement was smashed in the 1980s by the Thatcherites. As a result the working-class had been subject to some of the largest wage cuts in the world by 1990. The Poll Tax riots that same year contributed to the collapse of the Thatcher government. John Major seized the moment for personal glory only to stumble through 7 years of governance with the grace of a blind elephant, the only memorable events of his reign being an endless series of corruption and sexual scandals. The trend of rising inequality only slowed down under 'New Labour' and today we are now more unequal than we were 40 years ago.

Despite all the talk of "moderation" in the Party, David Cameron is still the leader of a Party with a homophobic voting record, that is still for milk-snatching, fox-hunting and the Iraq war. That is on top of policies which are still driven by a pro-business agenda, with aims of regressive taxes, an elitist educational system, greater deregulation and the stealth privatisation of the NHS. Let's not forget about guys like Daniel Hannan, who adore Enoch Powell and Ayn Rand. The cuts agenda is ideological, not as necessary as it's illusions, it's about furthering the transformation of our society that began in 1979 and continued on after 1997. The utopia being completely atomised, in which a few capitalists run amok at tax-payers' expense, with the masses left confused and fragmented. The only route to change is through grass-roots activism against these cuts and for social justice. It would be childish to expect an immediate change, dissent contributes to progress in the long-term.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Long Live the Miners!

So far from God, so close to the US.

The joyous moment that the 33 miners emerged from a collapsed mine in Copiapó served to disrupt the usual line of depressing events spoon-fed to us by the media. I recalled the words of Salvador Allende as I watched the events unfold "Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!" It's not all poverty and war, famine and guilt-trips of the imperial past. However as easy it may be to view the events in Copiapó like this, fed to us on wide-screen TVs from our sofas in comfort. There is a bigger story unfolding in Latin America and not all of it is an uplifting masturbatory experience for our journalists either. The disaster that could have entombed those men is common in Chile, on average around 40 miners die every year due to the poor standard of working conditions. The dangerous conditions are a side-effect of a ruthless economic system that was imposed over the Chilean people by General Pinochet, who seized power in a US-backed coup of September 11th 1973 - a 9/11 forgotten outside of Latin America.

The General ruled Chile by state-terror and torture on an industrial scale, which included a network of concentration camps for unionists and dissidents, while degenerate politicians stood back and watched in Britain and America. At the same time Pinochet crafted an economic system drawn up by economists at the University of Chicago, it was based on a utopian vision of the free-market. The junta led by Pinochet swiftly chopped public spending down by 50% and in doing so destroyed Chile's fledgling welfare state, handing over hospitals, pensions and schools to the market. Regulations of business were quickly cut down and land reforms were reversed, for the benefit of logging companies and at the expense of Chile's indigenous population. At an enormous social cost to Chile there was an "economic miracle", never mind the thousands butchered and the millions dispossessed.

The current government in Chile is a direct result of Pinochet's reign, President Piñera is one of the billionaires who was enriched by the changes made under Pinochet. Piñera controls chunks of mining, energy and retail industries. The dominant party, the Coalition for Change, is partly a brain-child of Jaime Guzman, one of Pinochet's advisers who helped draw up the new constitution of Chile in 1980. 30 years on and Pinochet's constitution is still a constraint on the Chilean polity, shaping policy and containing policy-makers to the realms of the dictatorship formed almost 40 years ago. Officially Chile is a democratic society but it is still a long way from the vision of Salvador Allende, who had a democratic mandate to seek economic reforms that suited the people of Chile and not the ruling class. The status quo in Chile was not established democratically and has no mandate.

Chile is a vital country for the US in plans to reaffirm the Washington Consensus subvert the democratic reforms being pursued in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Naturally Piñera is an ally of his Colombian counterpart Juan Santos and Alan Garcia, the President of Peru. Both Santos and Garcia are responsible for slaughtering campesinos (peasants) in their own countries supposedly as part of a campaign against terrorism. In reality Santos and Garcia have been committed to "social cleansing", in other words, the mass-killing of human beings unnecessary in the economy. Good company for a sycophant of the Northern hegemon. It was in 1823 that Secretary of State John Quincy Adams declared that the US was to dominate the Western hemisphere. Domination by the US has been a disaster for th region and it is only in recent years that independence seems a realistic possibility.

The Heirs of Revolution.

At the same time as all of this, a wave of emancipatory fervour is rushing across Latin America marking a major shift in the political trajectory of many countries. The nature of this revolutionary shift is not new. It's roots go back deep in history, to the wars of independence fought by libertadores like Simon Bolivar against the empires of Spain and Portugal. The revolutionaries of 18th Century France and 17th Century England would resurrect the ways of the dead to glorify the new cause. The French took up the names and slogans of the Roman republic, the English seized the language of the Old Testament. Similarly the revolutionaries of Latin America are draped partly as Christian radical, left-nationalist, communist and libertador. The heirs of past revolutions include Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Lula da Silva and Rafael Correa among other leaders.

The most famous shifts witnessed were in Venezuela with the election of Hugo Chavez and Brazil with Lula da Silva. The leftward shift away from neoliberalism to democracy, welfarism and economic integration. Chavez was a highly popular leader in Latin America for over a decade and was keen to dismantle the system of exploitation and empower Venezuela's poorest citizens. Lula, on the other hand, did not confront and dismantle the neoliberal machine in Brazil, though he did make important changes in terms of welfare and foreign policy. Daniel Ortega returned to public office in Nicaragua 16 years after the Sandinista movement was decimated by the Contras, a terrorist group backed by the US. In Paraguay Catholic Priest Fernando Lugo was rushed into office by the grass-roots, bringing down a one-party state that had been in power for 60 years. It would appear that the United States is finally losing control of it's "backyard".

The most interesting instance of change in Latin America is happening in Bolivia where Evo Morales, an indigenous man of humble origins, was elected by a grass-roots socialist movement. Morales has called on developed countries to respect the Kyoto Protocol and make serious steps towards combating climate change. A new constitution has been drawn up, which stipulates a 5,000 hectare limit on the land an individual can own. Greater autonomy has been devolved to a regional level. Morales has criticised the "War on Drugs" and has been acting to distinguish between the uses of coca, since it is used traditionally not as cocaine but for medicines and tea. The teaching of indigenous languages has been introduced to schools under his government, the gas industry has been nationalised and there has been a 50% rise in the minimum wage.

The main exceptions are Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Colombia and Peru. In Mexico and Colombia the most recent elections were rigged to anoint people like Juan Santos. Since Brazil is no longer willing to be America's outpost of subversion, Colombia and Peru are replacing Brazil as a hub of American military might in the region. There have been serious attempts to stamp out democratisation. Last year in Honduras a cabal of politicians and generals overthrew Manuel Zelaya, and with the support of the Obama administration, installed Pepe Lobo as President. Most recently Rafael Correa was kidnapped by police whilst trying to negotiate with the striking police officers. It may have been a coup attempt but it's too soon to say. But overall it would seem that the US is losing total control as in 2002 a coup against Hugo Chavez failed when the people of Venezuela rose up against the authoritarian regime that had been installed by Washington. Democracy is not taken for granted in Latin America.

Tea, Cake and Lunacy.

Easy Answers.

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, and the subsequent recession, the working-classes of Britain and America are still in a crisis of unemployment and stagnant wages supplemented with credit cards and loans. Most notably the Tea Party movement in the US and the English Defence League in Britain which are now forging an alliance in the name of defending Anglo-American values from Islamism. Though the Tea Party and the English Defence League have little in common, except when it comes down to foreign policy, border security, immigration, political-correctness and multiculturalism. Take economics, where the Tea Parties are free-market fundamentalists, the EDL are lacking any official position on economic policy. Just going by the chants of "British jobs for British workers!" it's likely that the EDL do not share the Tea Party's love of privatisation and deregulation.

Interestingly the membership of both groups at first appears quite different, a rabble of gun-toting survivalists and Christian extremists on one side; a mass of football hooligans and neo-fascists on the other. But both movements are of the working-class which has become superfluous in an economy based on finance and banking. Entire industries like manufacturing and mining have gone into decline, which has devastated whole communities. These communities have been reduced to "pockets of deprivation" where the unemployed fester and pensioners rot. People trapped in such "pockets" look for an answer and, naturally, the mass-media has an answer: it's not the economy, it's immigrants, it's single mums etc. The assumption being that the economic system would work perfectly if it were not for some "meddlesome entity" like immigrants, gays etc. When in fact there are systemic problems within the economy, which have nothing to do with any of these groups.

The rage of the working-class is real and based on legitimate grievances going back to the 1970s, when the assault was first made on the welfare state. The reactionary press has focused on directing all of this anger against the government, whether it be the welfare state or immigration policy. The aim being to distract from real sources of problems in our society. The MP expenses scandal was used by the press to direct anger away from the £7 billion that bankers are receiving in bonuses. In fact if the expenses system was scrapped it would likely leave politicians more likely to jump into the pockets of lobbyists. Though serious reforms to the expenses system are needed such reforms are irrelevant, compared to the kind of changes we need to made in banking. It was the financial sector that have dispossessed people of housing, work and even pensions in some cases.

The media loves to direct rage from the grass-roots against government and unions because the state is potentially democratic and the labour movement is democratic. Businesses on the other hand are pure tyranny, there are no elections and the decisions come from the top if you're disobedient you could lose your job. Other favourite scapegoats include single-parent families, anti-social youths, foreigners, ethnic and religious minorities. But never a bank or a corporation, except in cases where it's against one person like Fred Goodwin or Dick Fuld. The media is a lot like a conveyor-belt on which moral panics are fed to the public, keeping a lot of us in a perpetual state of fear and anger. This is so successful because the readership are constantly working to sustain themselves. So they do not have the time to carry out a research project to filter through all of the nonsense, so lots of people just assume it's true what they read in the press.

Know-Nothing Solidarity.

The scapegoats, that were conjured up by the media, for the EDL and the Tea Parties are Muslims and Mexicans. The EDL claims that the government has pandered to Muslims, giving them special treatment and in doing so is trampling on English culture. The Tea Parties believe that Mexican illegal immigrants are responsible for crime, job losses, wage cuts and the decline of health-care. Similar claims are also made by the press in Britain. But this is no different than the "Know-Nothing" movement of the 19th Century who thought that the influx of German and Irish immigrants would turn the US into a "Catholic country". It was even feared that the Pope was trying to destroy American democracy. Of course none of this happened, but the fears were a result of real grievances such as poverty and unemployment. This was the reason that shops would hang signs in windows stating "No dogs, no Irish." Then towards the end of the 19th Century the Chinese became the new scapegoat and  a racial exclusion act was passed in 1892, banning the Chinese from migrating to the US.

Xenophobia, specifically with the Muslim community as a scapegoat, is the primary characteristic of the EDL. The Tea Party, on the other hand, opts for a strain of nationalist populism branded as a fusion of rugged individuality and Puritan family values, all protected by a strong defence and a militarised border. The EDL lacks a platform so the "bridge" between the Tea Parties and the EDL is Pamela Geller, the leader of 'Stop the Islamization of America' - an organisation modelled on 'Stop the Islamification of Europe'. Geller gained salience in the Tea Party after leading the march against the "Ground Zero Mosque". Though it should be noted that this so-called "mosque" is actually an Islamic Cultural Centre open to all. It will have a restaurant and a basketball court as well as prayer rooms for Muslims, Jews and Christians. Not only is it not a mosque it's not even at Ground Zero, it's two blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood.

This standard of nonsense is what has accelerated the Tea Party's rise to prominence and influence in America, but also what feeds the racism of the EDL. Some commentators have speculated that the Tea Party could emerge as a third-party in the future. The Tea Parties are becoming a political force in America, due to the financial backing by billionaires like the Koch brothers. Similarly the EDL is being funded by sympathetic elements of the business community in the UK. However, the EDL is lacking the level of support from the media to achieve the prominence that the Tea Party movement has gained. It could be that the alliance forged between the EDL and the Tea Parties is nothing more than short-sighted opportunism. It is unlikely that the relationship between the two movements could be sustained into the long-term future. Especially as the Tea Party may have weakened itself by associating with a movement of football thugs and neo-Nazis.

Historically there have been two faces of anti-capitalism to emerge during recessions, fascism and socialism. The fascists saw liberalism as bougeois a system as communism was a proletarian movement. Instead fascists situated themselves in the "centre" and sought to transcend class boundaries, whilst upholding an authoritarian hierarchy, for the sake of national solidarity. Socialism, on the other hand, seeks the emancipation of the working-class through the end of capitalism. The emergence of extreme right-wing groups like the EDL should be understood in this historical context. Whereas the ideologues of the Tea Party are out to reaffirm capitalism as it was before the crisis, not as the utopian free-market idealised by many of it's activists. The connection between the two groups could be exploited by the Democrats, which is why the Tea Party will probably dump the EDL. We should be relieved as nothing could from an alliance founded under the slogan "Angry White Men of the World, Unite!"

Monday, 4 October 2010

The Cuts Agenda - What lies beneath?

The government's cuts agenda has the potential to finish off the welfare state, as it was constructed after WW2 in much worse conditions than we face today and based on a progressive state, redistributive taxes and social justice. It's important to remember that the social democratic era from 1945 to 1975 was marked by high rates of economic growth and productivity, historically low levels of unemployment and high wages. During this era government debt was high, often higher than it is today. But since these austerity measures are soon to be announced we should consider the logic behind the savage cuts that the Con-Dems are about to ram down our throats. As these cuts will significantly reduce the spending that helped drive the economy out of recession we should consider the notion of "creative destruction".

What is creative destruction? It was the brainchild of Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian economist and political scientist, as a way of taking advantage of crises and subsequent recessions to strive for radical innovation in the economy. For Schumpeter believed that long-term economic growth would be sustained by this endogenous process. Schumpeter was deeply opposed to Keynesian economics and an important figure in evolutionary economics, he saw the Great Depression as a "cooling off" period which could enable surviving firms to take-over firms that were insufficiently competitive. So avoiding a double-dip recession might not be high on the Coalition's priorities, as it could arguably allow the most successful entrepreneurs to buy-out rivals who are less efficient and productive. Arguably it's similar to the corporate raids of the 1980s that tore apart old bureaucratic monopolies, theoretically leaving the most successful firms unscathed.

It's likely that this approach to the economy would have dire social consequences, leading to greater inequality as unemployment rises. Though the cabinet consists of around 22 white people 19 of which are male and 18 of which are millionaires, which might lead us to conclude that they do not hold the interests of the common man at heart. Especially as most come from a background of wealth and privilege, attended the finest private schools and universities in our country. Take David Cameron, he's descendant of King William IV and is the fifth cousin of the Queen twice removed. At Oxford Cameron was a member of the Bullingdon Club and spent over £3,000 on his "uniform". Cameron's first job was at the Conservative Research Department, which he was given thanks to the intervention of a Royal equerry.

Considering that David Cameron is essentially a product of affirmative action for rich-white-men, it would seem that he may not be acting for the Common Good. We can tell more about who he represents from his record as Conservative leader. As Conservative leader he raised £16 million in funding from the City of London over 4 years. Cameron also won over the support of Rupert Murdoch, and by extension 40% of the British media. In short the government has a dual constituency, the uber-rich and the rest of society, through a precarious balancing act - trying to appease both classes - the Con-Dems will try to stay in power. It will end badly of course, as it did with New Labour. Creative destruction, as leading to rapid deflation, could enable the richest of the rich to take-over smaller firms and purge the markets of competition. 

It could also be that the government is currently acting to initiate a sort of economic "shock therapy" that will dissolve the welfare state and the last remnants of social democracy over a short period of time. We may be kept in a state of "shock" by the financial crisis of 2008, the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the growing threat of terrorism. Naturally, the Conservative Party is brandishing the Union Jack on their logo and talking of the "national interest". The idea being to use exaggerated threats to justify oppression at home, to push through unpopular policies whilst the public is still in a state of "shock". We saw the same tactics under Thatcher. The Falklands war of 1982 gave Thatcher a boost in the polls as hundreds died. This gave her administration the opportunity to push through legislation against trade unions and to privatise vast sectors of British industry.

The Conservatives promised us "change" during the campaigns and "change" they will deliver unto us. But it will only be the continued shift in paradigm that began under Thatcher and was furthered by Blair. The Liberals have not "diluted" the Conservative Party and were on board for the cuts the second the Conservatives tried to forge an alliance with them. As the Lib Dems try to put a "progressive" face on the Coalition the Conservatives will appeal to Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant tendencies in the working-class for support. All the while the economic programme has been drawn up for the richest of the rich, to insulate them from the harshest of recessions and the austere follow-up to it. Time will tell if the Con-Dems will succeed, as the cuts agenda has yet to be revealed for all to inspect.