Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

the arrogance of capitalism

Crisis? What Crisis?

Mandelson, Labour’s most neo-liberal minister says to keep the Royal Mail public, it must be (partially) privatised (!). He today also accused the unions of “fighting an ideological battle” –  now, remember everyone, we all decided ages ago capitalism is great.

In order to shore up the rather Orwellian argument that we have to privatise The Mail in order to keep it public, he adds this to the mix: the Royal Mail’s pension fund has a £6 -8 billion deficit. So, in order to take pension funds into public hands must sell a bit of the Royal Mail to compensate. That’s the argument. Not much of one is it? Not given the billions pumped in to private banks (and bankers pensions!) but the bandying-about of large figures seeks to confuse, and maybe shock people into accepting things they wouldn’t otherwise do – surely advocating privatisation of a favourite public body when the public purse is being used to support failed private companies would be a bad idea, tactically, even if you are a rabid-free marketeer ? (Why not sell off the NHS to finance the RBS’ Bail out!)

So, to anyone who thinks that the current crisis would soften free-market capitalists arrogance: think again !

Competition is still the answer to everything, as far as most of the Ministers currently attending a EU crisis summit is concenrned “The EU needs open world markets now more than ever…”

The return of ‘big government ‘ only seems to apply to bailing out private companies (and an ever increasing surveillance state).

I’m sure, also the fact that Royal Mail workers are the most ready to strike (in 2007 60% of days lost to strikes in the entire UK economy were down to postal workers) is just a coincidence.

Another example of their arrogance :

Green is the Colour of Money

“Some climate scientists say the future of the globe looks dark, or even black. The investment manager and adviser Climate Change Capital says it looks green.”

Yes, I kid you not, that is the title and strapline of the forthcoming ” World Business Summit on Climate Change”  in Copenhagen 24-26h May.  If you can’t make it there in May, I suggest you organise to get to Copenhagen in December – for what looks like to be the biggest and well organised anti-capitalist mobilisation of the year.

Give the super rich tax breaks and let them control our aid budgets!

From Marina Warner in The Guardian:

On Tuesday (4th March) night, 100 billionaires will gather at London’s sumptuous Dorchester hotel, to watch Mr Ted Turner in conversation with Ms Carol Vorderman. Ms Joss Stone will sing, and some model or other will be in attendance. Can you guess the aim of this evening, which I trust you would cross continents to avoid in the infinitely unlikely event that you had been invited? No? Then allow me to assist. The aim is to make the government give tax breaks to the super-rich, in order to tempt them to give the same percentage of income to charity as the poorest 20% of people in this country already do.

As she says : “Feel free to be taken unwell.”

Given the current situation, what is their basis for their arrogance? Perhaps, here in the Northern Hemisphere, Capital feels unopposed,as Naomi Klein suggests in “The Shock Doctrine”.

Lets give them some food for thought.

Next G20 Mobilisation meeting in Bristol : Saturday 7th March, 2.oopm at Kebele.

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