Most people will be aware of the savagery of the spending cuts in the United Kingdom.

84 billion pounds is to be axed between now and April 2015 in the biggest cuts seen in almost one hundred years. 500,000 public sector jobs will be lost, as a minimum and at least 500,000 in the private sector will go as well.

The ComDem Government is, of course, trying to sell the cuts as 'necessary' and that 'everyone' has to make 'sacrifices' in the name of saving the economy. Yes, the same kind of bullshit we're getting here.

But the figures don't show that 'everyone' is making sacrifices. As usual, it's ordinary British folk who will be expected to pick up the tab for a failed economic system. It'll be ordinary people who will be expected to carry the burden of an economic crisis that they had no part in causing.

A massive 18 billion pounds is to be slashed from benefits, including housing , disability living allowance and the child benefit.

Housing has been savagely targeted . New social housing tenants will have to pay higher rents, - these will rise to 80 percent of market levels. They will have only short-term tenancies rather than the security of tenure that current residents enjoy. Vulnerable low income people in need of housing will be forced into the private rented sector or face the prospect of living on the streets. Cuts in housing benefit, which allows those with low incomes to rent accommodation, will threaten many tenants with eviction.

A huge social crisis is in the making right here. I can't imagine what is going to happen on some of the already devastated housing estates but I'm sure it's not going to be pleasant.

Meanwhile the rogues in London's banking and finance district will barely notice a difference. You will still be able to find them in the London bars drinking up large at lunchtime, talking garbage about the 'creativity' and 'opportunities' of capitalism.

Labour's response to this massive assault on the British people has been truly dismal.

Those who have been quick to claim 'left wing' credentials for Labour's new leader Ed Miliband are clearly away with the fairies.

When the cuts were announced, Laurie Penny of the New Statesman had this to say about Labour:

The people of Britain have been badly let down today. The poor, the young, the old, the tired, the unwell: we have all been let down. Not just by the Tories, who let us know what was coming with all the oily subtlety of side street sleaze artists; nor by the Liberal Democrats, from whom nobody expected any more than the stern, funereal complicity, that they delivered during today's spending review. No: the people have been let down by Labour.

In thirteen years of meandering and hawkish leadership, it seems that the Labour party has utterly forgotten what effective opposition politics are supposed to look like. If its collective response to the greatest assault on social democracy in living memory is anything to go by, Labour has also lost sight of what it means to be a party of the left.

Ed Miliband's performance in the House of Common's was even less convincing than Phil Goff's at the recent Labour Party conference here.

I watched him on television and what a pathetic figure he was. He sat there limply adjusting his tie, occasionally nodding his head. There was the occasional look of irritation but at a time when Labour needs a real leader it has ended up with..Basil Fawlty.

While Goff is working hard to portray himself as (snigger) ' a friend of the people', Miliband hasn't even been able to do that.

He didn't even bother to show up at a demonstration outside 10 Downing Street on the day the cuts were announced, after earlier promising that he would. Perhaps he was having tea and biscuits.

But Miliband's and Labour's opposition to the cuts was always going to be ineffectual since before the election, Labour was planning 20 percent cuts across the board.

The 'best 'on offer from Labour, is that the pace of spending cuts would be 'slower' and 'better managed' under Miliband.

So you can either be blitzkrieged to death by David Cameron and Nick Clegg are slowly strangled by Ed Miliband.

Ah, the agony of choice...


  1. Couldn't agree with you more about Miliband's response, Steve.

    The question remains, however, what should he have done instead?

    This is the question currently confronting all the parties of the Centre-Left around the world as they try to formulate a way out of the global financial crisis that does not fall disproportionately upon the backs of the working class.

    And, once again, I would challenge those critics of the Centre-left's response to tell us what they would do.

    It is very easy to simply condemn your opponents. Much harder is to offer an alternative.

    It's a challenge the Far Left must rise to if it is not to open itself to the charge that it is merely a bunch of nay-sayers.

    Why should anyone pay attention to your criticisms if, when challenged to come up with an alternative policy mix, the Far Left's only response is a deafening silence?

  2. The thing to do would be what the UK greens and Trade Unions are doing, oppose the cuts and provide alternatives.

    Labour needs to abandon neoliberalism if it wants to be a real opposition and then in time a Government.


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