Austerity is quite a new word to most of us isn’t it? We have only really got used to that term over the past half decade surely?
It is supposed to mean of course the process of reducing expenditure and being frugal. In practice though it means something quite different doesn’t it, perhaps something quite significantly more sinister? Yes, it might mean of course something more like ‘impoverishing vulnerable societies’ wouldn’t you say?
In the UK our experience has been extremely painful for the poorest, but perhaps not totally devastating for the majority hasn’t it (and the rich somehow got richer)? Before the last Election five years ago the country’s ills were just on the mend, but ‘in power then’ Labour warned that there had to be a lot of belt tightening because the economy had been shattered by the global recession and the bail out of the banks.
The Tories got power instead didn’t they though, and without mandate immediately embarked on a totally different strategy – that of severe austerity for five years to put everything right in a trice? The result then? A disastrous fiscal policy that has in fact doubled the National Debt through unprecedented & unscheduled borrowing, utter failure on Plan A to clear the annual Deficit within a parliament, brought about a second recession and flat lining economy without any recovery for the first four years, and the virtual destruction of the NHS into the bargain. A total political financial control failure by the Conservatives, all to be followed now by them if they get re-elected with even greater austerity – probably for ANOTHER five years?
A number of economies in Europe failed miserably to weather the recessional storm – notable Greece, Portugal and to a lesser extent Spain & Italy, but those presenting with bigger risks. This necessitated massive bailouts from the EU – meaning unbelievably large cash injected loans but with severe austerity strings attached. This loaning wasn’t done, as one might suppose, to help a colleague country in the mire – no, it was simply and cynically done to save the EURO, wasn’t it? And who fronts the need for such austerity punishments? Germany. And who has been the main beneficiary of the Euro and is desperate for its continued existence? Germany, of course.
Greece as a country particularly has been brought to its knees by austerity hasn’t it? But it hasn’t WORKED has it? There is no doubt that Greece has brought many troubles upon itself, with ongoing governance failures to get the capable elite to pay their taxes, and other things like the ridiculous retirement age of fifty-five years. Nevertheless the population have had enough, had enough of being driven into the ground, had enough of EU enforced austerity. There is no way they can EVER pay back the debt is there (240billion Euros)? They have a new government now and a new champion who is determined to bring an end to it, put a stop to it all, find a different route than austerity. Will they succeed? Probably. Will they default on their debt? Probably. Will it signal the demise & end of the Euro? Probably.
The SNP is the first British political party to break ranks on the economy aren’t they? Their leader Nicola Sturgeon stood-up to be counted and has announced, out of the blue, that they are NOT going to have any further truck with ‘failed’ austerity. She has described the UK’s austerity economics as “morally unjustified and economically unsustainable”. Is she right? At last perhaps a national UK politician who recognises that the route ahead to financial success requires investment in the Country’s growth through business nurture & economic fertilizer and not drastic pruning to destruction of the tree of life?
The Labour party for some inconceivable reason have failed to avoid the blame for the Country’s pecuniary downfall, nor has been able to identify the true cause as the wealthy, untrustworthy, overpaid, bonus driven, & still over rewarded Tory Bankers. Labour are overtly scared therefore to fully abandon Tory plans for austerity.
However the SNP could well force a change of tack there, couldn’t it? The SNP supports a modest increase in public spending and more moderation to deficit reduction. The ‘most likely’ outcome of the General Election will be a hung parliament again they say, meaning that both Conservatives & Labour will be scrabbling around for support from others to form a government. There will therefore be deals – all arranged and cobbled together of course behind closed doors – that we electors will never have been consulted about beforehand when we voted! Whether Tory or Labour form the next government you can be certain of something – you will NOT get what YOU voted for will you?
The SNP will NEVER give the Tories a second glance of course, but the wrting is on the wall isn’t it that if they are in the position of being ‘King-Maker’ Labour will be forced into an austerity (if not nuclear) free zone?
[Financial organisations & institutions like banks, building societies, lenders, IMF& the rest have form when it comes to choices between Money v Misery don’t they? There is no competition is there = you get #Misery’ every time and no compassion to be shown, eh?].