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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Simon Heffer and Reform's plan to cut the deficit

VAT on food, children‘s clothes and the printed word. ‘Severe NHS cuts’. An immediate rise in the retirement age. The privatisation of Britain’s motorways.

But, of course, the abolition of the ’ pointless, spiteful and growth-inhibiting 50p top rate.’

You can read the Simon Heffer/Reform think-tank plan to reduce the deficit here.

I think the phrase ‘neo-liberal extremism’ is quite inadequate in describing it, don’t you?

UPDATE: Just to make sure DT readers get the point, Andrew Haldenby of the think-tank Reform, which I wrote about here, has a piece in today's paper reiterating the Heffer line.

"Let’s put the enabling state in the dustbin of history and replace it with limited government", Haldenby says.

I've got a better idea. Let's put neoliberalism in the dustbin of history.


Mr. Piccolo said...

I don’t quote Scripture much, but when I hear of plans to reduce deficits via regressive taxation, privatization, and cuts to essential services, while governments continue to kowtow to the very wealthy, who have profited immensely from the very system that has put us in this mess, it reminds me of these passages:

13 The Lord rises to accuse,
standing to try his people.

14 The Lord enters into judgment
with his people’s elders and princes:It is you who have devoured the vineyard; the loot wrested from the poor is in your houses.

15 What do you mean by crushing my people,and grinding down the poor when they look to you? says the Lord, the God of hosts.

Isaiah 3:13-15

DBC Reed said...

There we are then: clear and in battle order.All the petty suburban prejudices of the right-wing political hobbyist in seamless continuity.The new Big Lie,after the old one that unions cause inflation (innocent as new born lambs said Enoch Powell)is that the Labour Party with its reckless spending caused the international credit crisis.This is fast becoming accepted by the media in which you won't get any work if you say otherwise.
Where are the unions and the political left?It is time to defend the British mixed economy from these people who on their grubbly,poorly spelled web-sites claim openly to be Enemies of the State.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Mr Piccolo: many thanks for that.

DBC: Totally agreed. The neoliberal fanatics are using this hyped-up deficit 'crisis' in order to privatise the state and destroy the last remnants of the post-1945 mixed economy welfare state.

Robert said...

Has any other visitor to this website attempted to read Simon Heffer's truly mind-blowingly amateurish biography (from 2000) of Vaughan Williams? No-one who has tried to plough through that amateur-hour effort would ever be tempted to take Heffer seriously on any other topic. It is soooooooooo bad a book, so devoid of artistic insight, and so constantly dancing on the edge of outright plagiarism, that any first-year undergraduate who attempted to inflict so embarrassing a screed on his lecturers in the form of an essay would be immediately awarded a D-minus.

Martin Meenagh said...

Mr Piccolo--that passage was appropriate and determined and just beautiful.

DBC--it has come to something when Chinese State media print more pictures of the oil spill in the gulf, when we spend the greatest amount of new money generated in the shortest amount of time in history on banks, and when a credit and oil and exchange crunch is used by a minority government to craft an assault on the vestiges of the welfare state.

I don't think that the crisis is illusory--debts have emerged because work doesn't deliver a life for families, and because we aren't having enough children, and because education has been debased. So people have no way to see how to fix what they instinctively feel--that making the effort isn't worth it anymore. People are cut off from each other by technology and by a relentless assault against any non-monetised social activity. And people get the point that there is no point to a society like this. Make feudal peasants out of people with a cage of debt and smart people will be feudal peasants, because the archetypal becomes the secure in a system of repression.

Yet the right uses the crisis to advance its own agenda, and is doing so brilliantly. You should ask yourself, as people of the Left, why the left is so determined to excommunicate itself from the vast majority of people who don't get on hobby horses and who don't enjoy a daily hate and who want to do something worthwhile--but who are ignored by just about everyone in the political system. Decent political movements right now need to be about reconnecting people, rebuilding social activities, rebuilding courtesy and a sense of self founded in the past and in society.

There's a part of me that knows, however, that what is going to happen is some anti-everything campaign that will just play right into the fears and hates of the people who think of themselves as associated with those who think they are the masters of this world....

Johnm said...

Why don’t they tax the profits of the mining and oil industries? Taxing usage instead of profits can only lead to disaster.
What a stupid system that depends on the whim of irrational manipulated Stock Markets. A number of years back Malaysia was deliberately brought to its knees by a single investor selling his shares short. What a stupid system that depends on think tanks to direct governments; you would think they would know what works and what doesn’t by now.
LK 21:25, talks about the 16th sign of the immanent return of Christ, it talks of distress and perplexity but in the Greek this is because of economic collapse, James 5:4 and Timothy 2:32-35 talk of the same sign.

jock mctrousers said...

" Where are the unions and the political left? " DBC

They're fighting the NAZIS, mate. In alliance with Tories, state secret security services, and worse - like NuLab - all they've done for decades apart from the stop-the-war movement, which doesn't do anything but organise marches no-one bothers to attend any more. We're in the culmination of a long-term right-wing think tank directed campaign to neuter or dismantle the 'labour movement' that gave us the 'post-war settlement'. This started with the war against the communist parties in Greece, Italy and France; then took a more subtle turn with the New Left after the Russian invasion of Hungary (that wasn't helpful) and especially in '68 when the Trots (pseudo-left anti-communists) really came to the fore, and the left 'thinkers' concentrated on arcane pseudo-philosophical bullshit and divisive identity politics instead of class war, because that's so boring (well worth reading this recent piece by Diana Johnstone )
Now we're in the end game. The elites have their people in place; the workers know the left and the unions will let them down because they've always let them down before. Now the elites are out to finish us off and make sure we never get up again. Now we're on our own. Doomed.