Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beware: tricksters at work

It's unclear what made Ed Miliband feel the more insulted and indignant: the accusation that he had stabbed his brother in the back to become Labour Leader or the accusation that he would stab "Britain" in the back by not renewing the nuclear-armed Trident submarine fleet? The latter it seems as he protested vehemently that as Labour Prime Minister he would never betray the British ruling class by depriving their state of the hydrogen bomb!

This, despite the fact that abandoning Trident would easily provide enough to finance all the promises that he and the other politicians are making about the NHS, education, and housing. But, for those who have a chance of ending up ministers in the British capitalist state, making sure that it is well-armed, both as a threat and to strengthen its diplomatic bargaining position, is a key priority.

Most of their promises to improve things are empty anyway as it is not in their power to deliver on them. As Russell Lynch wrote in a review (London Evening Standard, 26 March) of a book published last month "It's the Economy, Stupid: Economics for Voters":

"Most of the 'facts' to be served up between now and polling day are designed to hoodwink the electorate with triumphant presentation: so denuded of context to make them virtually deceitful."

He quotes one of the authors. Vicky Pryce, the disgraced ex-wife of a disgraced LibDem Cabinet Minister caught out for more conventional deceit, as making the point:

"In many areas of the economy, Whitehall and the Government has very little influence (...) The idea that you can influence things fundamentally except at the margin, such as through tax, is just not honest."

Quite, but the whole of conventional politics is based on this false premise that governments can influence the way the (capitalist) economy works. They can't. Which is why the election manifestos which the major parties are going to be launching next week won't be worth the paper they are printed on. They may as well go straight into the wastepaper basket.

As has been confirmed time and again, politicians may propose, but capitalism will dispose. And the workings of capitalism mean that profits always have to come before people's needs. A fact (a real one, this time) that governments have to accept and apply whatever they may have promised to get voted in.

So, don't be a mug. Don't vote for them.

No comments: