A Future That Works

A Future That Works
NO2aTory/Liberal coalition - Vote with your feet for an alternative to a neo-liberal economy and neo-conservative state Yes2aLeftFront and a Red/Green Left Alliance

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Who will fill the political vacuum?

Whether it’s the USA, Britain or Europe we are suffering a lack of leadership and belief in the ability of the political elite to solve the world’s problems at a time when we face the greatest crises for eighty years. From David Cameron Prime Minister of Britain, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Angela Merkel the Chancellor of Germany, Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister of Italy, Naoto Kan Prime Minister of Japan or Barack Obama President of the USA. None of them have the theoretical/intellectual or political will to tackle the crisis of global capitalism, their centre-right neo-liberal/neo-conservative ideological solutions have only either held at bay the general crisis or at worst increase the likelihood of the global economy going into a deep depression on a scale not seen since the great depression of the 1930’s.

The financial crisis of 2008 thanks to the leadership of Gordon Brown was prevented from turning into a total collapse of the world economy by adopting neo-Keynesian economic and political strategies. Now we face a possibility of a second global economic and financial crisis, but our leaders are following the political and economic policies that lead from the 1980’s to the crisis of 2008. President Barack Obama will probably be forced by the right-wing conservatives in the Republican Party to follow right-wing social and economic policies and make deep cuts in government spending and welfare rather than neo-Keynesian economic and political strategies that could kick start a recovery.

The current world leadership either have very little understanding of economics and the nature of the deep crisis in which the global economy is in, or they are complicit in making the people pay for the crisis caused by deregulation and privatization following the Reagan/Thatcher years in the 1980’s. Gordon Brown was himself party to the neo-liberal/neo-conservative ideology of new-labourism in the late 1990’s and early 21st century, calming that capitalism had reached a point in which the cycle of boom and bust had been abolished until the crash in the financial system of 2008. Thankfully he was able to abandon some of the neo-liberal consensus and adopt a neo-Keynesian approach and to carry the world leaders along with him or by now we would already have been plunged into the vortex of a great depression.

David Cameron and the Tory/Liberal coalition are ideologically tied to the neo-liberal/neo-conservative economic and political strategies of Thatcher and Reagan which go back to the pre-Keynesian theories revived in the 1970’s by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. The economic and political policies of John Maynard Keynes came to be known as welfare capitalism and produced the long boom after 1945 in which the working classes of Britain, Europe and Scandinavia and to a lesser degree the USA saw working conditions and living standards improve thanks to a strong labour movement, full employment and health and social security through government planning and management. This created a crisis of class power and by the mid 1970’s the capitalist class set about a strategy to reclaim its class power from the working class.

Across Europe and in Britain the traditional centre-left parties have abandoned social-democratic Keynesian economic and political ideology and accepted the neo-liberal/neoconservative ideology of Hayek and Friedman as followed by Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Barack Obama was elected by the American electorate as the centre-left Democrat, but may well now be forced to follow centre-right neo-liberal/neoconservative political and economic policies by the Republicans. In Britain the three main parties are all led by politicians of the centre-right from David Cameron, Nick Clegg to Ed Miliband, although Ed Miliband was elected by the labour movement as the least right-wing candidate.

David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Silvio Berlusconi are all right-wing conservatives which puts Barack Obama in a minority as a representative of the centre-left and by British, European and Scandinavian politics he would still be seen as centre-right leader. If we accept that whilst the neo-liberal/neo-conservative political strategy may serve the interests of the capitalist elite it no way serves the interests of the majority of people living on this planet. There is a need for political leadership that represents the interests of workers and their families, if this role is no longer fulfilled by the centre-left social-democratic parties such as the Labour Party which parties and leaders will fill this political vacuum.


  1. who will provide the political leadership?

  2. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has pleaded with Eurozone chiefs meeting in Brussels today to ‘‘do what it takes’’ to save the currency and to stop the damage spreading. Jose Manuel Barroso says Greece must be saved and that the situation is ‘‘very serious’’

    Labour Shadow Treasury Minister Chris Leslie says ‘‘David Cameron and George Osborne have completely taken their eye off the ball on the euro crisis. Instead of pushing for a solution the Prime Minister and Chancellor are nowhere to be seen’’. The British government will not be at the talks even though the crisis could have dire consequences for the UK economy as fears grow that Greece will not be able to pay off its huge debts leaving the country bankrupt. Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Angela Merkel, Silvio Berlusconi and other EU leaders have been told to get a grip on the Greek debt crisis which could cause the global economy to collapse.

    ‘‘When the history of the 21st century is written, people will rightly ask why it was that Europe was found wanting during its most intractable economic crisis.’’

    ‘‘They will ask why Europe slept as an undercapitalized banking system floundered, unemployment remained unacceptably high, and the continent's growth and competitiveness plummeted.’’

    (Gordon Brown 11th July 2011)

  3. ‘‘We are involved in this; most of our exports go to European countries. You can see real calamity facing us’’ also pointing to the possibility that the USA could lose its top credit rating, the Eurozone troubles and ‘‘sluggish growth’’ in Britain.

    (Alistair Darling 21st July 2011)

  4. When new-labourites such as Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling can see the need for action, what does this tell us about David Cameron and George Osborne as Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer for the British Tory/Liberal coalition government?

  5. European leaders have agreed a new bailout for Greece

    Greek bailout boosts global markets as Eurozone leaders agreed to restructure Greece's €350bn (£310bn) national debt. There will be a €109bn (£95bn) bailout from European governments and about €50bn from the banks over the next five years agreed at the emergency summit of Eurozone leaders in Brussels.

    Also the Eurozone’s European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) rescue fund established last year of €440bn will have powers to prevent the debt crisis spreading to Italy and Spain. Greece will be able to roll over maturing debt and pay a lower interest rate on its bailout loans.

    The private sector's it is estimated will also need to contribution €106bn by 2020. Greece, Ireland and Portugal will benefit from a longer time to pay existing rescue packages at a lower interest rate. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said the existing bailout fund would become a ‘‘European IMF’’ allowing substantial quickening of what he called ‘‘European economic governance’’.

    Existing holders of Greek government debt will be able to swap bonds they hold now that come due for repayment over the next eight years, for new 30 year bonds guaranteed by the Eurozone group as a whole. Investors will be required to accept some losses but they would receive a more secure asset in return on a voluntary basis.

  6. Unity is Strength - there is a ‘‘Left Alternative’’ to the austerity.

    Greece shows that when the people are effectively led by the left such as the Kommunistiko Komma Elladas (Communist Party of Greece) an alternative can be found that reduces the impact on the people.

  7. They say that ‘‘Britons never will be slaves’’ are these just words from a patriotic song, or will we defend the democratic freedoms our parents and grandparents fought for not just in wars but as part of the labour movement, will we defend the institutions such as the NHS and welfare state that have made it possible for the people of Britain to be free from the fear of sickness and poverty known before 1945. Have the people of Britain still got the will to fight for the right to free health care, education, sickness and disability benefits and pensions, or are we now so weak that we will let the Tories, Liberal-Democrats and neo-liberal/neo-conservative new-Labourites take them away?

  8. European Conference Against Austerity & Privatisation

    The time has come for broad Left Unity following from the electoral alliance of the Alliance for Green Socialism, Communist Party of Britain and Socialist Party in 2010.

    The Coalition of Resistance has a conference of the European Left in which Len McCluskey the General Secretary of the Unite Union will be a speaker alongside Pierre Laurent of the French Communist Party and Jeremy Corbyn of the British Labour Party, Sevim Dagdelen of Die LInke, Germany.

  9. I hope that the Communist Party and their allies might make the geographic dialectical connection to the material dialectics in the same way that I hope the Labour Party might be susceptible to pressure from the labour movement.

  10. If not then in Britain we have little hope of success and the neo-liberal/neo-conservative agenda started by Thatcher and carried on by Blair, Brown and Cameron will continue because there isn’t a political organization with the theoretical analysis and base to resist and reverse the process.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.