Thursday, 30 April 2015

The alternative to the austerity consensus of the Westminster parties

There's a brilliant piece in the Guardian featuring Paul Krugman, attacking the Tories and Labour on their post election austerity budgets. How the distance in economics is so close between the two "major" parties. To quote from the article :

"Cameron is campaigning largely on a spurious claim to have ‘rescued’ the British economy – and promising, if he stays in power, to continue making substantial cuts in the years ahead.

“Labour, sad to say, are echoing that position. So both major parties are in effect promising a new round of austerity that might well hold back a recovery..."

It's a sad thing in a democracy that major issues like this aren't dominant in political debate. How we spend money, what the state chooses to spend and how it spends it. It is not this issue alone this is being ignored look at privatisation, Trident, foreign policy, the royal family, the House of Lords, Europe, tax dodging. When was the last time a politician brought up these subjects to debate, to offer choice to explain advantages and disadvantages? The answer sadly is democracy is too rare in this regard.

As for austerity itself, we must bear in mind like Trident and so much else. Labour, Tory and Lib Dems agree on the matter and share values in common. They may well want a cheaper system or a bigger  system, but they agree on the desire for a system.

The truth is post the election we will get more cuts if one of the three big parties Tory, Lab & LD,  takes power alone or in coalition with another.

On the ground the scale of the austerity drive will be fearsome.

The omens are not looking good, councils are cash strapped being at the sharp end of the Coalition’s austerity drive, but there not out of the woods yet, whether a Tory government alone or with Clegg's Liberals again or UKIP, or a Labour government propped up by someone else and/ or the Lib Dems. Whichever will bring more cuts.

I checked the Party manifestos of Labour, Lib Dem and Tory. None mentioned local government finance and what money's go out of the general taxation pot and out to communities... none also mentioned the referendum cap which is effectively, a public service cuts guarantee.

Things have been bad in Cornwall the public face off it is libraries on reduced hours and public toilets closing. Behind the scenes it's not enough money for social and care workers. Less and less road safety inspections. Less school repairs and maintenance than ever before. If we continue on this austerity trajectory all this problems will become much worse.

This election is more open than any before it. People have their ears open, a record number have political support and alliegence to parties outside of Labour, Tory and Lib Dems. You have to wonder if there was more choice in the established parties, if the crucial things the things that matter were actually discussed by those parties in a public manner? That policy might heaven forbid, flow from public to public servant. Rather than dictated in a speech!

The big 3 don't want to make this election about austerity they have fixed in their minds that more public services will be cut and yet more privatised. If you think this is wrong then you need to use your vote wisely against this continued austerity agenda.