Arts & Culture - Opinion - Anti-Capitalism

2007 - 2022

Austerity Unionism

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There’s an incredible process of unification and merger going on before our eyes.

George Osbourne today announced cuts of £11.5b more from public services coming down the line using the same language as Johann Lamont of destroying a  something for nothing culture’.

Ed Miliband has spent the last fortnight pledging to scrap universal benefits, backing a coalition cap on benefits and now matching Tory spending levels for 2015/16. This is now the clearly unified voice of Better Together, one nation, one economic plan: UKOK.

Caroline Lucas put it very well today saying:

News that Ed Miliband will accept the government’s spending cuts, as a starting point for 2015-16, as well as supporting a cap on welfare spending, confirms fears that we now have three parties of austerity at Westminster (Miliband summons up spirit of 45, 22 June). Instead of trying to outcompete the government in some kind of masochistic virility test to see who can threaten the greatest austerity, an opposition party worthy of the name would be making a far stronger case that austerity isn’t working, and offering a genuine alternative.

This very day without a trace of irony something called One Nation Labour tweeted today saying:

“British people should not be paying the price for this Government’s economic failure” yet this was broadcast only days after their leader, made a statement declaring effectively: “Vote for me, I will make no difference.”

The introduction of Labour’s own welfare spending cap and the wholesale acceptance of the Tories austerity paradigm completely undermine Scottish Labour’s efforts to outline a different future in Britain. It isn’t there. Even if Labour could get elected, it simply isn’t there.

As Tim Jackson lays out really clearly we don’t need to ‘get growth moving‘  (see picture-quote) we need some new economic models based on people’s actual values and not a return to the disastrous endless obsession with stuff we don’t need.

But the secondary position of many who remain unconvinced by the arguments for independence is that we can huddle, constitutionally, behind the shield of devolution. One set of speakers at last weeks Solas Festival described themselves as Radical Devo – in contrast to the Radical Indy forum.

But such ideas, vague, incoherent and unformed as they remain also lie within a powers-framework that we need to keep reminding ourselves. Today, when Scotland enacted its first new tax for 300 years it may seem to some that we are a functioning democratic body. As we look to explore how we could create the sort of genuine alternative Caroline Lucas suggests, let’s remind ourselves what powers are currently reserved under devolution that we ‘d be gaining control of from independence:

Income Tax

Corporation tax

Oil Revenues

National Security





Foreign Policy

Trade & Industry


Energy Regulation


Crown Estates


Civil Service

Whilst it’s repeated over and over that without our own currency and the head of state removed this isn’t ‘true’ independence, you have to look at this list of powers and think, couldn’t we do better than the now One Nation One Policy One Party Britain we live in?

It’s time to end Austerity Unionism.

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  1. Piobaire says:

    And BBC Scotland’s Daily Politics had Alf Young giving his sage views on austerity Scotland (no attempt at balance). I cringe when I see the intellectual squirmings of him and his ilk, attempting to justify Labour’s bed sharing with the Tories. They could get all they want, ideologically and otherwise, in an independent Scotland but refuse to countenance the obvious alternative. Embarrassment is obviously not in the Young lexicon.

  2. Doug Daniel says:

    “One set of speakers at last weeks Solas Festival described themselves as Radical Devo – in contrast to the Radical Indy forum.”

    Radical Devo? A contradiction in terms, surely?

    1. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

      I believe that is what our great great grandfathers used to call “home rule all-round”. They never lived to see it and neither would we…..if we were idiot enough to choose to the option.

  3. jdmank says:

    Labour needs poverty!
    hmm, two sides of the same coin Labour need it,without poverty they don’t hold onto their core vote in spite of already proving they have moved further to the right than Margaret Thatcher,
    the Tories require it, its their default setting, they’re hard wired to require an acquiescent and submissive workforce who will work for little reward, poorly educated (£9000.00) university fees anyone? of poor health,
    a subdued unmotivated, disenfranchised work force is not productive you might say,
    not part of the Tories ideology (at the risk of invoking Godwins law) the Nazis didn’t employ fit healthy motivated employees to build their v1s,
    they used slave labour from France, Hungary, Denmark, Holland and so on because when they dropped dead from exhaustion ,well there’s plenty more where they came from ,and cheap? jeez the cost of a few rotten potatoes in luke warm water, you don’t get any cheaper than that do you,
    the actions of condemlab are the death knell of a country we all grew up in because they see no alternative that fits with their skewed view of how best we can serve their purposes,
    The thought that politicians are public servants is a concept that died with Thatcher, we are the servants of the politicians.

  4. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Why don’t Labour and the Tories just merge?

    They can call themselves Labartories or The City of London party. They can continue with their experiment to dismantle The Welfare State and the carnage that it entails.

  5. kenneth MacKinnon says:

    The reason the London City State is bankrupt is because it is now reliant on Financial Services, that in turn is reliant on Banking which is a corrupt Cartel. The Germans call it Anglo Saxon Capitalism. They kept their manufacturing base, and Banking regulations.” The creature from Jekyll Island”…A second look at the Federal Reserve. by Edward Griffin,…. is amazing….you will be astonished at this in-depth look at the Banking Cartel.

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