Democrat November-December 2008 (Number 111)
Arthur Smelt says
It could all be so different
"We cannot afford a private Wall Street while main streets suffer."
- Barack Obamah
The people of the United States of America have indicated in no uncertain manner that the poisonous and destructive policies of successive US governments are not acceptable.
After a most protracted and expensive presidential election campaign, history was made by the positive support of the US electorate for the change they hope will come through Barack Obamah. But will this spectacular result change the oligarchical structure of US politics?
Experience tells us that at voting time politicians follow the market ethos and attempt to sell their policies and themselves to the voters. In 1977 when Blair came to power we were told a new dawn had broken. This was intended to convey the idea of a wonderful future under New Labour. Such vacuous gobble-de-gook is common. Recently Gordon Brown told us; "We are making the right decisions for the benefit of the British people."
Those decisions or the absence of them have landed us in a most serious crisis the brunt of which will hit ordinary people hardest. What is happening in banking, housing and numerous other areas must be laid at the door of government and its vapid failure to regulate these areas. Organisations such as the Financial Services Agency and the Serious Fraud Office have been useless. Excess borrowing and crazy house prices were destined to end in disaster and attempts to blame the global situation is more Tommy-rot. The misery and distress this is now causing makes Brown's talk of interests of the people look completely idiotic. One sad fact is that we the electorate allow it to happen.
The EU is a prime example of how powerful unaccountable people secretly carry out policies which are not in the interests of the majority. Our government and other European governments go along with it and try to hide the true state of affairs from their populations. EU dogma surrounding the growth and stability pact, freeing up for competition and so- called free market economics designed to benefit the rich at the expense of the less well off are a complete shambles. The voters who are seldom listened to, have to pay.
We are constantly told about the war on terror. There is however a much more far reaching and all consuming war which revolves around the worship of Mammon and threatens the whole of society. It damages the lives of millions of people throughout the world. The proponents of this state of affairs will argue that great benefits accrue from all this.
One argument relating to this country is that more people than ever before own their own homes. They conveniently forget or disregard the record repossessions, negative equity, bankruptcies and blatant robbery committed in the name of business. Furthermore people with massive mortgages do not own their own homes. What is even worse is the suffering caused in developing countries as a result of powerful commercial interests.
There is a desperate need for a more open, equitable, properly planned and discerning society where jingoism is a thing of the past. It could all be so different.