Monday, October 18, 2010

Time to go French - against the cuts

It was always gonna be like this. If Labour had got in, Alasdair Darling promised that the severity of the cuts would've made Thatcher blush. As it is, we have the great ConDem twins of the bloated Westminster family, Cameron and Clegg. Meanwhile, banks that were bailed out by the state and that are now owned by the state are still paying their chiefs inflated salaries and bonuses.

Who said that capitalism works? The auld Eastern Bloc had shoe mountains apparently, that accrued due to policies that saw people working never mind the demand or use for the product. Bankrupt Britain meanwhile is building up piles of aircraft carriers and other instruments of war - solely to avoid redundancies. The fact that these people could easily be occupied producing technology vital to Scotland's renewable energy future is lost on the London government while the likes of Scottish Labour are too docile or cowardly to back such a move. War is always big business in Great Britannia.

Presently, the French are kicking off big time. If we have any sense, we'll follow. If we're serious about mending the broken economy, lets tax the rich first. These are the fckrs who got us into this mess. Should health workers, teachers, binmen and other public service workers pay the price with their jobs?

The EIS - a good example of a non-politically aligned and powerful union - in conjunction with the STUC have organised a march against the cuts. But this ain't only about education. That much is clear.

Click here for info on Saturday's march in good auld Dùn Eideann. Meanwhile, watch "crypto-communist" film director Ken Loach give Michael Heseltine some lessons on morality and the economy on the recent Newsnight broadcast. Its also worth remembering that socially-democratic and independent Norway don't have a national debt and therefore don't need swinging cuts to balance the books. What is Scotland doing wrong?


Dark Lochnagar said...

I noticed your comment on BellendCaledonia. Just to let you know that I and several others have tried to comment, but we have been moderated. It seems they only print your comments, if you fit in with their dogma. Don't bother printing this, it's just for your information.

Mac an t-Srònaich said...

Dinny blame them. Your blog is shite - its like the Daily Mail written by teenagers who've just learned sweary words. Especially all the crap about 'British kids not knowing their history'. British? Thall is cac. Let me know your thoughts on the Battle of the Braes, the Aignis Land Raiders or even more recent Celtic rebels like Aonghas 'Ease' Macleod before you give me this conservative pish.

Could take you to task on your anti 'multiculturism' boolshit too but I guess if you're too thick to see it's been part of us for millennia then my arguments won't change you. As to your hatred of socialism - I don't subscribe to any political philosophy, though John Maclean's "communism of the clans" almost makes it - I know for a start that my better half's family and neighbours in East Germany were better off under the DDR than they are under you and SubRosa's mentor Angela Merkel. Sure, the Stasi were a bunch of fcks but everyday living was better than it is now. Aye, you've got 'freedom' to travel but you canny go far on 400 Euros a month 'wage'.

Immigration is good - lets see more of it if only to improve the gene-pool and weed out inbred white trash.

Thrissel said...

Come, come. Saying that everyday living was better in the Soviet Bloc countries before it fell apart is a meaningless generality like saying it was worse. Worse for whom? For go-getters and people who cared about outdated ideas such as freedom of speech or human rights (usually not the same people of course). Better for whom? For those most happy when everybody toes the line (whether it's a Catholic or a Communist line) and for the 'vulnerable' ones (not necessarily the same people either).

There's much to be said for and against both socialism and capitalism. Unluckily, human mentality being what it is, we'll never be able to have the best of both worlds.

Anyway, in the DDR you'd held no march against the cuts. If anything, you'd have to be present at a march where the nation gathered to express its support for its government's wise measures to tackle economic crisis.

Mac an t-Srònaich said...

Didn't mention 'Soviet Bloc', I talked about the DDR. My partner had friends who were imprisoned by the Stasi so I know all about that side of things too. Facts about everyday living though are that the town she comes from has fallen from a population of around 60k to around 28k. Empty factories lie everywhere. There is no job security. Despite Germany's 'booming economy' her father is about to lose his job. A shop worker can expect to take home around 400 Euros a month. On top of that, much of the social/ community aspects of the auld life have gone to be replaced by simple consumerism - community activities, helping out neighbours, interaction between factories and schools, and even education standards.

I have no party flag to fly nor a romantic vision of socialism in the DDR. As to 'toeing the line' - well, if you mean desiring the simple things in life such as putting food on your kids' plates, keeping a roof over your heads, having decent education and healthcare and job security then my partners' father for one would rather have the DDR back. Like I said, the 'Ossies' now have freedom to travel but all that really means now, is travel to find work. The poor don't 'travel' for fun.

If you have read this blog before, you'll have seen several references to Norway as a model for an independent Scotland. This seems pretty close to a balance between socialism and a more humane form of capitalism. And, before anyone points out any deficiencies in Norwegian society, then aye, I'm sure it isn't quite Utopia. It's still a damn sight better than Scotland at the moment and the former DDR.

Thrissel said...

Well maybe 'Ossieland' is different. I live in the Czech Republic and although I've lost job several times, it never took me more than a month to find a new one. As a factory worker I currently earn about 600 Euros and my similarly paid workmates who need to are able to get (and pay) a mortgage with such pay. Consumerism is certainly growing, but that was already happening in the auld days - in fact so much so that one common nickname for the 80s style of living was 'goulash socialism'. Education standards my foot - you could get a technical college degree in civil engineering without being able to design the simplest house, and that without bribery or nepotism. Ain't I got one? And if you want to know what I meant by 'toeing the line', just read Orwell's (ay, somewhat exagerrated) 1984.

As regards Norway - it seems to me they did achieve an almost incredible balance between personal freedom and social security. But I didn't say you shouldn't try to achieve their standards; yet I'm still to hear about somebody here who finds it financially impossible to send their kids to a Uni, let alone put food on their plates, and under such circumstances I don't want more security if the price is having about as much freedom as a peasant under feudalism.

But as I was saying, maybe Eastern Germany is different. One forgets two decades have passed since the countries had the same master.

Mac an t-Srònaich said...

Does consumerism equate progress? Many think so. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the DDR, can one honestly say life is better simply because they have the 'freedom' to eat MacDonalds? Certainly, what I see in most of East Germany, that borders Poland and the Czech Republic, are dying crumbling cities and towns. Its the same when you venture into the likes of Liberec in the CR and Bogotyna in Poland.

As to the past, my partner and another friend from Slovenia both look back on their 'socialist' childhoods with fondness and their parents too miss much of what they had. It certainly wasn't just the 'misery' that we here in Scotland were told it was. I can't speak for other countries though.

Norway and the other Nordic countries do seem to have an enviable balance of wealth and socially progressive policies - especially in the areas of education, health, the environment, sexual equality, rural services and more. Its something we in Scotland should aim for.

Thanks for you comments. S math an leughadh.

Thrissel said...

You know, I'm far from saying everything was bad then (after all, one gets used to anything), farther from saying everything is good now. But it's not about travelling to the West or eating at Mac's. It's about, when a policeman approaches you, not automatically starting to ponder what will he bully you about. About not taking a good look around yourself to check who might overhear you each time you want to say somehing you really think. Things like that.

But if the truth be told I don't claim a great many people here wouldn't prefer a return to the old system as well. As one song had it, 'It was a small prison cell / But it was all made of velvet.'

Then again, I admit I'm naturally prejudiced. If my parental grandfather hadn't publicly praised social democracy as opposed to communism, he might have lived to see me born. If gays didn't rise from untermenschen to second-rate citizens after the overthrow, I wouldn't be so touchy about human rights either. And so on.

BTW it was strangely good to read 'It certainly wasn't just the 'misery' that we here in Scotland were told it was.' Because I'm sure that talking about the 80s UK I could equally say 'It certainly wasn't just the 'misery' that we here in Czechoslovakia were told it was.' (during the miners' strike Czech media gave an almost Dickensian picture of British workers' lives), but tend to forget the other side used propaganda too...

Mac an t-Srònaich said...

Funny you should say that. I almost added it earlier... aye, Scotland in the 80s was pretty miserable. Whole communities were destroyed as mines and steelmills shut down under Thatcher's regime. Even hippies at Stonehenge were beaten to a pulp by mounted police. Only the 'glory' of war in the Falklands could whip up some measure of 'national' pride to keep her afloat.