In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The windfall that never was

Posted by seumasach on September 7, 2008


7th September, 2008

“The smell of death around this government is so overpowering it seems to have anaesthetised them all.” Polly Toynbee, Guardian, 6th September

Last November I warned against the consequences of the baiting of Gordon Brown warning that British oligarchy was intent of neutering government itself. That aspiration is now fully realized. Brown is still there despite his manifest impotence or rather because of it. The executive of the state power is there to be steamrolled and Brown has shown that he is permanent fall-guy material. How many other candidates are there for such a dubious distinction? The flickerings of rebellion fade without gathering momentum and nostalgia for El Caudillo, Blair, is back. Even Milliband’s flirtation with a war on the old enemy, Russia, hasn’t given him even a semblance of the stature of a national leader.

Perhaps that’s because Britain is hardly a nation; rather the rump of parasitic empire which has taken to feeding off its own corpse. Leading the way in this macabre business are the energy utilities, the beneficiaries of the introduction of the sacred principle of competition; competition for the lion’s share of what’s left, a battle in which no quarter is given least of all to the hapless figure of a British prime minister trying to save himself and his party from ignominy and ultimate oblivion. They continue to hike prices relentlessly reducing broad swathes of the population to poverty whilst paying out ever greater dividends.

Rumours of a one-off windfall payment , not the renationalisation of companies which run these basic public services, not an end to the looting of the place, not a study of the accounts of these companies to see where the takings are going and whether there are any foundations at all to their claims to be reinvesting in infrastructure, but a mere one-off payment, have been scotched and the Prime Minister himself has been the first to condemn what can reasonably be assumed to be his own plan by dismissing windfalls as “short-term gimmicks and giveaways”. That is true, but they’re also better than nothing.

But nothing it is to be: the principle that all disposable wealth is to be handed over to our bankers or  to assorted cowboys and nabobs(or am I making too fine a distinction here?) is unassailable. The flaws in the communist ideology and the reasons we fought against it  for so long are now clear: it’s that all property belonged to the state and it should have belonged to the friends of the state, with the added, and necessary, proviso, that the state itself is totally under the control of its “friends” and that any attempt by the state to reassert itself as a sovereign body must be ruthlessly crushed. That, after all, would be “authoritarian”.

It’s a hell of a state we’re in and it is becoming more hellish by the day: with the government’s promises on global warming proving as vapid as all the others we’re in for a tough winter.

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