No More Austerity [People’s Assembly]

Austerity

My statement for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity (PAAA) and one of the many reasons I’m going to the national demonstration this summer.

 

 

 

A friend I haven’t seen in years decided to post this on the facebook event (linked under the photo) for the People’s Assembly demo on the 21st June:

Sorry, I actually find the austerity an outstandingly good idea. Also, from my country’s experience things with the phrase “People’s” in it tend to end up in disasters more often than not.

Understandably my response was a little … cold. But, patience is a virtue and out of a desire to remain calm and rational I engaged with the comment (at 1 in the morning too, dedication right there). Might notice a repetition of some of my previous statistics, but comments like Adam’s show why we have to drive the point home again and again until it hits home. Thought I should also share what I said here in the hope I did my fellow activists – but more importantly the victims of this government – justice.

I also promised people at the PA I’d help raise awareness by taking part in their photo campaign, and this is another excuse to get mine out there!

Swear we’ve had this conversation before Adam? Will teach me to utilise mass invites. Anyhow, I’m sure there are far more eloquent anti-austerity activists around here than me. But, in spite of the deja vu, I’ll attempt to summarise especially quickly.

First, austerity is unnecessary and ideologically driven. The vast majority of our deficit stems from things like an obscenely privileged political/business class, not spending on the poor or disadvantaged. If there was wasteful spending, it was by, on, and because of the powerful. Not because of the unemployed et al. This notion is utterly ridiculous and foisted on us by neoliberal parties such as the Conservatives and GOP, just so that they don’t have to admit, post-crash, that unregulated capitalism (and ultimately plutocracy) is fundamentally inhumane and unstable. And, so they can more easily blame individual parties, namely Labour, rather than an entire economic system.

Secondly, if anyone thinks the conservatives are fundamentally motivated by fiscal prudence and our monetary well-being they aren’t paying attention (to put it politely). All mainstream political parties are, generally, in thrall to the establishment – more concerned with the interests of their lobbyists, and the people who bankroll the system that benefits them, than the general citizen – the Tories are just even more transparent, audacious, and determined about it than their counterparts.

And your comment about “people’s” sums it up, the truly one-sided narrative you’ve been exposed to/have taken to heart is disheartening. I mean for pity’s sake. All we hear on corporate-owned, hint hint, news outlets is that ‘benefits are bankrupting us’. At most, according to the DWP’s own figures, mismanagement of this public service (taxpayers have already funded) loses us around a £1 bn a year. Tops. Meanwhile, tax dodging, evasion, etc loses us at least £120 bn a year (add this to the £10-20 tn, untaxed I should remind you, already hidden … who’s the real parasite again?). One issue pertains to the most vulnerable/needy in society, the other to their opposites. Who do you want to fight for? Which struggle, do you think, carries greater urgency and moral weight? And actually, at the end of the day, really serves you?

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