Sunday, 29 June 2008

Recession and Unemployment

The levels of unemployment in the UK are expected to rise within the next two years as the economy declines. In 2005 New Labour fought the last general election on the back of an economic record showing 50 consecutive quarters of economic growth. Remember Tony Blair hailed Gordon Brown as the most successful Chancellor in a hundred years, whilst Gordon was happy to be seen in all modesty presiding over the longest period of sustained economic growth in 300 years.

New Labour's 2005 manifesto crowed that they had finally laid to rest the view that Labour could not be trusted to run the economy. Indeed, it boasted that the unprecedented economic success had enabled New Labour to link together the dynamism of the markets and social Justice in a way that would make globalisation work for all.

Nothing Travels Faster than bad news and a few weeks ago a report from the International Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OFDC) ripped into the British economy branding it the equivalent of a basket case. It criticized the way the UK has been run for the last decade, saying the options left to the Government were limited. It slashed growth forecasts for the year and next, and must have had the economist bods sprinting for their calculators. The OECD's conclusion was that Britain is heading for a worse slowdown than anyone has previously predicted, accelerating fears that the UK economy and recession are shorty to become familiar neighbors.

In upbeat forecasts both Alister Darling and Gordon Brown have serially declared their idea that the UK is well placed to withstand the shock waves that will inevitably flow from the global downturn.

Employment levels have also been questioned by the OECD, suggesting that unemployment will rise by more than 200,000 over the next 18 months, taking the total to 1.81 million or close to the 2 million mark. The way out? The OECD say there now isn't one, blaming the UK's "excessively lose fiscal policy" which is a coded way of pointing the finger at Gordon Brown and his policy of borrowing heavily and spending too much over the recent boom years. In the first three months of this year - unemployment was up 14,000 to 1.61 million......And worse will follow.

For those looking for a silver lining in the gathering storm there is not much to find. Alan Greenspan, the former head of the US Federal Reserve central bank, believes that, far from binging well placed to survive, Britain's economy is even more exposed to financial turmoil than that of the USA.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Bring Child Poverty To An End!!!

This is the draft that I wrote for a Respect meeting held in Canning Town during the GLA elections held in May.

Amongst the speakers was George Galloway MP
it was a moderately attended meeting held in Canning Town, Newham, East London.

This is what the Leaflet said;

End Child Poverty

3.8 million children - one in three- are currently living in poverty in the UK one of the highest rates in the industrialised world.
Given the wealth of our nation the fourth wealthiest in the world. This is a shocking figure.

The East End Tops The League for Child Poverty

Poplar and Canning Town 48%
West Ham 38%
East Ham 35%

The Child Face

The face of poverty has changed under New Labour. Children have replaced pensioners as the most at-risk group.

Poverty Blights Children's Lives

Children from poor families are excluded from participating in society. They can't afford school trips and other activity's; they can't afford school uniforms or winter cloths, unable to go swimming or have a friend round to tea or celebrate their birthdays.

Not To Have Gone Boldly Will Cost Us All

The Government's recent budget means that it will not hit its own target of halving child poverty by 2010 and any increase in child benefit and tax credits will in the near future be adsorbed by fuel and food price increases.

Respect and Equality

Respect stands for Peace, Justice and Equality and no more so than for our Children.
Cllr Hanif Abdulmuhit the Respect Candidate for the GLA City and East Constituency has made child poverty a priority in his campaign and pledged not only to represent adults but to be the voice of East London's Children.

A Future for All Our Children

Poverty experienced during childhood can have a profound and lasting impact on the child and their family. It sets in motion an often deepening spiral of social exclusion, creating problems with education; mental and physical health and social interaction. Our Children deserve far better than what is currently on offer in this technological and scientific civilization, they are entitled to a future that's not just dependent on the ability to pay, an equal chance in life for every child no mater what!

Oliver Twist: "Please Sir, I want some more"

Mr. Bumble: " More?"

Me Mika and The World

Mika is my pet ferret and she lives with me in doors. She looks a bit scary in this picture but she is a really loving good companion. I've had her for over a year she is my first and only ferret, can be a bit of hand full at times but Lot's of fun.
Mika keeps me focused, I love her because she is unique and special in many different ways, more like a best-loved friend than a pet and sometimes preferred above all others!
Mika is like me not that photogenic but active having been to a number of socialist meetings and been an attendee on demonstrations.

The Socialist Way (Part 1)

William Morris

Welcome to my blog "The Socialist Way" I hope all who read or stumble upon it, find enlightenment, understanding and debate but above all else join me in the quest to work for a much better world.

A world that is demanding change

In this world of plenty millions of children die each and every year of starvation while the billionaires spare themselves no indulgence. Meanwhile, ever new weapons of death and destruction are produced they say for our "security and protection".

People say that we socialists are Utopian because we hold to the view that a new society is the only lasting solution to the mess we're in, this can and must be achieved democratically. They say the world is heading for disaster, they say it's better to try to make smaller changes than go all out for socialism and perhaps change nothing". We are called Utopians because we dare to suggest that we could all together run our lives in a much more harmonious way, instead of succumbing to the persisting view that things must just carry on more or less as they are. At root, the critics see socialism as just an idea, perhaps even a nice idea, but one that is not likely to materialise. From their perspective we are mad even to sketch out what a better society could be like and should limit ourselves to short term changes such as bringing down interest rates, or getting rid of certain type of a missile, which might improve things somehow.

Utopians and Socialists

Part of the confusion about the meaning of the term utopia comes from it's use in Thomas More's book of the same name. The word is a pun; eu in Ancient Greek meaning "good", (o)u meaning "no", and topos meaning "place", James Joyce uses the topos of the Wandering Jew in his Ulysses". This definition implies that a utopia is a good place that doesn't exist, much like the land described in the Big Rock Candy Mountains. Many books have outlined utopia, the most famous being News from Nowhere by William Morris or as I call him Bill.

Bill painted a picture of classless, stateless, moneyless society and many political books have Utopian elements, features that the writer sees as desirable in a "good" society. Even a book of Mrs Thatcher's (milk snatcher) speeches might have Utopian elements in it, for some people.

There has been a tradition in socialist writing going back to Marx ans Engels of avoiding too much detail about what socialism would be like (although there was a great deal of agreement about socialism meaning a moneyless classless society). When Marx and Engels labelled earlier socialists (like Robert Owen) Utopians, they simply meant that their ideas were before their time. Earlier socialists wanted a world of abundance and co-operation before there was a sufficient level of political consciousness and technology to support such a society; so they drifted into fantasies with no real basis in the world. It wasn't that Marx and Engels thought that you should never talk about what socialism was, but rather that talking about it made no difference until the other requirements had been met.

The idea of socialism stopped being Utopian (in the sense of an unrealisable dream) for Marx and Engels once capitalism had developed sufficiently to allow the working class to become politically organised, and when the level of industrial technology brought the potential to produce an abundance of goods to meet every one's needs. Today in the twenty first century and the advanced level of technology that now exists is a real basis for a truly free co-operative society. There's certainly nothing unreal about suggesting that we could organise a better world now. The real dreamers are those who refuse to describe the sort of society that they're after, but muddle along hoping that this or that reform will somehow make the profit system behave humanely-something it has never done before.
The Real
So who is being unrealistic? Some people on the left won't even say what socialism is, because they think that any account of a future society is a waste of time and that we should concern ourselves with present-day struggles. But unless you do talk about where you'r going, how will you know when you've arrived?

Reform Is In The Windmills Of Your Mind

Like a circle in a spiral

Like a wheel within a wheel

Never ending or beginning

On an ever spining wheel

As the images unwind

Like the circles that you find

In the windmills of your mind.

Like a tunnel that you follow

To a tunnel of its own

Down a hollow to a cavern

Where the sun has never shone

Like a door that keeps revolving

In a half forgotten dream

Or the ripples from a pebble

Someone tosses in a stream.

The Socialist Way

Blog Archive