The class conflict of the coalition’s cuts

– Huseyin Kishi contributed with this report.

A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of neo-liberalism.

The workers did not cause the worldwide recession, it is the result of the neo-liberalism agenda failing.

This “new constitutionalism” according to the political scientist Stephen Gill, has resulted in the decline of national sovereignty democracy – caused by dominance of private capital in the world economy and enhanced capital mobility. This same mobility of capital causes a domino effect.


George Osborne displays the budget box before announcing plans to slash spending. Photo: The Prime Minister's Office
The economist Raghuram Rajan asserts that before the   recession, of the growth in real incomes between 1976 and 2007, 58% of it went to the top 1%.
In 2010 Britain’s richest have seen their wealth increase by a third according to a report by The Sunday Times, despite the global financial collapse. The majority of their wealth is vested in property, resources, banking, or pharmaceuticals.

In contrast, though Britain is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the UK’s poorest have a lower likelihood of achieving higher wages and a better education than in other western countries.

Fundamentally, the cuts will mask the cuts of the global financial breakdown of neo-liberalism, pass those costs onto the working class, attack the welfare state with means to privatise those services (and therein lose any democratic accountability or financial transparency). Lastly, it is the failing of the Labour party to offer any alternative to this agenda.

As a result of macro-economic policy that is removed from the control and decision-making of representative democratic government, this has      allowed for an ideological driven approach towards the cuts.

The new coalition government has been formed by two political ideologies.

The Liberal Democrat’s ideology is that of free market liberalism. The Conservatives have moved on from Thatcherism (which is essentially neo-liberalism) and now find themselves partaking in liberal conservatism, which is liberal values and a  free market agenda (sound familiar?).

So ideologically and economically these two parties have now set a trajectory for the cuts to follow, which takes aim at the poorest, the disabled, and women.

These are the strongest cuts in spending since World War II.

According to a social attitudes report that the Guardian highlighted: “Only 8% support cuts. The most popular view, held by 50%, is that spending and taxation levels should stay as they are.”

Universities are now facing cuts and youth unemployment is on the rise. Public sector pensions are to be affected, alongside the huge job losses that will occur and our corporate media tells us are necessary and courageous.

The government has put forward an agenda that can only be described as a course of shock therapy.

These cuts are nothing short of malicious. They are a systemic attack on the welfare state, on services that the majority of people in the UK rely on. It is an attack on the working poor. It is an attack on the trade unions. In short: it is a masked class conflict.

It is time to organise and to fight back.

One Response to The class conflict of the coalition’s cuts

  1. Mike Hodges says:

    Excellent article even though I fail to agree with most of your arguments.

    Why do so many depend on the state? Why should we not, as a society, encourage people to stand on their own two feet rather than sit with their hands out? Surely the welfare state was envisaged as a safety net rather than as a permanent crutch? Our nation needs to put as many people to work as we can. But not make-work, such as most of the state sector or “pork barrel” state projects, but productive work. Manufacturing, service industries, financial sector (yes, and that means banking!), creative industries, entertainment etc etc. Jobs that earn money not dependent on the ever shrinking public trough.

    As for inequalities of opportunity, wealth, health and social status? Sorry, that’s the way the world works. Even in societies that professed themselves socialist/communist/Marxist there have always been those who are “more equal” than others. Such societies, no matter the high ideals of their progenitors, have invariably descended into rigid centralised systems that limit personal freedoms as a matter of course. The ideal isn’t the issue. Applying it to flawed human beings is.

    Interesting comment re Stephen Gill. I must look up his works.

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