About fifteen nations use Westminster system of government, which is modelled after the U.K. parliament. In the Westminster system, the “Shadow Cabinet” is a feature of the minority party in parliament. It is a senior group of opposition spokespeople who form an alternative cabinet to the majority party, which has the actual cabinet. The “Shadow Cabinet’s” members shadow (i.e. observe and critique) each individual member of the majority party’s cabinet.
For example, at present in the U.K. the majority party is the Conservatives. Their finance minister is George Osborne. The opposition (and the minority) is the Labour Party, whose “shadow” finance minister is John McDonnell. If the Labour Party were to become the majority, then the “shadow” finance minister would become the actual finance minister. John McDonnel would replace George Osborne. Jeremy Corbyn would replace David Cameron as Prime Minister.
It is the “Shadow Cabinet’s” responsibility to critique the policies and actions of the actual Cabinet, and offer alternative suggestions. But when it comes to austerity, the critique is just for show. All politicians agree that the U.K. needs more austerity, since politicians are owned by the rich, who demand more austerity in order to widen the gap between themselves and the masses.
Austerity means a reduction in the federal deficit. That is, a reduction in the amount of government-created money that circulates in the economy. The reduction is done by spending cuts and / or tax increases. The more that politicians impose austerity, the more they plunge the economy into a recession, and the more they reduce the peasants to impoverished debt slaves of the rich. This is the sole purpose of austerity today.
On 12 Sep 2015 Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the Labour Party. Since the Labour Party is currently in the minority, it is the opposition. Corbyn is the shadow prime minister. His shadow finance minister, John McDonnell, claims to oppose austerity, but McDonnell favors deficit reduction (i.e. austerity). In his first conference speech as shadow chancellor, McDonnell said that austerity is a political choice and not a necessity. (He was correct.) Then McDonnell explained how he would implement more austerity if he were the actual finance minister. And no one faulted him for this contradiction.
Let me ask you a question. Which society would you rather live in? A society in which you and everyone around you had lots of money to buy things with, start companies, employ people, and so on? Or a society in which you and everyone around you have very little money, and are impoverished, depressed, and unemployed? (While the rich get richer than ever.) If you prefer the latter society, then you prefer austerity.
David Cameron keeps imposing more austerity on the U.K. masses. The “opposition” (the Labour Party) loves austerity, but wants to pursue it with tax increases, rather than spending cuts (just like the Democrats in the USA).
Either way it is more austerity. Either way, money is sucked out of the economy. Either way, the peasants get crucified.
In the U.K. and U.S.A., all politicians on all sides maintain the lie that the national government is “bankrupt,” and that it relies on taxes and on loans. All politicians want to “balance the books.” That is, all politicians want the peasants to have more austerity.
Shadow Finance Minister John McDonnell wants to “balance the books” (i.e. impose austerity) via “higher growth” (i.e. more tax revenue) even though austerity kills growth. McDonnell knows this. He knows he is lying. All politicians know they are liars. They are paid to lie.
I would curse them for lying, except that politicians are only providing the lies that the masses want to hear. Most people enjoy repeating the lie that the federal government is “bankrupt,” because the lie lets people blame the non-existent “bankruptcy” on (fill in the blank). This is why there is so much poverty, austerity, and inequality. The peasants insist on it.
Where would liberals be if they didn’t have the lie that taxes on rich people pay for social programs? Where would conservatives be if they didn’t have the lie that their taxes pay for social programs?
The peasants want more austerity, as long as it doesn’t hurt them personally. When they say, “We must cut government spending,” they mean for other people. When they say, “We must increase taxes,” they mean on other people. This selfishness causes all the peasants to have more austerity. It causes all the peasants to remain peasants.
In the U.K., Conservatives call Labor Party members “deficit deniers,” even though the Labor Party is just as committed to austerity as are the Conservatives. John McDonnell says that Conservative-imposed austerity is not economically necessary. Instead, the U.K. needs Labour-imposed austerity.
“We are saying that tackling the deficit is important, but we are rejecting austerity as the means to do it. We are setting out an alternative based upon dynamically growing our economy, ending the tax cuts for the rich and addressing the scourge of tax evasion and avoidance.”
Translation: “We are saying that austerity is important, but we are rejecting austerity as a means to impose more austerity. Instead of austerity, we favor austerity.”
How does McDonnell get away with such nonsense? By saying, “The rich should pay more taxes.” That’s all the peasants want to hear.
“The British people are fed up of being patronized and talked down to by politicians with little more than silly slogans and misleading analogies.”
Silly slogans and misleading analogies like those of McDonnell and his Labour Party.
McDonnell says he “rejects austerity politics and neoliberalism.” Instead, he says the U.K. needs more austerity politics and neoliberalism.
“We favor cuts to tackle the deficit, but our cuts will not be the number of police officers on our streets, or nurses in our hospitals, or teachers in our classrooms.” (Applause.)
And yet that is exactly what happens when politicians like McDonnell impose the austerity they claim to oppose. They do it via tax increases.
“If we inherit a deficit in 2020, fiscal policy will be used to pay down the debt and lower the deficit but at a speed that does not put into jeopardy sustainable economic growth.”
And yet, killing growth is exactly what happens when politicians like McDonnell impose the austerity they claim to oppose. Tax increases of any kind are austerity.
Regarding a “people’s quantitative easing” (an issue raised by Corbyn in his election campaign), McDonnell promised: “We’ll use active monetary policy to stimulate demand where necessary.”
More lies. Monetary policy (i.e. playing with interest rates) does very little to stimulate aggregate demand in the economy. What’s needed is more government spending and less government taxing – i.e. a larger deficit. But McDonnell wants a smaller deficit.
This is why you keep getting poorer. Politicians on all sides want you to have more austerity. Always more.
John Cridland is director general of the Confederation of British Industry, a UK business organization that corresponds to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both organizations (UK and USA) love austerity, since it promotes privatization, which widens the gap between the rich and the rest. Cridland says, “You can’t be pro-growth and pro-jobs without being pro-business. And a thriving private sector is essential for raising living standards and paying for high-quality public service.”
Translation: We want more privatization.
BELOW: The People’s Assembly Against Austerity is a political initiative in the United Kingdom, launched in 2013 and backed by major trade unions, plus the Green Party, the Communist Party of Britain, the Coalition of Resistance, Left Unity, Labour MPs, and so on.
They want fewer spending cuts, but higher taxes — i.e. more austerity. They complain that the only thing they ever hear from politicians is the need for more austerity. Then they call for more austerity. And the politicians give them what they want.