|The Triumph of Stupidity||Ian Buckley on the economic realities behind "jobs for women"|
Earlier this year it was announced that 70 per cent of British women have now joined the workplace. Naturally, this news was welcomed by the likes of Baroness Jay and all the other usual suspects. They predictably crowed that business was now welcoming women, although they did add the caveat that it was a matter of concern that they usually got lower wages than men.
Excuse me! By definition, business is ruthless, and never more so than under present conditions. Does none of these supposedly intelligent people realise that the sole reason that such a high percentage of women are in paid employment is that bosses find them cheaper to employ than men? The fastest growing industry in Britain - telephone call centres - almost exclusively employ women. Such operations are typically set up in high-unemployment areas, such as the former mining regions of Yorkshire.
Women in these places are typically only allowed a three minute break between the dozens of calls they must make each day, and are always closely monitored by supervisors. A TUC survey even found that some employees who broke rules on the strictly limited toilet time were forced into nappies! If Charles Dickens were writing today no doubt the call centre would feature in at least one of his novels, as the modern replacement for the blacking factory.
Not surprisingly. most of the inmates of these hum battery farms have an air of desperation about them. I remember one recent conversation I had with a call-centre woman: "Can interest you in double-glazing?" "No sorry." "How about another product of ours: steel security doors?" "Well maybe I'll have to consider them if Britain keeps on going down the plug hole." Slightly suppressed laughter - perhaps a supervisor was listening! Could anyone have preceded that this would be the end result of the ideas propagated by Steinem, Sonntag and the rest?
Effect of Globalism
So much for the one major economic success story that provides - at what price! - female employment and "independence." This is just a minor sample of what is implied by the term "globalism", with all its unpleasant implications for family life and all of our old freedoms. No wonder that symptoms of social breakdown are growing, bemoaned by Thatcher-loving Tory types, who have the cheek to complain about conditions that they more than anyone have contributed to creating!
The burgeoning growth of cheap-labour female service industries is the other side of the coin to the monstrous job cuts in the traditional male industries. As a result of the Corus steel closure in February, the area around Ebbw Vale has been turned into an unpleasant wasteland bereft of jobs and hope. But in the City of London. Corus shares jumped by 10 per cent when the mass redundancies were announced. The rationale of managers and financiers alike is that leaner (anorexic) equals fitter. This misconception is always promoted these days, probably due to the fact that large firms are usually headed by accountants, not by people with a specialised knowledge of the businesses in question.
The crippling exchange rate has meant that British steel is over-priced on world markets, so causing the management to cut their losses by sacking droves of workers. One wonders if there isn't a more conspiratorial aspect to all these job losses, and that sterling exchange rates are being kept deliberately high in order to force acceptance of the Euro. The system politicians and spin-doctors could present the Euro currency as a solution to mass job losses, thus nullifying the strong pubic opposition to it at a stroke.
But it's worth remembering that home demand for steel dropped dramatically in recent years due to continuing de-industrialisation and cheap imports from Asia and Eastern Europe. Just another case, in fact, of the classic "double-whammy" of exchange rates and free trade, which has already seen off more industry than we care to remember or contemplate. Even a demented parrot would learn in time not to knock its head against the bars of its cage, but all the distinguished Oxford professors, senior civil servants and statesmen in Britain can't seem to grasp that free trade is ruinous to our industrial base. In reality they are all more stupid than the aforementioned parrot.
How much longer?
How much longer do we have to go on like this before establishment figures have a change of heart? Until we come to the stage when thousands of workers compete for a cleaning job at the Thatcher Mausoleum amid a moonscape of ruined factories, perhaps?
As an illustration of the ruinous effect of free Trade, consider the following: I recently got excellent pair of leather shoes, very comfortable too, for around twenty pounds. The label said "Made in Vietnam." Now, can anyone explain how our own shoe manufacturers are going to compete for business, when a Vietnamese operative receives one fiftieth of a British worker's salary? To what purpose did some poor heroic dupe from a "hill-billy" farm in Virginia or Kentucky lose his life fighting "communism" in Vietnam?
It would seem that it was to ensure that Vietnam could beat the USA and other countries at capitalism twenty five years later. As mobster Sam "Moony" Giancana would snort about this subject: "Fighting communism in Vietnam? It's about deals, money and power!" Sam Gianccana, who had connections with the world of American Intelligence, would seem to be a better explanation of world events than all the pompous Times editorials put together.
As a regular reader of local newspapers. I've noticed more than one letter from brow-beaten and foolish people basically stating that: "Our town is still just as run-down as ever after several years of New Labour. Come the election I'm going to vote Tory. I know they're just as bad or maybe worse than New Labour, but I'll feel happier blaming them." Is this what representative democracy has come to: a choice between two evils?
Surely not everyone is stupid enough to behave like this; if this mode of thought were universal in Britain we would certainly deserve our collective fate. But there really is an alternative and defeat and despair are not inevitable, as long as we manage to get our message over to the public.