|Lights Going Out for New Labour||Ian Buckley looks at the links between the government and rogue capitalism|
Until recently, the Post Office - now ludicrously renamed Consignia at a cost of several million pounds - was one of the last remaining British public services that still functioned reasonably well. But this tenuous link to a more civilised past seems to be unravelling at speed.
Our supremely obnoxious government has the postal service in its sights, and 3,000 post offices are to be closed down in the near future. It's all apparently to do with saleability, marketing and private finance initiatives. To the "tribunes of the working classes" it doesn't matter that pensioners will have to travel miles to collect their allowances, with all the inconvenience and possible danger that will be involved. This is not to mention the quite hefty percentage of pension uselessly wasted in travelling expenses.
Likewise, when local councils, their spending capped by New Labour, impose cutbacks, old folks' homes are an easy target. The aged are turned out of their familiar surroundings to be dispersed to unfamiliar surroundings miles away with entirely predictable effects on their health and life span. In a few notorious cases on the South Coast, our own old folk have been evicted only to be replaced by asylum-seekers a matter of days later!
All par for the course for the new barbarism, you may say; unfortunate pensioners - along with many others - are merely at the sharp end of the reforms introduced by greedy big businessmen and their satellite politicians. We are assured that business-friendly governments are so much more efficient, but such governments are failures even on their own terms. Everyone remembers the gift of several billions from the taxpayer to George Soros on Black Wednesday. More recently, the Treasury's sale of gold reserves at knock-down prices to speculators has resulted in the loss of £250 million at current gold prices.
Hain turns up again
Typically, former hairy agitator Peter Hain is now a prime advocate of globalisation. The anti-apartheid fanatic of yester-year assures us that globalism is a force that is unstoppable, which will inevitably dominate the world for good.
But it seems to me that we have heard that refrain somewhere before! Didn't all that end in shattered statues and a demolished wall? The new statue of Lady Thatcher may yet face the fate of those of Lenin and Soviet secret police chief Dzerzhinsky. The sledgehammers are waiting - maybe!
Incidentally, Hain stigmatises those who criticise New Labour's interventions abroad as whiners. He tells us that British participation in the war for diamonds in Sierra Leone was merely to aid a legitimate government. Only nasty extremists like us think that the British Army went in to protect the interests of the incredibly wealthy Oppenheimer family. By the way, the Oppenheimers recently again took total control of their De Beers subsidiary at a staggering cost of $17 billion. Pipsqueak entities like the Government of Sierra Leone - or the present joke of a British Government - will always behave themselves before the might of such money power.
Thankfully, the collapse of New Labour on the ground continues apace, even as its increasingly nutty leader indulges in messianic fantasies. The party is in debt to the tune of£10 million. Perhaps now's the time for Blair's chief sponsor Lord Levy to sell off his £20 million marble-lined mansion to aid the party of the workers in overcoming its financial difficulties!
Triumph of money over state
The corruption and deceit engendered by the triumph of money over the state is spreading like a contagious fungus. Blair and Co. have, however, happily ended up with egg over their faces following the collapse of Enron, the biggest corporate bankruptcy in history. New Labour just about finished off the last remnants of the mining industry by building gas-fired power stations just to please this business sponsor!
In addition to taking donations from the crashed power firm, New Labour is also deeply involved with Enron's auditors, Arthur Andersen, who were their favourites for running numerous Private Finance Initiative projects. Marvellous, isn't it, how anodyne initials can soothe people! The term PFI really means robbery of the public, but no-one can see past the bland initials. Anyway, before they became famous for shredding Enron's incriminating documents, Arthur Andersen were involved with the Millennium Dome and some very high-profile private finance projects.
To me, it's repulsive to see British politicians - even a politician like Blair - running around like a lovesick schoolboy after business gangsters who empty pension funds and swindle small investors. I commented in an earlier article that all of our big political-business scandals seem to start in America. The Enron scandal has already implicated both the President and Vice President of the U.S.A. as well as that tired old fixer of the Thatcher era, Lord Wakeham. It's surely not going to be long before the New Labour élite have to answer some awkward questions.
When Enron were in business, their greed and stupidity caused blackouts in California. Can it really be long before the lights go out for New Labour and the era of corruption it personifies?