This week announced spending cuts on defence in the UK indicate the scale of the current financial crisis. Even, as a result of the previous Labour regime brought about economic disaster, at the end of 1970's the UK did not have to cut its forces that deep. In 1982 it was still able to mount a successful Falklands campaign. In the height of Conservative induced recession of the early 1990's it was able to provide a significant contribution to the First Gulf War. After the defence budget cuts just announced the British conventional military capability will be reduced to symbolic. Only our nuclear deterrent will keep the British position on the UN Security Council not reduced to a rather indefensible remains of a period when Britain was still a power.
Cuts of public spending in general on a similar scale will happen in other areas. They are also happening other countries like France where a very generous pension age is to be extended from the age of 60 to 65. So be it one might say. Maybe it all makes sense. Maybe it is not in British national interest to remain a significant military power. Maybe rising pension age is good for society. After all people who work longer (in good conditions, of course) are healthier and live longer. Besides industries and businesses propelled by the public sector are usually not the best examples of efficiency and productivity. The point is however not whether such saving and cuts make sense but why they are a financial necessity. Why such public spending cuts are not diverted through tax cuts or other spending to education, research, better pensions, health service, etc.
All the public spending is necessary because of the depth and spread of the financial crisis. This financial crisis is reshaping our social lives. It is done under propaganda of necessity and impunity for all those responsible. There is not much public debate. Having organised a pyramid scheme that pumped the cash out of the economy (and a lot of it is sitting in shadow banking and offshore financial centres), as described in "The largest heist in history", governments have kept taking money out of taxpayers pockets by making cuts and raising taxes, to sustain a pyramid of liabilities by the financial industry (that incidentally has been funding a pretty good live style of its administrators, i.e. the bankers).
In the UK the Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, naively believes that this is "taking the Britain out of the danger zone". Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact the bankers achieved what the author of this blog warned about well over a year ago: they control, through mechanism of the financial markets, the taxpayers in the same way as loan sharks control their victims with bullies with baseball bats. It is not more sophisticated in practice. It is not a socialist view but a laissez-faire perspective. The bankers are running a creeping October Revolution of our times: killing free market-based capitalism and replacing it with a communism for the filthy rich. As the recent Irish experience indicates, they are preparing to come for more. The present improvements of the UK standing on the financial markets after making cuts promises is an encouragement to make further cuts. Once the "markets" judge them deep enough, i.e. maximising a room in the budget to transfer more money to the banks, the "markets" will go the other way. The most obvious mechanism will be through downgrading British rating giving completely free cash to the financial industry. Due to the scale of the financial pyramid the end to this is not in sight. We are on a slippery slope and any talk about a better future is fooling people. Unless it is a better future for the bankers. On the face of it, leaving political wranglings aside, whilst the last Labour administration allowed (or even colluded) the financial pyramid to grow, the current Conservative one appears to sustain it. There is a solution however. But it requires guts, competence and wisdom.