We are seeing a real confrontation between two kinds of power. One is elected parliamentary power, represented by the Treasury team and No 10. The other is the power of finance capital. London is a citadel for both kinds of power, British-state and global-economic. So it\’s not surprising that the confrontation is happening here.
The trigger for the fight is the gross bonus culture. The bankers are trying to hold Darling to ransom. If he doesn\’t allow them barrowloads of cash, they\’ll bugger off. And the ones from the Royal Bank of Scotland will go to rival banks, leaving the taxpayers\’ assets to melt away. Darling says he won\’t be held to ransom and the Treasury is privately talking up taxes to punish greedy bankers. But, as he acknowledged, it\’s a fine decision, because he cannot afford RBS\’s investment banking division to collapse. He needs to sell the bank. It says it needs to be fattened up for sale. It isn\’t as easy as public anger demands it should be.
It\’s not a battle between parliamentary power and that of finance capital.
It\’s a battle between what politicians would like to do with the powers of the State and reality.
Reality is that what politicans do, the plans they make whatever their desires or motives, has side effects. Effects which can make what politicians do entirely counter productive.
It\’s not a battle between two competing power bases: it\’s a battle between the universe as it is and fantasy.
And then this:
it talks of the need for a new engineering and design age, based on green technologies. It\’s about big regional projects for wave turbines, new power stations, electric cars and railways. It\’s about investment, therefore, including in education.
Well, you may say, that\’s a bit rich after all those years of Labour living so easily in the City\’s shadow. But big events like the banking crash are meant to produce new thinking, even a change of heart. When ministers look at economies like the French, which has kept its hi-tech engineering base, there\’s a new sensation – jealousy.
Erm, have you actually gone and looked at the UK economy? We have a huge high-tech engineering base. We don\’t make that many big trains, this is true: but we do make one third of the world\’s large jet engines.
And the memory of the Thatcher and Major de-industrialisation remains strong.
Err, absent the effects of the last couple of years (recessions do have the effect of reducing output you know) manufacturing output is higher than the Major years and most certainly higher than the Thatcher. What de-industrialisation?