As the political élite in
His budget means annual spending will fall by 11.3% per year by 2014-15. A council tax freeze will benefit those living in the most expensive homes whilst leading to cuts in service for the many thousands living on the margins. Another year’s pay freeze for many public sector workers will mean a real terms cut as fuel and food prices soar.
The SNP is transferring money out of revenue budgets into capital spending by measures like forcing further education colleges, the police and fire service to merge and in the case of further education, to make massive cuts. The resulting capital projects will create little more than short-term, sub-contracted jobs without making any real economic improvements because they will not add anything to real demand in the economy, or long-term, stable employment.
What it will do is lead to more job losses, and particularly for women who work in education, the NHS and voluntary sector organisations contracted to deliver welfare services.
The SNP blames the cuts on the
And since it would be impossible to join the euro, what kind of independence would it be if
Labour is leaderless and has not a shred of integrity or a political idea between them. In the place where the working class first realised the need for a political party to represent its interests, that party is now a self-serving unrepresentative clique. The Tories are ready to change tack and change name, using the Ulster Unionists as their model. The Liberal Democrats are desperately trying to distance themselves from Clegg and co - but the voters are not swallowing it.
Nowhere is the collapse of the political class clearer than in Scotland, where the three main political parties manage between then to make a minor figure like Salmond look like General De Gaulle; after the local elections next year he could be presiding over a one-party state. Truly, apres-moi le deluge.
There is an urgent need for People’s Assemblies, not with the aim of holding the political class to account but to plan how to replace them entirely, with a democratic body ready to meet the challenge of the crisis with radical plans for social justice, workers’ control and an end to poverty.