As it happened – Yanis Varoufakis’ intervention during the 27th June 2015 Eurogroup Meeting

In an abusive household there is a period, before the victim can act to address abuse, where they must decide if it is abusive. The process by which challenge exposes the limitations of power, and it becomes revealed that there is no right to stand up to this behaviour, is useful. It is the period in which people learn to understand the nature of the power controlling them. To make that power aware of harm being caused by the abuse of power. Those expecting miracles from Syriza failed to understand the nature of the problem. If all Syriza achieve is the demonstration that democracy is not an acceptable challenge to the power of finance, then that is something we must learn from. The reason the political spectrum is redefining around parties like Syriza, is that they are the parties to say ok, this is democracy. Bare your teeth and show us what democracy is up against. Until those teeth have been fully bared, people cannot learn how power is exercised and challenge it.

Yanis Varoufakis

The Eurogroup Meeting of 27th June 2015 will not go down as a proud moment in Europe’s history. Ministers turned down the Greek government’s request that the Greek people should be granted a single week during which to deliver a Yes or No answer to the institutions’ proposals – proposals crucial for Greece’s future in the Eurozone. The very idea that a government would consult its people on a problematic proposal put to it by the institutions was treated with incomprehension and often with disdain bordering on contempt. I was even asked: “How do you expect common people to understand such complex issues?”. Indeed, democracy did not have a good day in yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting! But nor did European institutions. After our request was rejected, the Eurogroup President broke with the convention of unanimity (issuing a statement without my consent) and even took the dubious decision to convene a follow up meeting without the Greek minister, ostensibly to…

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Response to Polly Toynbee’s piece in Guardian last week..

THis was written a few years ago, when Labour were rolling out their machinery to prevent discussion of austerity and exploit the fear and pain it was causing. Ignore that it is a response to St.Polly of Toynbee, its about debt, welfare, inequality, and the ‘working poor’ as the countries working families have recently been rechristened.

The Idge of Reason

I read Polly Toynbee’s piece in yesterday’s Guardian, nodding in agreement with much of it. The willingness of our Conservative-led government to punish the poorest in our society, while pushing people to believe that they deserve what is coming, has been almost as astounding as the willingness of the general public to accept it.

But there are things that Polly missed, and they are things that need to be discussed if we are to hope to begin to oppose these policies effectively.

When Tony Blair stood up and said that New Labour intended to abolish child poverty, who didn’t applaud? I worked at a Jobcentre when Tax Credits and the minimum wage were introduced, and the effect was astounding. When the minimum wage was introduced, we removed cards for jobs for adults that paid 1.65 an hour. The promise that working families would have an income of more than…

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I had a chat with @chunkymark in his TAXI!!!

|Here you go.

A few thoughts on politics, dependency and care

I dont really like the culture around NS or the consequences of what they do, but Glosswitch is often worth reading.

Identity politics, chavs, Barnsley, and Searchlight.

As Dan Jarvis is the Wunderkind many are seeing as the next Labour leader, this post from when he was elected seems appropriate. He increased his majority massively to be fair to him.

The Idge of Reason

Last night, Barnsley, a seat where you could stand a turnip in a red rosette and it would win, was a scene of rejoicing as Labour crowed about increasing their majority. I struggle to understand how a by-election with a 36% turnout, where almost 21% of the vote was captured by far right parties is a cause for celebration. The win by a media friendly ‘star’ with no links to that community, something to be proud of? A drop in Labour votes from 17,487 to 14,724, in the year politics landed on everyone’s doorstep, irrelevant because the Liberal Democrats were decimated?

Dan Hodges wrote this piece for the New Statesman today about the recent research by Searchlight on the rise in identity politics and the challenge this brings to the UK. The effect of which Barnsley’s election result brought home loud and clear. I agree with parts of…

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The TUC have decided Britain no longer needs trade unions.

Not that we have had them for a while. This is the TUC’s statement with the CBI about unpaid work and workfare. I am going to explain what it means. We have had an expansion of welfare to the working population. Once a worker is welfare dependent, it doesn’t actually matter if they have a trade union because the government can tinker direct with the economy and their income without ever consulting one. The transfer of welfare spending to the working population, combined with the easy availability of credit, has driven wages to the floor. Now everyones wages will be depressed, and the percentage of the labour in the economy done for benefits and benefits alone will increase. Until we have a no wage economy of people with no democratic or legal representation.

The power of labour to challenge capital is to be absorbed into the benefits system. Trade unions are no longer necessary.

The TUC are umbilically linked to the Labour Party, who are umbilically linked to finance. The TUC now exist to undemine paid labour, and to drive down wages, so that the working population are disenfranchised, and unable to survive, so vulnerable to exploitation.

They did this because Frances O Grady is on 90k a year and why the fuck would she give a shit? The TUC have worked hard to prevent all opposition to austerity unless it can be harvested for the Labour Party and the finance sector it is done in the interests of. THey are vicious with people who challenge them. Old union bullies, They have delivered austerity for the Tories.

This is a message, The trade unions are fair game. The Tories never needed to ban trade unions or strikes, the trade unions are so locked into their fat trough they abandoned us years ago. Existing ONLY to steal our money, and provide lefty bullshit to prevent the discussing of our economic policy, its relationship to our social policy and inequality faultlines.

Israel, Gaza, and sticking your head above the parapet.

Israel, Gaza, and sticking your head above the parapet..

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