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Laura Kuenssberg, Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, 99% of journalists, state and private, other racists and classists and money-whores and all the other lazy fuckheaded cretins who don't know how to read, go and play with a stick or ball in the park. Everyone else, read on. Much of what you do today is of a lower priority than reading this material.   Share:  
Thrust of argument: <<

Looked at from the City, Thatcher's 'Big Bang' was a great success; but beyond London's commuter belt, the furnace of financialization was sucking all the oxygen from the air. The hedge funds, privatizers, outsourcers and spread-betting merchants often made a killing, but did not nourish long-term businesses. Manufacturing shrank to 17 per cent of uk gross value added by 1997, compared to 26 per cent in Germany, contributing to a long-term depression in the industrial North as well as a chronic current-account deficit, with Britain importing the goods it no longer made at home. The Blair-Brown governments continued these trends, mitigated only by the few crumbs tossed to 'hard-working families' by a tax-credit system which eventually collapsed under the weight of the Chancellor's micro-tuning. As the uk's new economic model established itself in the 1990s and began to grow, in global conditions of footloose capital, the country's sectoral imbalances exacerbated its regional inequalities, too. The service sector ballooned to nearly 80 per cent of output, compared to 69 per cent in Germany, with profits disproportionately reliant on financial and business services based in London and the South-East. Structural imbalances were compounded by the hyper-inflation of London property prices under New Labour; the wealth and income levels of the well-to-do soared relative to the rest. Household debt rose from 85 per cent of disposable income in 1997 to 148 per cent in 2008.

At the same time, the public domain was assiduously plundered of assets. The policy mechanism for this was imported from the us: cut high-end taxes, on the basis that this would free up wealth creation, and then demand spending cuts to balance the books. In the 1980s, Thatcher brought corporation tax down from 52 to 35 per cent; New Labour slashed it to 28 per cent; the Cameron and May governments, to 19 per cent. Beneath the uk's constitutional flummery-the royal prerogative, the Queen's speech and an unelected upper house remain intact-much of the state, at local as well as national level, has been systematically privatized and financialized. Government no longer 'delivered' public services, but 'procured' them. New Labour's major structural legacy lay here, in hollowing out swathes of public assets and service provision for the benefit of rent-seeking firms, through the expansion of Private Finance Initiatives. Under these schemes, contracting companies establish Special-Purpose Vehicles (spvs) which borrow capital to build and maintain schools, hospitals and prisons, with revenue streams guaranteed for thirty years or more. The Thatcher and Major governments had already experimented with pfis. Blair and Brown went on to adopt them on a much larger scale, advised by their friends in the City that 'partnering' with finance capital would be a more providential way of raising resources for school- and hospital-building programmes than imposing higher taxes on wealthy corporations and the rich.

The pfi mania reflected the broader transition in the British economy from production to services, under the aegis of financialized capitalism. Rent-seeking is the characteristic profit-form of this regime, with its privatized, leveraged assets-land, buildings, patents, airwaves, mineral deposits, digital platforms and so forth-and the spv as its preferred legal entity. In the short run, rents can reap windfall rewards; but in the longer term, the production of new values does more to boost productivity. Originally devised for major infrastructure projects like roads and hospitals, the pfi formula was extended into waste disposal, transport, facilities management, social care, it, military equipment, security provision and energy supplies. These lucrative contracts were not allotted in a genuinely competitive market but instead doled out amongst a handful of companies-Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Interserve, Jarvis, Kier, Serco. Public agencies duly signed up to over £300 billion in unitary charges covering debt repayments, financing costs, maintenance fees and additional charges, down to the 2040s-a huge taxpayer hand-out to the private sector. The crisis of 2008 was not allowed to halt the revelry: Brown set up a Treasury Infrastructure Finance Unit to pump public credit to the pfi investors, who then 'invested' it back into public projects.

As well as extra financing costs and the inordinate repayment period, pfis brought a deterioration in public-sector service standards and democratic accountability. The financial engineering embodied by the spvs did not boost underlying performance-quite the reverse: it produced managers without industry-specific skills or local knowledge, and demoralized, underpaid employees, contributing to the poor productivity that has characterized the British economy for decades. At 17 per cent of gdp, the uk investment rate is 5 percentage points below the oecd average and disproportionately concentrated in London and the South East. r&d spending is notably weak as well-1.6 per cent of gdp, compared to 2.1 per cent in the Eurozone and 2.8 per cent in the us. Meanwhile the proportion of non-financial corporations' discretionary cash-flow funneled to shareholders has risen from 39 to 46 per cent since 1990, with a growing percentage now flowing overseas. The uk also has lower tax receipts as a percentage of gdp than its neighbours: 33 per cent, compared to 38 per cent in Germany and 45 per cent in France.

The 2008 crisis revealed the staggering private-debt levels that sustained the financialized uk economy: household debt at 98 per cent of gdp, non-financial corporations at 109 per cent, financial corporations at 219 per cent-or 750 per cent, if derivatives were included-the highest of any G7 economy. When public debt of 81 per cent was included, the uk's total liabilities before the crash were 487 per cent of its gdp-higher than Japan's. When the crisis hit, all stops were pulled out to save the bloated financial sector: a total of £1.2 trillion in bank bailouts and guarantees, followed by £445 billion in quantitative easing between 2009 and 2016. As the Eurozone crisis struck, the headline figures of Britain's recovery looked impressive: by 2015, gdp was up 14 per cent from its 2009 trough, wealth had grown by 35 per cent. But even the Bank of England's chief economist could ask: 'Whose recovery?'

The public cash poured into the financial sector fuelled another stock-market and property bubble in London and the South East, where median wealth has risen nearly 50 per cent since the crisis and incomes of ftse 100 chief executives quadrupled between 1998 and 2015. Meanwhile the austerity that was supposed to pay for all this has hit hardest in the North, more heavily dependent on public-sector jobs. Average real wages are still below their 2008 level. Local council spending in England was cut by 26 per cent on average under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, and public-sector pay was capped-school teachers, working a 55-hour week, saw their real pay drop by 15 per cent. Personal debt is rising again, especially among the young, now saddled with huge student loans on graduation; many are struggling with repayments. Harsh cuts in housing benefit have seen poverty levels running at over 20 per cent for those of working age; there has been a rise in people sleeping rough, in job insecurity, in anxiety and depression. In June 2017, the fire at Grenfell Tower provided a horrific example of the declining safety standards abetted by corrupt procurement practices and outsourced responsibility. The collapse in early 2018 of Carillion, the country's second largest construction company, revealed the gimcrack nature of British infrastructure provision and maintenance in the era of the pfi. Despite profit warnings, Carillion had been handed a number of large public-sector contracts just months before it fell.

>>
Direction of resistance / implied resistance: Some rich old man with no idea about the world but a posh voice, and a sense of knowing it all, of being 'above' people who 'do not read books' - made this absurd statement the other day: "Do you know Jeremy Corbyn hasn't read a single book?".

I mean were he to have alleged that Corbyn is not a literary man or has not read as much as, say, Stephen Fry (fat lot of good it's done the latter?) about trivia or iambic pentameter, maybe he can't quote as much Latin as Horace Rumpole, whether or not Horace Rumpole laughs at those who imagine that quoting their Latin gives them some sort of innate superiority, that would be crass but not patently ridiculous - but to pretend that Corbyn J has 'never read a single book' is ridiculous, and to be able to make the statement shows very poor judgment.

 

 

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Removal of resistance: Nonetheless, his absurdity aside, I ask you, reader, not that man or anyone like him, as no one like him is reading this page only you are - has that man read ANYTHING like this document or like the article quoted there and in the references below? No. And what of Jeremy Corbyn? How much of his time, in recent decades, has been spent reading so much material of this nature, and beyond? I mean it's amazing how daft the 'Island monkeys' (as Germany calls Britons, I gather, from a Canadian) really are. Unification: You, nonetheless, are wiser than the rest and will click through to the link below and read this full Robin Blackburn article. I have only read parts of what I quoted so far but it's enough to make me see this document needs to be considered in its entirety and in detail and provides a useful picture. We cannot possibly expect the people I have named in the title to do anything like that (ie even read the paragraphs above, let alone the entire article) ever. They numb their own minds night and day, week in, week out, and call themselves 'advanced' - in order to lie to themselves about whether they really have any work to do. They are, basically, like that insane old rich man at the posh supermarket who claimed Corbyn J has never read a single book in his entire life. What a notion. Has anyone in the list of people named at the top of this page read a single tvhobo grid point in their entire life? That's more interesting to ME, frankly.
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https://newleftreview.org/issues/II111/articles/robin-blackburn-the-corbyn-project

 

 

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Simple text version.

Laura Kuenssberg, Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, 99% of journalists, state and private, other racists and classists and money-whores and all the other lazy fuckheaded cretins who don't know how to read, go and play with a stick or ball in the park. Everyone else, read on. Much of what you do today is of a lower priority than reading this material.

<<

Looked at from the City, Thatcher's 'Big Bang' was a great success; but beyond London's commuter belt, the furnace of financialization was sucking all the oxygen from the air. The hedge funds, privatizers, outsourcers and spread-betting merchants often made a killing, but did not nourish long-term businesses. Manufacturing shrank to 17 per cent of uk gross value added by 1997, compared to 26 per cent in Germany, contributing to a long-term depression in the industrial North as well as a chronic current-account deficit, with Britain importing the goods it no longer made at home. The Blair-Brown governments continued these trends, mitigated only by the few crumbs tossed to 'hard-working families' by a tax-credit system which eventually collapsed under the weight of the Chancellor's micro-tuning. As the uk's new economic model established itself in the 1990s and began to grow, in global conditions of footloose capital, the country's sectoral imbalances exacerbated its regional inequalities, too. The service sector ballooned to nearly 80 per cent of output, compared to 69 per cent in Germany, with profits disproportionately reliant on financial and business services based in London and the South-East. Structural imbalances were compounded by the hyper-inflation of London property prices under New Labour; the wealth and income levels of the well-to-do soared relative to the rest. Household debt rose from 85 per cent of disposable income in 1997 to 148 per cent in 2008.

At the same time, the public domain was assiduously plundered of assets. The policy mechanism for this was imported from the us: cut high-end taxes, on the basis that this would free up wealth creation, and then demand spending cuts to balance the books. In the 1980s, Thatcher brought corporation tax down from 52 to 35 per cent; New Labour slashed it to 28 per cent; the Cameron and May governments, to 19 per cent. Beneath the uk's constitutional flummery-the royal prerogative, the Queen's speech and an unelected upper house remain intact-much of the state, at local as well as national level, has been systematically privatized and financialized. Government no longer 'delivered' public services, but 'procured' them. New Labour's major structural legacy lay here, in hollowing out swathes of public assets and service provision for the benefit of rent-seeking firms, through the expansion of Private Finance Initiatives. Under these schemes, contracting companies establish Special-Purpose Vehicles (spvs) which borrow capital to build and maintain schools, hospitals and prisons, with revenue streams guaranteed for thirty years or more. The Thatcher and Major governments had already experimented with pfis. Blair and Brown went on to adopt them on a much larger scale, advised by their friends in the City that 'partnering' with finance capital would be a more providential way of raising resources for school- and hospital-building programmes than imposing higher taxes on wealthy corporations and the rich.

The pfi mania reflected the broader transition in the British economy from production to services, under the aegis of financialized capitalism. Rent-seeking is the characteristic profit-form of this regime, with its privatized, leveraged assets-land, buildings, patents, airwaves, mineral deposits, digital platforms and so forth-and the spv as its preferred legal entity. In the short run, rents can reap windfall rewards; but in the longer term, the production of new values does more to boost productivity. Originally devised for major infrastructure projects like roads and hospitals, the pfi formula was extended into waste disposal, transport, facilities management, social care, it, military equipment, security provision and energy supplies. These lucrative contracts were not allotted in a genuinely competitive market but instead doled out amongst a handful of companies-Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Interserve, Jarvis, Kier, Serco. Public agencies duly signed up to over £300 billion in unitary charges covering debt repayments, financing costs, maintenance fees and additional charges, down to the 2040s-a huge taxpayer hand-out to the private sector. The crisis of 2008 was not allowed to halt the revelry: Brown set up a Treasury Infrastructure Finance Unit to pump public credit to the pfi investors, who then 'invested' it back into public projects.

As well as extra financing costs and the inordinate repayment period, pfis brought a deterioration in public-sector service standards and democratic accountability. The financial engineering embodied by the spvs did not boost underlying performance-quite the reverse: it produced managers without industry-specific skills or local knowledge, and demoralized, underpaid employees, contributing to the poor productivity that has characterized the British economy for decades. At 17 per cent of gdp, the uk investment rate is 5 percentage points below the oecd average and disproportionately concentrated in London and the South East. r&d spending is notably weak as well-1.6 per cent of gdp, compared to 2.1 per cent in the Eurozone and 2.8 per cent in the us. Meanwhile the proportion of non-financial corporations' discretionary cash-flow funneled to shareholders has risen from 39 to 46 per cent since 1990, with a growing percentage now flowing overseas. The uk also has lower tax receipts as a percentage of gdp than its neighbours: 33 per cent, compared to 38 per cent in Germany and 45 per cent in France.

The 2008 crisis revealed the staggering private-debt levels that sustained the financialized uk economy: household debt at 98 per cent of gdp, non-financial corporations at 109 per cent, financial corporations at 219 per cent-or 750 per cent, if derivatives were included-the highest of any G7 economy. When public debt of 81 per cent was included, the uk's total liabilities before the crash were 487 per cent of its gdp-higher than Japan's. When the crisis hit, all stops were pulled out to save the bloated financial sector: a total of £1.2 trillion in bank bailouts and guarantees, followed by £445 billion in quantitative easing between 2009 and 2016. As the Eurozone crisis struck, the headline figures of Britain's recovery looked impressive: by 2015, gdp was up 14 per cent from its 2009 trough, wealth had grown by 35 per cent. But even the Bank of England's chief economist could ask: 'Whose recovery?'

The public cash poured into the financial sector fuelled another stock-market and property bubble in London and the South East, where median wealth has risen nearly 50 per cent since the crisis and incomes of ftse 100 chief executives quadrupled between 1998 and 2015. Meanwhile the austerity that was supposed to pay for all this has hit hardest in the North, more heavily dependent on public-sector jobs. Average real wages are still below their 2008 level. Local council spending in England was cut by 26 per cent on average under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, and public-sector pay was capped-school teachers, working a 55-hour week, saw their real pay drop by 15 per cent. Personal debt is rising again, especially among the young, now saddled with huge student loans on graduation; many are struggling with repayments. Harsh cuts in housing benefit have seen poverty levels running at over 20 per cent for those of working age; there has been a rise in people sleeping rough, in job insecurity, in anxiety and depression. In June 2017, the fire at Grenfell Tower provided a horrific example of the declining safety standards abetted by corrupt procurement practices and outsourced responsibility. The collapse in early 2018 of Carillion, the country's second largest construction company, revealed the gimcrack nature of British infrastructure provision and maintenance in the era of the pfi. Despite profit warnings, Carillion had been handed a number of large public-sector contracts just months before it fell.

>>

Some rich old man with no idea about the world but a posh voice, and a sense of knowing it all, of being 'above' people who 'do not read books' - made this absurd statement the other day: "Do you know Jeremy Corbyn hasn't read a single book?".

I mean were he to have alleged that Corbyn is not a literary man or has not read as much as, say, Stephen Fry (fat lot of good it's done the latter?) about trivia or iambic pentameter, maybe he can't quote as much Latin as Horace Rumpole, whether or not Horace Rumpole laughs at those who imagine that quoting their Latin gives them some sort of innate superiority, that would be crass but not patently ridiculous - but to pretend that Corbyn J has 'never read a single book' is ridiculous, and to be able to make the statement shows very poor judgment.

Nonetheless, his absurdity aside, I ask you, reader, not that man or anyone like him, as no one like him is reading this page only you are - has that man read ANYTHING like this document or like the article quoted there and in the references below? No. And what of Jeremy Corbyn? How much of his time, in recent decades, has been spent reading so much material of this nature, and beyond? I mean it's amazing how daft the 'Island monkeys' (as Germany calls Britons, I gather, from a Canadian) really are.

You, nonetheless, are wiser than the rest and will click through to the link below and read this full Robin Blackburn article. I have only read parts of what I quoted so far but it's enough to make me see this document needs to be considered in its entirety and in detail and provides a useful picture. We cannot possibly expect the people I have named in the title to do anything like that (ie even read the paragraphs above, let alone the entire article) ever. They numb their own minds night and day, week in, week out, and call themselves 'advanced' - in order to lie to themselves about whether they really have any work to do. They are, basically, like that insane old rich man at the posh supermarket who claimed Corbyn J has never read a single book in his entire life. What a notion. Has anyone in the list of people named at the top of this page read a single tvhobo grid point in their entire life? That's more interesting to ME, frankly.



https://newleftreview.org/issues/II111/articles/robin-blackburn-the-corbyn-project