As travelers struggle with the effects of rail strikes this week (and the weeks to come) I hope people quickly come to realise that the inconvenience is seen as but a welcome side effect of the latest stumble in the current Tory leadership’s ‘long term economic plan’ and their continued corruption of Conservative politics.
Fundamental to Conservative thinking is that business is good and the State is bad. Rolled up in ‘business is good’ ideology is the idea that workers are the enemy of business, at the same time that they are its chattels. Lip service is paid to the notion that business provides the wealth of a nation and the subjects of that nation should be grateful recipients. But that isn’t how economies work.
Businesses rely heavily on the State to make money. No business could exist within a country that does not provide an infrastructure of logistics and communication. No business could exist within a country that does not provide workforce. Essential to the provision of workforce within a ‘civilised’ country is the provision for housing, sanitation, food, education, healthcare and all those other services which taxpayers pay for. Businesses that pay no or little tax, whilst making £billions in profits, are not paying for their use of facilities and services that taxpayers pay for and which the State oversees.
If businesses stopped operating within Britain, Britain would continue to exist and would continue to have an economy. If taxpayers stopped paying for all that taxpayers pay for, businesses would cease to exist. Even if a business is based 100% in the internet, it could not survive without the infrastructure that taxpayers provide. The internet would not exist without enormous amounts of taxpayer investment and the people who own/run a business would not survive without all the services that make existence in country ‘civilised’.
Britain was one time the wealthiest country on the planet because it maintained an expansive empire which it stripped of assets and exploited. The British Empire no longer exists but multi-national corporations exploit the ‘global economy’ in very much the same way. Whilst the British Empire may have made Britain the wealthiest country on the planet, in truth, that wealth was concentrated into very few British hands and the same is true for todays ‘global capitalists’. As consumers, we enjoy the benefits of exploiting low waged workers around the globe, we enjoy regimes who permit corporations unrestricted access to exploit and damage their environments, but our economies do not see any benefit. When the banks crashed the global economy in 2007, it was taxpayers who bailed the bankers out, not the global capitalists.
The expansion of ‘global capitalism’ is talked of as irresistible, and that may well be true, though history is littered with defeatist predictions that history has proved false. What global capitalism has not introduced is much sense that we exist as planetary community; money may have no borders but the world is still overrun with them. We have people ‘smart’ enough to exploit the world’s populations for personal gain but not people smart enough bring them together. 2007 also proved that ‘global capitalism’ does not deal with crisis, that is left up to good old fashioned States and their taxpayers; global capitalism can shit the bed but it’s not equipped to change the sheets.
So, we have a Tory government who are attempting to prostate themselves at the feet of global capitalism, in the hope that they can further feather their own nests, and are prepared to give away the assets that generations of post War British worked so hard to achieve. The Tories have been emptying the coffers to line the pockets of the wealthiest in our society whilst beating the most vulnerable of us into submission with Austerity and now they are going after workers. All under the guise of reducing interference from the State. It sounds like Conservative politics but, with the new and expansive surveillance laws prove, the Tories have become the most intrusive State Britain has ever known and, through the shocking increase in national debt, the Tories have borrowed and spent more money than previous generations combined.
Since 2010, the Tories have become the largest British State in modern history and the wealthiest 5% have doubled their wealth in that time. Alongside being our most obese State, the Tories are one that serves the richest in society and themselves. They have burdened British taxpayers with grossly inflated national debt, have created crises within all areas of public life, will subject us to gross invasions of our privacy, and are seeking to strip away workers’ rights and protections; all whilst building themselves into a bigger, more expensive State than anything seen under Labour and, remember, the Tories have not been spending the extravagant debt on the British public, it has been used to service the rich.
At the time when reasoned opinion is clearly moving towards re-nationalising the rail service, the Tories are attempting to manipulate a crisis into an excuse to strip away workers’ rights. It should not be overlooked that the nature of the contract Southern have pays them whether they run trains or not, almost as if they were convinced to provoke the conflict with the transport unions because they would actually earn more money for not running train services. If the Tories introduce measures to stop transport workers from striking, the measures will be much further reaching.