Today we hear that 50,000 companies will be in trouble because of the Cuts.
This does not figure a double dip recession which is coming whatever spin they try to put on it that it might be avoided…
This is 1980/81 all over again. Instead of steel plants which aren’t there (having been shipped to China), it’s public and therefore private offices that will bear the brunt, with a knock on in smaller shops on the high street.
Last time they wanted to squeeze inflation out of the system.
This time it’s government spending cuts, to satisfy bond traders who will then allow for banks to be bailed out… Yes, Bank bailout Two coming in 2011.
And what was the political impact of this…. Yes, you guessed it… a ‘modernising Labour’ did not get into power for 18 years…… they also thought they would just watch the carnage and sweep back to power.
Because the world had changed … into a new era of neo-liberalisation….
This time, the world has changed again…. that era is bankrupt intellectually, financially and economically.
Neo-Labour thinks a few tweaks here and there with a sprinkling of mild populist messages ought to be enough (without worrying the middle classes on the lines of Jonathan Powell’s Machiavelli Plan).
Neo-Labour want to do the least and wait for the plump fruit of government fall into their hands. They are going to be sorely disappointed and that’s when the infighting will begin as the careerists realise they can kiss power goodbye.
In the wider political arena, there will be polarisation.
The three parties clinging on to the old era (including Neo Labour) on the one side and a host of radical parties and movements on the other ranging from Far Right UKIP, assorted nationalists to the internationalist and Leftist Greens.
That moment has not yet arrived but it’s brewing.
The inflection point will come when the government has to do a U-turn sometime within the next two years when they realise the Cuts are the problem, not the solution and pummeling the economy into the ground.
Then it will not be a question of “fast savage cuts” or “slightly slower savage cuts”.
It will be a choice of radicalism.
The power lies with the unsavoury Far Right as we have seen in Europe. Insecure voters find it easier to move to the Right, at least at first.
To compensate for this, the Greens need to look at Nationalist groups on this island and chalk out a common theme so that voters are aware that this is a broad based alliance, taking on the issue of English nationalism head on – instead of pretending it does not exist.
It does and will rise as a mirror image of Scottish and Welsh nationalist strength.
In the metropolises we will have to put our hand out to the big ethnic minority populations too. The others can attack the migrants. We can maintain our long cherished internationalist principles instead.
Do I hear a sharp intake of breath?
Moreover, the Greens have to let people know that solutions can only be Europe-wide and so campaign with a range of Green and Left parties in Europe for an alternative vision to the Lisbon Treaty.
Domestically, too much of the commentariat are talking up an understanding with Neo-Labour.
That would be a strategic mistake where they would gain far more and do nothing while we lose the chance to offer an alternative.
We have to lump Neo-Labour with the Lib-Dems and Tories and keep on hammering that message.
And then explain what our alternative is and why it will work.
This game is much more than just trying to attract a few temporarily disgruntled Lib-Dem voters. That has its own dangers because whispers will suggest that we ‘go easy’ on our Anti-Cuts rhetoric so as not to scare off ‘possible’, not ‘probable’ Lib Dems.
That kind of thinking permeates the Orange group in the LibDems. We should be wary of similar thinking in the Greens.
Greens must not go Orange. It must remain Green.
We have to stick to our manifesto. On that foundation, we have to build alliances.
Getting our visa into Parliament it’s time for the Party to show confidence in what we believe and not be timid in saying it. One person is doing this, doing the work of a dozen MPs. But the rest of the Party has to support too. I would say at a pinch a couple of hundred are actively beavering away. Perhaps 2% at most.
The strategic thinking from the great and the good has to be more ambitious and broad-based.
We have to move out of our comfort zone.
For different reasons, and different philosophies, a previous generation regretted the Green downfall in the early 1990s and watched from the sidelines the rise of Petra Kelly inspired German Greens.
Perhaps another window of opportunity has just opened, twenty years later.
What will we do?