Friday, February 12, 2010

Mandelson lets the cuts out of the bag

Peter Mandelson's characteristically high handed attack upon those protesting at proposed spending cuts in higher education included confirmation that the rest of the public sector can expect the same soon (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8511638.stm).

Anyone reading local authority budget papers could tell you the same.

So, if the Government get their way, there will be cutbacks in essential services - which will also have negative multiplier effects on wider economic activity and employment.

If only the Government would listen to Joseph Stiglitz (http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gmg/op/swKYeW1PW8EUPSkOd_cicLg/view.m?id=320693&tid=120787&cat=United_States) they might see the macroeconomic folly of cutting back at a time when this could tip the economy back into recession.

However now that the ideas of those who led us into this crisis appear once more to be guiding policy makers we clearly face warmed up Thatcherism from whoever wins the election.

The trade unions must raise our game, confront those like Mandelson threatening our economy and society - and rally to the aid of those left MPs and candidates upon whom we can rely.

That's why I am supporting the challenge by Paul Holmes in the election for Unison General Secretary. Paul's candidacy shifts debate from the sterile argument for or against Labour Party affiliation - and on to more challenging terrain, asking what we are actually doing with our relationship with the Party and how we get the best we can for our members now by applying our influence to end the obsession with spending cuts.
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