11 February 2015

Stirring in the undergrowth……….

Politicians are a pretty cynical bunch so its difficult to judge whether Nicola Sturgeon is serious in her reported opposition to 'austerity'. It could be part of the SNP's strategy to further unbalance the Labour Party in Scotland ahead of the upcoming election. On the other hand, it might be an indication that 'austerity' is loosing its appeal.

In 2009, Cameron addressed the Conservative Party Conference and said, "The progressive thing to do, the responsible thing to do is to get a grip on the debt but in a way that brings the country together instead of driving it apart. That means showing leadership at the top which is why we will cut ministers' pay and freeze it for a parliament. It means showing that we're all in this together………….." 

It's a statement that Cameron and his coalition colleagues have repeated often enough since then, probably on the basis that, if they say it often enough, eventually it will become the perceived truth.

But the course that Cameron & Co have pursued, that of 'austerity', isn't a fiscal strategy and has clearly shown that we are not 'all in this together'. The reality is that 'austerity' it is a return to a Victorian view of society where 'wrong-doing' must be punished and, in that context, it is useful to question the intent and purpose of 'punishment'. Quoting from Richard Garlikov, punishment can be seen as either as a deterrent of future wrong-doing or earned and deserved as a fitting consequence to doing evil.

So who did evil that 'austerity' has to be visited on the whole population? Certainly not the whole population, but actually a very small and hugely influential sector of the population - the banking and financial sector. And I doubt that anyone thinks that the banking and financial sectors are experiencing anything like the austerity that is being visited on the general population.

So Nicola's opposition to austerity is probably just another well timed political manoeuvre because I doubt that she would have the courage to take on the banking and financial sectors and punish them appropriately. Not whilst her friend Alex Salmond is such a supporter of Fred Goodwin et al.