The economic crisis seems to have left politicians clueless. Empty rhetoric at the Labour Party Conference from the gloomy Chancellor, with the absence of any clear strategy to deal with a financial system open to exploitation by those charged with its control. “We have a Manifesto commitment to not increasing taxes” he says. Well that’s a relief anyway since the population as a whole is having to pay for everything else regardless of ability to pay extra.
So here the government is a big fish, but the economic giants, the private sector, calls the tune. Can’t tax the wealthy because the will leave the City and move to Frankfurt or some place else. What hope do we have when there’s not an intermediary batting on our side. Getting rid of New Labour and replacing it with a Tory alternative won’t help us. As we note time and time again the Lib Dems in Birmingham are allowing the Tories power here.
I read with interest a view of what went wrong with Thabo Mbeki’s tenure in South Africa. He had come to power after working alongside Nelson Mandela, but once in power himself he cut an isolated figure. His view on Aids is well known, but his involvement in arms deals was less so. At least I know of BAe’s work in Saudi Arabia and Tanzania, but hadn’t picked up arms sales to South Africa. Here too rulers susceptible to the arms dealers’ smooth talk and lubrication methods paid off once more. They sold expensive and unnecessary arms to a country with no apparent threat to itself.
Tony Blair’s blocking of an enquiry into BAE left a bad taste. That things can look a bit different is illustrated by a move – backed by Brown against cluster bombs. A significant move in the right direction of curbing the seemingly unlimited power of businesses to rewrite the rules according to expediency.