Thursday, June 17, 2010

The tyrants in pinstripe: Neil Clark on the biggest menace to threaten Europe since the Nazis

This article, by CPO co-founder Neil Clark appears in The Morning Star.

Seventy years ago, European countries faced a battle for their very existence as nazi forces swept across the continent.

Now those countries face another battle - against the forces of international capital.

The money men won't be happy until every last publicly owned asset is privatised and in their greedy hands.

Europe's debt crisis, caused in large part by the greed of international speculators, is being used as an excuse for something which the money men and their cheerleaders in the media have long desired - the wholesale sell-off of those assets which remain in public ownership.

As John Foster said in his Morning Star analysis recently, it's a confidence trick so gigantic that it would make even that Olympic champion fraudster Bernie Madoff blush.

Earlier this month, Greece's "Socialist" government announced a major programme of privatisation, including the sale of 49 per cent in the state-owned railway, the sell-off of regional airports, highways and harbours and stakes in the post office and water utilities. The French government has announced a fire-sale of over 1,700 state properties, including many historic castles.

Here in Britain, new Postal Affairs Minister Ed Davey, from the "progressive" Liberal Democrats, has said he is considering the full-scale 100 per cent privatisation of Royal Mail, which has been in the hands of the British state since its inception in 1516.

If the money men have their way then over the next few years, governments in Europe will sell off not only their railways and national infrastructure but hospitals, schools, universities and all other state-owned enterprises.

It's a prospect eagerly awaited by "free-market" fanatics in the media. In the Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer claims that deficit reduction requires "severe cuts" in the NHS and the privatisation of Britain's motorways. The former editor of The Economist Bill Emmott says that "if this debt crisis were to end up turning Europe Thatcherite, that would be something for us to celebrate."

While Janet Daley, an enthusiast for private provision of health care and pensions, says that the cuts should be seen "as part of an essentially positive, fundamental reconstruction of the way that public services are funded and delivered."

But in reality there will be nothing "positive" about these changes for ordinary people, who will be forced to pay much higher prices for basic services. For the financial elite however, there will be rich pickings.

It's a depressing scenario, but we mustn't lose heart. Things looked pretty bleak in 1940 in Europe, but nazism was eventually defeated.

By organising a mass pan-European movement to oppose privatisation and cutbacks in state provision of health, welfare and education, we can defeat today's anti-democratic, money-grabbing, pinstripe-suited tyrants.

You can read the whole of the article here.

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