Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Great Scapegoats of Yesteryear #48 – The British Shop Steward
Once upon a time, whenever things went a little wobbly with the economy, the British public were reminded that the Number Once cause for all their economic ills was arsey unionists demanding too much money for too little work from nice employers like the guy in the far left of this picture…
The interesting thing now is that there’s no way anyone can honestly pretend that the (entirely unforeseeable) economic meltdown we’re about to witness is anything to do with organised labour or socialist policies; though if you flip through the comments in conservative blogs like Guido Fawkes' there’s no shortage of people, desperately trapped in an outdated paradigm, who are still trying.
(Many of Guido’s commentators seem to think that all that money the government is hoovering up is being used to support a bloated public sector when all they have to do is scratch away a little bit to discover that large swathes of that bloated public sector are actually operated by large, faceless, lucrative private monopolies, this bunch for example, which in turn are controlled by large, faceless and lucrative banks)
The problem with doing away with organised labour, offshoring skilled manufacturing jobs to the developing world and generally cheating your populace of income is that sooner or later that populace won’t be able to afford any of the goods and services you are trying to sell them. You can start lending them hods of paper money to buy those goods and services but sooner or later they won’t even be able to service the interest on those loans, let alone ever be able to pay the loans off.
And then what?
Whatever is to come you can be pretty sure that forcing people into even more debt by raising the cost of essential commodities, capping wage rises, lowering borrowing rates and creating mounds of worthless money is not a recipe for future happiness
And there won't be a union official in sight