- Wednesday, 15 August 2012
- Written by Felix Lighter
Strangely enough, George Osborne stayed hidden from view lest his trademark smirk enraged the people watching and caused a repeat of last year’s riots. However, with the ending of the Olympics, normal news has returned to our screens. Even during the games, some bad news got through. First we saw the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King changing his tune and announcing that the UK economy faced zero growth for the foreseeable future. The Bank has also expressed surprise that, according to the ONS, inflation has shot up from 2.4% to 2.6% in August. Inflation and Slump – not a good mix for our captains of industry.
The UK quarter-on-quarter growth levels are currently, according to the Evening Standard of 14 August 2012 at minus 0.7%, equal with Italy and not much better than the other basket cases of Europe – in fact worse than Belgium (-0.6%) Spain (-0.4%) and France (0.00%.) Even Germany looks in peril as the Budesbank warns of a decrease in growth and notes a fourth-successive fall in investor “sentiment.”
The high UK inflation figures have also indicated a likely massive rise in rail fares come the New Year. A figure of 11% has been mentioned. This is a defacto tax on workers with the money being funnelled off to the rail companies who have enjoyed the fruits of the huge increase in fares over the last five years – amongst the highest in Europe by far.
Meanwhile, the Tories have been trying to talk up the fall in unemployment. Oddly enough they decided not to adjust the data for the temporary jobs created by the Olympics – 90% of the fall in unemployment was in the capital city. They also have not felt keen to mention the record high numbers of people taking up part-time work to try and earn something. In fact most experts now predict that unemployment figures will start to rise again in the autumn. Already reports are coming through of firms who have been hanging on with staff on reduced pay now having to lay people off as the money runs out.The ruling class see little way forward despite the fact that we are paying the bill. The warning has gone out that Europe can afford to bailout Spain and Greece in the next round and then that will be it – all money gone! Double-dip? Triple-dip? It all just one capitalist crisis. Workers need the gold medal of socialism as the only prize worth fighting for.