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Anti-Cuts March 26th March

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Saturday 26 March 2011 11.24pm
Theedy,

Do you know what the difference is between Portugal, which has much less autonomy over both its fiscal and monetary policy, and Britain? That's not a rhetorical question, the coverage of these issues is exceptionally poor from all media outlets.

The Darling plan proposed approximately halving the current deficit over the next parliamentary term, a highly reasonable proposition, which would have been accepted as responsible budgetary management by the international bond markets (despite some hysteria from certain elements within the press).

I don't blame you or anyone else for being convinced by the deficit hysteria, but there is a serious risk that the current strategy of cuts at all cost will reduce the capability of the UK to service the interest on the debt and simultaneously hamper growth in the medium to long-term - look at the composition of the public spending figures and the growth figures as of last quarter. This strategy is not without risk - there is no coffee to be smelt, the protesters seemed to be eminently reasonable, and very articulate.

Incidentally, despite all of G Browns failings, it's stretching the bounds of plausibility to assert that he could have been solely responsible for the largest financial crash since 1929. I'm no Labour party member, but pinning a financial crash caused by the failure of an insanely complex derivatives/securities market on one man is, well, wrong. I'd say that's much closer to reality. I'm deeply sorry you've lost your job, btw.
Sunday 27 March 2011 6.07pm
Mikec

Well put. In normal circumstances there would be an argument for slowing the reduction in spending, but these are not normal times.

My point was that if Darling, or Balls, were now Chancellor they would be making cuts. Maybe not as severe, but they would have to involve the loss of public sector jobs. My question was, would the TUC have organised a march. Call me cynical, but I doubt it.

On your other points;Portugal is indeed different, it has a lower debt:GDP ratio than we do. The reason it has to pay twice as much to borrow is that it has no plan to do much about it. Very sad, especially when its growth has been so poor over the last decade.

If the Darling/Labour plan had been tried I think the bond markets would have reacted. In 2008 I was talking to a Labour member of the treasury Select Committee about the bank failures, and as I left I said, "watch out for a Gilts strike". He asked what that was and I took him back to the mid 70's when the Government could not sell debt at any price. That is what I feared and I think Osborne does.

On UK debt interest we are a great deal better off than many as we recognised the problems with our banks swiftly, under G Brown,credit where it is due, unlike Spain, Portugal and Germany which still pretend their peripheral banking systems are sound. They are not.

And for decades we have borrowed long so have less re-financing to do.

I did not suggest that G Brown brought the world down, just that he piled on public sector spending and debt throughout a long boom and left us with a huge structural deficit which is going to cost us all a great deal over the next few years.

Oh, and the financial meltdown owed nothing to derivatives, it was simple,old-fashioned bad lending by banks usually against property. What was amazing was how German banks bought up US sub-prime. and a bank like RBS was leveraged three or four times more than any hedge fund would ever dare. In the meantime the FSA was supervising. It couldn't supervise a three-year old.

Thank you for your closing remarks. I am now back in a good job.
Monday 28 March 2011 8.45am
I think whether or not you agree with the Government cuts it was such a shame that a small bunch of extremists snatched most of the headlines away from the main peaceful march and those that took part
Monday 28 March 2011 12.21pm
I think that the only headlines would normally be about extreme responses. The fact that the first incident (from a breakaway group) didn't actually occur too near the march. The fact that there was about 5 minutes of footage on a loop of masked 'experienced' anarchists (and I ended up walking alongside some of them at the early stages of the march - none could grow a beard or be served a drink without a straw in it if they tried) does show what the media wants to portray. If you consider that there were far more than 250,000 on the march and there was only very limited attempts to canvass opinion from the marchers whereas 200 or so people cause or are close to needless violence or agression then you do have to wonder about the kind of focus the media has.

On the march I found people annoyed and frustrated about the permanent removal of services and facilities in their area when there’s still money in the pot for giving bonus payments to people who are now in public services…

…and an Olympic countdown clock. I know what date it is and when in Trafalgar Square I can see Big Ben.
Monday 28 March 2011 3.22pm
The march was great and there were all sorts of people which was good to be in. But it's doing stuff locally that makes a difference. The march is just a way of seeing that lots of people are unhappy with things. Governments take no notice of marches at all. They only take notice of people actually saying 'NO' on the ground where the cuts are delivered like nurseries, libraries and social services etc.
Monday 28 March 2011 3.23pm
I'm starting a peoples uprising - do you want to join me? ;->
Monday 28 March 2011 3.34pm
mikec wrote:
Incidentally, despite all of G Browns failings, it's stretching the bounds of plausibility to assert that he could have been solely responsible for the largest financial crash since 1929. I'm no Labour party member, but pinning a financial crash caused by the failure of an insanely complex derivatives/securities market on one man is, well, wrong. I'd say that's much closer to reality. I'm deeply sorry you've lost your job, btw.

On a light note, G. Brown has been heard to say in a speech to the good people of the City of London that he congratulated them on achieving“an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age”. This was in June 2007 - seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Full speech here: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_68_07.htm
Monday 28 March 2011 6.04pm
To respond to Theedy's question- yes I would have marched if it had been the labour party making cuts this deeply and this quickly. The loss of services is the important thing, the party is irrelevant, particularly as you wouldn't get a wafer between them in any case these days. I was there, not doing too much marching as I am still recovering from surgery. It is important to make a personal statement even if the government won't change anything. I am a health worker and know what impact this will have on the disabled and elderly. I am not a member of a union, have no'gold plated pension', and do not even have a job at the moment, so had nothing personal to protect. Such a shame, but predictable that the media would concentrate on the people causing damage - where is the evidence that they were even part of the main protest of quarter million ++ peaceful good natured ordinary folk - just plays into the politicians' hands.
Tuesday 29 March 2011 8.57am
I was at the March too taking pictures and whilst I applaud both the overwhelming majority of the marchers and the police for their behaviour I was able to witness the black and red flag group of demonstrators, completely masked, joining the main march at its start on Victoria Embankment. I did not see the TUC stewards turning them away, though I admit that could have been a daunting task as they looked very aggressive in their masks. In hindsight I expect the TUC will now realise it too could have done more to discourage these thugs from joining a legitimate demo, at least a gesture in future could protect them from accusations that these people were in any way part of the main march..
Tuesday 29 March 2011 9.59am
That there were some of the usual suspects spoiling for a punch up is nothing new...this happens any time there's a mass gathering, it's a perfect chance to go and have a smashing time which is all they're interested in. Shame, but that's a part of our society like it or not. \
On another note, I'm too very sad about the cuts, but WHAT WOULD YOU ALL LIKE TO HAPPEN??? Somehow or another we just have to get on top of our deficit, and whose fault it is that it's there is not relevant...the blame game is all very well, but one has to face the facts. And they ain't pretty. Belt tightening is never fun for people who feel they have to have everything, all the time, NOW, - they need to check their greed levels.
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