It was an exceptionally busy day in British politics yesterday.
First, the dirtiest and most destructive years of the past half a century in Britain is being made into a film, staring Meryl Streep as
Satan Baroness Thatcher……..
How scary is that?
To research the role, Meryl will be spitting on a few homeless people, and giving your money to her friends in the City.
I hope it explains the situation of the Thatcher years accurately. I hope they don’t presume to tell the World she created a wondrous property and share owning society. I hope they explain that her deregulation of the banking sector lead to the biggest financial mess we’ve ever had; that her selling off the council houses lead to numerous housing market crises and a lack of affordable homes for the next generation; that selling a few shares in British Gas (which hasn’t improved British Gas as a service) is not an adequate substitute for stagnating wages and the destruction of pensions; that passing power from the unions to finance capital has not been a great achievement leading to wondrous trickle down economics like her dirty ideology promised.
That would be nice.
Secondly, the BBC announced that the Banking sector was FURIOUS at the Treasury for the increase on the bank levy. They are apparently “livid”. It reminds me of the first episode of The Royle Family where Nana rings Barbara just to tell her that the post office wont accept her voucher because it’s a couple of days out of date. Barbara tells Jim. Jim doesn’t care. Barbara says “I’ve told Jim……… oooo he’s livid“. It is a similar situation. The increase on the bank levy of an extra £800mn more is minuscule. The bankers are not “livid”, they are simply saying so, to make it seem as if the Government is being tough of banks. It is a joint effort, and it probably wont work, because people aren’t stupid. The banks will then announce that they have come to an agreement to start lending again (even though that’s what they’re supposed to do anyway), they will presume we will all be grateful to them for doing what they’re supposed to do as opposed to just extravagantly rewarding themselves for breaking things, and the Chancellor will seem like a hero who tamed the banks. The reality, is quite the opposite.
The bank levy is still less, even with this extra £800mn, than it was under Labour. The banks are being asked to pay less than is required of them for destroying the entire system in the first place. Barclays Chief Bob Diamond will take home a bonus (not salary) of £8mn this year. Correct me if i’m wrong, but this is the exact same situation we were in before the crises. It will happen again and again. It is inherent to the excessive power of finance capital. The unions may have had too much power in the 1970s, but finance capital, backed by the forces of Conservatism has an even greater hold on power now.
Thirdly, as the bank levy was made public yesterday, the Tories knew it would take up much of the coverage in the Press. So this gave them a chance to spill the beans on a horrid little change to the Corporate tax laws. When I say “little change“, I mean, the biggest change to Corporate tax laws in decades. It is the greatest transfer of wealth from a gutted public sector, from services to children, to the elderly and to the disabled – to big business, I think I’ve ever known and it is massively unjustifiable.
The change is this;
The corporate tax rules used to say that if you paid 10% on your overseas profits, and the rate here is 28%, you’d have to pay 18% when you shift your profits back here, to make up the difference. Which is sane.
Now, under the new Tory rules; companies pay nothing on money made by their overseas branches.
When the money gets here, through tax havens, they will have paid nothing on it. But, this rule change only applies to “large and medium firms“. Small businesses still have to pay.
And here’s the icing on the feces cake…. the “large company” that now have even higher profits because it doesn’t have to pay tax on it, can still claim expenses for funding its overseas branches, against the tax it pays here. They don’t pay the tax on that overseas branch, but they can still claim expenses to run it.
Oh and by 2014, the 28% rate will be dropped to 24%.
The point of doing this, is obviously ideological. It is an ideology that says a lower corporate tax rate is better for us all, the extra money will trickle down to us from those philanthropists of the business World, and whilst the rest of us have to deal with mass unemployment, no police, cuts to any form of social service, privatised health care, child care cuts, fear of job and house loss, extra funding for school sports being abolished, the selling off of forests and our libraries closing; we should be thanking the Government for allowing our richest companies to get even richer. Because they will provide the jobs that will kick start the economy apparently. Like they
definitely fucking didn’t did in Ireland.
Welcome to Corporate England. Welcome to Wednesday afternoon, brought to you by Starbucks. Enjoy the air you’re breathing, sponsored by Nike. Indulge in some conversation, promoted by Walmart (Disclaimer: At the end of every sentence, you must use the phrase: this sentence was brought to you by Walmart).
It is of course no surprise that the Tories are bending over the kitchen table and winking provocatively at the City. It was revealed in the Guardian yesterday, that over 50% of Tory funds come from the City. One of my favourites is Peter Hall, an Australian Fund Manager, who in 2008 told the Sydney Morning Herald that the oceans should be sold off as property. If privatising the sea wasn’t enough, David Rowland, the multimillionaire worth an estimate £700mn donated over £4mn to the Tory Party. Hedge Fund manager Stanley Fink donated £1.9mn. He was then made Tory Treasurer. The money is astounding. For all the talk of Labour being in the pockets of Unions, it is no better that that Tories are in the pockets of the richest and most powerful men on the planet. Actually, that’s a lie. It is worse than being in the pockets of Unions. Unions represented average men and women, thousands upon thousands of people. The City represents the most narrow of elites, whose main concern is increasing their own power and wealth.
It is no wonder that Corporate Tax cuts and a banking tax cut is being masked as a great coup against a greedy banking sector. Who do our public servants work for? What a funny, blinded little World we live in, when we claim we’re a liberal and free democracy. We are too cowardly to fight back. The Egyptians are showing us how it should be done. The public face of Finance Capital, is the Tory Party, and that is not a good thing.
I seem to remember there were Liberal Democrats in this Coalition at some point? Are they still calling themselves Progressives? Is that still what they insist on going with? Can a massive delusion really last this long?