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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ravings from another time

Well now we know why the UK government appears to be impervious to reason over its slash and burn economic policies and immune to reason over the hardships that it's imposing on the unemployed.

It is, apparently, because the man whom Slasher Cameron appointed as his adviser on enterprise, Lord Young of Graffham, thinks that we've "never had it so good," despite the "so-called recession."

That certainly clears up why on earth the Prime Minister appointed this loony lord as his adviser - he needed a court jester to lighten his weary moments after a hard day demolishing workers' livings.

Not that we should expect anything different from a man who occupied the shameful position of trade and industry secretary in the Thatcher government and who has since conducted a review of health and safety regulation for this government during which he distinguished himself by observing that health and safety is regarded, "at best, as an object of ridicule and, at worst, a bureaucratic nightmare."

Downing Street was quick to attempt to distance the Prime Minister from Lord Young's Harold Macmillan moment, stating that Mr Cameron was "unimpressed," but also insisted that his lordship would continue in his position despite his faux pas - until he was forced by sheer pressure of public opinion to resign later in the day, that is.

Which tells you quite a lot about this government. Lurking below the surface of "modern" Toryism is the same old beast of Thatcherite excess and Cameron and co have merely hidden it in a dark corner - from which it occasionally escapes to parade the same old contempt for working people as ever.

Although treasured and preserved in private, it's disavowed in public when the beast escapes and embarrassingly starts shooting off its mouth in public.

So we are left to wonder about the world inhabited by Lord Young. It's a world in which the 2.45 million unemployed do not exist and the 1.3 million who have lost their jobs so far during the recession don't count.

It's a world in which the council tenants facing the loss of security of tenure and huge rises in their rents are insignificant when counted against mortgagees who have gained a few bob on low interest rates.

And it's a world in which the damage done by those same low interest rates to the savings of pensioners lucky enough to have any doesn't matter.

In short, it's the Tory ideal world that Mrs Thatcher and Lord Young strove for and that David Cameron and his grovelling Lib-Dem allies are steadily perfecting.

The potty peer remarked that he didn't remember being short of money in 2007. He's probably right. In fact, the gold-plated Tory twit has never been short of a bob or two in his whole life and that goes for the majority of the Cabinet of multimillionaires - 18 at the last count.

But, for the rest of us mere mortals, unencumbered with the burdens of great wealth, 2007 has a rather different resonance. It's the year that the bankers' gross and irresponsible speculative bubble burst and subprime mortgage gambles damn nearly brought the finances of the capitalist world down around their ears.

And that, dear readers, was the trigger for an offensive against the working class by Young and his ilk which looks set to reverse all the advances made in the 20th century.

Unless, that is, we can fight them off and consign his lordship, his backwoods Tory mates, their rich-kid front men and their Lib-Dem stooges, to the dustbin.

The fightback against this ruling-class offensive is slowly getting under way. Small victories are being registered across the country and larger battles are looming.

The world according to Lord Young cannot be allowed to exist except in his fond imaginings. It is too damaging for the life of our class and the future of our children.

The cost of their privilege has always been our underprivilege and their wealth has always come at the price of others' poverty. The fight has been too arduous to lose now, particularly to a condescending toff emerging from the dark past of Thatcherite gloom to haunt us again.