Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More on the British Political-Economic Situation: Johann Hari on Cameron's Tea Party Government

British journalist Johann Hari first came on my radar screen during the papal visit earlier this year.  I liked his commentary at that time, and find him enlightening now as he talks about the behavior of David Cameron's "tea party" government in cutting social services and jobs, while protecting the assets of the top echelons of British taxpayers.  His essay on these themes yesterday at Huffington Post provides a valuable complement to what I posted the same day here at Bilgrimage re: these matters.

An excerpt:

Cameron's greatest talent turns out to lie in the shifting of blame. On his watch, the people who caused this crisis -- the super-rich and the city -- have been feted and fattened. The bankers are back to paying massive bonuses to themselves for crashing the global economy (with your money and mine). The official investigation into the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland claimed they had done nothing wrong -- and is being kept secret from the taxpayers who footed the bill for these mysterious non-mistakes. Cameron and Osborne's approach to their super-rich friends is best summarized in two headlines from the Financial Times. The first declared: "Tax officials to soften stance on tax avoidance," in which government officials apologized for being "too black and white" in enforcing tax rules on the super-rich. The second announced: "Tax boost for wealthy heirs," in which it was revealed Cameron and Osborne have given huge tax cuts to themselves and the only people they have ever really known.

Meanwhile, the people who did nothing to cause this crisis -- and were farthest from the scene of the crime -- are being punished by Cameron.

These waves of belt-tightening austerity for the poor and middle classes, but total exemption from austerity for the very rich, will, I fear, become the norm in the developed world for the foreseeable future--regardless of what the people in the democratic nations of the developed world want or for whom they vote.  The future of democracy does not look bright to me anywhere.

And as the will of voters is systematically crushed by economic decisions contravening that will, religion will increasingly be invoked as a justification for the oppression--and many key religious figures will be lining up to lend their support to the right-wing government leaders engineering the oppression in the name of God.

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