5.11.2009

It's not bankers Labour is watching, it's you

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/10/neo-liberalism-labour-policy-larry-elliott
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_uZvi2ED-q0I/SFJqSTlQavI/AAAAAAAAAFg/hgR-3rnXXMU/s400/big%2Bbrother.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IlwcTx9Q628/RkxbYSccFjI/AAAAAAAAApU/QFxeqBZTKDs/s400/surveillance-cameras-400.jpg
Here's how things stand. The follies of the big banks have caused the ­steepest plunge in output since the second world war. The economy is showing signs of stabilisation, owing largely to emergency cuts in interest rates and taxpayers' billions being used to prop up a ­financial system on the brink of collapse. Unemployment is rising, and it is rising most rapidly for the blameless, not the wretched bankers.
Even before the recession began, incomes for those at the bottom of the pile were below the level of three years ago. The longer Labour has been in power the slower incomes have grown. Inequality is higher than under Thatcher. Child poverty has increased in the past three years and the public finances are shot to pieces.
According to the prime minister, we are now living in a different world. The crisis of neo-liberalism has ushered in a new age in which there is a new and more important role for the state.
That is true, but only up to a point. The state is rather keener on controlling the people than the markets.
[...]
Labour is ploughing ahead with identity cards; it intends to keep the DNA records of innocent people on its database for up to 12 years; it sanctioned the aggressive policing of the G20 demonstrations. Britain already has more CCTV cameras per head than any other western industrialised country and the weakest laws on privacy and data protection. We have a surveillance society and prisons that are bursting at the seams.
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