Thursday, 7 October 2021

Why you'd have to be an idiot to oppose wage rises when the cost of living is soaring

Wes Streeting is Labour's Shadow Secretary for Child Poverty. Today he's been on the television to agree with the radically right-wing Adam Smith institute that rising wages would be a bad thing because they would cause a "wage price spiral".

There are very many reasons that this is a profoundly stupid position for a Labour Party minister to take.

Labour is supposed to be the party of the workers (the clue is in the name), so spouting radically right-wing rhetoric against wage rises is a completely extraordinary thing for a Labour minister to be doing.

Streeting was obviously attracted to the Adam Smith propaganda because it used the term "economically illiterate" to chastise Boris Johnson's Tory conference speech.

But for years people on the left have been using the phrase "economically illiterate" to describe economy-strangling idiocy of 'lets cut our way to prosperity' austerity ruination, but Wes never really had a problem with austerity (he abstained on George Osborne's brutal austerity cut in 2015), but suddenly he's enamoured with the phrase, because a radically right wing think tank pinched it to attack wage rises!

Anyone with any sense knows that Johnson's rhetoric about rising wages is pure bluster. He's been in a party that's overseen the worst decade of wage stagnation in economic history. But it's unbelievable strategic ineptitude for an opposition MP to adopt the position that Johnson's blustering that wage growth is good, so I'll say it's bad.

The supposed justification for opposing wage growth is that it would cause inflation, but this is utterly backwards. The inflation is already happening, largely because of Brexit, so keeping wages repressed at this moment would actually create wage deflation (real terms income cuts).

Imagine being such an economically clueless dweeb that you put the effect before cause like this, and end up calling for wage devaluation, just as the prices of energy, food, and housing are spiralling out of control.

'Derp, the opaquely funded and radically right wing pressure group say Boris Johnson is wrong to say wage rises are good, so I'll argue that wage rises are bad!' - this actually appears to be the way Streeting thinks!

I know thinking is a wildly over-generous description of whatever's going on in Streeting's head, but the thinking seems to be that Corbyn and the Labour left would have supported wage rises for ordinary workers while prices are soaring out of control, so it's the duty of Labour's much-vaunted "new management" to oppose them!

A few months ago the junior Labour minister Alex Sobel criticised capitalism over climate change, and Starmer reacted with indignant fury, forcing him to issue a grovelling apology for offending capitalists!

Today another Labour minister is parroting ultra right-wing rhetoric in order to attack the interests of UK workers, and Starmer says nothing!

In the raging battle between workers and the capitalists who exploit them, Starmer's clearly on the side of the capitalists, even though he's supposed to be the leader of the party of the workers!

Starmer's surrounded himself with such idiots that Johnson doesn't even have to do anything to outflank Labour to the left, and appeal to British workers.

All the Bodger has to do is issue absolute platitudes like 'wage rises are good' (even if he doesn't actually believe it himself) and then watch on passively as the strategically incompetent divs in Starmer's top team rush out to argue that 'wage rises are bad actually', and that what British workers really need is another punishing dose of wage stagnation, supposedly in order to prevent the inflation that's already happened!

This short clip perfectly illustrates the problem with liberal capitalist 'centrism'. These people don't actually stand for anything at all.

They've got no convictions; no firmly held beliefs; no understanding of political or economic history; no empathy for other people; no point that they wouldn't argue with equal vehemence for or against, depending on the circumstances; no reason behind anything they do besides self-advancement and political point scoring.

If Johnson had said 'wage rises are bad', the likes of Wes Streeting, Neil Coyle, David Lammy, and Jess Phillips, would have argued that 'wage rises are good actually'.

David Lammy was on the telly the other day using his oratory skills to attack the idea of transitioning towards a £15 per hour minimum wage, but everyone watching surely knew perfectly well that had he been ordered to argue in favour of the policy, he'd have summoned up the exact same faux passion to say what a fabulous idea it is.

These people believe in nothing.

If their party leader tells them to abstain on Theresa May's unlawfully racist "Hostile Environment", or George Osborne's brutal austerity cuts, or Priti Patel's despicable legislation to allow undercover cops to rape women with impunity, then that's exactly what the Labour right-wingers will do, because they don't believe in anything.

That's why they hated Corbyn so much, and worked tirelessly to sabotage Labour from within between 2015 and 2019, and keep the Tories in power.

They hate people with actual principles with a burning rage, and use the word "ideological" as a slur, as if it's some kind of sickening aberration to actually believe in anything, and have a principle that can't be bought.

They knew that having a principled person lead the Labour Party meant their career advancement options were curtailed, so they burned the Labour house down from within to get rid of him.

They put their own narrow self-interest above the unspeakable agonies of millions of others who were suffering under Tory austerity, Tory wage repression, Tory public service cuts, Tory disability persecution, Tory welfare vandalism ... and now they've succeeded in getting rid of Corbyn, we're stuck with a truly horrific Tory government, and an opposition composed almost exclusively of these dreadful people.

So this is why we're witnessing the strategic stupidity of a Labour minister attacking the interests of workers.

He doesn't know anything; or believe in anything; or care about the history and traditions of the labour movement; or have any strategic plan for winning power and making the nation a better place.

He was simply bewitched by a load of radically right wing nonsense, and then mindlessly regurgitated it for the cameras, without even giving a moment's thought to what he was actually saying.

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Anonymous said...

Wes Streeting has been a right wing shitpot for a very long time.
I well remember, at a meeting with Sam Tarry, our local mp, just after the last general election, being told how Streeting's supporters were spotted cheering at the count, every time another Labour seat fell to the Tories.

Unknown said...

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I don't understand what this article is actually about. He's quoted as saying "Why you'd have to be an idiot to oppose wage rises when the cost of living is soaring". What's wrong with that? Can somebody help me out by explaining it to me while I'm having my "I must be thick as pig shit" existential crisis..!!

Mr. Magoo said...

I was walking down the street the other day and bumped into a man walking the other way (I'm a poet and didn't know it!); we apologised to each other, but I've been wondering whether it was my fault or the other guy's fault; turns out it was Brexit's fault. There used to be no problem that Nigel Farage couldn't blame on the European Union. Now, there's no problem Another Angry Voice can't blame on Brexit. You have to laugh or else you'd cry!

"In the raging battle between workers and the capitalists who exploit them, Starmer's clearly on the side of the capitalists, even though he's supposed to be the leader of the party of the workers!". Politicians are representatives of the capitalist class. The Labour Party was created to reform capitalism to make it work in the interests of workers, but instead, the Labour Party has been reformed by capitalism.

The Left & the Right are both sides of the same coin. The Socialist Party of Great Britain is (and always has been) the true party of the workers. Workers of the world unite for socialism! You have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to win!