ALL THE talk by the Tories, and echoed by the Labour Party leadership, that capitalist Britain is fundamentally in good health economically, has just been delivered a shattering blow with the shock revelation that the country is in fact half a trillion pounds poorer than admitted.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has had to admit that its figures for the wealth of the country somehow managed to miss the fact that £490 billion has simply gone missing. Instead of a surplus of £469 billion in international investment, the British economy has overnight gone into a deficit of £22 billion – it has lost 25% of the country’s GDP and no one appears to be sure where it has gone.
While the Tory chancellor, Philip Hammond, searches the back of his sofa for the missing half trillion, the fact remains that British capitalism is even more bankrupt than previously thought, completely exploding the claim that there exists any safety reserve to keep the system staggering on.
Making matters even worse is the flight of foreign capital away from the UK, a flight that started in August. According to data from the Bank of New York Mellon, ‘real money’ players are pulling out of investing in Britain. According to the bank’s strategist, ‘the big buyers are disappearing’, to be replaced by a surge of sterling buying by hedge funds speculating that the Bank of England will be forced to raise interest rates and that they can make a quick killing from any temporary increase in the value of sterling.
With the ‘revised’ ONS figures showing that despite all the talk of economic recovery large British companies are not producing any profit at all, a rise in interest rates will collapse companies and industry with massive job losses. The big worry for these strategists is that: ‘Speculators can change in a heartbeat. The worry is the pound could really go.’
This unbelievable story of mislaying half a trillion pounds shows that the capitalist class is out to bankrupt Britain as a way of disciplining the working class and showing it that only by begging to stay in the EU and by accepting every austerity demand can it avoid destitution.
This is certainly the message that has got through to Corbyn and his chancellor John McDonnell, both of whom have waved the flag of surrender over Brexit. At the weekend, McDonnell, speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, bluntly stated that parliament can stop the UK leaving the EU, claiming that ‘No deal is not an option.’
Given that the EU bankers have absolutely no interest in negotiating a deal for Britain to leave and that Theresa May went off to Brussels yesterday with half a trillion pounds less in the governments pocket and facing demands for a £66 billion punishment ‘fine’ for leaving, this can only mean one thing for the Labour leaders – they are throwing themselves squarely behind the fight to overturn the referendum result and stay within the EU.
Corbyn and McDonnell, for all their fine words in the past about honouring the referendum result, have thrown in the towel, completely cowed by the threat by the world’s bankers to inflict the maximum damage on the working class by an economic blockade of British capitalism, and by collapsing the currency.
As the Daily Telegraph found yesterday: ‘The awful discovery that Britain’s half a trillion pound reserve does not in fact exist could bring matters to a head swiftly and brutally.’ In fact, after the 2007 crash the working class will not tolerate another rescue of the bankers at its expense. It will rapidly seek out a party willing and able to lead the battle to make the capitalist class and capitalism pay for its own crisis by expropriating the bosses and the bankers and establishing a workers republic and a socialist planned economy.
The WRP is that party. On November 12th the WRP will be celebating the centenary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, which smashed capitalism in Russia and began the world socialist revolution. We urge all workers and youth to attend this centenary, (see ad page 2 or on WRP website) to join our party and to organise the British socialist revolution. A workers government will immediately leave the EU and fight alongside the workers of Europe for a United Socialist States of Europe.