MANDELSON began his speech to the City of London magnates at the Mansion House last Wednesday night by declaring his continuing support for the Thatcherite principle that the banks are the only section of the British economy that are worth maintaining and saving.
He declared: ‘The entire thrust of the government has been directed for six months at repairing the hole in the banking system and doing everything we can to keep finance available to viable businesses of all sizes.’
He has nothing but praise for the last ten years under New Labour. No apologies from him!
He stated: ‘Over the years, this night and this speech have been a chance to reflect on a period of stable economic growth in Britain and a growing world economy. From this lectern we’ve had an annual stocktake on the building of a globalised economy in the UK, with some of the highest rates of inward investment, employment and innovation in the world. The consolidation of the City of London as a global and European hub for commercial and financial services.’ This was the period when the current massive crash was a work in progress.
He continued with the understatement of the new century. ‘Inevitably, this year is different.’
Mandelson had a mixed message for the next ten years, depending on whether you are a worker or a banker.
He said: ‘ The next decade in the UK will be defined by both a constraint and an opportunity. The constraint lies in the need to sustain growth while holding to tight public spending discipline in the medium term and paying down borrowing.’
It is to be a continuing largesse for the banks, and mass sackings, wage cutting and privatisation for the workers.
He stated: ‘We are right to continue stabilising and repairing the banks. We are also right to refuse to retrench on vital spending in the teeth of falling national output. . . But we are also right to set out clearly, from the start, how we intend to pay for this in the medium and long term.’
It is the working class that is to pay!
He continued: ‘So the search for yield, so to speak, on the public pound is going to be tougher than ever. And that means a renewed focus on public sector reform and productivity. That’s one of the reasons why the government made the decision to push ahead with modernisation of the Royal Mail: because an unreformed service is a drag on public resources at a time when every pound matters more than ever.’ Unless you are a banker, of course! The Royal Mail is to be handed over to big business and Royal Mail workers, and the workers as a whole are to be screwed, so that the cash aid for the bankers can continue.
On the future he states: ‘Britain will fight its way back by catering for the growing global market for business, computer and financial services. Through a City that will remain pre-eminent as a world centre for banking, trading, insurance and specialist finance.’
He also showed his contempt for those workers in the power industry who have been demonstrating for the right to work outside power stations.
Mandelson said: ‘What happened at Lindsey Refinery last month is a reminder that alongside a commitment to mobility and fair treatment for workers in the EU, we must also ensure that British workers possess the complex skills and productivity that they will need to compete in the years ahead. John Denham is working on precisely this kind of strategic skills strategy.’
As far as Mandelson is concerned the picketing workers just didn’t have the skills and weren’t productive enough to do the job!
He makes no attempt to examine the City’s role in the current banking disaster, and what impact Brown and Mandelson’s light touch regulation had on its development.
The message from Mandelson’s hymn of praise to the City of London is clear. To have a future workers must bring down the Brown government and bring in a workers government that will carry out socialist policies.