A RELIABLE gauge of the panic gripping the capitalist class over the fast developing world crisis of capitalism and its crushing effect on the UK economy is to be found in the pages of the Daily Telegraph.
A series of articles in the past few days have spelt out the doom loop of debt that is strangling world capitalism and pointed to the UK as being most at risk from economic Armageddon.
On Sunday, the Telegraph quoted Noel Quinn, chief executive of HSBC, the world’s seventh largest bank, who recently predicted: ‘A global reckoning is coming’, as government debts have ballooned out of control following the 2008 global banking crash.
All the worthless trillions printed by central banks to prop up the capitalist financial system had the effect of driving inflation through the roof across the world.
The attempt to stifle inflation by pushing up interest rates from 0.1% to 5.2% in the UK has driven up government repayments on the bonds it sells on the financial markets to cover its spending.
These repayments, just about affordable when interest rates were near zero, have now become a debt time bomb and Quinn, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is now worried that it is set to explode, with the most indebted nations set for a ‘tipping point’.
The most at risk is the UK with the highest debt interest repayments in the ‘developed world’. Britain will spend £110 billion on repaying the interest alone on its national debt this year. Only spending on the NHS is higher than paying off the international financial vultures.
The solution being proposed by the Tories is precisely to cut government spending on vital services like the NHS in order to pay off their debts.
This was alluded to in a further article in The Telegraph on Saturday by Daniel Hannan – a Tory peer and former advisor to the Board of Trade – headed: ‘Britain is hurtling towards a debt crisis’.
Hannan writes: ‘What is the biggest threat facing Britain? The war in Ukraine? Chinese cyberattacks? The prospect that the Gaza horror might spill over into domestic unrest? No. Vaster than any of these is the immediacy of our debt crisis.’
Hannan, as a good Tory, is alarmed that the amount spent by the government on interest payments on the massive national debt is more than ‘our entire defence budget’.
Hannan heaps blame on the working and middle class for the debt ‘addiction’ in particular, emphasising the money paid out for the furlough scheme during the Covid pandemic.
He complains: ‘The lockdowns did not just habituate us to handouts. They destroyed our sense of value.’
Hannan wails: ‘We are in a doom loop: higher spending can lead to lower growth which fuels demand for higher spending.’
In other words, the working class should be forced to accept the blame for all the trillions of debt that is drowning world capitalism and accept that its wages, social services and NHS should be destroyed in order to save a bankrupt capitalist system.
The one question that Hannan doesn’t ask is, why can the Tories find over £5 billion to give to the fascist-supported government in Ukraine in the imperialist war to weaken Russia, without any outcry about this effect on the national debt.
In the same way, US president Joe Biden can push through an emergency $10.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine and Israel and this is considered money well spent, money that can be reclaimed through cuts to social security for US workers.
Millions of workers and young people across the world have demonstrated that they are not prepared to stand back while the Israelis butcher tens of thousands of men, women and children in Gaza with the support and financial aid of world imperialism.
The working class in the UK, Europe and the US have the power to stop all the imperialist slaughter in Gaza by bringing down this bankrupt capitalist system that can only survive through war against the people of the world and war against the working class at home.
The urgent task is the building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in all countries to lead the struggle to overthrow capitalism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.