Tag: Austerity

Dysfunctionalism – the financial order

So there I am sat in a room with central bankers, ex-central bankers, central bank lawyers, people from the IMF, Canadian Development Bank, Federal Reserves of a couple fo US states, and assorted financial academics, and I am clawing at my ears to make it all stop.  You see, it’s one thing to know it…

The Greeks Deserve Better from Europe

Greek Prime Minister Alex Tspiras announced a July 5th Referendum on whether Greece should accept the Troika’s final demand that Greece accept additional austerity measures in exchange for further loans. Countering the ‘shock and awe’ tactics of the Troika, the Greek leaders have drawn a ‘red line’ in the sand: democracy, not neoliberal hegemony, will…

Reflections on #FucktheTories

To those who are arguing that people don’t have a right to protest against a government that was “democratically” voted in: Yes we do. This is a government which is waging war on the poor, the homeless, the disabled, the unemployed, immigrants, students, single mums and the unemployed, with devastating consequences. If you think that…

On the Horns of the Moon: 5 More Years Of Pain

2015 UK General Election: Did voters defy the polls because of deeply rooted ideas about masculinity, race and political power? As I walked along the pavement early yesterday morning to get the papers, under the heavy grey sky, cussing the cold temperatures and contemplating all that a Tory majority will mean for the next five…

Syriza: The Greek Spring

If the Greek Spring succeeds, it will mark the beginning of a new type of democratic socialism for the 21st century. According to an oft-repeated cliché, the recent Syriza victory has historic significance. Its place in history books as the first elected left government in Europe is assured. But its importance goes further. The Syriza…

Stop the neo-liberal crisis politics – dispossess the beneficiaries!

New international call to Blockupy from attac academic advisors and others. Reposted from www.stop-neoliberal-crises-politics.org (in DE, FR, IT, ES there): We are experiencing the deepest crisis of capitalism since the great depression of the 30s – and the European governments continue to pour oil on the fires! From the very beginning, some governments have prevented…

Elections in Greece and France

The Eight of May was the Fête de la Victoire in France. It was also the day of François Hollande’s first public appearance as president-elect. The right-wing Le Figaro featured photographs of ‘deux presidents sous l’Arc de Triomphe’, in which Sarkozy managed to look even more disgruntled than usual and Hollande looked as if he…

Ask not what you can do for your country but what we can do for each other

I am thinking of the 77 year old Greek pensioner who took his life earlier today in Syntagma square, Athens. I am thinking of JFK’s 20th of January 1961 inaugural address speech where he uttered these well cited words: “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” The Greeks are not Americans. J.F. Kennedy in this inaugural speech was talking about a new world, where poverty, disease and injustice could be obliterated globally and where, “a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved”. And of course such a world could not be motivated into existence through this speech, nor does it exist […]

Rescue the Greek People from their Rescuers!

At a time when one in two young Greeks is unemployed, when 25,000 homeless people wonder the streets of Athens, when 30% of the population has fallen below the poverty line, when thousands of families are forced to give up their children to save them from dying of hunger and cold, when refugees and the…

The Irish Crisis: We do have choices

In the wake of yet another austerity addled budget, a strident chorus of our political leaders and self-proclaimed media statespersons, backed by a broad range of public comprador/organic intellectuals are echoing the sentiments if not the exact words of that great ‘reformer’ Margaret Thatcher – that ‘There is no alternative’ (TINA) to the policies of…

The Irish Crisis: Europe Colonises Itself

What the middle-​classes of Europe are waking up to is some­thing that co­lo­nial peoples have known for a long time In a recent brief exchange between Oscar Guardiola Rivera and Walter Mignolo, responding to an impossibly broad question about Europe’s current crisis, Guardiola Rivera quipped that Europe was colonising itself. Just think, he said, of…

The Irish Crisis: The Dynamics of Complicity

A year after all of the head-shaking and nay-saying assurances that ‘negotiations’ with the IMF and EU were mere ‘fiction’, the sense of betrayal that Irish people experienced about the then Government’s denial that the Irish nation was about to lose its economic sovereignty is still palpable. This psychological process of denial – the refusal…

The Irish Crisis: Discipline and Punish

Enda Kenny’s ‘state of the nation’ speech last night was little more than a footnote to the more revealing and fundamental address that he delivered last month to an audience of EU officials, bankers and representatives of the ‘troika’. That speech was, tellingly, addressed not to the Irish people but to the German finance minister,…

The Irish Crisis: The Screwed up state we’re in

The State of the Nation, I’m afraid, can be summed up in one word – screwed. We can flesh things out a bit, but that’s the nub of it. Every strategic step taken over the past decade has ensured that the screwing would be comprehensive. The crisis isn’t about fiscal problems, the public service or…

The Irish Crisis

In recent months the Irish crisis has disappeared from the international news. But that has not stopped the crushing cuts. Last sunday night the Taoiseach (the leader of the executive) addressed the nation. On monday and tuesday, an exceptional two-day budget was announced – the first of the new centre-left coalition. Ireland is the trustworthy PIG…

The Final Blackmail of Baron Papandreou

The unexpected announcement by Greek PM Papandreou yesterday that he is to call a referendum and ask people to vote about the October 24 agreement is the opening salvo in the endgame of the Greek tragedy. Is this extraordinary gambit a genuine request for a popular mandate or a desperate bluff of a gambler down…

Strike for the Present, Perhaps This Is All There Is

José Saramago’s Death at Intervals (2008) tells the story of Death going on Strike. In Saramago’s imagined country ‘since the beginning of the new year, or more precisely since zero hours of the first day of January’ that there is ‘no record of anyone dying’ (2008:3). This new state of affairs leads the country not…