The Free Market Fraud

Despite the world-wide recession the success of the free market fraud
continues. Its latest manifestation is the attack on the NHS. This is
claimed to be opening up the NHS to competition, which is supposed to
increase efficiency but in reality is just siphoning public money to
the private sector. We have already seen this with the privatisation
of gas, electric and water. Rather than cutting bills, handing natural
monopolies over to the private sector has resulted in bills increasing
at more than the rate of inflation. This is the exact opposite of what
was supposed to have happened but don’t worry, the privatised
companies are making huge profits (at our expense). The railways are
the most glaring example. We now have the most expensive fares in
Europe, the tax payers’ subsidy to the railways has doubled and the
railway companies are making huge profits. John Major (the prime
minister who privatised the railways) should not be able to appear in
public without being continually asked about this. Privatisation of

the NHS will kill because less money will be available to treat the

There are other aspects to the free market fraud. Massive
unemployment, lowered wages (in real terms), the collapse of job
security, the disappearance and even theft of pensions, zero hour
contracts and so on. Immigration undermines the position of labour
even further (but beware of seeing immigrants as the problem, rather
than as a symptom) and remember that jobs going abroad is also a way
to weaken labour here. Union membership has halved and, crap as they
were, the unions were better than nothing. At the same time the tiny
minority of the rich have seen their incomes increase unbelievably and
their taxes fall through cuts in income tax rates, through redefining
themselves as corporations (which pay lower rates), and through tax
havens. For most of us cuts in income tax are more than offset by tax
increases such as VAT being more than doubled from 8% (1979) to 20%
(2010), and the imposition of council tax on council tenants. Those of
us who pay lower taxes do so because our wages have fallen. We were
better off before. (Jobs going abroad to where wages are lower partly
offset this by making goods cheaper, though.)

How did all this happen? The union movement was defeated on the
streets by a newly militarised police force (based on the riot police
in the former colony of Hong Kong) and in the workplace by higher
unemployment. Privatisation helped and the real killer was the world
wide financial collapse of 2008 made possible by years of “light
touch” regulation. (For a good account of some of the frauds that
preceded the 2008 crash, for example the bubble and the Enron
scam, see The Trouble with Capitalism by Harry Shutt, the book in
which he predicted the crash before it happened.) Remember that
Thatcher would never have got away with it if it hadn’t been for the
Falklands War. She’d have been voted out otherwise.

And what do we do about all this? Join the Labour Party or take direct
action? Remember that the Labour Party continued the Tories work, that
Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt, former health ministers, now work
for private health care companies. I suggest direct action. Name and
shame the corrupt public officials who sell us out to the private
sector, set up claimants unions to help claimants being persecuted by
their Job Centres, squat if you can’t afford to rent (let alone get a
mortgage), make stuff for yourself if you can’t afford to buy it,
boycott companies that dodge the taxes that pay for the NHS. Of course
they also pay for the police, the armed forces and so on so this has a
dodgy side to it. As would voting Labour, even if it was done without
any illusions. Anyway get to it.

Mo Moseley

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Ella Harrison

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