Friday, 16 September 2016

McDonnell, Memory And Money




There has been one of those strange stories about politicians, this one around being John McDonnell (what again?), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who claims on Youtube, the modern journal of record, that he waited a lifetime for a full scale banking crisis as in 2008.

He admits to being a Marxist, whatever that is these days, and  was born a scouser in Liverpool, but then moved south, see Wikpedia.  Scousers are noted for their imaginations.   Although, it was rather more east, being Great Yarmouth, but his geography may be as suspect as his history.

One wonders where he had really been all that time.  Was he tucked away snoozing happily before being wakened by a 2008 kiss from Gordon Brown, the Prince from the lands of Bailout?  Or could it have been Tony (what's my percentage?) Blair.

Purely as an aside a look at the Wikipedia page for Angus McDonnell 1881 to 1966, then look at his mum, Louisa McDonnell, Countess of Antrim, lived 1855-1949.  Louisa had an aunt who lived in Liverpool and with extensive family. Relations? Perhaps not, but the Antrim's and connections were prominent at Court for around a century.

But when John was a teenager, doubtless learning The Communist Manifesto by heart in the late 60's, we had a sterling crisis and Harold Wilson defending the pound in our pockets by a substantial devaluation.. It wasn't long to wait before the next, the secondary banking crisis of 1973-1975 when capitalism looked doomed.

Then later in the decade Prime Minister Callaghan and Chancellor Healy kept the banks open by borrowing from the IMF, an event that marked the end of Empire and was supposed to be the beginning of the end for capitalism.  This seemed overdue by the early 80's as the groups of The Left beguiled by Soviet propaganda and the wonders of East Germany thought their day would come.

In 1984 the Great Event happened, Scargill, John's version of Lenin, he thought at the time , called a miner's strike to trigger The Revolution. The Left might have been adept at talking and theorising, but were bereft of organisation, logistics and common sense and lost which meant that later in the decade the capitalists gained the upper hand and regulation was discarded.

Then the Soviet Union was the one to crash with all that followed. There were further ups and downs as time went on in one place or another as well as a nasty internet crash, but somehow or another it kept going until a big one hit in 2008. One problem here was that the government had become a branch of the banks instead of a regulator.

Another problem was that very few in politics, Left, Right and Centre simply did not see or understand how much and how fast the world was changing.  So when someone like McDonnell comes along, whose thinking does not seem to have moved on from the 1970's what do we make of them?

Dinosaurs or dimwits or both?

1 comment:

  1. Both. Dinosaurs are not known for their big brains.

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