Thursday, November 24, 2005

Business supplement

RK has Aaro nailed on this week's; I was ironically, overseas as part of the global spherical flat world economy, but I had time to jot down these supplementary notes.

1. Fill in the missing words in this sentence “David -------, the young, vital, vivacious pushy chap who Aaro has been shilling for like a carnival barker for the last three weeks, was the author of the 2004 Tory manifesto which called for a withdrawal from the UN Convention on Refugees and for ‘controlled immigration’ and as recently as two weeks ago on Newsnight said he still believed in both.

2. Nurses are not “semi-skilled workers”. Aaro twice (in paragraphs 5 and 6) sets up a rhetorical question about “semi-skilled labour” and gives a rhetorical answer about nurses. Good luck at your next arse checkup, Dave.

3. I am guessing that the “Any Questions-type session in a local cinema” where Dave had a “fantastic revelation” a few weeks ago was “Socialism 2005”?

4. “Globalisation”, “Outsourcing” and “Immigration” are not synonyms. Nor is "importation of cheap labour" synonymous with any of the three of them.

5. Call me Mr. Pedantic, but while it is true that the TUC was against Jewish immigration in 1905, it is not against immigration now. They are against outsourcing, but that is not the same thing. In fact, the TUC (which last time I checked was on "the left") has precisely the same policy as the RSA report Dave endorses, which is "in favour of immigration, with safeguards against the exploitation of migrant labour".

6. Moldova has always had a very high proportion of its population working abroad (pre-1990, mainly in other USSR Republics). It is famous for exporting "its wine and its women", so everything you suspect about this factoid is quite likely true (actually most of the overseas workforce are builders and such working in Romania and the Ukraine, but they are not likely to be sending many hard-currency remittances home).

7. Oh yeh, Moldova does not have a growth rate of "7% per annum". It was 7.2% in 2002, but 6.3% for 2003, 6.8% for 2004. Neighbouring Romania grew at 8.1% in the same period. Moldova has 80% of its population below the poverty line. In general, the sonorous phrase "per annum" is not used when discussing GDP growth figures because they change from year to year.

Dave really should fucking give up on his attempts to do economics, and particularly to try and tar people as racists for understanding the issues better than he does. The TUC is against "imported cheap labour" because it's cheap, not because it's imported, and a simple phone call could have confirmed this. Similarly, The Blessed Polly has done enough hard time and hard work to deserve better than Aaro's snidey little cheapshot, and her point that we're trying to build an Olympic village on the cheap and losing about half of the regional stimulus effect that helped sell it to the locals is a good one.

It's not even the case that he's learning. In fact the opposite is true; as time passes, Dave knows less. When he was in the CPGB he could presumably have quoted you chapter and verse about Marx's own rather subtle views on free trade (basically that it is both a way in which the bourgeoisie make different parts of the working class compete against each other, which is bad, and a progressive, revolutionary force which breaks up national boundaries, which is good). Even six months ago he was aware that there was something a bit wrong with asking the citizens of a democratic country to compete on average labour costs with the People's Republic of China, though I notice it took a bit of whining by the British Chamber of Commerce to make him notice it even then. But the current incarnation is just silly, warmed-over "the globe is becoming more global, therefore global capital is kind" neoliberalism of a vintage that even The Economist would be embarrassed by. The implications of the current Cameronite incarnation of Decent Dave are that the world is changing, and the working class must bear the entire cost of this change (possibly to have it handed back to them in the form of tax-funded "public services", thanks a fucking million). Before he starts out on any unholy alliance with "neoliberals of the market kind", Dave ought to learn a couple of things about them because to be honest their views on such things as health and safety, protection from unfair dismissal, collective wage bargaining and so on, are not very "socially progressive", which is what Dave hopes he is. The LSE does a pretty good summer school.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well skewered

11/25/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Anglonoel said...

I would like to see Dave's reponse if Mr. Murdoch decided to outsource HIS job...

11/25/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Anglonoel said...

I can't even spell "response" properly. Can I get a job on the new style Sunday Telegraph?

11/25/2005 06:54:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home